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"Fast Bikes", May 1, 2013

CHARLIE | YAMAHA YZF-R6

THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN... “Reminded that it’s still winter...”

Our Chaz loves a pic of his bike by the side of the road...

TIME ON TEST: 13 MONTHS (FBK262)

13867 ODOMETER MILES

BHP: 111

GAIN: 5

NEXT AIM: GET OVER MY LOSS

It’s been such a bitter sweet month for the R6 and I this month. As the winter sun made an appearance I was heading up the M6 for a tour around Cumbria, across the North Yorkshire Moors to Skipton, down to Nottingham and home. That was sweet, sooo sweet, and rated with the Alps tour this time last year in terms of wow factor.

Then there was tucked front on the Fosse way last Friday... I hit the deck and found myself hurtling across the road into the path of oncoming traffic. There’s the bitter for you right there.

What the latter has also meant is that rather than an ongoing piece highlighting the abilities of the R6 over distance (leading into the next issue covering my Level 4 Superbike School), I’m forced into doing my farewell. This is something I’m finding very difficult, emotional even, as I wanted to roar into Yamaha and begrudgingly hand over the keys – a better parting than seeing the doors of a van close with my old friend in it.

I’m convinced that I’m more attached to the R6 than any of the other guys got with their staff rides. I ride fewer bikes than they do, thus have concentrated my time on this one machine, covering just shy of 14,000 miles made up of all types of Tarmac terrain, from tracks to mountain passes. Every single one of these miles has been a pleasure and I would own an R6 at the drop of a hat. It’s nothing short of unadulterated genius.

Yamaha’s catalogue is pretty extensive and worth looking through as a first call for your pillion cover, branded exhaust, double bubble screen, etc. The PCV was key in extracting the most power, mapping in with a K&N filter and Aka exhaust. The HM shifter was a revelation for me and will be used again for sure. Oxford’s Hot Hands have kept me running through the winter and I have had some great fun on Metzeler’s and Bridgestone’s rubber. In addition, I’ve tested a lot of luggage too, much to the amusement of my colleagues, but this has enabled me to travel further for longer though, so no shame in that I say.

Alas the final product I tested was the crash bungs. A set supplied by Yamaha joined the full R&G Racing range of bar ends, fork protectors, bungs and engine cases and they all did their job. I have been round that sweeping left on the Fosse Way numerous times without the slightest squeaky bum moment, but on that Friday the front just washed out. As I slowed and looked up the bike was spinning away from me on its left hand side, taillight, headlight, taillight, headlight... But thanks to the crash protection I was back onboard and heading home within five minutes.

So if you ask me what was the best mod I made this year I will go with the latter, as it could have been so much worse. I’ll not know the full extent until Yamaha has filed their report. But big thanks to them, for the loan and maintenance of such an awesome machine – and not giving me a kicking for returning the aforementioned vehicle in slightly more than one piece...

Price from new: £9,499

Insurance group 15

Modifications Price

Givi T489 Tanklock tank bag £84.30

HM quickshifter plus £340.42

Akrapovic exhaust £605.99

Techmount £62.76

Yamaha tail tidy £83.99

Dynojet PCV £334.98

Yamaha seat cowl £171.99

Bridgestone S20s £280.00

Brembo sintered brake pads £73.00

K&N air filter £56.52

SDoc100 motorcycle cleaner £16.00

Oxford Hot Hands carbon £79.99

RUNNING TOTAL £2,921.65

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