Trade Show Speculation: What Will Yamaha Bring To The Table?
Yesterday, we did a quick rundown of what we’re hoping to see from Suzuki, and now it’s Yamaha’s turn. With the Cologne Intermot show kicking off in a few days’ time (October 4th) and Milan’s EICMA starting up in November, we’re going to start seeing the 2017 range from all of the top manufacturers in all of its glory. We’ve covered Suzuki, so now we’re going to take a look at what Yamaha might be unveiling.
First things first, we can’t really continue without making a note of the impending Euro4 regulations that are coming into play at the beginning of 2017. These new rules and regulations are targeting emissions, and it’s the mid-size sports category that’s feeling the full force on the new rulings. Honda have already said they’re going to put the CBR600R to pasture (thought we’ve heard conflicting reports about how this affects the US market), and Suzuki have already admitted that the GSX-R600 isn’t Euro4 compliant. But what about Yamaha and the R6?
We saw a teaser trailer earlier on this month that hinted that a brand new R6 was on the cards. The trailer failed to show us anything definitive, but the sound – although debatable – had all of the hallmarks of a smaller, four cylindered sportsbike. A smart gambler would bet that a new R6, or something very similar, is about to be unveiled. We’ll find out for certain on October 4th.
The question is this though: will it be a new R6 or something a little bigger? Thanks to the Euro4 rules and regulations, we’re wondering whether Yamaha has poured the cash into redesigning the R6 engine to comply with the rules, or whether they’ve simply enlarged the engine and built on top of a new power plant altogether. Either way, it’s exciting stuff. If Yamaha have successfully managed to re-work the existing R6 engine and make it Euro4 compliant without sacrificing power, then it will be an engineering marvel, and incredibly sophisticated. Or perhaps they’ve decided to up the power to 700cc or 750cc? A larger engine will help them circumvent the Euro4 rules, and if it was a 750…well, it would be a game changer for the direction of the middleweight market.
Yamaha might even rope in the parallel twin engine from the FZ-07, or the upcoming XT-07 Tenere, although we doubt it. The XT-07 Tenere is worth keeping an eye on though, and in terms of sales predictions, it’s set to be a big winner in 2017. Powered by the FZ-07 engine, armed with high rise suspension and dressed in adventure clothing, Yamaha’s highly anticipated adventure bike will likely be a cheaper and more versatile alternative to BMW’s R1200GS. We’ll have to wait and see though.
Adventure aside, let’s get back to the more interesting YZF-R-Series. Yamaha have already told us that the both the R1 and R1M are getting new color options for 2017, but that’s all we know so far. The R1 in its current form has been with us for nearly two years now, and we’re expecting a few updates. The Euro4 emissions rules will no doubt demand a few minor tweaks on the R1, and we’re hoping that Yamaha will give us a few more upgrades while they’re down there. What those upgrades could be remain a mystery. Just give us something. Anything. Even if it’s something for us to complain about, something is better than nothing, right?
What else? Well, we know that we won’t be seeing an all new VMAX. The faithful VMAX was discontinued earlier on this year, but we don’t think this is the end for the bike though. We reckon it’s just been put on ice for the time being, to be returned to later on. It would be awesome to see a Euro4 complaint VMAX make an appearance, but it’s probably too soon, and far too much to ask from Yamaha at the moment. It’s a similar story with the XJR1300, which has been discontinued in Europe too.
So that’s what we’re keeping an eye on: mainly the R6 and the R1. No doubt Yamaha will have a few surprises in store. They’ll probably wheel out their Motobot for a few photos, too. There’s been no talk of supercharging from Yamaha yet…which is interesting, since Kawasaki and Suzuki are getting “well into it.” Maybe we’ll see some force fed prototypes? But the rumor mill hasn’t churned out anything to suggest that though…