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Yamaha revs your heart...unless it is a 600. The R6 is gone.

Call it a victim of more aggressive European emissions standards or simply just the cherry on top to end 2020, but the Yamaha YZF-R6 is no more. Yamaha made the announcement the same way many people break up with someone, by a letter that looked surprisingly like a press release.

Josh Hayes pic for attention, photo credit James Carr

Dear YZF-R6,

I know we have been together since 1999, but I have given our relationship some thought recently. I just don't see us lasting past 2020. Quite frankly, it is actually you, not me that is causing the break up. While nobody can argue your ability to scream when you get the spurs given to you, there is more to life than just that these days. Let's talk about what comes out your tailpipe for example. While it might not be bad by American standards, I want to spend more time traveling abroad, and your emissions are just not up to what the Europeans have come to expect. Don't worry, I am going to find someone that looks, sounds, and behaves just like you when it is time to go racing in Europe next year, and I am sure you understand. Totes not personal, I just need some me time.

It's not just you that I never want to see again, but your muscly brother VMAX isn't welcome around these parts and if you could tell WR250R that he is a bit too, uhh, dirty I guess? I would mention that you should break the news to SMAX as well, but I doubt you ever see him anyway. Scooters, amiright?

Anyway... While you and your kin have helped make me what I am, I just need to focus on something new for 2021 and beyond. I can't tell you what yet, but suffice it to say it will "expand the market" and "add experiences" in ways that you guys just couldn't...if you catch my drift.

I wanted to knock this out before the holidays so you can have people come by and maybe find a new partner, but yeah, for us it's over.

Hugs and Kittens,


OK, so they were a bit more professional about it but the message is pretty much the same. Below is the important part from the actual press release.

“With deep consideration of evolving global market trends and regulations that limit production volumes on certain models, the following Yamaha models will be discontinued after model year 2020: YZF-R6, VMAX, WR250R, and SMAX.

Yamaha understands the iconic history of these models. Regarding the future, Yamaha is continuously looking at new ideas and concepts to support and expand the market, as well as enhance our customers’ experiences.

Consumers can contact their local Yamaha dealer on the remaining model year 2020 availability of these discontinued models.”

The good news is if you live in Europe you will have the chance to buy new track-only models after 2020, the bad news is I know for a fact I do not live in Europe.

One would assume that Yamaha would like to keep their name on the tongues of racers that are too big for the R3 and too afraid of the R1, but as it sits now they have not officially said that America will get the track-spec R6. The way that 2020 has gone I expect that instead Yamaha will announce a limited edition Piano in 50th Anniversary colors to the American market.

A dumb photoshop of the non existent Yamaha 50th Anniversary piano.
I wonder if you could get a Graves tune for this bad boy?

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