Showdown: Yamaha YZF-R7 vs YZF-R6


At first glance, the R7 and the R6 differ by just one number. Give it a closer look, though, and you’ll see that they are very different motorcycles with features and specs designed for very different applications. 

If you’re wondering which is better for your needs, this comparison of the YZF-R7 versus the YZF-R6 will help you decide.


Yamaha YZF-R7

The YZF-R7 is Yamaha’s sport version of the MT-07, using the same 689cc parallel inline-twin engine. Though it shares the same name as Yamaha’s racing model from 1999, the bikes aren’t all that similar beyond the sport-bike design.

The YZF-R7 is a mid-range sport bike designed for casual riders and commuters who want a sportier design. With relatively low gearing and good torque at low rpm, it’s comfortable for riding through the city in dense stop-and-go traffic. 

In general, the YZF-R7 has a good blend of specs and features that provide a fun, sporty experience while still being accessible to inexperienced riders and commuters. These include: 

  • 689cc liquid-cooled four-stroke inline-twin engine 
  • 414 lbs curb weight
  • 139 mph top speed
  • 72.4 hp at 8,750 rpm
  • 58 mpg fuel economy
  • Six-speed multiplate wet clutch
  • Front telescopic fork suspension
  • Rear linked-type monocross shock
  • Front and rear hydraulic disc brakes


Yamaha YZF-R6

The YZF-R6 is a supersport bike from Yamaha. Introduced in 1999 to complement the YZF600R street bike, it has since been discontinued as a street-legal production motorcycle. From 2021, it’s only available as a track bike.

The racing focus is pretty easy to see. In fact, the YZF-R6 was the first production motorcycle in the four-stroke 600cc class capable of producing over 100 hp of power. It’s an especially peaky bike, though, hitting its max power of 117 hp at 14,500 rpm.

Its other specs and features also reflect the YZF-R6’s high-power, high-speed racing design::

  • 599cc liquid-cooled four-stroke inline-twin engine 
  • 419 lbs curb weight
  • 139 mph top speed
  • 117 hp at 14,500 rpm
  • 40 mpg fuel economy
  • Six-speed multiplate wet clutch
  • Front-inverted fork suspension
  • Rear four-way adjustable suspension
  • Front and rear hydraulic disc brakes

YZF-R7 vs YZF-R6 Head-to-Head

The R7 and R6 are dramatically different motorcycles designed for different demographics and applications. Understanding how they compare in specific aspects of riding can give you a better idea of which is better for you. 


Winner: YZF-R7

Yamaha YZF-R7 Seat Cowl

While both are sport bikes, the YZF-R7 has a more relaxed and upright riding position that’s more comfortable for longer rides or daily commuting. Plus, the suspension is geared more toward street comfort rather than aggressive track performance. Overall, Yamaha paid much more attention to comfort with the R7 design, focusing on performance with the R6.

Looks and Customization

Winner: Both

I like the aggressive look of the R6, but you may find the more subdued look of the R7 appealing. Either way, both bikes have a lot of potential for customization. 

The R6 has been in production for a long time, so there are a lot of aftermarket parts aimed at improving its performance. Meanwhile, the R7 is new and shares design features with other Yamaha bikes currently in production. In other words, there are a lot of options for customization. 


Winner: YZF-R7

Yamaha YZF-R7 Fender Eliminator

The 2023 R7 has an MSRP of $9,199. The 2020 R6, the last year it was street legal, cost over $12,000. The current MSRP for the YZF-R6 RACE model is $12,699. Plus, the R7 gets better gas mileage, so it’ll save you money over time as well. 


Winner: YZF-R7

With a more relaxed seating position and slightly lower curb weight, the R7 is easier to balance for most riders, especially when it comes to the tight cornering of city streets. The R6 is designed for performance on the track. It’s highly responsive but much less forgiving.

Speed and Power

Winner: YZF-R6

Yamaha YZF-R6 Speed

The R6 is undeniably more powerful and faster than the R7. With incredible max power reaching nearly 120 hp at very high rpm, the R6 can hit 165 mph versus the R7’s 145 mph. Similarly, the R6 accelerates to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds versus 3.3 for the R7.

That said, it’s worth noting that the R7 is higher geared, giving you higher speeds at lower rpm and requiring less shifting for rapid acceleration. For example, in third gear at 5,000 rpm, the R7 hits 45 mph compared to 38 mph for the R6. While the R6 is considerably more powerful and faster than the R7 overall, you can only take full advantage of this on the track. 

2023 Upgrades for YZF-R7 and YZF-R6

Yamaha regularly updates all of its models not only to better compete in the market but also to comply with new regulations and standards. The YZF-R7 and YZF-R6, as important models in Yamaha’s sport-bike lineup, are no exceptions.

2023 YZF-R7

Considering Yamaha only released the YZF-R7 in 2022, it hasn’t had a lot of time to change the model. The specs remain the same in 2023. However, it did update the color options, removing the World GP 60th Anniversary option and replacing it with Intensity White. It’s still available in Yamaha Blue and Performance Black. 

2023 YZF-R6

From 2021, the YZF-R6 will no longer be available as a street-legal production model and only come as a racing bike. The last years of the production bike saw some dampening of the design, with a decrease to 117 hp from 127 hp in 2009.

If you are interested in the YZF-R6 RACE, note that it comes without mirrors, turn signals, headlights and numerous other features required for street riding. Yamaha boosted the power just a bit to 118 hp at 14,500 rpm and decreased the weight to 408 pounds.


The YZF-R7 and YZF-R6 are very different motorcycles that perform better in different situations. They both have a lot of strengths but specific disadvantages as well. Depending on how you’ll use the bike, one or the other might suit you. These are recommendations:

  • For overall beginners or those new to the sport-bike class, the R7 is more manageable, more comfortable in traffic, and easier to learn on.
  • If you have a lot of experience and want to hit the track and enjoy high speeds, the R6 is one of the most powerful mid-range sport bikes available.
  • To get the newest features and technology, you should probably go with the R7 since the R6 is no longer in production as a street-legal model.
  • If budget is an issue, the R7 is about 75% of the price of the R6.
  • For commuters and urban riders, the R7 is more comfortable at low rpm and is geared for lower speeds.

Further reading: Yamaha YZF-R1 vs YZF-R6