This is the maintenance schedule and associated service intervals for the Yamaha R6 1st Gen, made between 1999 and 2002, also known by its name the YZF-R6.
The original YZF-R6 was category defining and remains a classic — if you can find one in decent condition. It’s based on a 599 cc liquid-cooled 16-valve inline four-cylinder engine that makes quoted peak power of 88 kW (120 bhp) at 13000 rpm, and puts that down through a six-speed box and a chain drive.
For the 2001 model year, Yamaha significantly updated the Yamaha R6. It was still carburettor fed, but the motorcycle was significantly lightened (193 kg wet, down from 200 kg) and about 10% more powerful at the rear wheel. That’s a huge change! Yamaha also redesigned the bodywork as you can see in the pics below. The parts and maintenance schedule remain the same.
The thing that changed most significantly before the 2nd gen Yamaha R6 is the fuelling — these years were carburettor-fed, whereas from 2003 onward, the R6 received fuel injection.
Here are all the generations of Yamaha YZF-R6 for which we have maintenance schedules:
- Yamaha YZF-R6 First Gen (1999-2002) — Carburettor-fed, 65.5 x 44.5mm 599.8cc engine
- Yamaha YZF-R6 2nd gen (2003-2004) — Fuel injected, fully adjustable conventional fork, 298mm discs with axial calipers
- Yamaha YZF-R6 2005 — same fuel-injected engine, but inverted 41mm fork, larger 310mm discs, and radially mounted calipers
- Yamaha YZF-R6 2006-2016 — new more oversquare 67.0×42.5mm 599.4cc engine, YCC-T ride-by-wire, revised gearing, 12.8:1 compression ratio and more power. Received YCC-I in 2008, and a re-tune/higher compression ratio in 2010.
- Yamaha YZF-R6 4th gen — 2017-2020 (final iteration) — ram air, 43mm KYB forks & KYB rear shock, 320mm discs, ABS, traction control, ride modes, visual redesign
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Things you may need to buy to service your Yamaha R6 1st gen
Here’s a few items that you may need to buy to service your Yamaha R6 1st gen.
|Part/consumable||Image||1999-2002 Yamaha R6 specification and link|
|Engine oil||Yamaha recommends using their own motor oil, which is affordable and good. Yamalube 10W-50 covers a huge range of operating temperatures, from below freezing to above 100 degrees F / 40 degrees C.|
|Oil filter||Many R6 owners use K&N filter KN-303 for easy replacement (you can use a normal wrench).|
|Spark plugs||You need four spark plugs for the YZF-R6, NGK CR10EK (all models R6). On these earlier carburetted models, CR9EK is also OK.|
|Chain lubricant||A really popular chain lubricant that’s low-mess and highly effective is Motul chain paste.|
|Cable lubricant||Keeping good clutch action depends on having a well-lubricated chain. You can use engine oil, but Protect All Cable Life is an affordable and well-used staple of maintenance.|
|Mechanical grease||It’s important to grease moving parts, like the sidestand and sometimes bearings, to keep them from getting notchy or seizing. Valvoline moly-fortified grease meets a lot of needs.|
Yamaha R6 1st Gen Maintenance Schedule
Below is the maintenance schedule for the Yamaha R6 1st Gen. We’ve reformatted it significantly to make it easier to read.
Notes on the maintenance schedule for the Yamaha R6:
- For odometer readings past the final ones, repeat the service from every one to two intervals.
- For most items, follow the earlier of a distance or time interval. For some items, like valve service and spark plug changes, just follow a distance interval, whereas for fluid changes, follow the time interval rigorously.
|mi x 1000||4||8||12||16||20|
|km x 1000||7||13||19||25||31|
|Replace engine oil (warm-up engine before draining) with Yamalube 10W-40||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Replace oil filter (HF204RC)||✓||✓|
|Clean air filter as needed. Replace if necessary||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||Clean / replace more often if riding in dusty or wet conditions.|
|Check cooling hose for cracks or damage. Replace if necessary||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Replace coolant (ethylene glycol-based coolant)||R||24 months|
|Check and adjust valve clearance when engine is cold||26600 mi / 40000 km|
|Check spark plug condition Adjust gap and clean.||✓||✓||✓||8000 mi / 12000 km|
|Replace spark plugs||✓||✓|
|Adjust carburettor sync||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check and adjust engine idle speed. Adjust cable freeplay||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check brake operation, pad wear, and fluid leakage. Correct if necessary||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Replace brake fluid||2 years|
|Replace internal parts of brake master cylinder and calipers||2 years|
|Replace brake hoses||4 years|
|Check clutch operation. Adjust or replace cable||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Lubricate control cable thoroughly (Protect All Cable Life)||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check fuel hoses for cracks or damage. Replace if necessary||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Replace fuel filter||R||20000 mi / 30000 km / 30 months|
|Check swing arm pivot bearing assembly for looseness. Moderately repack every as indicated||✓||R|
|Check rear suspension link pivots operation. Correct if necessary||✓||✓|
|Check rear shock absorber operation and oil leakage. Replace if necessary||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check fork operation and leakage|
Repair if necessary
|Check steering bearing assembly for looseness. Moderately repack as indicated (R)||✓||✓||✓||R||✓|
|Lubricate brake / clutch lever pivot shaftas with lithium soap-based grease||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Lubricate brake pedal with lithium soap-based grease||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check wheel bearing for smooth rotation||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check side-stand pivot operation and with lubricate soap-based grease||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check side stand switch and clean or replace if necessary||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check all chassis fittings and fasteners. Correct if necessary||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check crankcase ventilation hose (if fitted) for cracks or damage. Replace if necessary||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check exhaust system for leakage. Retighten if necessary, and replace gasket(s) if necessary||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check evap control system (if fitted) for damage. Replace if necessary||✓|
Maintaining Your Chain on the Yamaha YZF-R6
It’s important to maintain your chain on the R6, as on any chain-driven motorcycle, but particularly on the R6 as riding any bike hard is hard on the chain.
Use a good-quality chain lubricant like Motul chain paste, or a Motul chain care kit which comes with a couple of handy tools to maintain the chain.
Yamaha recommends you follow the following chain maintenance schedule every 500 mi / 800 km and after washing the motorcycle, riding in the rain, or riding in wet areas.
|Chain maintenance item|
|Check drive chain lubrication condition, lubricating if necessary (Motul chain paste)|
|Check drive chain slack, alignment, and condition, adjusting / replacing if necessary|
Naturally, if you track or race your R6, then attend to your chain more often.
Wheels and Tire Pressures
|Wheel||Tyre (Tire) size||Tyre (Tire) pressure (cold)|
|Front||120/60-17||2.5 bar / 250 kPa / 36 psi|
|Rear||180/55-17||2.9 bar / 290 kPa / 42 psi|
About the Yamaha R6 1st Gen
The 1st gen Yamaha YZF-R6 was ground-breaking for the 600 class. People riding it described it being like a drug.
The original YZF-R6 was and remains one of the most iconic sport bikes of the modern era.
Motorcycle.com says it best: Never mind the bollocks, we’ll get right to the point: The Yamaha YZF-R6 kicks ass. It is one of the most feral, thrilling, heart-pounding motorcycles we’ve ever ridden. Yeah, yeah, don’t many journalists use over-the-top superlatives in order to mollify manufacturers and help pay for the ad guy’s mortgage? Yes, it happens, but this time we really mean it.”
The Yamaha R6 1st gen is carburettor-fed. It’s based on a 599 cc liquid-cooled 16-valve engine, just like all its successors, but it’s the only generation that’s carburettor fed.
It’s quite peaky in power, making peak power of 88 kW / 120 hp at a fairly high 13000 rpm. But the later model R6s all made their power even higher up, so you could say that compared to later models, the first gen R6 is quite torque-forward! Still, the powerband kicks in at 6000 rpm. Redline on the original YZF-R6 is a sky-high 15500 rpm.
Ride gear for the first-gen Yamaha YZF-R6 is very advanced. Front suspension is a 43mm inverted telescopic fork that’s fully adjustable, and the rear fully adjustable shock has a piggyback reservoir.
Front brakes are twin 298 mm discs and 4-piston calipers.
The original YZF-R6 is very reliable, as are most liquid-cooled Yamaha motorcycles. If you keep the oil changed and the coolant and brake fluid fresh, it’ll last until some of the exterior parts corrode or until you crash it. The main things people complain about on older models are corroded bolts, brackets, and fasteners. But atmospheric moisture and whether or not it has been kept clean play a role in how fast that happens.
Since more than two decades have passed since the first Yamaha R6 models rolled off the shelves, make sure you have a long list of items to check before buying one used.
Things to check would include regular maintenance items, including whether hoses have been replaced, fluids are up to date, and whether the valve clearance check has been done according to the schedule every 26600 miles / 42000 km.
But aside from that, also look at the suspension units. On older bikes, it’s not uncommon for seals to fail. Replacing them is pretty laborious.
Finally, since the Yamaha R6 1st gen is carburettor fed, make sure that the carb works and that the jets are both not blocked and are suited to any upgraded intakes and exhausts.
The next generation Yamaha YZF-R6 had the benefit of being fuel-injected. Easier to dyno-tune, and less likely to gum up.
Manual for the Yamaha YZF-R6 1st gen
The above information was gleaned from the owner’s manual for the 2002 Yamaha YZF-R6.
You can download it from Yamaha’s website here.