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Yamaha R6 4th gen (2017-2020) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

2019 Yamaha YZF-R6

This is the maintenance schedule and associated service intervals for the Yamaha R6 4th Gen (2017-2020), known officially as the Yamaha YZF-R6 but I don’t think I’ve ever heard people say that out loud. The Yamaha R6 was finally retired from most markets in 2020 to become a “track-only” model in some markets.

The Yamaha R6 needs no introduction, but in case it does, it’s the 600cc stablemate to the Yamaha R1, originally released the year after. The Yamaha R6 follows the same “no compromises” approach to making a track motorcycle that’s street legal. If anything, it’s somehow more extreme. Many owners like to say they have an R6 for the track and an R1 for the street!

There are other derivatives of the Yamaha R6 that are still fast motorcycles but much more suitable for road use, like the Yamaha FZ6. But those are no longer in production.

Because this maintenance schedule covers a motorcycle that has evolved a lot, let’s go over the generations of the R6 briefly.

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Yamaha R6 generations

There were four main generations of the Yamaha R6. There were updates in between those, but overall, these generations are the ones that dictated parts differences in maintaining the R1.

I’m highlighting the Gen 2 Anniversary edition separately, because it has a few different parts.

PartYamaha R6 1st GenYamaha R6 2nd Gen2nd Gen Yamaha R6 AnniversaryYamaha R6 3rd GenYamaha R6 4th Gen
Carburetion4x 37mm carburettorsFuel injectionFuel injectionFuel Injection w YCC-T; YCC-I from 2008Fuel Injection with YCC-T and YCC-I
IgnitionCDIDigital DC-CDIDigital DC-CDITCITCI
Front brajes2x295mm2x298mm2x310mm2x310mm2x320mm hydraulic disc
Front suspension43mm telescopic forks, fully adjustable43mm telescopic forks, fully adjustable41mm USD, fully adjustable 41mm USD, separate high/low-speed compression damping43mm USD from R1, fully adjustable
Front tyreFront:120/60-ZR17Front:120/60-ZR17Front:120/70-ZR17Front:120/70-ZR17Front:120/70-ZR17
Yamaha R6 Generations summarised

The above table doesn’t go into the engine changes. The fuelling was tweaked with every generation, but gneerally it has always been a just-below-600 cc inline four cylinder, with DOHC, 16 valves and liquid cooling, driving the rear wheel through a chain.

The power steadily increased from 74 kW (100 hp) in 1999 to a peak of 95 kW (127 hp) in 2008/9, after which it went back a bit.

What you need to service the Yamaha R6 4th Gen

If you’re servicing the Yamaha R6 4th Gen, you at least need basic motorcycle maintenance tools — things like an oil catch pan, a paddock stand, and so on.

For the Yamaha R6 4th Gen, the manual recommends the following specific consumables.

PartYamaha R6 Part Codes
Engine oilYamalube 10W-40 or Yamalube 10W-50. The manual suggests it and it’s affordable. Don’t over-torque the bolt (spec is 42 Nm/31 lb-ft for the oil drain bolt per the manual) — use a torque wrench if needed.

Of course many R6 obsessives prefer synthetic oils like Motul 7100 or even the race-spec Motul 300V, Mobil 1 Synthetic, or Shell Rotella T6, a forum favourite (yes it’s “diesel” oil, but it’s JASO MA rated!)
Oil filterNeeds to be changed every time you change the oil. Either get a stock one (part 5GH-13440-50-00, used for many Yamaha products) or the Hiflofiltro HF204RC These are correct for all R6 models ever. Torque for the oil filter is 16 Nm/12 lb-ft.
Engine coolantThe manual requires “High-quality ethylene glycol antifreeze containing corrosion inhibitors for aluminium engines”. Valvoline Zerex G05 meets this spec.
Spark PlugsNGK CR10EK. This is what the manual and mechanics suggest for all R6 models (earlier pre-06 ones can use CR9EK too). Make sure it’s gapped correctly to 0.6-0.7mm (get a gapping tool) and torqued to 18 Nm/13 lb-ft (new) or 13Nm/10 lb-ft (after checking).
Air filterYou can either get an OEM air filter from a dealer, or the K&N equivalent, which is easier to get online. Part numbers below:
1999-2005: K&N YA-6001. OEM part is 5SL-14450-00-00 (2003-2005)
2006-2007: K&N YA-6006. OEM part is 2C0-14450-01-00
2008-2020: K&N YA-6008. OEM part is 13S-14450-30-00.
Brake padsIf you need brake pads, your choices are many, but it’s best to go with either OEM for street use, or EBC for street + track use (they give more life, and better brake feel, especially under duress). Brake pads are the user-replaceable part that changed the most over the life of the Yamaha R6. Make sure you get the right parts. (See the table below)
Chain lubricantYou need to clean and lube your chain regularly. Motul chain paste is very popular because it’s low-mess and highly effective.
Cable lubricantRemember to lubricate your clutch cable with a cable lubricant. Protect All Cable Life is a good general-purpose lubricant.
GreaseGet a good lithium soap based grease for lubricating major components like your side stand, centre stand, and bearings.
Oil, filters, coolant, plugs, and brake pads for the Yamaha R6

See the table below for the correct brake pad part codes, EBC or OEM, for all years of Yamaha R6.

Yamaha R6 yearEBC front brake padsEBC rear brake padsOEM front brake padsOEM rear brake pads
Yamaha R6 brake pad part codes per model year

Yamaha R6 Maintenance Schedule

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Yamaha R6 4th Gen

The maintenance for the Yamaha R6 4th Gen is broken into two sections: periodic maintenance for emission control systems, and general maintenance and lubrication.

Notes on this maintenance schedule

  • After 20,000 mi or 40,000 km, keep repeating every second last maintenance schedule (minor, major)
  • The distance intervals below are in miles from the US manuals, and in km from the Europe/Australia/NZ manuals. Yes, the KM service intervals are wider, though sometimes narrower (e.g. 40,000 valve inspections in Europe vs 42,000 in the US manual)
  • Yamaha recommends you should only service your chain and change the oil, plus do basic grease updates, and recommends you get a mechanic to service everything else (but we all do our own work)

Special notes:

  • Chain maintenance: Clean and lubricate the chain every 600 mi (1000 km) and after washing the motorcycle or riding in the rain or riding in wet areas
  • Air filter
    • Replace every 24K mi/40K km.
    • This model’s air filter uses a disposable oil-coated paper element. This element cannot be cleaned with compressed air, doing so will only damage it.
    • The air filter needs to be replaced more frequently when riding in unusually wet or dusty areas
  • Hydraulic brake service
    • Regularly check the front and rear brake fluid levels. Replenish if necessary.
    • Every two years replace the rear brake master cylinder, the internal components of the front brake master cylinder, the brake calipers, and change the brake fluid
    • Replace the brake hose every four years, or sooner if cracked or damaged.

Periodic Maintenance Emission Control System

Distance (mi, US)60040008000120001600020000
Distance (km, Eur/Aus)100010000200003000040000
ItemTime (mon)1612182430
Fuel line•Check fuel hoses for cracks or damage
•Replace if necessary
Spark plugs•Check condition
•Adjust gap and clean
•Replace – use NGK CR10EK
Valve clearance•Check and adjust valve clearance (every 26.6K mi/40K km)
Crankcase breather system•Check breather hose for cracks or damage
•Replace if necessary
Fuel injection•Adjust synchronization
Exhaust system•Check for leakage
•Tighten if necessary
•Replace gasket(s) if necessary
Evaporative emission control system (For CA only)•Check control system for damage
•Replace if necessary
Air induction system•Check the air cut valve, reed valve, and hose for damage
•Replace any damaged parts.
Emissions maintenance for Yamaha R6

General Maintenance and Lubrication Chart

Distance (mi, US)60040008000120001600020000
Distance (km, Eur/Aus)100010000200003000040000
ItemTime (mon)1612182430
Diagnostic system check• Perform dynamic inspection using your trusty Yamaha diagnostic tool
• Check error codes
Air filter element*• Replace (every 24K mi/40K km) — K&N YA-6008
Clutch*• Check operation.
• Adjust or replace cable.
Front brake*• Check operation, fluid level, and for fluid leakage.
• Replace brake pads if necessary.
Rear brake*• Check operation, fluid level, and for fluid leakage.
• Replace brake pads if necessary.
Brake hoses*• Check for cracks or damage.
• Check for correct routing and clamping
• Replace (every 4 years)
Brake fluid*• Change (Castrol DOT 4) (every 2 years)
Wheels*• Check runout and for damage.
• Replace if necessary.
Tires*• Check tread depth and for damage.
• Replace if necessary.
• Check air pressure.
• Correct if necessary.
Wheel bearings*• Check bearings for smooth operation.
• Replace if necessary.
Swingarm pivot bearings*• Check bearing assemblies for looseness.
• Moderately repack with lithium soap-based grease.
Drive chain• Check chain slack, alignment and condition.
• Adjust and lubricate chain (with e.g. Motul chain paste).
Steering bearings• Check bearing assemblies for looseness.
• Moderately repack with lithium-soap-based grease. (Every 16K mi or 25K km)
Chassis fasteners• Check all chassis fitting and fasteners.
• Correct if necessary.
Brake lever pivot shaft• Apply silicone grease lightly
Brake pedal pivot shaft• Apply lithium-soap-based grease lightly.
Clutch lever pivot shaft• Apply lithium-soap-based grease lightly.
Shift pedal pivot shaft• Apply lithium-soap-based grease lightly.
Sidestand pivot• Check operation.
• Apply lithium-soap-based grease lightly.
Sidestand switch*• Check operation and replace if necessary.
Front fork*• Check operation and for oil leakage.
• Replace if necessary.
Shock absorber assembly*• Check operation and for oil leakage.
• Replace if necessary.
Rear suspension link pivots*• Check operation.
• Correct if necessary.
Engine oil• Change (warm engine before draining) – Use Yamalube 10W-50
Engine oil filter cartridge*• Replace – use HF204RC
Cooling system*• Check hoses for cracks or damage.
• Replace if necessary.
• Change coolant.
Front and rear brake switches*• Check operation
Control cables*• Apply a lubricant (e.g. Protect All Cable Life)
Throttle grip *• Check operation
• Check throttle grip play, and adjust if necessary.
• Lubricate cable and grip housing
Lights, signals and switches*• Check operation
• Adjust headlight beam
Maintenance schedule for the Yamaha R6

About the Yamaha R6 4th gen (2017-2020)

The 4th gen Yamaha R6 is an evolution of the previous-gen Yamaha R6, built until 2016. It showed Yamaha was committed to the 600cc supersport class even though everyone was crying doom and gloom, saying the party days were over… though in truth, Yamaha ended their street production of the R6 in 2020 so the naysayers were eventually right.

The core of the current Yamaha YZF-R6 is a transverse-mount, in-line four that comes with a host of electronic gadgetry on top of its mechanical brilliance.

The engine is, at its core, similar… a very over-square 67 mm bore x 42.5 mm stroke that, coupled with some high-speed internals, helps the R6’s engine rev to 16,500 rpm. Power starts to flatten around 15K, but still, racers really enjoy taking it all the way to the redline. The engine is unchanged since the previous generation, but tuning and intake/exhaust have been revised so that it meets Euro4 emissions standards. Power is pretty much the same.

The engine is still dual overhead cam with four valves per cylinder. It has titanium poppets and high-speed springs that help the engine rev high reliably.

New for the 2017 Yamaha R6 4th gen are

  • Bigger forks – KYB 43mm inverted forks from the R1 (but revised internally for the R6).
  • 320mm front discs (up from 310mm), and a Nissin radial-pull master cylinder pushing four-piston calipers. ABS is now standard.
  • A re-shaped seat, designed to stop the rider sliding onto the tank so much
  • Traction control – adjustable in six levels, and also able to be switched off. The previous model already had YCC-T and YCC-I.
  • Quick shifter for clutchless upshifts

An aluminium “Deltabox” twin-spar frame holds the 2017-2020 Yamaha R6 4th gen together, with just the right balance of flexion and rigidity for well-behaved cornering according. The 2017 R6 is, like its predecessor, THE bike to beat on the track, and it’s still a decently rideable bike for the street… just nothing as comfortable as its CP3-engined cousin the MT-09.

Manual for the Yamaha R6 4th gen (2017-2020)

Yamaha R6 4th gen screenshot from 2019

The above information was gleaned from the maintenance schedule from the owner’s manual for the 2017+ Yamaha YZF-R6.

You can download it from Yamaha’s website here.

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