Yamaha Plans to Introduce YZF-R9, Expected to Replace the R6: Report

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Speculation suggests that the Yamaha R9 could potentially replace the R6 in the World Supersport arena, with indications pointing to a production model possibly arriving in early 2025. It has long been rumored that the Yamaha R9, drawing inspiration from the Yamaha MT-09, is in the pipeline, with trademark filings and patent applications hinting at its imminent launch. Recent reports have bolstered these speculations, citing a Yamaha Racing official who purportedly confirmed that the R6 will be succeeded by the R9 by 2026, marking what could be the R6’s final season in the World Supersport Championship.

Similar to the R7, which is derived from the MT-07 naked bike, the upcoming R9 is expected to share its foundation with the Yamaha MT-09.

The current inline four-cylinder R6 debuted in World Supersport in 2017 and clinched every title until 2022, when Nicolo Bulega claimed victory astride the 955 cc Ducati Panigale V2 in 2023. The 599 cc Yamaha R6 was replaced by a track-only R6 Race model at the start of 2022. Since then, new regulations in the Supersport class have allowed larger capacity bikes, such as the Panigale V2, to compete alongside models like the Triumph Street Triple 765 RS and MV Agusta F3 800. It seems logical for Yamaha to capitalize on these regulations by introducing the R9, powered by the Yamaha MT-09’s 890 cc, three-cylinder engine producing 117 bhp at 10,000 rpm.

While the Yamaha YZF-R7 was showcased at the Bharat Mobility Global Expo 2024, for the Yamaha R9 to qualify for the production-based World Supersport Championship, it must be available for sale to the public. Thus, if Yamaha indeed plans to introduce the R9 to World Supersport, a production model may also be anticipated early next year. Yamaha already offers sport versions of its nakeds, including the MT-15, R15, MT-03, R3, MT-07, R7, as well as the MT-01 and R1. The only missing piece is a sportbike derived from the MT-09, which could materialize sooner rather than later.

Regarding Yamaha’s plans for India, details remain murky. Yamaha has been evaluating the market with models like the R7 and MT-07, recently showcased at the Bharat Mobility Global Expo 2024 in Delhi. However, given the pricing challenges with the current R3 and MT-03 models, Yamaha needs a coherent strategy, encompassing both product lineup and pricing, tailored to India, the world’s largest motorcycle market.

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