Yamaha’s YZF-R6 defined the 600 supersport category for over two decades. However, slumping sales and soaring production costs forced Team Blue to lay the R6 to rest in November, 2020. Many lamented the move, but Yamaha quickly rebounded with the 2022 YZF-R7 in May, 2021.
With the MT-07's CP2 parallel-twin replacing the R6’s 117-horsepower, 599cc inline-four, Iwata sacrificed peak power, but it slashed $3,200 off the MSRP in the process. Luckily, pre-orders for the middleweight sportbike sold out quickly and critical acclaim followed shortly after. The R7’s instant success not only validated Yamaha’s new approach to the sportbike market but laid the groundwork for the rest of the YZF-R range.
Since the R7 broke cover, astute bLU cRU fans have been calling for the brand to release a YZF-R9 powered by the MT-09's CP3 inline triple. While Iwata has been tight-lipped about such a model, recent trademarks indicate that the firm is developing an R9 and R2 platform. Of course, Yamaha’s range currently consists of the YZF-R3, YZF-R7, and YZF-R1. The R2 and R9 additions could bridge the gap between the mild R7 and the wild R1 while the R2 could serve as a new entry point for the lineup.
While trademark filings don’t always equate to production models, the demand for the R9 and the readily available CP3 mill give weight to the documents. However, under the same criteria, the R2 doesn’t seem as likely. Unless Yamaha reduces the bore of the YZF-R3's 321cc parallel-twin, the engineers will have to create an all-new Euro 5-compliant engine for the featherweight.
We should note that Iwata has only submitted the R2 and R9 trademarks within European, South American, and Oceanic countries thus far. Yamaha hasn’t filed any trademarks in the U.S. yet, but it’s highly unlikely to include the R2 due to the North American market. With EICMA 2021 just around the corner, we hope Yamaha has an official update on the expansion of its sportbike range soon.