Yamaha FZR 600 Mods: R6 Front Brake System Swap

This is what the Yamaha FZR 600 looked like when purchased.

The FZR in it’s original state…

Since getting the 1993 Yamaha FZR 600, I have spent countless hours researching the history, personal experiences and opinions about the bike.  A couple owner’s forums have been helpful, including the FZR Online Forum, and the FZR Archive.  Both have offered invaluable insight into the workings of this particular model, and the common upgrades that make it a better ride…

One of the major reasons I wanted a “newer” bike (my other being a 1976 Honda CB 550 K) was for the modern braking.  The FZR comes stock with dual front disc brakes with 4 pistons, a huge advantage over the single caliper/rotor type on the Honda.  A common mod for the FZR is to swap the stock brake system for a rig from a more modern Yamaha YZF R6.  The R6 Calipers, and especially the Master Cylinder (MC) with floating reservoir, offer even better braking than stock (which is considered by many to be adequate).  Doing most of my riding in the city, I hoped for the best braking available, and since the R6 brakes are a direct bolt on, I figured it would be an upgrade worth making.

Yamaha R6 front brake claiper installed on the Yamaha FZR 600.

R6 Calipers mounted on the FZR 600

A quick search of eBay turned up many options, but for this model FZR, you are looking for the R6 system from 1999-2002, often called the “blue dot” system, due to the blue, star covers that adorn the outside of the calipers.  This is a direct bolt-on swap, making the mod as easy as it gets.  Prices vary for the R6 parts, but I was able to get a full 2001 system, for about $100.

The unit I bought came complete with the calipers, the MC, an adjustable brake lever and rubber brake lines.  The only thing missing are the stainless steel brake lines, which would complete this upgrade with top-notch components.  That purchase will be in the near future.

THE INSTALL: Due to the direct bolt-on nature of this swap, there is not much to tell.  I quickly removed the stock calipers from the mounts, allowing them to hang at the side of the bike.  I then loosened the clip-ons, and slid the stock MC from the bars.  After removing the horn and brake-line junction, which are bolted to the lower triple tree, I snaked the stock brake lines out and away from the bike.  I have read some nasty things about brake fluid, so be sure to avoid contact by wearing rubber gloves.

Next was to install the R6 brake system.  The major difference between the two systems is the way the brake lines leave the MC.  On the stock system, a single line travels from the MC down to a junction, and then splits there into two lines, which each travel to a caliper at the wheel.  On the R6 unit, there are two separate lines that attach to the MC, and travel down to the wheel independently.  This will benefit you when you need to purchase the steel brake lines, having to only purchase 2 lines instead of 3.

Yamaha R6 front brake master cylinder installed on the Yamaha FZR 600.

The R6 Master Cylinder and floating reservoir.

Once the new unit was installed, it’s time for bleeding.  That procedure has been covered in another post.  Although the process changes a bit, due to the dual calipers, the concept is the same.

Happy braking!

2 thoughts on “Yamaha FZR 600 Mods: R6 Front Brake System Swap

  1. You have three options for how brake lines connect the calipers, all three should work. You can have the line split, a line direct to each caliper form the master cylinder or a line to one caliper with another linking to the second caliper.

    Having a 17″ rear wheel is a better mod as stock FZR calipers are good anyway if well maintained. Decent tires and a better rear shock transform the FZR. I used a Fazer swingarm and a TRX 850 wheel with a bit of machining to line the chain up.

    1. That sounds like an interesting mod. I only had the bike for a short time, but the rear shock was a great addition to already fun bike. Obviously, good tires always help!

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