It is the difference between a race bike and a street bike.
The R6 has 55 more horses.
4200 more rpms.
And 52 less lbs.
Then try bending your body to ride a radical Moto GP race bike compared to the bike voted most comfortable 600cc superbike of 1997. The YZF600R hasn't changed in all this time.
The new '06 R6 probably has no business on a city street.
If you shift in the powerband, you will be doing about 110mph....in first gear!
In 1997 The YZF was a superbike.
In 2006 it is a sport touring bike.
In 2007 it will probably not be offered. Replaced by the YZFR6S which is last years R6.
How times change.
It is a question of how much bike you think you need and $1200.
Got to admit the retro yellow and black really looks sharp but the ol '97 has all the power this old man can handle.
1997 YZF600R blue/white