The SB-6 frame isn’t just a seasoned campaigner at the highest level of Enduro World Series racing, it’s one of the most successful rig on the EWS circuit thanks to current and former Yeti pilots Richie Rude and Jared Graves.
The Turq is the top option on the menu too, with a refined carbon fibre construction and materials resulting in a roughly 2.75kg (depending on size) chassis weight — around 260g less than that of the standard carbon chassis.
Considering its age it’s still a decent shape too, with a reach on the large size of around 450mm and a 65.5-degree head angle.
What sets the SB-6 apart from the increasing number of well-shaped 150 to 160mm bikes available is how it achieves that travel. Yeti’s ‘Switch Infinity’ system, with its two short Kashima-coated shafts, lets the main pivot rise and fall fractionally as it pushes through its stroke. It’d be tempting to discount this tiny amount of movement as a gimmick but there’s no doubt that the main pivot ‘inflection’ makes a difference.
Pedalling stability and efficiency is fantastic whether you’re spinning or stomping, and yet once you start ploughing through bigger bother, it’s impressively compliant and controlled with no need for excessive tuning time.
While not everyone in the test team got on with it, the elevated dynamic ride height and measured suspension action means you can keep on the power through rough sections and when it needs to hunker down and sling a corner it’s not shy.
The Yeti comes with a Fox Float X Factory rear shock and 160mm travel on the Fox 36 Factory Boost forkMick Kirkman / Immediate Media
The slightly soft mid stroke and damped frame feel can deceive you into thinking that the SB-6 is a little flexy when you’re hammering through chop and change, carve and charge sections, but despite the centre section being really thin, the chassis is actually remarkably stiff.
Jumping straight onto other bikes during testing immediately showed just how much speed the Yeti was carrying and how easily and quietly it was doing it. Segment times showed a similarly rapid velocity despite its calmly reserved character, and the more I rode it, the more the SB-6 rose up through the ranks to become one of the most liked bikes in the Superbike of The Year line-up.
Its efficient pedalling, tenacious traction and low weight meant that was particularly true of the testers who like thrashing uphill as much as down. No surprise then that it clocked similarly impressive splits when the Strava flags were at the top of the hill or we were strangling the throttle along twisty technical singletrack showing shorter-travel machines a clean pair of DT Swiss heels.
One thing you can’t outrun, though, is that the Yeti badge and bespoke suspension tech mean you’re paying a huge amount of money for a bike that’s still rolling on alloy rims.