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The Yamaha YZF600R Thundercat
The Yamaha Thundercat was released in the UK in 1996 and was made to take on the mighty CBR 600 in the battle of the 600's.
Nower days the Cat has been overtaken by the new 600's from other manufactures (CBR600RR/GSXR600/R6/600Ninja etc) and was replaced by the YZF600 R6, but although this happened the Thundercat was still produced until around 2003 in the UK.
For a newcomer to the 600 market I found the new bikes where to razor edge for what i wanted and also because i take a passenger on the back i found the newer models lack the comfort and large seat the thundercat has to offer. The thundercat also had good fuel econ and the ability to go touring on with many after-market parts.
The thundercat is a good bike to own and engine wise is very very reliable due to the forged pistons and uprated con-rods within the engine. Most Thundercats can be capable of doing over 50,000 miles+ without major problems engine wise.
Other Technical Specs of the YZF600R Thundercat
Engine I/c DOHC, in-line four 599cc
Power 94bhp @ 11,500rpm
Torque 48.4ft-lb @ 9500rpm
Chassis Steel Deltabox, with steel swing-arm
Dry weight 187kg
Seat height 805mm
Fuel capacity 19 litres (4.2gal) (200mile tank range) Aprox £16-£19 a full tank (at today's fuel prices)
Tyre Front 120/60 ZR17
Tyre Rear 160/60 ZR17
NU Insurance 14
Although Insurance costs differ from year to year and company to company I can tell you that with 7 years no claims at the age of 32 Insurance has cost me £240 GBP Fully comp. I hope this is some help to you. (2012) It is a very good idea to shop around, Look in local books like the Yellow pages to get quotes and on-line. It's staggering the difference in prices but also be on the lookout for extras such as breakdown cover/road side assistance injury cover and most important make sure the insurance covers your equipment, helmet leathers etc as this can be very costly if damaged in an accident.
If you are looking for a bike with the similar ability to the Thundercat, look at the Honda CBR600F, or the Kawasaki ZZR600 (which are still being produced) (Nov 2006) Also the closest Yamaha bike now produced New near to the Thundercat is the Fazer (May 2008). Kawasaki ER600 (Sep 09).
Mine now has 59,000 miles on it. It's still going well with very little attention, although the camchain is starting to rattle slightly.
Other problens i've had. The thread on the rear brake caliper holding it to the swinging arm went, it had to be re-tapped. The rear brake disk fractured in two places due to the brakes not being serviced on time and the break binding and over heating.(do this once a year at least or after winter)
The plug for the headlight melted, but this was due to a poor quality bulb, not the bike it's self. (buy decent bulbs)
Swinging arm has a few rust marks and paint if coming off the radiator due to aluminium corrosion. Easily fixable.
The two bolts holding the top of the fairing just behind the ignition barrel have a habbit of coming loose every now and then. (can make the bike rattle when going over the typical british pot holes)
Rear suspension requiring a new shock (£300 new) at around 56,000 miles. Keep an eve on the bushes in the linkage! The need to be checked every so often and greased up.
These are small issues i've had but not what I would say were typical problems with the bike.
Also If you take one for a test ride and you feel like your fighting it going around corners and it's feeling a bit difficult to control, check the tyre pressures before you decide its not for you. It's the biggest cause i've found to poor performance on this bike and normally you'll find the bike is quite nimble even for it's size.
A great under rated bike ive had this bike for nearly a year now and had so much fun on it. It handles great look great and power is really good for a sports tourer. the main problem with these bike is the down pipes tend to rust but new stainless ones are adverised on the net. since ive had this bike its starts first time every time i leave for work at 4am and even on frosty mornings it fires up now problem just sometimes a minor problem with carbs iceing up. if you are considering buying a 1st big bike or getting back into bike after time away then i would recomend the thundercat it is easy to ride forgiving for new ridders and reliable. i get around 160 miles to a tank of petrol costing around £18 and insurance is good for a 155mph 100bhp bike. i will be keeping mine for a few years yet its great fun.
got a thundercat back in feb. this year not my choice ive always been into suzies but my thundercat is fantastic ,comfort great ! handeling power there if you need it yes a 5 out of 5 for me
My 1998 Yamaha Thundercat YZF600R.
This bike is awesome, easy to work on - replaced the front pipes in no time! I use it for work and leisure, one up or two up this bike performs with ease. Had several other bikes including Suzukis and Hondas but the closest to this was my Fazer. Hogs the bends, loves being thrashed but just a little jumpy at low speed, usually have to drop a gear or two and keep the revs up. Parts are readily available on the net if you can DIY you will save some money! Find a bargain second hand one and have some fun.
I recommend this moto..
I got a thundercat as my first moto. and I drove across Paris...with all the difficulties it represents during 5 years.
This motobike was awesome. Very confortable even with a duo on long distance and capable to do great acceleration, perfect control in turn.
the moto was also very reliable.
Because the size is more important as in other 600, you have the feeling to pilot a higher cylinder like a 750.
People asked me often if it was a 1000.
They were very impressed by the acceleration.
But be careful, you need to be humble, and know your
Now I' am in Canada and I cannot have a bike..
Difficult with the ice...and it's too much expensive here.
I have been working hard on my new business JUDOJEWELRY.COM and made enough for a bike. I Just got a CLEAN 98' yzf600r!!! I have not had a bike in 8 yrs. and have been thinking about them. I picked it up 2 months ago and am feeling comfortable on it (pushed 155mph a few days ago). I was leaned over kinda low today and the back slipped out!!! I didn't lose it but got close!!! Some one told me my tires were cold and needed to be warmed up, plus I just put them on when i got the bike and prob. have not got down on the sides enough on them. Anyone have any tips so this newbee doesn't end up a stain!!! IF YOU HAVE ANY FEEDBACK FOR ME GO TO MY SITE (WWW.JUDOJEWELRY.COM) AND LEAVE IT IN THE CONTACT PAGE IN THE COMMENTS BOX.
I really wanted a YZF-R6, but the insurance cost and changing to a job which meant commuting into London by bike meant I decided to go for something more sensible. When I first rode the bike I was expecting something a lot less fun than my previous bike, a Honda RVF400, but a was very pleasantly surprised. Although the bike is quite big compared to moderns sports 600s it's surprisingly nimble and the engine loves to be revved. There's plenty of power there too, yet it all speeds it's happy. I use it for 2 hours total each day travelling in dense traffic and on faster roads and it's superb. The riding position is very comfortable and it really feels like you have the best of all worlds - you can beat many bikes away from the lights and lean it over round corners and also glide along smoothly weaving in and out of traffic - and you're not left with any aches or pains after a full day's riding. It really is a jack of all trades. From a looks point of view, it's possibly an acquired taste - the fairing is a bit bulbous and nowadays maybe looks a bit big for a 600, but the fairing provides excellent wind protection and although the design hasn't changed (except the colours) since it was released in 96 it still looks modern. If you put it next to a CBR or ZX-6R of the same age you'd instantly see how modern it looks - thanks to it's clear optic headlight and absence of garish graphics. If you're looking for a practical bike that doesn't look 'sensible', and is fun when you want it to be then I'd recommend a Thundercat without a doubt. Shame they named it after a children's cartoon series though...
Corny title I know..... Its not a R6 you say....can't be much good....Don't you believe it. It'll do anything an R6 will do (p'raps a little slower) and more. See how far you can walk after riding an R6 to the south of France. On the 'Cat you'll be able to jump back on and ride home too. It's top speed is nearly as high. It certainly won't be left behind in the acceleration stakes. It has masses more midrange and is comfortable to boot. It wheelies, it pulls stoppies and you can drag your knee to your hearts content. You can carry passengers in comfort, even take luggage....It does everything you could ask of it and more. Sure, if you're a riding God then perhaps the bike would be the limiting factor but ask yourself "Are you?" Fit a smaller front sprocket and embarrassing larger bikes at the traffic light Grand Prix becomes par for the course. The suspension is a little soft if you intend to only use it on the track but its near perfect for road use. The braking system on the YZF600R uses the famed "blue bits" Sumitomo callipers, from the same family as the R1, R6 etc. What can you say about them that hasn't been said already...They are the equal of just about any stopping method in the world. A brick wall isn't as effective! Its an allround motorcycle that's as happy being a commuter as it is a weekend plaything. Think of it as a 600cc VFR750 that can double as a track bike and you won't be far off the mark.