Product Type: Yamaha motorcycles
Newest Review: ... or the Kawasaki ZZR600 (which are still being produced) (Nov 2006) Also the closest Yamaha bike now produced New near to the Thunderc... more
Solid Reliable Cheap and fast!
Yamaha Thundercat YZF600R
Member Name: plymouthbiker
Yamaha Thundercat YZF600R
Advantages: A lot of bike for little money, Cheap, Comfortable, Very reliable, quick! Good two up!
Disadvantages: Large compaired to newer 600cc bikes. Heavy and wide.
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.
Summary: An excelent bike. Cheap to run, insure and just as reliable as the most reliable Hondas.
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