Yamaha YZF 600R Thundercat

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I have owned  many bikes over the years and I have to say that the Thundercat is one of the best and reliable allrounders out there. My current bike is one of the first off the production line (April 1996) and is quite rare in that I have only seen two others in this colour scheme of Blue/silver, which was only in production for the first year.  It is not a light bike but it is certainly stable and surefooted in the bends and still has amazing brakes.
   Probably the best thing about it is the engine, which is very smooth and tractable with no big hikes in power,just very progressive and it will pull from 3000 rpm without a hiccup right up to its 13500 redline. This 600 has the best torque out of all its competitors. It is also very economical and I consistently return about 52 mpg with 45mpg being the lowest, and that was cruising at around 100 mph for fairly lengthy stretches!
    I am a qualified Driving standards agency instructor and have found the bike ideal for this kind of work. It is equally happy riding at  town speeds and out on the dual carriageways and A roads. I am 6 ft 2 and find the bike comfortable for up to 100 mile stints but have suffered some aching between the shoulder blades and neck, but a petrol stop and a stretch usually solve this, but it may be worth looking into getting bar risers to alleviate this. It is a good pillion and touring machine and I have blasted round the twisty and technical roads of the Spanish Pyrenees at a very respectable pace, keeping up with (and sometimes leaving behind!) more modern sporty machinery.

    THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR.. The downpipes can rust through, although I have only just replaced my system with a Motad stainless for around £200.. I'm pretty sure the pipes were original as I bought the bike with 5000 miles on it and 2 previous owners. Mine has 34k miles on the clock now, and hardly burns a drop of oil and is still smooth and quiet.
   The swingarm can be prone to rusting but a tin of Silver Hammerite will keep this at bay... The headlights are not brilliant so may be worth upgrading. I have fitted more powerful bulbs but haven't had a chance to try it out yet!  Initial criticisms(later to become"strengths"!) were that the bike was too "soft" (read comfy!)  but I have fitted Ohlins springs up front and heavier oil and it feels fine. Rear shock was knackered so I replaced that with a Maxton shock which has done a good job for the money.  For value for money and reliability look no further as a superb example with lowish mileage can be picked up for £1500 or so.   Rememeber that the power you have in a motorcycle needs to be useable and this is where the Thundercat excels and still puts a grin on my face!. It will still top 150 mph, accelerate from 0-60 in 3.5 secs and cover the ss 1/4 mile in 11.5 seconds so it's no slouch.. Couple this with  virtually nil depreciation and you will see why these bikes have the reputation they have..
  Tyre pressure can be quite critical to handling and I find the ideal is 34 front and 40 rear..Oh and I'm pretty sure my bike still has the original battery as I have it on constant trickle charge in the garage and it's still strong...nearly 16 years out of a battery is pretty good going these days!..
  I hope you enjoyed the review. Safe riding..
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