Yamaha YZF1000R Thunderace (1996 - 2004)

Manufacturer
Category
Price
£8999
Available from
1996 to 2004
A good buy if you want cheap speed and reliable commuting.
Feels long and heavy when compared to modern tackle.
Lovely road bike. Big range, big motor, eye-bulging brakes. Good value

User Reviews

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DangerousDaz's picture
Submitted by DangerousDaz on Sat, 19/07/2008 - 17:55

Overall Review

Perfect for everyday smiles

Strengths

Weaknesses

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Submitted by doepfool on Tue, 17/02/2009 - 16:51

Overall Review

owned my blue/black 96 model for 4 yrs, never let me down in all weathers. exup you do have to maintain due to its location getting the crud from the road. Good protection from the weather. Great brakes handling bit vague but mabe it was me! But with the 5 speed box and low down grunt with the exup you can ride with a relax style. Great for touring gave good mpg and still looks good, fit a hugger keep the crap off the shock and undertray and fit new brake lines and check the oil level regulary and you will have no probs. THe big expense is the cam follwers needing checking at about 20k but easy enough to service yourself. I wish i had modded the handlebars to have kept mine and the old wrist couldnt take the pain... I still hanker after another one a bargain bike

Strengths

powerful engine, reliable, comfort and speed, brakes.

Weaknesses

front exhaust downpipes, exup valve,

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Overall Review

I will admit when I bought this machine, I bought it having read the magazines and popular press comments, the price was okay, but the bike was mint, so I figured if the press reports were right I may want to trade it in or sell it after a couple of years. The tires it came on, Avon ST-S, Were not so great and the steering and handling wasn't so great, I changed from the Azaros to Conti Attack 2-s, and it transformed the feel of the bike from an "Also Ran", to "Serious Contender", I found further suspension tweaking was required to make the most of the chassis,but when done, WOW what a brilliant machine it is, around where I live there are twisty B-roads, where ultimate speed doesnt matter, but handling does, well I can tell you this thing grunts out fo the corners like a V-twin, but I found I could throw it around on the row of z bends with complete confidence, yes I had to climb over the bike to turn it quick, but I love that, it feels fantastic , not a chore as some other lazy journalist wrote, I have had a Kawasaki GPZ 500S, A Suzuki RG500 gamma with stage 3 tuning and Maxton suspension, a Kawasaki KR1-S, and then a Kawasaki ZXR750RR (yes the special race holomgation model), and with the exception of the KR1-S, the Thunderace out turns and out handles them all. Fact.So perhaps it is good that some of the press put this machine down, as it will make the owners seem so much more heroic when they kick ass on this "sports Tourer", however the press are wrong, this bike is VG

Strengths

Maybe you read the utter drivel printed in the popular press, with this bike it seems the popular opinion is to slag it off regardless, I read somewhere "blah blah was intimidated by the bulk of the machine" and other choice comments such as "it was a chore to ride" So I think , go home and ride your moped then!, no this bike is more than capable of b road boogie, I fitted Conti sport attack 2-s and tweaked the suspension, and let me tell you it handles better and with more feedback and control, than the ZXR 750RR I used to own it can be thrown about no problem and turns fast with stability

Weaknesses

Not much really, the clutch bites right at the end of its travel, and if the suspension isn't firmed up a bit, it doesn't feel so sharp, but remember the YZF 750 derived chassis, it's so good you can get away with the suspension being slightly soft, good for comfort, as long as you don't mind losing a bit of control and precision, the headlights are a bit crap, don't ride a night....

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Lee Frost's picture
Submitted by Lee Frost on Tue, 15/04/2014 - 23:12

Overall Review

If you're over the age of about 45 and rode a FS1e when you were 16 this bike is great, it's got bags of power and a fairly comfortable riding position but still sort of gives you the feeling of riding a superbike, you've got all your fairings, it scrubs up ok, and it's something a bit different... Good for starting conversations. It goes fast and stops well. Cheap to maintain and if you take it easy with the old right hand it can be pretty good on fuel! It's getting harder to find a good example of one but if you can find one that's been an old(ish) boys summer toy you're laughing! However... If like me you're 19 years old and read the articles that say "built to beat the fireblade" "raced at the TT" "ex superbike" and wondered why the insurance is about £8,000 less than an R1 or GSXR1000 etc there are reasons for it... No matter how much you fiddle with the suspension, or what tyres you put on the T-Ace it handles atrociously! Don't get me wrong, you can knee slide on it and it can keep up with the odd midlife crisis superbikers but you seriously have to push the bike. It's very difficult to get the bike as low as you need to go if you're racing. That said, it can be done, and it is a quick bike! It's an awful lot of bang for your buck but you have to be prepared to sacrifice some handling for that. Overall I would reccomend this bike to anyone that doesn't need super tight handling and rapid sharp turn in response.

Strengths

- Fair examples can be picked up pretty cheap - Bags and bags of power! - Power is manageable and useable - Parts are easy to find and cheap enough - Can be good on fuel if your right hand isn't too heavy - Fully adjustable suspension is great for setting up for how you want to ride - Fairly comfortable while still looking fairly sporty - Bulletproof engine - Something a little different

Weaknesses

- It's WAY to heavy - Burns oil at high revs - Burns a lot of fuel at high revs - Burns paint at high revs.... (Can you see where this is going?) - Sounds (frankly) AWFUL at high revs - Excessive vibrations at high revs - Isn't as pretty as a superbike - Hydraulic clutch is just as heavy as a cable - Chews through rear tyres - Exhaust rusts a fair bit - And it's really REALLY heavy if I haven't already mentioned that.....

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