Yamaha YZF600 Thundercat Bike Overview
If you’re in the market for a cheap sports-tourer then the Yamaha YZF600 Thundercat is definitely worth a look. It’s a mid-nineties middleweight sportsbike, which did well when new, and is now a relaxed alternative to later, more track-focused 600s.
There’s plenty of room on the touring side to ride two-up and it can carry enough soft luggage for a weekend adventure. The larger fairing gives you an extra level of protection, compared with a half-faired or naked machine, and the dual seat is plush and much comfier than more hardcore machines.
First released in 1996, and in production for eight years, Yamaha hit the nail on the head when creating the Thundercat. It offers a good balance between tourer and sportsbike – the engine is torquey and easy to ride, while the brakes were top of the class in 1996 – and still compare well to today’s machinery. There’s no ABS option though, which makes it less useful for novice riders.
You can get your hands on a pre-owned Thundercat easily these days, with the starting prices from well under £1,000. Look for crash damage and worn-out ancillaries like tyres, brakes and chain – rough running might be down to dirty carburettors.
Yamaha YZF600 Thundercat Bike Spec
- Top speed145mph
- Engine16v, inline-four
- Average fuel consumption40mpg
- Seat height805mm
Yamaha YZF600 Thundercat Bike Insurance
Yamaha YZF600 Thundercat Bike Gallery
Handling Very comfortable ride Brakes fill you with confidence Cheap to run
Yamaha stock rear shocker.
Good bits; Rides smoothly, fun to ride and quite highly strung for a 600. For an older bike, it keeps up quite nicely with the modern machines. It's quite a versatile bike too, it carrys camping gear very well and pillions have said it is very comfortable on the back. The pillion does not sit higher than the rider which makes. Comfy for long rides as the suspension is on the softer side. Handling is BRILLIANT! holds the road like glue, I've used many different tires throughout the years with it and the best I've found that suit the bike best are Bridgestone S22's. Bad bits; The shocker! The stock shocker from yamaha isn't brilliant. I am still using the original shocker but my bike is very low mileage (20k ish). However, I have known allot of other thundercat owners having to replace them. The good thing about that is, there is a conversion kit to fit a R6 shock on to the cat. Hard to find original parts now with it being older.
Build quality is fantastic! This bike is 1996 reg and still looks like it just rolled off the production line. It is steel frame, it stands outside all winter and has 0 rust anywhere. (I do look after it though). It has never broken down on me, the servicing parts are very cheap so no excuse for not keeping the motor top notch. It sits all Winter, outside, under a cover. Every year, I put it away in Oct and get it out in April. Service it, mot it enjoy. (It got it's very first advisory this year on a tiny crack in my left wing mirror glass, replaced that now). It starts first time with full choke after being stood all winter. Brilliant bike!
It runs Yamaha bluespot brakes! Anyone familiar with these, know how good they are. The brakes are very hefty, they are very sensitive but once you're used to them. They're awesome and fill you with confidence.
Smooth gearbox, handles brilliantly. I've managed to leave a few modern bikes standing on the twistes. Definitely not the lightest of bikes to push about but it feels very light when riding, it's very "flickable".
Not the fastest bike on the market but it certainly holds it's own. It has left quite a few standing in it's time and it's handling is brilliant.
My insurance for a year, fully comprehensive is about £100 (I'm 34, had full licence for about 16 years. No points, no convictions, car licence too). Tax is about £70 for the year. Petrol, about £20 to fill the tank. It depends how you ride the bike, it's not a gas guzzler but if you throttle it, it will get thirsty.
Performance & looks even though it's 21 years old.
Very comfy even for a novice rider
Typical Yamaha build quality….excellent
Excellent. Stops on it's nose
Smooth if a little heavy
Very good for a 21 year old bike.
Cheap fuel costs and insurance
Power and uptake is great.
Not the best for pillion passengers.
Never had an issue with her.
Stops on a dime.
Corners like a dream.
Fast and very powerful.
£18 for a full tank =170-190 miles.
It's a good looking bike and holds the road well.
Fearing screws should be stainless steel as the ones fitted are very weak.
Unfortunately on a long ride
Never broken down.
Good breaking and the grip is down to the tyres
Light when riding but heavy when pushing
It's quite good.
Running costs are good but I need to get the cards set up.
Ive owned her for 8 years now and have never thought of selling her. I Love the way people always comment on how well she looks and sounds for being over 23 years old..
If only they'd made this frame and swing arm from aluminium like its layer counter part the R6.
Its 23 years old and still going strong… in its day it was one of the best money could buy… technology has well surpassed her now but still going strong… accelerates well, smooth ride for its age, quite heavy compared to modern 600's but still corners quite well..
99BHP @11500 RPM in 1994… probably lost a few of those horses now. But still pulls like a train..
£64 fully comp insurance… 140-180 miles to the tank…
Its a Yamaha…! Excellent build quality at the time of production… surpassed by modern bikes obviously… but how many of these modern machines will still be going strong in 23 years time..?
Brakes are twin vented discs on front with 4 pot caliper & single disc 2 pot caliper on the back. For a 23 year old they work well… upgraded the lines to colour coded HEL braided lines. Also upgraded the front calipers to Blue spot Calipers off an early R1..
Reliable and linear power curve, good as a first big bike.
Headlight is poor, uprated bulb fitted.
Nice to ride
It's lasted 20 years
Fitted braided hoses