Living with the Yamaha Thundercat. The Yamaha YZF600R Thundercat is an easy motorcycle to live alongside. It can go much kilometers, better than any other sports 600cc while also baring a claw or two and getting down to it when the road gets twisty. Simple tuck in behind the roomy bodywork and the Yamaha YZF600R Thundercat will transform into that back lane scratcher it always has been, but never looked like when lined up along others in its class.
The Yamaha engine is well developed with a long service history behind it, having been used, in one form of another, in the earlier FZR and Genesis models and will run without attention being paid to it for many kilometers. It is smooth throughout and, although not the most powerful or toquey of the middleweight bunch, it will roll on from 50km/h in top gear all the way to its heady redline and 245km/h. The only downfall with the engine is found if ever the need to get to anything is desired. Thankfully, these occasions should be few and far between, and labor is cheap in Thailand, the YZF600R's engine is tightly packed within the frame beams and then covered by the extensive plastics. Simple and routine tasks soon become a morning's work, while changing the plugs quickly becomes a job for the more professional of home mechanics. Oil and filter changes apart, however, the need to get in there shouldn't be a regular one.
Seating is one of the major plus points, especially for the pillion. The seat is roomy and easy to hold grab rails make for happy partners on long trips; while the 19-liter fuel tank, and good fuel consumption figures, should return around 282 kilometers without the need for a stop.
Providing the bike has been well maintained, the only serious fault one could level at it would have to be the high-speed ability of the standard screen, as this considerably buffets the helmet and neck area, which in turn creates rider discomfort after a short while.
The Yamaha FZF600R Thundercat history: First introduced in 1996, the poor old 'cat didn't stand much of a chance, slated by all who couldn't understand why it wasn't a focused and sharp track tool. In reality, and looking back, this was foolish; Yamaha had a clear design brief when they penned the YZF600R and thankfully they stuck to it. In doing so, they created the best of the breed from the latter part of the 90s, winning many loyal fans along the way and holding their own in the Yamaha line up for eight years. The last Yamaha Thundercat was manufactured 4-years ago in 2004.