Anyone got/had a Thunderace?

Been offered a very tidy 1996 with 20,000 miles on the clock. One owner with service history. Everything is good on this bike…He is asking 1500 Euro for it though I’ve seen them for a grand in the UK (it would cost me 350 to get it to Spain) andas it’s one owner blah blah I’m thinking it might be a good deal.

Any advice on potential probs with this bike and on what it1s like on a daily basis?



I have a very good friend that owns one. I have also used it for a period of time when inbetween bikes. It handles very well on the road. It does drink a lot of oil but apart from that, he hasnt had any major problems with it. Very solid bike. Not very much like it - fast but very comfortable yet sporty rather than straight-line missle :wink:


Hi W - yep I bought one of these back in January - and in my opinion the bike is an absolute steal - there is nothing to touch it in the wonga/power/handling equation - in other words it’s very cheap for the amount of horse power and bike you are getting. It’s bloody fast, the handling is very precise with excellent feedback and it has powerful front brakes (same as early R1s) - Yamaha figures for the engine were 145bhp and a top speed of over 165 mph.

For a sportsbike (or sports tourer in comparison to the latest sports bikes) it’s an easy bike to hustle around town due to an excellent spread of torque across the rev range courtesy of the exup valve. It looks big and bulky - but the bulky bodywork gives a false impression - it actually feels quite light and nimble at low speeds and is 5kg lighter than my ZX7R.

You can get a good one with mileage around the 14/20k mark for about 2k from a dealer.

It’s got a proven engine that will rack up the miles and overall the bike is considered to be reliable.

Things to look out for:

It uses a fair bit of oil (like a lot of Yams from this era) and can use about 1.5 litres over 4000 miles - so keep an eye on the sight glass.

The EXUP valve needs greasing regularly with something like high temp molybdenum grease or the kind of grease they use for assembling turbos - (anything else will just evaporate) - otherwise it’ll seize decreasing mid-range/top end power (experienced as a flat spot) depending on where it seized.

It’s got a big tank and the fuel economy is really good - up to 50 mpg if you take it steady.

You’ll need to fit an after market grab rail if you plan on taking your missus anywhere.

Unless it’s been meticulously cared for - expect to have to drill out some of the fairing screws to remove the fairing when you do your first service - it’ll be fine once you’ve copper greased them afterwards.

Also expect it to be running on it’s first set of plugs regardless of what the service book says - a lot of dealers skimp on this job because plug removal can be a bit of a pain - removing the rad bolts allows you to push the rad forward for extra room to work in - while a stubby wrench/smalll 2 inch extension and spark plug socket will help you get the plugs out/in nice and easy (the socket in the tool kit is useless).

Valve clearance check comes at 24,000 miles.

There is a good forum for the bike at

Haynes also do a manual for it.

If your wondering - I have the time to type all this sh1t because I am freelance and not working today! ;):smiley:

will has one on here