First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

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First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  karldonteljames on Mon Aug 11 2014, 08:14

Hi guys (and gals) I'm going to be taking my test at the end of the month, and I've decided I want a thundercat, over at tmbf, they pointed me in this direction. I have looked through the forum and the only thing I can find is that the bikes jump out of second occasionally. Is there anything else I need to look out for? I've only got about £1000 to spend on the bike though. Any pointers would be great. Thanks.
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  bobh on Mon Aug 11 2014, 11:12

Mileage and age are less important than general condition. If it's been well looked after, preferably by the same owner for the last few years who has a genuine reason for selling, is clean, has minimal corrosion (but make allowances for the fact that it's maybe 15 years old), it's worth looking a bit deeper. If not, walk away - there'll be plenty more. Ideally take a mate who knows bikes along with you.

Good signs that are quick to check, and also bearing in mind your budget, so you don't want a big bill for, say, tyres or chains and sprockets, in the near future:

- Original toolkit, owners manual and other docs like receipts and MoTs still present
- Evidence of a recent basic (engine oil and general lube) service, at least
- Chain well lubed and properly adjusted (and check when the chain and sprockets were last renewed), and if the owner has a paddock stand handy, check there are no tight spots in the chain
- Plenty of wear left in the tyres and brake pads
- Brake fluid not dark brown (which means it's not been changed for a long time)
- Useful extras such as crash bungs (there's a good chance you'll drop the bike at some point, and these could save a lot of damage) and double bubble screen rather than just cosmetic stuff (like purple screen screws  ponder). If it has an aftermarket exhaust, make sure it's road legal, or at least that the original is available to fit at MoT time
- The brake lines should have been changed by now, preferably with braided ones.

Remember that garage time can be expensive, so be prepared to take on at least the simpler maintenance jobs yourself. There's a wealth of information in the Workshop section of this site, and buy (or download) a Haynes manual.

There's probably a lot more things that others will be along to mention soon.

Good hunting.
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  0ldcat on Mon Aug 11 2014, 11:15

Hi Karl,
There is nothing more to look for on the Thundercat than other bike in the age group you're going to be looking at. As you have said, be aware of the much over stated second gear "problem".

Do all the usual checks (HPI), bearings steering stops, forks, shock, fixtures & fittings, paint and body work and the paper work oh also Chassis & engine numbers . . . . General over all appearance etc. etc.

If you can . . Stick another £200 on your budget you should be able to get a nice tidy example if you're prepared to take your time and travel a bit.
Don't forget to use this forum and it's members as a resource . . . if it's to far to travel to view a bike, ask if there is a forum member in the neighbourhood who would cast a critical eye over it for you.

All the best & Good Hunting
Tel
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  karldonteljames on Tue Aug 12 2014, 14:31

Thanks for the advice, is anyone in the harrow area? I've found a bike that i'm interested in, but would also need someone to ride it down to me, if it is as good as it looks.
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  SteveCat on Tue Aug 12 2014, 15:09

Karl, I'm not in the area, but closer than most folk here. Have you got pictures and info on the bike? Post them here if you can and everyone can have a look see and comment. Then lets see what we can do.

Just wondering how the 'getting it to you' would work - my insurance, at least, will allow me to ride other bikes provided it is insured, you won't be able to insure it till you have passed your test. Maybe the seller can keep it covered till you get it home  Don\'t Know There's probably a good reason that might be a bad idea though.
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  karldonteljames on Tue Aug 12 2014, 15:18

Hi Steve, Thanks for the help.

It's an ebay item http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111431609960?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649

I've been told it has the original tool kit, full service about 1000 miles ago (last year), Chain and sprockets done at the same time. looks good to me. I've no idea how it would with transport, would someone be able to get single day cover it. or would I be better off finding a company that deliver motorcycles?

Thanks for your help.
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  karldonteljames on Tue Aug 12 2014, 15:40

I've just been quoted £150 for delivery, so just need advice on weather the bike is worth it to be honest. Thanks again.
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  SteveCat on Tue Aug 12 2014, 15:45

Looks like he could do with using some of the money to buy a decent camera!

I take it those pics are at different times he's owned the bike. That not a PR3 tyre, but probably an older pic.
The paintwork doesn't look original, may be wrong. The mirrors are not standard, but frankly most aftermarket ones will be an improvement.
Looks like it has a 'new' shock - good thing, indicators are non standard (if that worries you, fronts are fairly small).
Stubby exhaust, guess it gets through MOT, does he have the original?

Sorry not picking fault, just pointing items out. The seller says he can deliver, suppose that means there's still insurance cover. To get a company to do it for you might cost you £90 Ouch £150 that's a bit steep, but then it is London.
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  karldonteljames on Tue Aug 12 2014, 15:54

Thanks Steve, feel free to pick faults, I need as much advice as possible here. I've just emailed and asked about the exhaust, and which tyres are fitted. i'm not worried about it having some non standard features. I've got to be honest, I didn't see the "can deliver" option. i'll ask how much it will be for him to deliver. out of interest, based on what you have said what would you pay? Thanks.

EDIT - just been told he doesn't have the original exhaust, but the tyres are "Road Pilot 3"
EDIT 2 -
Q: "do you have any service history?"
A: "yes got a bit from before I got it but none from my Macanic as he works for me"

Just checked on the vehicle enquiry website and it's currently SORN.
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  Snowcat on Tue Aug 12 2014, 17:19

Hi there, looking at the luggage etc you'd be getting a lot of bike for your money but it's good to try and get as many opinions as possible, especially when buying from a distance, I agree with Steve the fairings don't appear to have an original finish, they have been painted (along with other bits) and if my memory serves me correct there are some decals missing but the livery looks like it is from a more modern 2002 model.

Rear hugger has been painted also and judging by the marks on the cover on the left hand side plus non matching front and rear indicators, chances are this bike has been down the road possibly at some point. Now that's not a uncommon for a bike of it's yrs but any repairs need to have been done properly if that's the case.

I'd be asking for any more info on that but really there's not a lot more you can tell from these pictures. You really need to inspect it in person (and take someone in the know) to give her a good look over. As long as they have been shown a little care, attention and regular maintenance they are generally bullet proof.

As for the second gear issue it's generally an urban myth with only I think 2 or 3 reported cases on here in quite a few yrs, the way to check it is to get the bike at steady revs in second then give it the beans full throttle, (and hold on)!! If it fires you up the road no danger, if it pops out of gear it's a problem.

Happy hunting and good luck.

If you come across any in the northwest give me a shout I'll happily go and check them out for you pal.

Cheers

Steve
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  karldonteljames on Tue Aug 12 2014, 17:46

The seller has said he will deliver to my location on his truck for £200! Thanks for all of the advice guys! part of me thinks i'm being really impatient, and I should wait until after I've passed my test. (no telling how long that will be) i'll have one year NCD on my 125 in September, so should I hold off, on the other hand i'm thinking this is a bargain and I shouldn't pass it up!
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  SteveCat on Tue Aug 12 2014, 18:00

That's some thirsty truck  Shocked 

See if he's prepared to MOT and re tax it at cost for you. I don't mind we can still go up there and have a look at it.

Sorry, didn't see it's MOT'd till 4/2015, so just the disc required.
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  karldonteljames on Tue Aug 12 2014, 18:14

so give him the extra £58 for tax, or ask for that in the price? I think the price he has said is quite good, but part of thinks its too good to be true. HMMM
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  SteveCat on Tue Aug 12 2014, 19:09

If he'll do it all in then why not  left thumb up 

Depends on how quickly he's getting married, might need to shift it in a hurry.

I'm not that concerned about the 'recent' lack of service receipts, looks like he's bought the bike, done some work on it, gone to Spain and then pretty much had the bike parked up - the MOT certs will show the mileage per year.

Allow for the fact that once you have the bike you should have all the fluids changed, new plugs etc so you have a reference point going forward.
I suspect the owners (or at least the first two) haven't been mechanically sympathetic having a new clutch and starter motor, however the 'Cats are fairly bullet proof and can take a lot of abuse.

Lets see what he says about getting it on the road and if he'll agree to a road test.

That luggage is worth a bit on its own, so if the bike doesn't work out as you hoped, you can always sell them separately and recoup your money.
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  0ldcat on Tue Aug 12 2014, 20:36

Naaa .. .. .. Call me an old cynic, . . . . I'd still want someone to go see it first hand.
A photo nor an email shows an oil leak, hears an engine rattle out of the ordinary nor sees an overly smoking exhaust.
An MoT is only good the moment it is printed. 5 minutes later all sorts could have occurred !
I see no mention of an HPI check. Photo 3 kindly shows the registration plate  Wink you should be able to obtain everything needed to know about the machine right there.

cynic out  old green smile 
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  Wooster on Tue Aug 12 2014, 21:33

A wee tip I learned was checking 'lock to lock' on the steering.
There should always be enough a gap between the bars and the tank to not trap a hand, if there isn't (or the bar ends are at different heights), it's a sure sign the bike has been dropped at some point.

That's something you can really only check by seeing it yourself.
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  littlecat on Thu Aug 14 2014, 08:07

hiya, glad you found your way over here, best place for advice and not really much I can add , looks like the guys are looking after you well already Smile
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  karldonteljames on Fri Aug 15 2014, 00:13

Just want to say a massive thank you to Steve for not only picking me up from the train station, running me to Harrow and giving me advice on a thundercat, but then returning me to my door afterwards. - no forgetting to mention scaring the absolute crap out of me on the M25! SOOOO much mre respect for the bikes now. its was a great experience, and so thankful for all of your help!
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  SteveCat on Fri Aug 15 2014, 01:26

Good meeting you Karl, sorry didn't mean to scare the daylights out of you What a Face there are some lovely on-ramps to the M25 though  Wink 
I thought the ride through London was 'scarier' especially my most hated roundabout, The Hanger Lane Gyratory, hate it so much I took us around it twice, so much for Mr Nice guy stopping to let the bus in and then missing the turnoff  old   
Wait till you see what my drivings' like  blind 

Hope I was of help, think most of the swingarm paint 'damage' was a result of him using the pressure washer and then storing the bike under cover probably when it was still wet and not having washed the salt/crud off it.

I don't know of any other in that paint scheme on this site. I didn't mention it to you but you may have noticed whilst I was on the bike I moved the steering from side to side - was checking the bar clearance to the tank and also feeling for bearing wear.
Bit of TLC and I'm sure the bike will be a stunner - just some scheduled work in the future.


Oh, nearly forgot - a first time -  pillion, you are good   Toff

Will look for the video footage of that idiotic truck driver
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  karldonteljames on Fri Aug 15 2014, 16:39

gi cheers Steve, only a couple of places did i truly think  censored ! The ride through central London I didn't find remotely stressful, but that could be because i didn't have to worry about traffic or other cars, that was your problem.  violet-lol my friends a bus driver so i don't tend to give way to them! Very Happy

With regards to the swing arm, i'm going to remove it next week, and get it blasted and powder coated before i put the bike on the road - part of me thinks it should go black, but i'll keep it silver. i may as well do it as the bike is going to be laid up until October. - On that note does anyone have any tips on the complete removal of the swing arm? A how to would be great too. LOL I'll take some pictures when we pick her up, and try and take pictures of my progress as i go. - he doesnt have the original rear indicators, so i'll sort some larger ones of those out too!

I kind of like the fact the bike has slightly unusual paint work, at least you'll be able to spot the newbie and avoid him! Were the bar clearances and bearings ok?

I'm not sure the video of the idiotic lorry driver show just how much of a censored he was being! - For others of you following the thread, there was a cz lorry driver last night who was trying to "push" traffic through roadworks on the M25, until a brave\slightly mad, van driver stood up to him.
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  Wooster on Fri Aug 15 2014, 17:01

Maybe he was pished. Smile

iirc we're obliged to give way to buses that are pulling out from a stop.
No idea if that's relevant in your cases though but worth bearing in mind on approach, since many bus drivers will be aware of this and may only make a cursory check before pulling/barging out.

If there's such a thing as a pecking order on who has the right of way on the road, it would probably be something like:
1) Pedestrians - Always
2) Cyclists
3) Emergency Vehicles - Using Blues and Two's
4) Buses
5) Everyone else


Some Taxi drivers would put themselves up at the top of that list though, along with a few bus and lorry drivers. :/

Those on Horseback would probably sit somewhere between 1 and 2.
(I've done the Lone Ranger thing as a 'passenger' on a spooked horse and it's not easy to get it heading to a place of safety) Very Happy
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  karldonteljames on Fri Aug 15 2014, 21:38

It was tongue in cheek when I said I don't give way to bus drivers, the only people I refuse to give way to are taxis - and that would be 99% of the time. I tend to give way based on my mood - ok not best practice, on the bike I give way more than in the car, purely because I don't want to be knocked onto the floor into the path of on coming traffic.

In Steves case though, we were in lane 3 (from the left) the bus was already blocking lane 1 and 2, so steve let him out expecting him to join our lane, NOPE he wanted to sit there until lane 4 was clear!

I noticed yesterday there is now a sticker that says "Please give way to the bus NEW HIGHWAY CODE RULE 198" - some bus drivers are vigilant and pay attention, other are vigilantes and don't give a censored

Igor What happens is a Bus is going up a steep hill, and an emergency vehicle is going down (in an emergency) has the bus been moved up the pecking order as it is going up hill - oooohhh hehe 
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  Wooster on Fri Aug 15 2014, 23:26

Emergency vehicle still has the right of way.
The possibility of the bus having a f**ked clutch isn't a matter of life and death.  Cool 

Anyway, the passengers can always get out and push.  Very Happy


I should say that I've stopped slowing to let HGV's into the outside lane over the years. (Unless it's coming up to a slip road)
They're big boys and girls and able to pick their own time to get out...they're only indicating to let everyone know that they're planning to do so.
Some people think that this is a signal to brake from 70mph to 30mph and flash them out in front, then spend the next twenty minutes sitting up their arse while a huge tailback builds up behind them.

..that's something that does my box in.  Very Happy


Last edited by Wooster on Sat Aug 16 2014, 12:37; edited 1 time in total
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  SteveCat on Sat Aug 16 2014, 09:35

@karldonteljames wrote: Were the bar clearances and bearings ok?

Yeah, both were fine
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Re: First thundercat - what do i need to look for?

Post  SteveCat on Tue Aug 19 2014, 20:58

Well, bike in the link has changed hands. One very happy new owner, who is probably pampering the bike right now  great 

Had a brainwave to take a pic with my phone which doesn't have a flash, but seemed to prompt the seller into taking some of his own, I think under the tough exterior there was some sadness to see it in the van.


(terrible pic I know)

Karl, I wish you many, many miles of happiness on your  thundercat   you just have to get it out of the cellar first  medal-1 

It has been a bit of a whirlwind for you, in a week or so  you have been on the site and now you own a 'Cat. Welcome to the ownership community, I know you won't be a stranger to the site and welcome your contributions.

Will hopefully see you on a ride sometime in the future  wink thumb up


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