Yamaha Thundercats
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Post  alext Tue Aug 23 2011, 15:34

As much as I love the Cat I'm thinking of buying a new bike, and was wondering what you'd guys would advice.

I've done about 7000 miles since passing my test so I've got a bit of experience, that said I'm still pretty slow on the bends! I was thinking of a Honda CBR 900 Fireblade, or maybe a kawasaki ZX9R. How much harder are these to ride/handle for a relative newbie, should I get a bit more experience on the cat or just go for it??

Cheers!
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Post  Guest Tue Aug 23 2011, 18:10

why do you need a bigger bike!!that is what you've got to ask yourself.
the thundercat will out perform you and me theres no doubt about it.
very few people can ride a bike to its full potential.
Ron haslam has proved this on the track and he was just riding 125cc against bigger bikes ,ok straight line they were faster but on corners he just out did them.
so the question is - is this for posing or do you want just a bigger bike and why!!!!
my advice is this stick with what you've got and improve your skills before you go for a bigger bike.
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Post  Wooster Tue Aug 23 2011, 20:01

I keep looking at other bikes and honestly can't think of another bike that's as good an all rounder as the Cat.

I've tried a few from big tourers through dual sports to full on sports bikes and they're just not the same (in a nutshell 'lumbering to crippling' Very Happy).

Thought about a Supermoto, but I'd miss the fairing on long rides.
(Six hours of wind buffeting and you have a head like a nodding dog) tongue
Asked around about cruisers and the word was they aren't as comfy as they look. Neutral


Best of luck if you do decide to take the jump, and if you find one, let me know. Cool
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Post  robertcains Tue Aug 23 2011, 20:37

That's a very difficult question to answer in fairness & I guess you will get many varied replies.
I recently went through wondering what bike could replace the 'cat & still tick all the boxes. I've loved every minute of 'cat ownership & in fairness it took me nearly three years before I finally felt at one with her.
Good luck with your decision whatever you decide great
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Post  Radar Tue Aug 23 2011, 21:27

I have had my Thundercat a long time and pondered on what to replace it with a few times.

I have actaully bought a ran a XJR1300SP which was lovely, if a little heavy. The Cat was kept and it was the XJR I sold after about 18 months.

I now have a 2007 FZ1S which is a superb bike, quick, comfortable and very assured in quick corners. However I miss the tank range from the cat and point to point I am no quicker. I still have the Cat and it is the FZ I am toying with the idea p/exing against a R1 later in the year!

Of the two bikes you suggest I would go for the ZX9R as they are a sort of uber Thundercat and VERY quick in a straight line.

I have ridden two (a 2000 and a 2003) and the ealier had more kick. Just watch for the usual older Kwack weak feeling brakes.

I ridden 95, 2003 and 2007 Blades...all excellent and beautifuly made, but a touch more focused than the Cat, especially the 95 and 07 models.

With only 7000 miles on the Cat and having relatively recently got riding I would spend another summer on the Cat and spend the time trying a few diffrent bikes if you can.

As a package the Cat is superb, so just enjoy it a bit more!


Last edited by Radar on Wed Aug 24 2011, 22:20; edited 2 times in total
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Post  alext Tue Aug 23 2011, 21:36

I definately havent got the skills to get the most out of the cat yet. I'm quite a slow rider to be honest, although I'm alot more confident on my bike now I dont really push it any where near what I think it could do.

I think the main reason for looking at other bikes is my short attention span, I dont think Ive kept a car for more than a year since passing my driving test in 1996! Plus a big, black, loud sports bike appeals to me, even if I am only doing 20mph on it and have white knuckles!

If I do take the plunge I'd probably keep the cat anyway, the insurance is cheap and paid for till next year, and I dont think I'd get alot if I sold it anyway.
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Post  alext Tue Aug 23 2011, 21:43

Radar wrote:I have had my Thundercat a long time and pondered on what to replace it with a few times.

I have actaully bought a ran a XJR1300SP which was lovely, if a little heavy. The Cat was kept and it was the bike I kept.

I now have a 2007 FZ1S which is a superb bike, quick, comfortable and very assured in quick corners. However I miss the tank range from the cat and point to point I am no quicker. I still have the Cat and it is the FZ I am toying with the idea p/exing against a R1 later in the year!

Of the two bikes you suggest I would go for the ZX9R as they are a sort of uber Thundercat and VERY quick in a straight line.

I have ridden two (a 2000 and a 2003) and the ealier had more kick. Just watch for the usual older Kwack weak feeling brakes.

I ridden 95, 2003 and 2007 Blades...all excellent and beautifuly made, but a touch more focused than the Cat, especially the 95 and 07 models.

With only 7000 miles on the Cat and having relatively recently got riding I would spend another summer on the Cat and spend the time trying a few diffrent bikes if you can.

As a package the Cat is superb, so just enjoy it a bit more!

Thats good advice. The sensible part of me thinks I should wait till next year, whatever bike I get probably wont get much use over the winter months. The impulsive part says buy something else anyway!

Oh and I though 7000 miles was pretty good going, even if half of those were on an old clapped out BMW k100 (not sure if thats a good thing or bad!).
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Post  SteveCat Tue Aug 23 2011, 22:24

alext wrote: half of those were on an old clapped out BMW k100 (not sure if thats a good thing or bad!).

I'm no Beamer fan, but I was following a near 40 odd year old model which spluttered out more smoke than power. On the straight / easy bits he was doing OK, overtakes were painful, but he left me in the bends 'coz he was still doing the same speed as the straights. If ever there was a lesson in 'it doesn't matter what you ride but how you ride it' then this was it.

thundercat 's can do black and noisy too :rite: and it isn't intimidated by bigger bore 'foreign' models either. fnarfnar
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Post  prodigy Wed Aug 24 2011, 09:51

I've been pondering a replacement for my cat for about a year under the same notion that I just like change, every time I go looking I cant find anything that comes close so I've still got the cat and love it Smile
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Post  Ulstwarrior Wed Aug 24 2011, 11:01

The old adage mate is if something isnt broken then dont fix it.

I been riding bikes for 26 years and my recent purchase of a thundercat is the first time I have dropped to a bike below 750cc and it was the best move ever.

The Cat is undoubtedly the best all rounder in my opinion. Until recently i was riding an FZR 1000 and owned a 1200 Bandit both of which were big n heavy for me.

I can throw the cat into any corner and safely come powering out the other side. At 43 i dont need to prove anything on my riding skills done safe riding and raced recklessly on roads... the cat might loss that wee bit on initial lift when racing my mates Fazer 1000 but on the corners i catch up wi him and wipe him out.

If u r having bother with cornering as u say dont get a bigger bike until u master cornering... another bike may not be as forgiving as the cat and u cud wind up on your arse.

Mate i can run my cat easy £20 fills a tank and she does 150mph thats gud enough for me under 6000 revs she is a tourer over 6000 she is a wee racer. gud luck on whatever u decide.
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Post  JAM Wed Aug 24 2011, 11:48

I've pondered the same question.

The conclusion I came to was that I love the bike too much to part with it, therefore I gave it a makeover instead.

I will change eventually someday. But when you're 6'4" comfortable choices are limited.
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Post  bobh Wed Aug 24 2011, 11:58

The 'Cat was my retirement present to myself eight years ago when I came back to biking. Since then I've had several other bikes, but the 'Cat is still here. And even though I could do with the space in the garage, I still can't bear to part with it - every time I go out on it I remember what a brilliant machine it is - not too heavy, very economical (of the other bikes I've had, only the Tenere 660 single can beat it on that score, though the FZ6 comes close), good weather protection, reasonably comfortable for the long haul, decent handling, more than enough grunt and good midrange - I could go on.

As already said, the ZX-9R will do most of the things a 'Cat will, and certainly be quicker in a straight line, but in the real world how often do you need that? And it will be more expensive to run. I recently road tested a Z1000SX, which is being touted as a sporty tourer and a successor to the ZX-9R, but I didn't like it at all - heavy, rough, harsh ride, slow handling - not for me, thanks, even if I could rustle up the ten grand. The current issue of Ride mag has a very good guide to buying a ZX-9R, incidentally.

The Blade is an excellent bike, and becoming a bit of a classic, but it's somewhat more focussed. And be prepared for electrical problems (regulator/rectifier goes, and often takes the alternator with it).

Something sportier might have better pose value, and might be more suitable if you want to do a lot of track days, but it will be pretty crippling on that long trip, and a long tour with luggage poses interesting problems as to where to stow stuff. I had a RSV1000R for a couple of years, and that's an amazing machine - twist-and-go overtaking is its forte. But handling-wise it took quite an effort to get it to turn, so was hard work on a track or even on twisty roads - certainly a good lesson in mastering counter-steering! It went to the Continent a couple of times - a track day at Folembray in northern France, and a three-day trip to the 'Ring, but with a plastic tank and only room for a small tailpack, it was a lesson in travelling light. And with a 120 mile maximum tank range it's not the vehicle for exploring too far from the major roads. Even fitted with footpegs that gave my legs a bit more room my poor ancient knees just couldn't put up with it any more and it had to go.

So by a process of trial and error I've come to the conclusion that my ideal bike has an engine of 600-750 cc with about 80-100 bhp, is light and certainly weighs no more than 200 Kg, has a decent tank range, reasonable weather protection, sporty but comfy riding position, good brakes and handling, and it helps if it has good build quality. Which may be why the bike that currently sits alongside the 'Cat is a 3 1/2 year old FZ6S2 that I bought new and has now done 18,000 miles, about a third of those on the other side of the Channel, including several laps of the 'Ring. Obviously it doesn't have the presence of a sportier bike, but it'll do pretty much everything you ask of it, short of green laning.
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Post  kwakkat Wed Aug 24 2011, 12:05

ok my 2 pence worth i have own 2 cats 3 636 1 zx9 1 750 gixer
to be honest i think the zx9 is to much of a hand full very fast but oh so not so very good at cornering & i hate to say tihs your more likely to have a crash or get done for speeding trust me i know.
went from a cat to a gixer 750 6month down the line swapped it for a you guess it a cat
then swapped that for a zxr 636 the next best thing to a cat i can find but you need to have the suspension set up then .
i had the zx9 very good but not a patch on the 636 (try the A1P 636)
then swapped back to the zxr636 of which ive had another 1 since then
& the answer to your question is KEEP THE CAT i still fancy them except for the headlight there great
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Post  firemaster Wed Aug 24 2011, 13:25

Personally i love the cat but if and when i do upgrade i would like the CBF 1000
Not as powerful or as sporty but great touring bike, not sure what it will be like for commutes though in a busy city (if you can call bristol a city lol)
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Post  sir digby Wed Aug 24 2011, 18:29

my next bike will be a vfr800 only because ive always wanted one had a go on a few and its defo the bike for me just cant let go of the cat it does everything and never lets me down a few of my mates have larger bikes yes they can blow me away but most are only getting 100 miles out of a tank and i just couldnt be bothered filling up every 100 miles i hate doing double that on the cat so planning your ride outs around petrol stations is not my idea of fun at all i just like to go good luck if you do but do try before you buy
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Post  Rosco Wed Aug 24 2011, 23:13

Having read all that it sounds like a fairly resounding - no don't do it.

Nowt wrong with a few test rides though Wink

Good Luck in your decision.

Cheers
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Post  alext Sat Oct 29 2011, 16:23

Thanks for all the advice.... unfortunately Im rubbish at taking it!! Just picked up a 1997 Honda Fireblade. Rode it 170 miles home and I have to say I quite liked the way it rode, felt very sturdy. My legs, shoulders and arse is numb though, its def not a comfy bike for me!
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