Yamaha Thundercats
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Post  Mikes_A_Thundercat on Sun Aug 05 2012, 20:04

Hi,
I'm a new member to this forum and wanted to start by asking your opinion...
I've been looking at getting a Thundercat for a while now and am almost at the point of buying. But I've noticed that they vary a lot in price. I'm only going to have about £1500.00 which should be enough to get a reasonable one as a private sale. My querie though is what sort of milage is acceptable for these bikes? Some have done under 25k while others have closer to 50k! I'm guessing service history comes into play here.
Any input would be very much appreciated.
Thanks,
Mike
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Post  mrfrance on Sun Aug 05 2012, 20:26

I picked mine up for £1300 with 28k on the clock, no service history but had tax and a few months MOT. I have managed to get over 16k in the year I have had it so far with no major issues.

...I would expect to get anything between 26-33k with some service history and very reasonable condition. The more miles on the clock the better I would expect the condition and SH to be.

Hope this helps

Paul
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Post  Mikes_A_Thundercat on Sun Aug 05 2012, 21:22

Thanks for the reply.
It's good to know a decent one can be picked up for the price bracket I'm looking in
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Post  Snowcat on Sun Aug 05 2012, 22:34

Hi there and welcome to the forum. I wouldn't get too hung up on what price they are advertised for, most people Think their bike is worth more than it is, a true test is to go on eBay and refine your search to look at ended items only, you'll see that on the whole they usually go for reasonable money and the ones remaining unsold are overpriced, in my opinion unless the bike is in sensational showroom condition with low mileage and full service history, you'll easily pick one up with change out of your £1500. If you're prepared to wait a month or two the prices will drop further as people look to sell their summer toys to fund Christmas.

That's how I picked up me very clean, low mileage (13,000 miles) 2002 thundercat for £1550!!

I'd seen it advertised on Biketrader for £1800 and had failed to sell on eBay with a starting price of £1550. Take all your evidence with you when you view any potentials and be prepared to walk away, eventually you'll get exactly the bargain you are looking for. I watched a bike on eBay where the advert said £2500 no offers drop to £1400 so the bargains are out there.

Happy hunting and let us know how you get on.

Cheers

Steve
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Post  mikeyzf600 on Sun Aug 05 2012, 22:40

Hi,

I bought mine in March. Its a '96. It had 13 months MOT, Tax until December and had lots of things done to it, new pads, new clutch and cable, new seat, new bearings throughout, carbs stripped cleaned and balanced. It's got 44k on it.

I got mine for £1000. The only downside is that the fairings aren't perfect, but it's a 16 year old bike so it's to be expected.

When buying/test riding, give it some beans in 2nd gear. If it pops out of 2nd then walk away. I'm no expert on this but read enough about it before buying. It's a common issue on the Thundercats apparently and costs a fair bit to put right.

If I'm wrong someone will correct me shortly!

Regards

Mike
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Post  Snowcat on Sun Aug 05 2012, 22:51

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:When buying/test riding, give it some beans in 2nd gear. If it pops out of 2nd then walk away. I'm no expert on this but read enough about it before buying. It's a common issue on the Thundercats apparently and costs a fair bit to put right
Whilst you're right Mike, it is an expensive fix (unless you're prepared to strip The gearbox yourself), it's really not as common a issue as some lead you to believe, I think are only 2, maybe 3 instances of it on this forum but you're right in the way you describe diagnosing the symptoms.

Another weakness of the cat is the rear suspension, give it a good bounce, make sure there is rebound there and have a good look for any leaks, also corrosion around the back of the swing arm near the shocker.
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Post  rmknight on Mon Aug 06 2012, 09:17

Hi,

I have just picked up my Cat from a local dealer for £1600.

97 with 18K FSH and MOT certs. one scrape on the lower faring but otherwise great condition.
When I first looked at the cat I noticed there was oil on the front wheel. Turned out to be fork seals and the tubes was pitted so the dealer is getting them replaced and the forks will have 2 years warranty.
The dealer includes a 6 month warranty for the whole bike. So I don't mind paying a bit more for piece of mind.

Regards,
Rich
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Post  Mikes_A_Thundercat on Mon Aug 06 2012, 09:38

Thanks for all of your replies.
I knew asking on here was a good idea.
It's interesting Rich that you managed to get one for that price from a dealer. I've looked at a couple in dealers here in Northamptonshire but they were both close to the £3000 price with around 20k on the clock.
My knowledge is really basic so am concerned about buying a lemon from a private seller. I assume one from a dealer will be more expensive; but also checked over thouroughly for leaks, damage, slightly bent forks etc
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Post  mikeyzf600 on Mon Aug 06 2012, 11:26

Although that's fair to assume it isn't always the case. But if they are offering warranty then it's not so bad if something does go wrong.

Bikers are usually a different breed to "cagers." Usually the bike isn't just a means to get from A to B, it's more of a passion and so they are usually better cared for. There's a few websites to look at which can tell you things to look for and check when you go to look at a bike, such as fork seals etc, but there will be things you won't see unless you take the thing apart.

For instance, my suspension adjusters are shot, seized up etc. I didn't see this and wouldn't have found that unless I decided to look and adjust the suspension when buying.

You can get checks done by people like the AA and the like but you have to bear in mind that it's a 15+ year old bike so it's likely a few things wont be perfect with it unless you start spending more money on a newer bike. But it's a brilliant bike for around the £1K-£1.5K mark!

Regards

Mike
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Post  Radar on Tue Aug 07 2012, 20:31

£1200-£1600 will get you a tidy example with around 25000 miles on the clock.

They are a superb all round fun, comfortable and practical bike.

Had mine twelve years and it now has 20000 miles on it.

I adjusted the the rear brake light switch for the MOT about 3 years ago, other than that it has been routine servicing only.
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Post  Guest on Tue Aug 07 2012, 21:23

Hi and welcome I paid £1300 for my cat just under 4 years ago with 20,000 miles on the clock in that time I have clocked over 30,000 myself. I have only had to change the down pipes, it came with no service history.

So I think £1500 is a good price range, anymore info you want I will try my best to help
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Post  stevemcc on Tue Aug 07 2012, 22:33

Bought mine in November, Private seller, £1500 with new MOT, X Reg with only 5000 (yes 5000) on the clock which was backed up with the old MOTs.

Ebay was my friend,watched a few auctions end with no bidders or not reaching the reserve then messaged the seller with an offer of what I wanted to pay, subject to viewing and test ride of course.

Just an idea!!
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Post  past-it on Wed Aug 08 2012, 00:26

If the bike looks and rides OK then a Cat is not a bad buy. Any bike (of any make) that has not been serviced and abused like will give problems. Also beware the bike that has been pressure washed often, this will damage fork adjusters, calipers, chains and as a few people will agree the rear suspension bearings(they also suffer from not being serviced Rolling Eyes ) The down pipes rot and dash bulbs blow. Other than that its almost bulletproof. I bought mine 6 years ago for £1500 with service history and 6 months MoT, tank cover and Oxford throw over paniers, alarm and 17247 miles on it. Very few problems except for service items since then.
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Post  ellie on Wed Aug 08 2012, 07:07

If your after a cheap bike, you'll not go wrong with the 'cat.

The parts are inexpensive and easily available and apart from the crap headlights it's a good all round bike.

It's comfy to ride long miles on and capable of having a bit of fun on too :-)
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Post  Roll The Bones on Wed Aug 08 2012, 17:01

Got my 99'T' 25,000 miles last May for £1,400. Came with 11 months MoT and 5 months tax.

All the MoT certificates except the very first one, stainless downpipes and a Scottoiler, had the carbs balanced and new manifolds this year and that's it, so looks like £1,500 is your bench-mark. Should be plenty out there depends how far you wish to travel.

The seller also did a HPI check as well, which was clear.
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Post  Guest on Thu Aug 09 2012, 22:09

I'll join in this resounding thumbs-up for what a bargain the Cat is.

Had mine just shy of 3 years and today she passed her MOT for the 3rd time with no issues yet again (2 advisories the first year I took her in - both tyres close to tread limit).

When I got the Cat i thought I'd upgrade in 12months but we're still together and I can't see that changing anytime soon.

Maybe I paid a little more than others on here - £1800 for a 99 black/orange/silver model (easily the best colour scheme Smile ) with decent service history, full MOT, 6months tax and a 12month warranty that ended prematurely as the place went bust 8 months later. But even if I did pay a little more than others on here, I still think I got a great deal; not had any issues other than a seized caliper pot, 12000miles later.

Go forth and purchase, while there's still a summer to enjoy.
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Post  Mikes_A_Thundercat on Thu Aug 09 2012, 23:32

Thanks everyone, it's reassuring to know you're all out there with lots of experience and advise.
If things need doing (like the chain & sprockets, rear shock, fork seals or if the carbs have not been balanced) are these expensive jobs? Is it worth trying to knock the price down or best to just walk away?
I've seen a few on bike trader, eBay, piston heads and mcn that look like very good possibilities. Some are too far away to go and view. Would any of you ever buy a bike after just speaking to someone on the phone and without ever actually seeing it?
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Post  mikeyzf600 on Thu Aug 09 2012, 23:52

It depends how handy you are with a spanner. All of those (not sure how to do the rear shock but there will be a how to somewhere) are do-able at home, as long as you have the tools and the know how and the parts.

Obviously it's better if you find one where this has been done.

How would you pick up the bike if you bought it like that? I'd say that's worse than buying one on eBay without looking. At least eBay has pictures. You could buy it and ride it for the first time and it could feel completely wrong to you. I'd try to get a test ride on it before buying, as well as doing some checks, fork seals, chain etc.

Regards

Mike
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Post  past-it on Fri Aug 10 2012, 00:13

It's always worth trying to knock the price down. Chain and sprockets are a service item, fork seals can leak or never leak, my fork bushes were worn out before the seals leaked, rear shocks depends on the loads carried by the bike(any were between 25000 and 50000) calipers need cleaning every spring time to remove the winter muck. The rear suspension bushes are the expensive repair if they're not greased. Electrics are very good(mines still on the original battery) Speedo cables can fail. A Cat does benefit from the carbs being set up well, it's so much nicer to ride. As for the so called 2nd gear issue, that's most often down to rider abuse, if the bike jumps out of gear walk away.
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Post  SteveCat on Fri Aug 10 2012, 09:06

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Would any of you ever buy a bike after just speaking to someone on the phone and without ever actually seeing it?

Dare I admit it, I've done that with both 'Cats I bought. OK the first time was via eBay and I didn't pay till I saw the bike, what a cracker that turned out to be. I knew the owner of the second one, but only seen photos of the bike.
Wouldn't recommend it though.
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Post  Mikes_A_Thundercat on Fri Aug 10 2012, 09:28

Hi mike,
I was thinking in the context of a garage/dealer that can deliver a bike for about £100.
They could give you pictures but it's easy to miss things on a photo I guess. I seem to be answering my own question here but it's probably best to take a friend with knowledge and have a test ride first.
Great to know most of those service jobs can be done at home.
Thanks again everyone.
Regards
Mike
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Post  mikeyzf600 on Fri Aug 10 2012, 09:35

Hi Mike,

I see, that makes more sense. I still don't think I'd risk spending my hard earned on something I haven't checked though. You're right, you're answering your own question. Laughing Take a mate and make a day of it if it's quite far away.

Regards

Mike
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Post  Dirt Bike Dave on Fri Aug 10 2012, 12:56

Well dont let the mileage put you off.....i bought my second Cat (stevecat1) with lots and lots of miles on her, i think around 70K...Is that right...ish steve??
Anyway, i knew the bike was well serviced and looked after so i have no issues with the bike and it runs like a dream!! Very Happy

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Post  Snowcat on Fri Aug 10 2012, 13:50

Any of the aforementioned jobs are do able with a set of Spanners, patience and a Haynes, the first job I ever did on mine was strip the back end down, remove the shocker and disassemble to get the spring powder coated, with the Haynes it was like painting by numbers.

Don't be put off by a job but once you've got her like others have said regular maintainance is a better preventer, if she's looked after i.e lubricated, oiled and cleaned she'll be bullet proof. Watch them brake calipers and rear shock bushes, the latter, if not serviced and lubed can be costly.
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Post  SteveCat on Fri Aug 10 2012, 14:22

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:.i bought my second Cat (stevecat1) with lots and lots of miles on her, i think around 70K...Is that right...ish steve??
Oops did I tell a mileage porky? Laughing

It's more in the region of 90k+ miles Shocked . I reckon that bike still goes as well as one a fraction of its mileage.

Was regularly maintained and most of those miles were long distance trips. Its the short /start stop miles that take their toll.

If you have the luxury of buying from someone you sort of know all the better.
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