The Yamaha YZF1000R, known outside of the US as the Thunderace, was an interesting parts-bin bike that somehow came together to make an excellent sports-tourer that only sold in the US for just one year. An excellent bike that got great feedback from the pressed but flopped commercially, these are hard to find in the states, but are a cheap way to get yourself into nearly 150 horsepower.
Right off the bat, we have to say that this might be one of the best sports-tourer buys you’ll ever find. This is due to the fact that this bike didn’t make much sense in Yamaha’s portfolio in the US. It was basically the FZR1000 engine in the much more common YZF600R (Thundercat) frame. Normally with a 1-year only bike, you’d be scared of parts availability, but as this bike was made, in essence, with pieces from other common Yamahas, you should have no concerns. The world-beating R1 came a just a year later, so the Thunderace was only bought by riders specifically not looking for the fastest bike – in America, that’s typically a losing marketing mission. But for riders today looking for lots of power and a surprisingly comfy position, the previous “flaws” lead to an excellent bike you can snap up for cheap, despite their rarity. Want some more reading? Check out an interesting period comparison from Car and Driver featuring the Dodge Viper GTS and the Thunderace for a fun read.
This specific Yamaha YZF1000R is being offered by the 2nd owner, and has just 8,800 miles. Extras are few as this bike is pretty much original – you’ll just get a tinted double bubble screen and a fantastic Yoshimura exhaust. Enjoy your 145 horsepower!
Find this Yamaha YZF1000R for sale here on Craigslist in Mansfield, Georgia for just $3,500.
This bike-uriosity brought to you by reader Steve B!