After spotting the Yamaha YZF1000R for sale right here in town, I got curious about how rare this model is today. Turns out, I can't find many available to evaluate! The few I spotted were actually outdated ads that had sold already. Most were a bit cheaper, but not by a great deal.
I guess what makes me believe that I could even contemplate a bike like this is that I have a very vivid recollection of riding shotgun back in college on my buddy Jay Johansen's CBR1000F. While it was exhilarating, it certainly didn't seem like the crazy, uncontrollable power that the CBR's 135hp would suggest. Although this could be due to the additional weight: the CBR1000F weighs in at over 500 pounds, while the Yamaha tips the scale at 430 pounds. And the Thunderace certainly has more sporting intentions with more aggressive stance, bodywork, and another 10hp. But in conservative hands, surely it couldn't be too much right? Maybe it is. Here's a quote from Nigel Wines writing for Motorcycle.com on the YZF1000R:
The YZF1000 is a bike that only skilled, competent, experienced riders can enjoy -- anything less, and you'll just scare yourself silly. Or worse. If you haven't got experience on big bikes and raced a bit, go for something else.
Well that pretty much rules me out as I'm only qualified to drive Miss Daisy compared to most sport riders. Or maybe that ride 15 years ago, when I was pretty young and naive, was faster than I recall.
Even though the motor is a bit outdated in this bike, basically lifted from the FZR1000, it is a 5 valve per cylinder, EXUP equipped, Yamaha motor. And damn they're sharp looking motorcycles. I've been right-clicking-save-as like a madman on these articles!
Yamaha Thunderace Promo Video: