Here is one we haven't had on RSBFS since 2008, a Yamaha YZF1000R which is also known as the ThunderAce.
The introduction of the Honda CBR900RR/Fireblade pretty much made every other 1000cc+ sporbike look over-sized and overweight. The major Japanese manufacturers quickly recognized that the Fireblade required a response but each responded in a different way; Kawasaki marketed their 750cc ZX7 and ZX7R based championship pedigree while beginning to follow Honda into the 900cc segment (eventually producing the ZX9) while Suzuki focused on creating an ultra-light GSX-750R. As for Yamaha, the company was in the middle of a major restructuring and didn't have a comparable bike in the pipeline. Yamaha instead did a bit of "tinkering" and in 1996 brought out the YZF1000/ThunderAce.
The YZF1000/ThunderAce took the 145 bhp four-cylinder engine from the FZR1000 and slotted it into a modifed YZF750R frame. When it was announced in 1995, motorcyclists magazines expressed worry that the YZF 1000 would be a bit of a "parts-bin-special". But in typical Yamaha fashion, Yamaha took the existing bits and tweaked them while offering some nice new goodies in the package. The ThunderAce came with a re-tuned engine to improve mid-range power with the result being usable power from as low as 2000 rpm and additional thrust which increased incredibly quickly as the revs climbed.
As the reviews at motorcyclist.com wrote,
"At 3500 rpm it gets serious, and by 5000 the big Yamaha launches you into orbit, pulling cleanly with seamless, linear power all the way up to its 11,500 rpm redline. Carburation is good with no flat spots or hesitation. The bike launches you down the road showing 70 mph in first gear and 100 mph in second....Keep on redlining it in each of the gears and you'll find yourself heading for what feels like a world land speed record with an indicated 170 mph showing on the dials flat out in top gear."
Yamaha also equipped the ThunderAce with some comfort oriented features that the CBR900RR/Fireblade didn't have, including a much better pillion/passenger seat setup than the Fireblade, a larger fairing that offered better wind protection/comfort on long rides, comprehensive instrumentation and plenty of luggage mounting points. The ThunderAce also marked the first appearance of Yamaha’s new four-piston brake calipers, which make other bikes six-piston designs look out of date
Note: The same brake calipers later adorned Yamahas seminal R1, the bike which finally eclipsed the CBR900RR/Fireblade.
This particular ThunderAce is located in Melbourne Australia and shows 38,600 kilometers which translates to about 24,000 miles.
Here is what the seller has to say:
- starts first time, never dropped or raced
- 4 small marks on bodywork
- a small 1 cm piece of the pillion seat is torn but an easy fix,
- over all bike is very good condition but has been sitting for a long time
While the condition isn't perfect I don't see any evidence of major damage or modifications. Minor changes seem to be mostly cosmetic; a possibly trimmed license plate holder, an aftermarket windscreen and a tank scratch protector.
So now we come to the question of whether this ThunderAcee is worth the $3,100 AUD/$2,500 USD asking price. Since the bike has been parked for a while, fresh fluids and rubber would probably be required and this cost should be considered. Also, while the YZF1000 meets the rare sportbike criteria of not selling in huge numbers, it doesn't really have any tech or racing pedigree or other factor that could causes a major appreciation in value "down the road" for a collector. On the other hand, you never really know which bikes will suddenly become the hot collectible...and this is a 1996 model which was the first year of the ThunderAce and first or last year bikes are typically the ones that collectors crave.
So to put it simply its a bit rare and needs a bit of work/money invested. Personally I think this is a great opportunity for someone to get a a good all around 1000cc sportbike that they could enjoy and still stand out at their local bike night.