If you grew up reading about, riding, or lusting after 80s and 90s Japanese sportbikes, the good news is that these machines are finally getting their due from collectors. The bad news is that there aren’t many nice, low-mile examples out there anymore, and prices are no longer what they were. Luckily, today’s Featured Listing is probably one of the cleanest, low-mile Yamaha YZF600Rs left in existence.
The YZF600R, also known as the “Thundercat” in some markets, was introduced in 1994. It was an evolution of the steel Deltabox-framed FZR600 and shared that bike’s overall shape until a redesign in 1996 brought the styling into line with the bigger YZF1000 “Thunderace.” It was more of an all-rounder than some of its period competition, but it was still considered a highly-competent sportbike, just one that was more suited to street use than other, more highly-strung options. Like Yamaha’s own R6 for example. The YZF was available in some markets until 2007, sold alongside the R6 as a more practical alternative to that very track-focused machine.
The YZF600R followed the typical format for the class at the time, with the aforementioned steel Deltabox frame that added weight, compared to aluminum versions, but kept costs under control. The complete package weighed in at 453lbs wet and the bike’s 87 rwhp could push the bike to more than 150mph. Adjustable suspension at both ends was on the soft side, but handling was good enough for the track when properly adjusted, and the package was good enough to win an AMA Supersport championship in 1996.
This is listed as a 1996 model, so I’m assuming it was produced before the changeover to the later styling that replaced the “cat-eye” design seen here for a single-headlight. All things considered, this is an extremely clean and original example, with less than 1,700 miles showing on the odometer. Note that there are a few cracks and minor blemishes to be found, but these are clearly documented in the huge gallery of images below.
From the Seller: 1996 Yamaha YZF600R for Sale
1996 Yamaha YZF600R Survivor
With only 1,700 original miles and a striking maroon and dark magenta cocktail color combination, this fox-eye YZF has been in storage since 1999. It was recently brought back to life by cleaning the carbs, scrubbing the bike from top to bottom, oiling the cylinders, flushing the brakes, changing the oil, installing a fresh AGM battery, replacing the ignition, installing a new fuel pump and repairing a few minor fairing cracks (likely from damage during storage). The bike is clean and ready to ride with a clear Minnesota title.
The bike is all original except for an aftermarket ignition switch and in-tank fuel pump. The tires (old but intact), exhaust, windscreen, rear seat cowl, owner’s manual and even the reflectors everyone tore off are on it. The plastics are nice, but not perfect, with a few minor cracks. The same thing applies to the overall condition of the bike. The bike shows no signs of ever having been down.
The YZF is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota and can be picked up or shipped from there.
Over 100 pictures available.
The seller is asking $4,500 for this very classy, low-mile machine. You could probably find a cheaper YZF600R, but this is probably the nicest one you’re likely to find anytime soon. The only possible downside is that this example is slathered in very classy burgundy paint, not some lurid and evocative period race-replica scheme. Like Honda’s CBR600 F3, they made plenty of these, and they were never all that rare or valuable. But if you want to relive your youth in style, this one can’t really be beat. Just fit some fresh rubber and enjoy!