Posts by tag: YZF1000

Bimota November 30, 2019 posted by

Underappreciated: 1997 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale

This Bimota YB11 Superleggera isn’t just a sportbike, or even an exotic sportbike. It’s a high-performance boutique motorcycle, one of just 650 ever built. Of course, that’s pretty much mass production by Bimota standards. It doesn’t have quite the cachet of Honda’s limited-production homologation superbikes, but consider that Honda made almost 5,000 Honda RC30s, compared to just 650 YB11s. It’s still incredibly rare and plenty fast and, as a bonus, you can take your significant other with you on your high-performance boutique motorcycle: this was one of very few Bimotas ever built with passenger accommodations, although they’re about as comfortable as you’d expect. Still, it’s great to have that spare seat, in case of emergencies…

The “Superleggera” part of Bimota YB11 Superleggera refers to the focus on lightweight construction that allowed huge performance from an existing engine, along with the agile handling you’d expect. At the time, the bike weighed 403lbs dry, a full 80lbs less than the Yamaha YZF1000R that donated its 1002cc five-valve Genesis engine and five-speed transmission. Power was rated at 145hp, with an impressive 80lb-ft of torque that allowed the five-speed box to be fitted to the open-class superbike in the first place, a characteristic it shared with Suzuki’s rival GSX-R1100. The light weight and power were enough to push the bike to nearly 170mph. All the way back in 1997.

Somehow, because of their hand-built nature and flaws, it doesn’t seem all that criminal to modify or improve Bimota’s 1990s motorcycles if it helps sort some of their more annoying quirks: a YZF750R six-speed can replace the original five-speed found in the YB11, and I’m sure somebody can figure out how to fit a stand-alone fuel-injection system to replace the carburetors. This example luckily has the earlier gauges that should hopefully prove more reliable than the later style, while looking better to boot.

It can be tricky to tell if we’ve posted a particular YB11 on the site previously: they all came in the same colors, have low miles, and are generally well cared-for. It’s even trickier when the seller refers to the bike as both a 1997 and a 1998 and appears to have “borrowed” some content from RSBFS in their description… Other than the occasional Termignoni system, aftermarket exhausts and accessories are virtually unheard of, and bolt-on farkles are generally considered undesirable. There appear to have been a few different exhaust hangers used, with and without passenger pegs, although it’s also possible those were fabbed up by the owners when new.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale

One of only 650 produced

1998 Bimota 1,002cc YB11 Superleggera 

Frame no. ZESYB1100TR00047

A Rimini-based manufacturer of ducting for heating and ventilation, Bimota soon turned to their first love of motorcycles. Founders Guiseppe Morri and Massimo Tamburrini began manufacturing in the early 1970s and have since built a reputation of exclusive and limited with inimitable Italian styling machines of performance. Using the best cycle parts and an array of the best outside manufacturers’ powerplants, the Bimota was always an uncompromised and expensive foray in to exclusive motorcycling. 

Powered by Yamaha’s superb Thunderace engine, the Superleggera YB11 was Bimota’s last word in Italian exotica of the 1990s. The 131bhp ‘four’ in stock form breathed through a Bimota-designed exhaust system, which could squeeze out a little more power. It was shrouded by the firm’s trademark aluminum beam frame and complemented by some of the finest cycle parts available, including fully adjustable Paioli 51mm forks, fully adjustable Paioli shock, Brembo brakes, 17” Antera wheels and carbon fiber-abound. At 403lbs, the YB11 Superleggera weighed some 80lbs less than the donor bike and its handling and performance were in a different league altogether; as was the price, which at about $20,000, was a staggering 50% more than the Yamaha.

In the late 1990s Bimota went through one of its periodic financial convulsions and production of the YB11 ended in 1999, although a second batch of bikes was completed later using stocks of existing parts. 

The bike offered, an early 1997 example, the 46th built, is presented in excellent condition throughout. With an indicated 8,700 miles, racked up in the first decade of use, the bike has been on static display since 2007, though regularly maintained. A fresh service was performed to ready the bike for sale and no back-fees are due to a California buyer, as the last registration was due over ten years ago.

With only 650 machines produced, this represents a perfect combination of Italian exotica, Japanese reliability, ease of maintenance and power and with such qualifications, is bound to be a future classic.

For additional information, photos, etc. please visit ClassicAvenue.com

Look, the Bimota YB11 is a flawed motorcycle. And maybe the flaws would be unacceptable in a bike that originally sold for the equivalent of $47,000 in today’s money, but they don’t cost that much currently: this one is being offered at $9,900. That seems to be a little bit on the high-side for a 90s Bimota currently, although I doubt that will still be the case in the future. For that kind of money, you’re getting a hell of a lot of exclusivity and performance that will still peel your face back, even today.

-tad

Underappreciated: 1997 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale
Bimota July 9, 2019 posted by

Classic Looks, [Nearly] Modern Performance: 1997 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale

Superleggera means “super light” in Italian, and has been applied to everything from aluminum-bodied Ferraris to modern Ducatis. For the time, the Bimota YB11 offered pretty outrageous performance, compared to mass-produced open-class superbikes. In the YB11’s case, the claimed 403lbs dry is on par with something like a modern superbike, with a bit less power. Actually, performance should be right in line with something like a Yamaha MT10, which means it’s no slouch even by modern standards and shockingly fast for a bike that’s now 22 years old.

Like nearly all Bimotas, the YB11 was powered by an existing engine from an outside supplier. In this case, the 1002cc five-valve Yamaha Genesis inline four from the YZF1000, with airbox and exhaust tweaks to up the power just a bit from 145 to 150 claimed horses. The bike uses right-way-up forks, but they’re massive 51mm Paioli units with carbon-fiber lowers, and Bimota’s signature aluminum beam frame features gorgeous machined details.

As mentioned in our previous post, it appears that the six-speed gear cluster of a YZF750R does fit within the YZF1000’s cases, making it a pretty straightforward upgrade. As fast as it was, plenty of reviews bemoan the lack of a top cog: it doesn’t really need one, the bike just seems to want one. Since Bimotas use relatively ordinary engines and transmissions for motivation, it seems like that kind of modification would be well within the spirit of

As with other Bimotas the bodywork is lightweight and consists of just a few panels. The entire tail section and tank shroud is a single piece, which is obviously great when you need to strip one for maintenance, not so great if you have a minor crash. The riding position is pretty weird, with a long, stretched out reach to the bars, and pegs set uncomfortably high. I’d imagine there’s room for improvement in both areas if you plan to use one on the street and want to play around with adjustable bars and rearsets, although finding parts to fit could be a hassle.

Interestingly, many YB11s came fitted with a passenger pad and footrests, making it one of just a handful of Bimotas that can handle date-night duties. Of course, “superleggera” construction would suggest an aluminum subframe instead of steel to support the weight of an additional person, but apparently the super-light setup was strong enough. For better or for worse, this one lacks those pillion accommodations. That’s probably academic, since almost nobody actually uses passenger seats on uncomfortable exotic Italian superbikes, but it’s always nice to have the option.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale

Up for sale is my 1997 Bimota YB11 from my collection and it is in pristine condition and is listed with an astonishing 2850 miles (yes you read that right). The bike has always stored indoors for 22 years but that a full refresh has already been completed (details below).

Bimota produced only 600 example of this fabulous creation. Named the ‘Superleggera, or Super-light, the YB11 was a tiny 183kg, a full 15kg lighter than the Yamaha YZF1000R from whence came the 11’s engine. 

The Superleggera was spoilt in many way; a sophisticated Paioli rear shock developed specifically to suit Bimota’s new swing-arm design. Paioli also supplied the lightweight carbon-fibre front forks. Although the Thunderace Yamaha engine was unchanged internally, Bimota incorporated a larger ram-air box that together with their four-into-on exhaust and reworked carbys did increase horsepower to up around 150. The Superleggera achieved a power to weight ratio that no mass-produced bike could match.

  • Bimota
  • 407 lbs
  • 150 HP at 10,200 rpm
  • 20 Valve 1000 cc inline 4 from a Yamaha YZF1000R
  • Larger airbag and exhaust system from Bimota
  • High performance suspension
  • 600 Units produced world wide
  • 87 in the Unites States
  • $30,000 MSRP in 1996
  • Key included

Refresh details

  • Flushed brakes, add stainless steel braided brake lines, rebuilt rear master cylinders
  • Lubed and adjusted throttle and clutch cables
  • Flushed cooling system
  • Torqued and checked all chassis fittings and fasteners,  check/tighten steering head bearings,
  • Replaced shock chain
  • Replaced battery, NGK spark plugs, 
  • Performed compression check and full tune, including clean and synch carbs, flush fuel tank and add 1 gallon bath metal rust remover, replace petcock assembly (leaking).  

Added engine top-end oiling kit from Daughtry Motorsports (early VF1000’s were reported to suffer top end oiling deficiency and this kit addresses that fully).  Includes oil filter with adapter for top-end oiling kit.

Replaced original tires (old and cracked) with brand new Bridgestone Battlax BT45’s.  Went to 150/70/17 rear (stock was 140) and 120/80/16 front (stock size).

Not sure where the customer got those tire sizes, since the YB11 wore very ordinary 180/55-17 and 120/70-17 tires at the rear and front, respectively. Considering he also mentions “early VF1000s” I’m assuming he’s mixed up the text from a couple different bikes he’s posting on eBay. Regardless, this looks to be in very good, original condition, with low miles. I’m still shocked that there’s virtually no interest in these bikes, but that can’t last forever, so grab one now!

-tad

Classic Looks, [Nearly] Modern Performance: 1997 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale
Bimota August 29, 2018 posted by

Nice Price: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale

It seems like most of the Bimotas that come up for sale these days aren’t really for sale. I mean, if people wanted to actually sell them, the asking prices would probably be a bit lower… Bottom line: the Bimota YB11 is a cool bike and still pretty fast, even compared to modern bikes. But prices for 90s Bimotas in particular are at a low point right now. Honestly, I’d be very surprised if this continued indefinitely but, for the time being, these represent some pretty great bang for your collecting buck. Even if you end up not being able to source fork seals for the beefy, right-way-up Paioli forks on your Bimota YB11, you can always park this thing in your livingroom and no one will wonder why… Even if they think you’re crazy for replacing your flat-screen with an Italian motorcycle.

The YB11 is pretty classic Bimota: the engine is from Yamaha’s YZF1000R and basically unchanged, aside from being slotted into Bimota’s own aluminum frame that hugs the Genesis engine closely. Perhaps too closely: more on that later. The lightweight bodywork is swoopy and dramatic, the riding position pretty odd, and the bike actually was available with pillion accommodations, although this one is missing the rear pegs.

They’re elegant, exotic and, at least in terms of finding engine parts, pretty simple to keep running. Tales abound of strange little quirks that can keep them from being enjoyable: the weird, twin six-volt batteries in the nose of the SB6, the frames that block access to carburetors and prevent adjustment while they’re on the bike or the engine is in the frame, iffy fuel pumps, and so on. But for a person who wants something truly different, these Bimotas are pretty hard to beat.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale

Emilia Motors is happy to offer this 1997 Bimota YB11, these Bimotas really show the attention to detail that the Italian motorcycle builders put into the design and suspension of the bikes they build. The Bimota is truly a handcrafted work of art and are a must for any real motorcycle collection, plus the beauty and design are second to none. This bike has new tires, battery and starts and runs top notch. Manuals, rear stand and Bimota cover are included. Please feel free to call with any questions thanks Anthony 954-540-8495

So what is the seller asking for this one? $9,000 or $10,000? Nope. Just $6,799 buys you a slick, low-mileage Italian exotic a mechanically competent enthusiast could keep running for peanuts. Just don’t drop it: a whole new engine won’t be hard to find or expensive to rebuild, but that bodywork will be pricey if you drop it. Which is why I’m hoping this one doesn’t have damage on the right side, since the photographer couldn’t be arsed to turn the bike around for some additional pics…

-tad

Nice Price: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale
Yamaha August 22, 2017 posted by

Rolling Thunderace: 1997 Yamaha YZF1000 for Sale

It’s pretty common for cars in the USA to get evocative names like “Cougar” and “Charger” or components with nonsensical, but cool-sounding names like “Vortec” or “Jetfire.” In the motorcycling world, the reverse seems more common, since today’s bike was known as the Yamaha YZF1000 here in the USA while overseas it was the “Thunderace,” big brother to the 600cc “Thundercat.” For me, it’s impossible to even read “Thundercat” without hearing it echo three times in my head, each time with increasing volume, followed by a resounding “HO!”…

The EXUP-equipped, 1003cc, five-valve Genesis inline four engine produced 145hp and 73lb-fts of torque, enough to push the 435lb dry YZF1000 to a top speed of 164mph. Tuned for midrange rather than top-end power, the gearbox made do with just five speeds instead of six. That all may not scream “cutting-edge performance” today, but the potential is there: Bimota used the same package to motivate their YB11 with only minor changes to the tuning, and no one ever complained that it was slow. Brakes on the big YZF were excellent as well and carried over to the later, lighter R1 while the aluminum frame was an evolution of the Deltabox unit found on the YZF750R.

Styling is very clean in either the grey-and-silver seen here or the more traditionally Yamaha red-and-white, both mercifully free of the horrific early 1990s graphics that seemed to afflict every Japanese motorcycle manufacturer. It’s not very exotic-looking, but very simple and handsome, an “adult” sportbike, and one seemingly owned by an adult in this case. Like the GSX-R1100, The Thunderace is a fast road bike or a sports-tourer with the emphasis firmly on the “sport” part of the equation, rather than than track-ready race-replica. It was followed by the YZF-R1 that pretty much rewrote the literbike rules, meaning the Thunderace is mostly forgotten today, although that’s an advantage now, as prices are low, even for examples as nice as this.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Yamaha YZF1000 for Sale

It’s time for my YZF1000 to find a new home. Of the 40-some bikes that I have owned over my lifetime this has been one of my all-time favorites. The decision to sell her was a tough one to make and I held out until now, but the time has come.

The YZF1000, or Thunderace as it’s known in Europe, is a true classic that was only available in the US for one year. If you’ve found this auction you probably know what these bikes are all about and that the YZF1000RJ earned Sportbike of the Year honors in ’97.This Ace is mechanic owned and in excellent condition.  It has never been crashed, dropped or abused and has been meticulously maintained.There are lots of extras on this bike that really make this one unique Thunderace, including some Over Racing Project parts straight from Japan.

Here is a list of the extra goodies:
• Ohlins rear shock
• Over Racing Project upper triple clamp
• Over Racing Project billet aluminum countershaft cover
• Over Racing Project floating rear brake assembly
• Custom made frame sliders
• Factory shift kit
• Lockhart-Phillips bar-end sliders
• Hand-made Goodridge -2 stainless steel brake lines
• Eurotail rear fender eliminator kit
• Lockhart-Philips carbon fiber tank protector
• Lockhart-Phillps carbon fiber dash cover
• 530 gearing conversion (from 532) with DID X-ring chain/ Pro-Tek sprockets

This is one nice bike with lots of extras. I took a lot of time and enjoyment in getting this bike perfectly set-up and balanced for about any riding scenario. Sport touring, commuting or carving up the back roads, this Ace will pleasantly surprise you! I also have the original factory service manual that will go along with the bike. I’ll even include the matching set of Tour Master luggage that you see pictured in the one photo. Whoever gets this bike going to be extremely happy.

This bike will be available for free local pick up. Any shipping arrangements and expenses are the buyer’s responsibility, but I will make myself available for whatever is arranged.

If you have any questions feel free to ask, I’m always happy to answer. The starting price is well below NADA value ($5,445) as is the reserve and BIN. I have maintained 100% positive feedback since joining eBay nearly 18 years ago, so bid with confidence! I’m a motivated seller, so all reasonable offers will be considered. Additional pictures are available upon request. As always, Good Luck and Happy Bidding!!

PS: Some of you local to the Akron/Canton (OH) area may even know this bike. Back in the day I used to ride it to work at Ohio Superbike Racing.

In general, liter-sized sportbikes from the Japanese Big Four aren’t especially rare here in the USA, although it can be very hard to find nice, clean, original examples. But the YZF wasn’t common at all here even when new and, as mentioned by the seller, was available for only one year. Honestly, I think I’ve seen more YZF-powered Bimotas than I’ve seen YZFs for sale in the past couple years! Mileage is extremely low considering the age and practicality of this beast: the seller even has one pic of the bike fitted with touring luggage! This example also includes a couple bits of Over Racing bling and some other tasteful and practical upgrades. There’s very little time left on the auction, with the Reserve unsurprisingly Not Met with just a few hours left to go. Hopefully, someone will snap this one up and give it a good thrashing… I mean, home!

-tad

Rolling Thunderace: 1997 Yamaha YZF1000 for Sale
Bimota October 27, 2016 posted by

Super and Leggera: 1998 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale

1998-bimota-yb11-l-front

1990s Bimotas currently represent an amazing value, and this 1998 YB11 Superleggera has superbike performance, Yamaha reliability, and is very rare, all for under $10,000. “Superleggera” or “super light” is a style of construction that stresses lightweight materials and construction: Ducati’s Superleggera is so super and leggera that it actually weighs less than the British Superbike Championship Panigale including ballast… So while 400lbs dry may not be considered the absolute lightest bike out there by today’s standards, it’s still in the hunt and was a solid 30lbs lighter than the YZF1000 that donated its engine and gearbox.

1998-bimota-yb11-r-side

Plenty of superbikes these days weigh the same and make far more than the YB11’s 145 peak horsepower, but without their electronics and sophisticated traction control systems, they’d likely be wrapped around a tree in short order. The five-valve Yamaha engine that powers the YB11 should be far less peaky than something like an MV Agusta F4 or even a BMW S1000RR, as evidenced by the 5-speed gearbox, which suggests a reduced need to chase narrow powerbands. It says much about the original bike that it’s nearly 20 years old and, with 170mph top speed, can at least keep modern superbikes in sight, especially on the road.

1998-bimota-yb11-gauges

The only catch with that “Yamaha reliability” thing could be actual access to the Yamaha parts on the YB11. That beam frame may be light and strong, but Bimota didn’t worry about things like “servicing” when they designed this beast, and other bikes they’ve built aren’t easy to service: for the similar, Suzuki GSX-R1100-powered SB6R, you actually need to drop the engine to change the front sprocket. The clutch slave? Drop the engine. And the alternator drive on the SB6R tends to fail due to overheating. Guess what you have to do to work on that?

1998-bimota-yb11-l-rear

Those beefy 51mm Paioli forks provide excellent roadholding but could be difficult to source parts for. And when I say “could” I mean, “I know one that was sidelined for a couple years with leaky seals because the parts were unavailable.” Although I’m sure it’d be possible to swap in the front end from a modern superbike, if you’re friendly with someone who can knock up a set of custom triple-trees…

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale

A Unique and Rare Super Bike On Display in the New England Motorcycle Museum!

Extremely rare! Only 650 made! Not many opportunities to buy unmolested, low mileage Bimotas present themselves! Act now!

Borderline savage power-to-weight ratio! There was nothing in its class that could touch it in sheer acceleration

This bike features an engine based off the Yamaha YZF1000 and featured a larger air box, reworked carburetors & a 4 into 1 pipe that turned the Yamaha engine into a rocket ship without comprising its superb reliability!

Immense handling capabilities! Extremely light weight makes for easy input and lean angle limits that are most likely well beyond the rider’s capabilities.

This hand crafted, Italian made motorcycle is gorgeous and the photos speak for themselves! Here’s your chance to own this Italian Stallion!

Ready for your exotic collection

1998-bimota-yb11-tank

The seller does include a video of the bike with a walk-around, but doesn’t fire the bike up. It’s pretty clear from the photos that this bike is in superlative condition and has just 3,000 on it. I’m not sure if the YB11 has similar servicing issues as Bimota’s SB6, but I’d consult with a specialist shop or spend some time on the forums before assuming these will be cheap or easy to maintain. Plus, bodywork might prove a little difficult to replace if you take a tumble. That being said, I’d buy one in a heartbeat: with a Buy It Now price of just $9,500 it’s rare, fast, and Italian. It even has passenger accommodations, something of a rarity for Bimotas in general.

-tad

1998-bimota-yb11-r-side

Super and Leggera: 1998 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale
Bimota November 2, 2015 posted by

Rimini Blaster: 1997 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale

1997 Bimota YB11 R Front

Introduced in 1994 and weighing in at just 403lbs dry, the Bimota YB11 was a claimed 35lbs lighter than the Yamaha “Thunderace” that donated its powertrain, which hardly seems worthy of the name “Superleggera” but the difference between the two bikes is pronounced: the Bimota is sharper, more agile, more aggressive. It also helps that the motor was retuned slightly to a claimed 145hp with a larger airbox and freer-flowing exhaust that was good for a 170mph top speed, while the riding position helped enhance the bike’s more committed feel: high pegs gave miles of clearance and the long reach over the tank to the bars meant maximum attack, while Paioli suspension front and rear gave serious feedback, at least over smooth pavement…

1997 Bimota YB11 L Rear

Early Bimotas often used trellis frames similar to Ducati’s when they, you know, actually had frames… By the 90’s, Bimota had switched to a very light and stiff aluminum beam frame as seen here, along with an aluminum swingarm. It’s an interesting combination: the YZF1000 was a bit old-school, with a big 1002cc engine and a five-speed gearbox instead of six. It did use Yamaha’s five-valve heads for deep breathing and a wide powerband that’s miles from today’s literbike screamers.

1997 Bimota YB11 Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale

This beautiful machine is part of a wonderful collection of Italian Superbikes.  These bikes are owned by a friend who is 70 years young, and he has reluctantly decided to sell off some of them.  He’s not computer savvy, so he asked if I would list the bikes for him as a favor, and we decided to list them individually rather than listing all the bikes at one time.

This Bimota was recently serviced and a new battery installed.  It starts immediately and runs strong, with a wonderful exhaust note.  While not an absolutely show bike perfect, the cosmetics look extremely nice overall – it is evident that this bike has led a very pampered life.  I could not find any issues to note.

Since this bike has been on static display for some time, the tires should be replaced for safety if it will be ridden regularly.

1997 Bimota YB11 L Lower Fairing

Bimota made its name by taking powerful and reliable engines from Japan and fitting them into sophisticated frames with top-quality suspension at both ends, all wrapped up in lightweight bodywork that was generally very simply to remove and held on with just a handful of fasteners. They were racebikes for the road. But after the Japanese Big Four had mastered engines, they turned their relentless engineering might on the next big challenge: handling.

1997 Bimota YB11 Clocks

By the late 1980s, they’d caught up and Bimota increasingly had to rely on the exotic and exclusive nature of their bikes to sell, as their performance advantages evaporated and their Italian-ness became more pronounced. Out of the box, Bimotas were often overly-stiff, temperamental, and flawed. But the formula remained: use the best engines Japan has to offer and use them to power the most exotic bikes on the planet.

1997 Bimota YB11 L Rear Suspension

Bidding is very active on this bike and, with just two days left on the auction, is up to $7,300 with the Reserve Not Met. This should be a good bike to ride, with that flexible, proven YZF engine and gearbox. As a bonus, it even comes fitted with passenger pegs. Although considering it’s a Bimota, I wouldn’t assume there’s actually a pillion pad under that tail section…

-tad

1997 Bimota YB11 R Rear

Rimini Blaster: 1997 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale
Yamaha September 5, 2015 posted by

Thunder, Thunder, Thunderace! Sharp 1997 Yamaha YZF1000 for Sale

1997 Yamaha YZF1000 R Front

Yamaha’s YZF1000 wasn’t a big seller, and was available in the US for only one year, making this an extremely rare bike here. Five valves, five gears, and 1003cc’s should tell you pretty much all you need to know about this bike. Known as the “Thunderace” in many markets, the big YZF was a strange mix of high and low tech: it used Yamaha’s sophisticated five-valve inline four mated to a five-speed transmission. But the engine’s wide powerband means you really don’t need that sixth cog anyway.

1997 Yamaha YZF1000 L Front

This was really more a bike in the spirit of Kawasaki’s ZX-11 than one of today’s highly-strung, just barely under 1000cc machines. 147hp is still nothing to sneeze at today, especially when combined with a claimed 435lbs dry weight, and older literbikes like this were built for fast, two-up traveling, with midrange power undreamed of by today’s screaming twins and fours.

1997 Yamaha YZF1000 L Rear

And if those brakes look like they’ve been fitted fitted from a later R1, you’d be partly correct: the Thunderace was famous for its excellent brakes and was the first model to feature the one-piece, four-piston “blue spot” calipers that were later used on the R1.

This bike looks to be in excellent, well-maintained shape, considering its age. From the original eBay listing: 1997 Yamaha YZF1000 for Sale

This model, Yamaha YZF1000R  in USA for one year only, 1997.  Last all purpose supersport  (not RR) with carbs.  198 kg (437 lbs) dry. Genesis 5-valve motor145 hp (133rw hp), forged (not cast) pistons, drag coefficient .29, forged aluminum rims, steering damper.  Frame is 5kg less than YZF 750R, hence equivalent dry weight w/20+hp advantage and more robust 5spd transmission carried on from FZR 1000.  Runs, shifts, handles as new.  New tires, brake pads, battery, chain, filters, all fluids.  Billet aluminum swingarm, smoked windshield.  Always kept in dry garage under cover. 

Extremely well kept overall, but for one repairable chip on upper left fairing, and one very small (1.25″) stress crack on right lower fairing. Chip shows on photo, crack too small to easily show here. Small chip at rear of white fiberglass cowling cap also too small to easily show. D&D carbon fiber exhaust as new with original aluminum exhaust nearly mint condition. Flush mounted front signals with originals included and shown.

From MC Review (see masterfairings.com blog):  “The last breed of the classic old school superbikes that Yamaha aimed to produce on an international level … it’s just overall a brilliant bike.”

In a December 1996 Car & Driver Magazine comparison test of Yamaha YZF1000R with Dodge Viper the bike won all acceleration tests, top gear roll on, etc., but greasy dusty track at Willow Springs  favored Viper until its motor blew and it DNF.

Scarcity and and content quality make this one a collectible low cost supersport ride.  Bike is beautiful, fast and comfortable, but not for beginner.

It’s not in perfectly original condition, although the seller does have the original exhaust can and turn signals if you’d prefer a dead-stock look. That clutch lever does look a bit bent, but that could be the result of a simple tip-over, something to be expected in a bike of this age.

1997 Yamaha YZF1000 L Fairing

The simple white-and-red panels on this bike have aged extremely well and give it a more sophisticated style that stand out in a sea of wild, paint-splash neon zebra designs that were popular during the 1990’s. All-in-all, with just 17,000 miles on the clock and $3,400 Buy It Now price, this represents a killer deal for sportbike fans on a budget.

-tad

1997 Yamaha YZF1000 R Side

Thunder, Thunder, Thunderace! Sharp 1997 Yamaha YZF1000 for Sale
Yamaha March 28, 2015 posted by

Thunder Ace! 1996 Yamaha YZF1000R in AUS

Here is one we haven’t had on RSBFS since 2008, a Yamaha YZF1000R which is also known as the ThunderAce.

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1996 Yamaha 1000 YZF Thunderace on ebay australia

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.

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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

 

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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.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Thunder Ace!  1996 Yamaha YZF1000R in AUS