1998 Yamaha YZF1000R Thunderace


A great bike, not to be underestimated



General Comments:

Bought the motorcycle in 2001 as an upgrade from my old bike. The looks impressed me and the general opinion from owners made me decide this was the bike or me.

No disappointments here, from the word go I can only describe this bike as the best ride I have had, with as much speed as you like with blistering take off. Cornering and roundabouts are not as good as later sports bikes, but all else more than makes up for this.

Good comfortable riding position, fantastic midrange and stopping power, gives you the confidence to get on the gas through the gears.

Reliability seems to be faultless, no problems whatsoever in all the years I have owned this bike, more sports than tourer, a real gem that's staying with me.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2006

2nd Nov 2006, 08:45

In portugal we love fast bikes, but I made a bad call, the ace uses too much oil. Mine has 21000km and to go 1000km it USES 500ml.

1997 Yamaha YZF1000R Thunderace


Will NEVER be without one, even if I buy a different make and model etc


Zero faults.

General Comments:

By today's standards, this motorcycle is an old and heavy item. It never really was a popular bike with the bike journalists, always pulling it down, never showing it in the magazines.

Both the front and rear suspension can be adjusted by 3 ways - compound, rebound and damping, and when this is set up to suit the rider, it is an amazing piece of kit. In a rare article by Performance Bikes, they set up a Thunderace and were overtaking R1's on the outside of corners.

The engine is bullet proof, only needing oil and filter changes at specified intervals, spark plugs every blue moon, and valve clearances every other blue moon.

Once aboard and riding the Thunderace, it is remarkably nimble. I am 6 feet and 3 inches and even with the wife on the back, it is still easy to maneuver through town.

The national speed limit can easily be broken in first gear, and I am talking about the motorway speed limit here. 2nd will bring 100mph, 3rd brings 120 mph etc. There may be other newer bikes that easily beat that, but remember these bikes started out way back in 1996, 10 years ago, just imagine what bikes will do in the next 10 years compared to the so called dogs B's now.

Passengers are sat quite comfortably and are not perched on your shoulder like a parrot compared to other bikes.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2005

9th Aug 2006, 23:33

I agree man, I've owned a 97 since new. It has 81000KM and it runs very good, but it's always using some oil. Even so, I wouldn't change it for an R1. I drove 99 and 03 R1s, and I think the Thunderace is a better bike than the R1 from 98 to 03, not to mention that is way more stable at high speeds and more comfortable. I occasionally do 1000KM trips in one day.

Yarek from Ontario, Canada.

3rd Sep 2007, 17:51

Again I agree, I own a 98 Thunder Ace. Two years ago I bought a 2003 R1 to replace the Thunder Ace, but the Thunder Ace did not get replaced; I kept it because it's so damn good. I just can't fault it.

27th Jun 2008, 21:41

I've had my 97 YZF 1000R from new here in the US(Only sold one year here). Must say it's tough to beat on trips, a limo by sport bike standards today, but I can ride all day on it - it has room to move around and laughs at speed and distance. I just would like some better mirrors and not see so much oil pumped out - it's always done this. Not changed out the clutch yet (42000 miles) but I suspect a Falicon upgrade will be in order next year.

Enjoy it!


7th Aug 2011, 10:26

I decided to buy a bike in England and go touring Eastern Europe with my brother, whom I had not seen for nearly 30 years. He lives in Germany, and I live in Australia. I bought the Thunderace sight unseen, except photo's on the net. I am 64 and have ridden bikes since I was 14, and have owned and loved many bikes. But the Ace is literally the ace.

I had to fit a "comfort Kit" as the silly boy racer position was untenable as I have a frozen shoulder. Two years now I have owned and ridden this bike, and I have decided that like an Egyptian Pharaoh, I will be buried with my steed.

Awesome bike; bought it, arrived in England, rode away on it, and have covered over 20 000 miles with no problems at all.