1996 Yamaha YZF600R from Portugal
This bike ticks all the right boxes, a superb package
Chain blew at around 32000km, but it was mainly my fault because it already needed replacement and wasn't properly lubed.
Oil leak from the valve cover, no harm done. Replaced header (not sure that is the word, but I mean the rubber that seals the engine). Fine now.
Low beam bulb has gone three times now, and I've quit replacing it as I always drive with mediums on.
One of the bulbs illuminating the tachometer went out and I had it replaced (cheap), and now the one covering the temperature meter has gone also.
This bike was Yamaha's flagship supersport 8 years ago and so it's still very fast by modern standards. I've managed 250kph (155mph) and the acceleration from 9000rpm to the redline at 13000rpm is just brutal!
It is ideal if you are looking for a (very) fast sportsbike, but aren't willing to have butt-ache after 50km. The riding position is sporty, but surprisingly comfy thanks to the nice seat and to the moderately sized fairing, which does a great job of deflecting air (riding straight up at speeds of up to 180kph is a doddle), and for a sportsbike your passengers will have no room for complaining.
The engine is fabulous, pulling clean from 4000rpm and vigorously after 7k, until its final stride between 10k and 13k. It is smooth and with an aftermarket can it is a true joy for the ears, but as it is still carbureted you do need to let her warm up while you get yourself geared up.
Fuel economy and mileage is also great. The tank holds 19 liters and the bike averages 6 liters per 100km (there are reports of bikes doing 400km on a single tank, not me though cause I can't help keeping it near the red :D)
The brakes are simply awesome, offering a combination of power and sensitivity. Still an example for many to follow, although you have to heat them up properly if you want the goods (one or two strong pulls of the lever does it).
Handling wise, at about 195kg it is quite a bit heavier than modern supersports, but the added weight is a bonus on motorways, the bike being supremely stable at high speed and still being utterly capable of rocketing through the twisties. The suspension is fully adjustable and the standard settings offer a blend of comfort and performance you won't find anywhere else, and if you're not pleased with them: change them.
Great bike if you're starting on sportsbikes, or just want a great all-rounder that can carve the back roads up there with the best, and still be able to tour in comfort.
What about commuting? Been doing it every day since I bought it (I don't have a car) and it's easy peasy.
Get a used one for 3500 Euros/2400 Pounds, add a performance pipe and a K&N filter, Metzeler Sportec M1's and you're in heaven.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd November, 2004
4th Dec 2004, 18:53
Not to be xenophobic. One cannot go wrong with any late model Japanese sportbikes. Due to intense competition between the big four (Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha) the riding public reaps immense rewards in technology and overall quality.
17th Sep 2008, 08:52
I have to agree with the first post (comment). I have the YZF600R and it's EXACTLY as he/she described.
Fabulous design from top to bottom. True, it is not the fastest bike on wheels these days, but I picked mine up in NEW condition for just under 3K several years ago, and it has been truly amazing. It is every bit as quick in acceleration as Corvettes, and will outperform most in a quarter mile, even 12 years after production!!!
Recently, I took it on the track in Miami Florida, and it is capable of staying right there with the brand new bikes. I can only lament that I didn't have this bike new back when it was manufactured, as that must have been the pinnacle of motoring pleasure.
Yamaha surpassed the market with this bike, and they need to revamp to have similar results with their latest bikes by comparison, but the older YZF600R's are THE perfect blend of performance and comfort in a Sport / Sport Touring bike for anyone with a limited budget, or just wanting to have a blast.
They also made a 1000cc called the ThunderAce, that is the big brother to this bike, and it is HIGHLY sought after for its comfort and performance blend, but it's not quite as nimble as the 600, but it is faster.
Unless you are a professional racer, NOTHING beats this bike for daily commuting, highway comfort, overall performance and low cost. Nothing. It's THAT good.