Hello to all riders and motorcycle critics who visit the YZF600R website (by the way, nice website). I just wanted to break the news to all that the YZF600R critics who say "...the Thundercat may not be the most powerful or best handling 600cc bike...". I don't think people give enough credit to this absolutely awesome sport bike. For example: My father and I just returned from a week long trip all through the Rockies and traveled through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah, with the starting point being Oklahoma City. We traveled a grand total of about 4,000 miles in a week. I rode my '98 YZF600R, and my dad rode his '02 ZZR1200 (which is so fast that it will make you shit a brick), and believe it or not I didn't have a problem keeping up with him up untill about 160 miles per hour. Thats when his extra 600cc kicks in. He did 170 mph; GPS indicated. And yes I did say 160 mph with my YZF! I couldn't beat him riding in long sweepers or in a straight line, but I have to wait on him to get through the really tight stuff, lol.

On the first leg of our trip, we had to cross all of western Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, and a lot of flat ground in New Mexico. Although the ride there was boring, I was very comfortable on my YZF, cruising at roughly 90-110 mph the whole way there, with the help of my dad's radar detector (Passport 8500 w/ wireless helmet light). We crossed into New Mexico where we found roads that no soul would go on. That is where we opened them up. I reached 160 miles per hour indicated on my speedometer and 161 mph GPS indicated with still about 700 RPMs until redline, not to mention that it was with a full tail bag and tank bag.

Now if you ask me about power for the YZF, I'd say that that is extremely fast for any 600cc sport bike in stock performance condition. Okay, okay, it wasn't quite stock, I had new tires (Dunlop 220 on back and Metzler M1 on front, great combination for street). On that run, I broke the top speed listing for the YZF in all the magazines I've read by nearly 10 mph. But it's not just the top speed or the lap times and all, its the suspension, the balance, the ability to pass cars with mind blowing acceleration, the comfort at high speed cruises, and the strong brakes that save you from plowing through grandma's cadillac turning out of the church parking lot. When it comes down to nitty gritty, lap times and top speeds don't matter because I can gaurantee that I'm not thinking about how fast it can go when I run into gravel on the inside of a turn down a mountain pass with a 500 foot drop off. The only thing I can think about is "OH @#!$%!!!" and "Hope I can stop fast enough!" On the other hand, the reason that I don't have a problem keeping up with a 150 bhp ZZR1200 is because it can't put all that horse power down on the pavement coming out of a turn, then having to use its huge brakes to slow down the 550 lb beast when there is another turn about 75 feet down the road. My red rocket only has about 90 bhp to lay on the asphalt. So even though there is very little braking space on mountain roads I can put out damn near all of that horse power exiting a turn. So for those of you who think that horse power and top speed is all that matters, try using a superbike around town, or better yet, on a week-long 4,000 mile ride, then you'll see who is complaining.

- Adam

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