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YZF600R Restoration/Modernisation


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Hi guys and girls, plans are a bit up in the air at the moment for what to do with my bike so i thought rather than clogging up other peoples threads and asking noddy questions, I would keep it all in one place and start a thread on this section.


My bike is a 1998 Yamaha Thundercat and to me is really starting to look 21 years old. I was enjoying it as it left the factory until my missus reversed into it which made me think it was time for a change. Upon joining this forum, my plan was to street fighter it but after talking with some of the members I have decided to get some new fairings and modernise it a bit.


The previous owner had it sat outside so the more I look, the more rust I find. My plan currently is to take it to bits whilst it's winter, get rid of all these areas of rust and generally give it a bit of a tidy up. My main gripe is the back end. The tail light is massive and sticks out like a dogs lipstick and all of the aftermarket lights I have found look horrible. I like the look of a 600RR tail light conversion which is on the cards over the next few weeks. This will involve a tail tuck which I have found a guide for but is no longer available but I'm sure I can figure it out. Last night I fitted some LED indicators to the rear which has already made me feel happier about the tail but it is now begging for a new brake light in my eyes.


I have taken the bike out this morning, (probably for the last time this year) and this has thrown up some problems. Either the clutch is slipping, or there's a gear box issue but the bike was very "easy" to slot into gear. I have a nice strong bite and if anything it's easier to ride but it doesn't feel right. I've also lost 5PSI from the rear tyre overnight so a new tyre maybe on the cards and also the forks seem to click when coming to a complete stop. I've had the fork seals done a few months back so I'm going to ask the guy who did them to take a look.


Currents mods are:


Braided Brake lines

Delkevic carbon fibre exhaust

LED rear indicatiors

Smoked LED front indicators


Heres some photo's of it as it is from the moment i picked it up to this morning,

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Your bike is looked good as it is, the Thundercat syling has aged well, still looks good. I'm not keen on the Fiat, rear wheel and other graphics though!

Most of your rust seems to be on fasteners and other small metal parts. Might be worth considering getting an Electroless NIckel plating kit. A guy at work has one, he's been plating bits on his BSA, they look good.

Lots of rear lights tend to be on the big side, smaller LED one would be a good move. I like the twin round ones, sort of endurance racer look.

Changing your wheel colour to black might make it look a bit more uptodate.

My bike has black wheels, which at first I didn't like & considered getting them sprayed silver, but then I realised it would make it look like an earlier bike, so stuck with black. (My bikes 2003, the same model 1997-2000 had silver wheels).


Let us know what you decide.

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Your bike is looked good as it is, the Thundercat syling has aged well, still looks good. I'm not keen on the Fiat, rear wheel and other graphics though!

Most of your rust seems to be on fasteners and other small metal parts. Might be worth considering getting an Electroless NIckel plating kit. A guy at work has one, he's been plating bits on his BSA, they look good.

Lots of rear lights tend to be on the big side, smaller LED one would be a good move. I like the twin round ones, sort of endurance racer look.

Changing your wheel colour to black might make it look a bit more uptodate.

My bike has black wheels, which at first I didn't like & considered getting them sprayed silver, but then I realised it would make it look like an earlier bike, so stuck with black. (My bikes 2003, the same model 1997-2000 had silver wheels).


Let us know what you decide.

 

Thank you, and I agree with you so much. I'm not a massive fan of a lot of the stickers but have just been riding it as it is but now is my chance to change all that. The DC stickers on the wheel will definitely be got rid of, and the new fairing looks like a lot of the horrid decals are gone. I've got no interest in motorsport whatsoever but time and time again I get guys going "Rossi fan ay? not a great weekend for him....". You're right, the rust is in all hard to reach areas which I can only presume is where the previous owner had it sat outside and the rain has collected.

I'm going to look into this Nickel plating kit now, its a great idea and something I hadn't considered. I was just going to sand, primer and spray but that's a great idea! I'm presuming the rust has to come off first, but is it similar anodising? I'm going to take a look on google now.

I did also like the twin round ones, I prefer them to a lot of the lights on offer and imagine these are a straight swap.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have to agree, the fairings look a bit... busy.

If you want to make it a bit more modern, then the CBR lights are a good way to go. I have smoked on mine, which aren't noticable when off (but bright enough when on)


The only other thing I would say is that numberplate. Obviously I'm not going to tell you to do something illegal, but something smaller would look better on the rear - they always do on sports bikes imho

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Since it's your bike and your money only you can choose whether to sell it, restore it, or modify it.


If it was mine I would try to keep it as original as possible, while replacing or restoring anything that's looking tired. I wouldn't recommend going down the streetfighter of cafe routes as crashed bikes often go that way - puts me off buying one.


Whatever you decide, good luck with it.

Might be worth keeping a diary/photo record of everything you do, for a future owner, and I'm sure the guys here would be interested in seeing the project as it progresses


I have a very tatty TDM same age as yours which I'll try to restore over the next year

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for god sake man , get rid of the 46 stickers , you'll have lorry drivers whistling and trying to pick you up and the lord knows what other batty boys chasing you.

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for god sake man , get rid of the 46 stickers , you'll have lorry drivers whistling and trying to pick you up and the lord knows what other batty boys chasing you.

 

:lol: :lol: :lol: These are going to be the first ones off. I'm already bored of the motor-sport talk everytime I get off anywhere :lol: :lol:


Thanks for the replies and ideas everyone.


[mention]mealexme[/mention] Agreed, the numberplate sticks out as much as the light to me, the only thing stopping me at the moment is local plod. They are having a bit of a crack down on bikes around here and I'm in the Air Force so I can't be having to much hassle from them.


[mention]winston smith[/mention] Thank you! Its a great idea and I will be doing that with the photos. The clutch is almost non existent so I've ordered a new kit and been out tonight to start stripping it ready for a service/put it away for the winter. I started tidying up small bits of rust whilst I was there and thought to myself that I should have got some photos.

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From an era when sports bikes had armchair like seats big enough for an entire family to sit on.

I'd be looking at getting a modern race fairing, a front end of an newish R1 for the upside down forks and brakes and doing someone about the massive arse end.

Maybe also see what swing arm will fit to replace the boxy stock swing arm.

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From an era when sports bikes had armchair like seats big enough for an entire family to sit on.

I'd be looking at getting a modern race fairing, a front end of an newish R1 for the upside down forks and brakes and doing someone about the massive arse end.

Maybe also see what swing arm will fit to replace the boxy stock swing arm.

 

It is huge isn't it! haha I really like the look of the single swing arm, but that was when I was looking at street fighter'ing it. I'm not sure how that would look normally. some race fairing sounds good though :P I like it

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I took the bike out for a spin the other day and realised the clutch was almost non-existent. Due to some much appreciated advice on here I decided to order the friction plate and springs and crack on with a service whilst I was there. This was yesterdays efforts as I only had the spark plugs, the clutch parts came this morning but need soaking in oil over night so that's all that is happening today.


With the seat and the tank off, some small areas of surface corrosion where accessible so I decided to sand these down and spray a bit of paint over the top as protection. The colour was wrong (It was Fiat White Gold) but it was the most similar paint I had kicking round the garage and is underneath the seat so I'm not to bothered.

 

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Next up for attack was the spark plugs. I'm not sure if this is only on Thudercat's but i had the worlds most STUPID pit of plastic ontop if the rocker cover. I needed to undo the HT leads, slacken off the throttle cable, take off the clutch cable and manoeuvre the plastic into a shape that can only be described as a work of Origami. I was thinking of manufacturing my own holder for the HT leads and coils as this seemed like all the plastic did, but as it as acting as a heat shield below the fuel tank i decided against this and not to argue with the work of the boffins at Yamaha. Strangely, the heat shield went back on first time without a problem! oh well, happy days...

 

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That was all for my available parts but i decided to get a head start on the next day and drain the oil, remove the filter and clutch cover. The side fairings needed to come off for this which was fairly straight forward except for one rounded off bolt. The bolts used seem to be made of cheese but as a new fairing with with bolts included was on the shopping list I wasn't too bothered. I tapped a larger Allen socket in which also rounded off, I tapped a Torx socked in which just made things worse so decided the remove the fairing support bracket and take the whole thing off in a oner. The only other small issue I had was the previous owner had fitted after market indicators and used spade connectors which snapped on removal of the fairing. No biggie, just means I now have some soldering to do also.

 

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My strap wrench had been lent and not given back by some b*****d and as well as grollying up the sump bung, the last owner had grollyed on the oil filter, I'm unsure on bikes but on cars these are only meant to be hand tight, one or two white knuckles. I managed to put a large jubilee clip on the filter and tap this round to get it off.

 

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Last off was the clutch cover. Some of the bolts and screws where different lengths so to avoid mixing them up, a technique i learnt whilst taking panels off of Tornado's was to put the screws into cardboard and draw on any distinguishing features. May be useful to some of you!


 

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Clutch.thumb.jpg.992d3df2500ac0c8e3c6b5149a6c7023.jpg

 

Got the old and the new next to each other and other than the outer-most plates, there isn't a world of difference. I gambled on the steel plates being OK aswell which they seem to be. I will be swapping the outermost ones for inner ones as they are all identical but the outermost ones seem to bear the brunt of my harsh gear changes. New Pressure plates are soaking overnight and will be fitted tomorrow hopefully, then all being well I can jump into the 2020 Challenge :cheers:

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Clutch.jpg


Got the old and the new next to each other and other than the outer-most plates, there isn't a world of difference. I gambled on the steel plates being OK aswell which they seem to be. I will be swapping the outermost ones for inner ones as they are all identical but the outermost ones seem to bear the brunt of my harsh gear changes. New Pressure plates are soaking overnight and will be fitted tomorrow hopefully, then all being well I can jump into the 2020 Challenge :cheers:

 

Are you staying with the 3 long and 3 short springs or going for 6 long?

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Have you carefully compared the total stack height ?

 


About 0.5mm difference, i put this down to the plates wearing down. Thanks Bob!

 


Are you staying with the 3 long and 3 short springs or going for 6 long?

 

The bag came with 3 of each as the original one, is there any gain with going with 6 long?

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The 6 long should give you a cleaner gear change ,less chance of clutch slip, downside is a stiffer lever, but you can always swap them back if you dont like the action

 

stiffer lever ay? I'm all ears :wink:


Joking aside, that sounds much better. It was the weaker lever that made me think there was an issue in the first place. Thank you :lol:

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Since it's your bike and your money only you can choose whether to sell it, restore it, or modify it.


If it was mine I would try to keep it as original as possible, while replacing or restoring anything that's looking tired. I wouldn't recommend going down the streetfighter of cafe routes as crashed bikes often go that way - puts me off buying one.


Whatever you decide, good luck with it.

Might be worth keeping a diary/photo record of everything you do, for a future owner, and I'm sure the guys here would be interested in seeing the project as it progresses


I have a very tatty TDM same age as yours which I'll try to restore over the next year

 

I echo your sentiment, it is well put. :thumb:

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  • 2 months later...

The T'cat has been left as the last post on it with the new pressure plates soaking in oil for around 2 months. :lol: :lol: They should be more than ready to go on now!


I have been trying to find/borrow a torque wrench that went low enough to reach the 8nm needed to torque the clutch bolts in but [mention]Stu[/mention] recommended on another thread to chin the torque wrench off and just nip them which is exactly what I did. Thanks very much for that [mention]Stu[/mention]! Hopefully will be on the road a little sooner now.

 

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A worry I had about not torquing the bolts in was them shaking loose but [mention]Ian Frog[/mention] suggested to locktite the screws to stop this happening. Thanks again Ian!

 

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Luckily the bolts just came to a natural stop so i gave it another 8th of a turn in an opposing pattern so as to not stress the plate unevenly and put the cover plate on! The gasket was still good so I cleaned it up and put it back on with some military grade insta-gasket. Bodge job I know, but if that stuff stops Tornado's leaking, it should be fine on the bike.


The next cease of play is a leak i have discovered on my fork seals. I had the seals done the tail end of summer and although the bike has done 1.4 miles since then (literally the journey home), it seems they are leaking again. Doh! :scratch: :scratch:

 

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Thats all for tonight, I did want to get it up and running, fairing back on and so on but I cant be bothered tonight. Kind of dis-heartened buy the leak which has p***ed all over my break pads meaning they need replacing and ready for a shower and bed.

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Guest Richzx6r

Tbh with torque settings that low might aswell just do them till they seat with a normal ratchet and tweak it just a smidge it won't do them any harm

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