I bought the Thunderace with some reservations. But at the time money was tight and while I wanted a sports bike for the rides my little er5 weren't really suitable for and I couldn't afford a gixer or r1. So the ace was a compromise between cost and performance and only just won out over a suzuki rf900. I didn't really expect much from the bike and a couple of little mishaps early on certainly didn't do the bike any favours. But after a long trip to Cornwall (from Yorkshire) and a week on the Isle of Man, my mind has certainly been changed. The handling really isn't far off more modern kit and its settled nature in the corners really helps your confidence. Comfort is on a par with my old zzr-1100. Even with a recently broken wrist, all day riding is easy. I think the engine is lazy, and unless you work at keeping the revs up. Mine drinks oil, lots of oil. But that does seem to be quite common with these bikes. Strengths: It's not right on the edge performance, but it's close enough to embarass blades and R1s and would complement a rider where a more focused bike would punish them. This is an awful lot of bike for your money, a very good buy.
Weaknesses: It drinks oil and the clutch is a bit grabby - like hayabusa clutches, all on or all off - which can make the traffic light grand prix a touch lairy. Mines an older bike and the electrics are a bit, erm, tired.