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phool
12-11-2005, 20:47
I found a bike that I have been thinking about picking up.

It's a 1996 Suzuki Katana 600 with 10K miles. It's going to need a new rear tire, but other than that looks pretty good. The guy is asking $1900, I've been told on another forum I should offer $1500, but wanted to get a second opinion.

This would be my first bike. Yes, I plan on taking MSF course before I ride it. What are the thoughts on this bike as a beginner? Also, is it fairly comfortable for a 100 mile plus trip?

Thanks!

fnfalman
12-12-2005, 09:15
I can't comment on the price, but ten thousand miles is nothing unless the bike was neglected or abused.

The Katana looks like a crotch rocket, but in reality it's more of a sporty street bike, so it is a good beginner's bike - not too twitchy with the throttle, suspension not too harsh.

g_man500a
12-12-2005, 10:00
I agree with fnfalman.

I think it'd be a fine first bike for you. I just recently bought a 2001 Katana 750 for my first bike, and it even has a -1 front sprocket and jet kit, and I've had no problems with it at all. If you haven't checked it out, go take a look at www.katriders.com. Lots of good people over there with a ton of information.

Three-Five-Seven
12-15-2005, 07:27
I have always felt that a 600 cc bike is the perfect size for the new rider.

Often, new riders get 250 cc bikes and outgrow them in the first month of riding. You will not outgrow a 600 any time soon -- if ever. It will do all the stuff the big boys do and you can still pick it up if it falls (optional).

I don't know if the price is good or not. Seems like a lot for a ten year old jap bike to me. However, it isn't fully broken it at 10 K so has its whole life in front of it. Suz are very good scoots.

wrenrj1
12-16-2005, 18:25
Check Ebay for prices and compare to see if you're getting a good or at least a deal that's about the market price. I purchased a 1981 KZ 550 with 6700 miles in near mint condition that I thought was a great deal even though there were a plethera of bikes to compare it to.

Sounds like a good starter bike according to other posts, now check other sources (Kelly BB as well) to see if it's a good price.

phool
12-16-2005, 21:21
Must've been a good price... someone snatched it up. I'll just have to keep my eyes out for another one. For some reason I'm figuring there might be a few more hitting the market after everyone's Christmas credit card bills roll in.

BTW, where are good places to look for them? I registered for katriders.com already and have been checking out cycletrader.com for ads... anyplace else I should be looking?


Thanks everyone for the advice!

XxMerlinxX
12-17-2005, 03:53
Be glad you didn't pick up the Katana. In the sport bike world, no offense to any Katana riders here, they're kinda known as the bastard children of suzuki. Often times you can hear remarks like, "Hey, nice can-o-tuna" or something to that end. They also handle like boats and are generally just as slow (note here) compared to other 600's.

Just realize that when you do get the bike, you WILL drop it. This is a given and you should plan for it. The first thing I recommend you do after purchasing said bike, is having frame sliders installed on it. This will minimize, if not prevent all, damage that would be done to the fairings when you drop it.

If you have anymore questions, feel free to post up. :cool:

wrenrj1
12-17-2005, 18:29
My own process:

I decided what general size (cc) and type of a bike I was looking for and what I was gonna use it for (commuting about 7 miles to work in city).

What my likes and dislikes were (I preferred older classic bikes such as the KZ's/LTD's of my youth).

I started looking for the general range of bikes, but didn't limit myself to a specific bike or brand. If I saw something that I was interested in (such as the Yamaha Seca's) I'd do research on them to see what people thought about them etc.

I checked and bid on a few bikes on EBay that were close enough to go get if I was interested, as well as checked my local paper regularly.

I purchased my bike through a sale after an Ebay auction had ended but the minimum price wasn't reached. I'm happy with it.

g_man500a
12-18-2005, 17:39
Originally posted by XxMerlinxX
Be glad you didn't pick up the Katana. In the sport bike world, no offense to any Katana riders here, they're kinda known as the bastard children of suzuki. Often times you can hear remarks like, "Hey, nice can-o-tuna" or something to that end. They also handle like boats and are generally just as slow (note here) compared to other 600's.

Just realize that when you do get the bike, you WILL drop it. This is a given and you should plan for it. The first thing I recommend you do after purchasing said bike, is having frame sliders installed on it. This will minimize, if not prevent all, damage that would be done to the fairings when you drop it.

If you have anymore questions, feel free to post up. :cool:

For being the bastard child of suzuki..they sure have been in production a long time. They sell like crazy. Have you ever ridden one (be honest)? The main guys that make the can-o-tuna remark are the goofy ass stunters and biker boyz wannabes, or the guys that can actually afford to run around on brand new gixxers that their daddy's bought them and have to rub it in somebody's face that their bike is better..nobody is going to argue that a GSXR,R6,CBR, etc isn't faster than a Katana, but Katanas do what they do plenty well to be enjoyable. Those other 600s are twitchy from what I've heard and a new guy shouldn't be on them anyways.

My bottom line is that you shouldn't be telling somebody "be glad that you didn't get xxxx bike" unless you're actually experienced with the model.

XxMerlinxX
12-18-2005, 23:21
Originally posted by g_man500a
For being the bastard child of suzuki..they sure have been in production a long time. They sell like crazy. Have you ever ridden one (be honest)? The main guys that make the can-o-tuna remark are the goofy ass stunters and biker boyz wannabes, or the guys that can actually afford to run around on brand new gixxers that their daddy's bought them and have to rub it in somebody's face that their bike is better..nobody is going to argue that a GSXR,R6,CBR, etc isn't faster than a Katana, but Katanas do what they do plenty well to be enjoyable. Those other 600s are twitchy from what I've heard and a new guy shouldn't be on them anyways.

My bottom line is that you shouldn't be telling somebody "be glad that you didn't get xxxx bike" unless you're actually experienced with the model.

They were discontinued in '01, nothing special about that. And yes, I have ridden one, I shopped around before purchasing my first bike. If you mean other bikes are twitchy compared to the Katana, you're absolutely right. The bike weighs nearly twice as much as any other comparable cc class and it shows in it's handling. I bought my bike myself, don't stunt, and still think it's not a good bike. The power is mediocre and the handling is horrible. As for Kat's doing what they do well, yes, they cruise around offering a very stable ride. Other than that, they shouldn't be in the sport category. Just because you ride one doesn't make it the greatest thing in the world.

BikerRN
12-19-2005, 06:13
If you are looking for a 600 type bike as a "Starter Bike" I would suggest the Suzuki SV 650 or the new Kawasaki Ninja 650.

Of course I'm partial to V-Twin engines.;) The 650 won't be outgrown anytime soon, and I think the V-Twin is a little more "forgiving" than any in-line engine. Plus you get to learn how to engine brake. There is a lot to be said for going into a corner and slamming down the gears from 5-2 in faster time than it takes to type this. I don't know if the Katana is an in-line engine or not, not familiar with it.

Not to sound like an advertisement, but Ducati has a good 620 engine too. Take a look at the Monster and Multistrada. My wife and I have been riding for a while and went from a Harley FXD to the Multistrada 620. It has enough speed and power to get the job done and it's a blast.

Good luck, ride safe and enjoy whatever you end up riding.

:)

g_man500a
12-19-2005, 07:26
Originally posted by XxMerlinxX
They were discontinued in '01, nothing special about that. And yes, I have ridden one, I shopped around before purchasing my first bike. If you mean other bikes are twitchy compared to the Katana, you're absolutely right. The bike weighs nearly twice as much as any other comparable cc class and it shows in it's handling. I bought my bike myself, don't stunt, and still think it's not a good bike. The power is mediocre and the handling is horrible. As for Kat's doing what they do well, yes, they cruise around offering a very stable ride. Other than that, they shouldn't be in the sport category. Just because you ride one doesn't make it the greatest thing in the world.

Discontinued in 2001???? That right there kinda shows that you're not sure what you're talking about. A friend of mine just bought an 05 model just a couple of months ago, and there's a 06 model out on the floor as well. They are a heavy bike, that's true, but they aren't even close to being "twice as heavy as comparable cc class" unless the bikes it's being compared to way about 230lbs, which they don't. A GSXR 600 weighs 350lbs..a Katana 600 weighs 452lbs..heavier yes, but nowhere near "twice as heavy". Also, there's plenty of pictures out there of people railing the hell out of a bike that you say handles like a boat.

http://katriders.com/forums/album_pic.php?pic_id=34

I never said they were the greatest thing in the world(I'd love to have an R1 or something). I'm just arguing that they aren't even close to being the worst, like you try and make them out to be.

tyesai
12-19-2005, 11:04
I rode a Kat and compared to alot of bikes it was buzzy and heavy. I have had lots of bikes from an EX500 to the 02 Black and Blue Hayabusa. My favorite bike I ever owned/rode was the SV650 in the naked version. It is inexpensive, handles like a dream, turns like no ones buisness with it being super light and nice big wide handlebars, has just the right combo of torque and power even for may fat butt, cheap to mod. You can find all sorts of cool carbon fiber bits and pieces, plus I had an M4 carbon fiber exhaust on mine, that thing sounded wicked without being overly loud. Look into one, I like the older models with the tubular frame instead of the more angled look they have now. Plus if you dump it you won't have to buy new plastic, plastic is expensive. Give it a thought.

XxMerlinxX
12-19-2005, 13:16
I don't have any personal experience on the SV, but I've heard those things are GREAT bikes period. I know lots of people who use those to enter the racing scene because they handle so damn well.

As for the Kat, when I went and rode one, the dealer told me that was the last year they made those. If I was wrong about when they were made *shrug* just bad info from a second party, I never had any dealings with that bike after that day. That still doesn't make it any sportier though. A picture of somebody who I assume (link doesn't work) has it leaned all the way over doesn't mean anything either. I could do that with a Vespa. Does Suzuki race the Katana in any sort of way? I haven't even looked but my guess would be a solid "no".

g_man500a
12-19-2005, 13:46
Originally posted by XxMerlinxX
I don't have any personal experience on the SV, but I've heard those things are GREAT bikes period. I know lots of people who use those to enter the racing scene because they handle so damn well.

As for the Kat, when I went and rode one, the dealer told me that was the last year they made those. If I was wrong about when they were made *shrug* just bad info from a second party, I never had any dealings with that bike after that day. That still doesn't make it any sportier though. A picture of somebody who I assume (link doesn't work) has it leaned all the way over doesn't mean anything either. I could do that with a Vespa. Does Suzuki race the Katana in any sort of way? I haven't even looked but my guess would be a solid "no".

I also agree about the SVs. I have heard many a great thing about them when I was searching for a bike. They didn't fit me well though.

I'm not trying to say in any way that the katana is a sporty beast of a bike. I know that todays sportbikes are superior to it. I had a problem with the whole "be glad you didn't get it" and "can-o-tuna" bull$hit. You're definately right about them not racing the Katana now..but supposedly they used to in the 80s(possibly into the 90s), the katana shares the same engine as the older GSXRs, just tuned to be a bit more rider friendly, cause technically they're sport-tourers with more emphasis being put on the sport part. I'm not even defending the bike just because I bought one. I spent 6 months prior to actually buying a bike researching them and what I needed out of a bike and I bought the Katana for a reason. It's not the best bike by far, but I think it has a bad rep from people talkin crap and that bugs me.

fnfalman
12-19-2005, 15:47
So what if the Katana isn't being raced or hasn't been raced in a while? Or not quite as sporty as a lot of bike? It still runs and the fact that it's been around this long is a testament to its design. The Kawi EX250 and EX500 (aka Ninja 250 and 500) have been around even longer with very little changes. They still make great first bikes or utility bikes.

Sometimes people get too caught up with the latest 'n greatest.

XxMerlinxX
12-20-2005, 00:58
Originally posted by g_man500a
You're definately right about them not racing the Katana now..but supposedly they used to in the 80s(possibly into the 90s), the katana shares the same engine as the older GSXRs, just tuned to be a bit more rider friendly, cause technically they're sport-tourers with more emphasis being put on the sport part.

That was the whole point of my post. Not to say that the Katana is a piece of junk, just that it simply is not a pure sport bike. It is not flickable and it cannot compete with other 600's and 750's in the sport class. That being said, it is a completely stable ride, a helluva lot more stable than my R6, and is a great starter bike. BUT... if he's looking for a sport bike to keep up with his friends or what not, then that is not the bike to get. Maybe I should've been clearer in my original post.;g

What's important is that we all ride on two wheels. ;c

BushyAR15
12-20-2005, 05:44
Several Comments....

Since the person asking is a new rider, the Katana is a GREAT starter bike. At this point in their riding career, they don't need razor sharp handling or crazy accleration of a modern 600. As a matter of fact, most people that do buy these bikes don't use them to even 75% of their capability, well except for maybe "straight line" racing which IMO is a total waste of these machines.

They also don't need the expense of replacing new expensive parts. There are plenty of parts for the Katana.

Also the Katana is plenty capable. Earlier models used a sleeved-down GSXR 750 engine. So, its no slouch.

Handling is a matter of proper set-up. If you ride off the showroom floor and expect the bike to feel right, you're wrong. When someone buys a new bike, I tell them, if you are going to spend money on that thing, spend it on suspension, but most of the time they'll spend it on a exhaust system cause they like the sound ;Q

Most people don't bother to even set the proper sag, let alone compression and rebound settings. Suspension isn't expensive either. Change the fork oil, new springs for the riders weight, and a rear spring usually makes a bike feel a billion times better. If it still doesn't turn fast enough for you, raise the forks in the triples....

You also don't need a brand spankin new ZX6RR, GSXR600, CBR600RR to keep up with friends. Last year when I raced my ZX6RR, there were guys out there on CBR600s, not the RR models that were faster than guys on brand new R6s and GSXR600s. Rider ability is probably the biggest factor in "keeping up with friends". If you are trying to do that by buying a bigger faster bike, you're asking for trouble....

One last comment regarding an above post, Engine Braking. Well sorry to say my friend, as a former RoadRacer, thats a big no-no. Engines are made for acceleration, brakes, well are for braking or slowing down. Its better to learn not to use the engine as a brake.

When I raced a TZ250, there was no engine braking on that engine, not to mention on those bikes if you closed the throttle, no fuel would get into the cylinders, the fuel was mixed with bean oil. You stood the chance of seizing the engine.