What do you guys think about me starting on this? - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 177
What do you guys think about me starting on this?

I found a 1989 Suzuki Katana (Not sure of CC's, probably 600) for considerably less than what I was thinking I would spend on a beginners bike.

I know that im new and i should take it easy, wear all my gear, and control my actions in everyway possible. Having said that do you think that the 1989 katana would be alright?

Just a little getting used to and then im all set? Of course a lot of parking lot practice to be safe, and no speeding.

I really want to have a bike for a few years, and getting a ninja 250 im told that after i reach 6th gear im going to want a bigger bike. I dont have the money to do that. (as you can see thats why Im interested in this older deal)

My dad's buddy builds and repairs bikes for a side job and he will handle anything mechanically wrong with the bike so dont let that screw up you comment on the ole' 89 .
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 08:21 PM
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I had a Katana 600 as my second bike.

On a positive side, it's not going to power wheelie on you, but it's plenty fast enough to get you in trouble. I still managed to spin the rear tire pulling on the road once(was either cold, or hit some oil I didn't see). It'll hit 0-60 in about 4 seconds flat, which is slow compared to a modern 600, but still exotic car fast. And it's a pretty damn comfortable bike.

Negative side, which may be tough to get used to as a first bike, is it's a pretty heavy sportbike. Slow maneuvers can be tricky if you're just starting out. At least it's an older bike where you probably won't mind so much dumping it.

So it's not that bad for a first bike. If you have to go 600cc, it's what a lot of people would recommend, which is go for an older model like the Katana(not as powerful and sensitive as the newer model supersports). However you still may become a better rider faster on a smaller lighter bike you can really flick around...such as the Ninja 500, Suzuki GS500(if you really don't want a 250).

Just remember the whole "don't want to spend the money starting small then selling" is a weak excuse. You can almost always resell a used beginner's bike for what you pay for it(or close). Just want to point that out.

Have you ridden a motorcyle at all??? You may want to take the MSF first if you've never ridden, just to see how you feel on a motorycle. If you feel confident right away and do well, excellent. If you're very shaky, than you may want to consider a lighter bike.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2005
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ive had a lot of experience on dirt bikes. but the dirt world and the street world are two very different things.

Its funny cause I jumped right into dirtbiking at the age of 13 with a brand new racing KX85. That was difficult at first, but I got the hang of it after a short time.

I am conserned a little about the weight. But what ive found that when it comes to bikes and weight it doesnt really matter to me. (Im a freeride/downhill racing mountain biker. Picking out a extremely heavy bike to pedal around proved good for me, built up some good muscels. Its completely different in acually weight but Im sure you know what I mean.)

a lot of very carefull parking lot practice should be good for me before I decide to get out with the everyday cagers on the way to work or school.

Thanks a lot for filling me in on the bike. tomorrow I hope to go see it.

PS: I dont want to be one of those people that comes to a forum and asks a question and will argue if he doesnt get the answer he wanted so ill just sit back and soak it in.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 08:51 PM
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No problem

I'm sure if you take it easy you'll be ok. And I'm not telling you not to go with the Katana. Just as someone who's owned both a Ninja 250, and the Katana 600, I wanted to point out what the main advantages would be of starting on a lighter bike....more forgiving, easier to handle in slow maneuvers, easy resale, ect.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 10:24 PM
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That is a solid bike and will probably not give you many problems if it has been treated well by previous owners. I think you can use that as a good starter bike, and make it last quite a long time, the bike may even grow on you.


"...If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters the same....you'll be a Man, my Son!"

- Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-14-2005, 06:19 AM
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It sounds like a perfect first bike. Its used, cheap, and doesnt have the agressive geometry of race reps. Good luck!

Dont forget your gear

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-14-2005, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 177
thanks for the advice guys!

Of course Im going to get my gear immediately before I ride the bike. I already have a leather racing jacket from my dads friend and the proper pants and gloves. just gota get a nice helmet and off to the parking lot!

I called the guy and his mom said hes selling the bike to pay off fines not related to the bike. The bike has a lot of miles on it but ive got a expert family friend/bike mechanic by my side to help me with anything I need, hes also a dealer so part prices wont kill me if needed.

ill keep you posted and look forward to contributing to this board!
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-15-2005, 01:28 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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This 88 is my first street bike and i couldn't be happier. Turned out to be a great place to start. Little heavier but so am I so we work well together.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-15-2005, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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whats the diff. between a katana 600 and a zx-6?
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-15-2005, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Virtually everything.
Steel trellis frame vs Aluminum extruded one
Rake, wheelbase, trail
Suspension (upside down vs conventional forks)
Suspension adjustments
Motor state of tune (Wide power band with a mild peak, vs High peak with a narrow band)

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