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Picked up a '99 Katana, have some questions

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  • Picked up a '99 Katana, have some questions

    Got a super clean 1999 Katana 600 with just over 14k miles. The previous owner said this bike was transported from out of state (Rhode Island) so I doubt it's a California model. This bike was stored for a long time, probably 2+ years, so the carburetors are in poor shape and need to be rebuilt (all rubber parts/gaskets replaced, maybe jets too?) and cleaned out. They leak gas from around the float bowl gaskets. When I put some gas in the tank, the fuel valve leaks as well....not sure if I should order a whole new petcock from Suzuki, or if I can just get a "rebuild kit" /replace the gasket(s)?
    I saw lots of different carb rebuild kits for this bike on Ebay/Amazon, but not sure if I want to go the cheap "Chinese part" route here. Am I better off getting a quality rebuild kit from a known brand, such as the "All Balls Racing" kit?

    I was able to get the bike running pretty easily with starter spray, and some gas in the tank. It was able to idle on its own for 2-3 minutes, and will rev some times but then dies.
    The front brake was nearly locked up when I picked up the bike, it sat for that long. I'm assuming it needs new caliper piston seals, the calipers cleaned out, and new brake lines.... What's the cheapest route for the brake lines - OEM Suzuki or aftermarket (steel braided)?

    I have never owned or worked on a Katana before, this is just another budget fixer-upper for me. So is there anything else I should check/replace/modify on this bike while I'm restoring it - any possible issues/bugs '99 Katana's are known to have?
    I will replace spark plugs and probably tires. Here are a few things I found so far: Gas tank is perfect, no rust. Oil filter looks brand new, oil looks fresh in sight window. Lower front of motor/oil pan has oil residue, but its not dripping, looks more like sludge/road grime that's been there a while. Not sure if these bikes are known to have any oil leaks?

  • #2
    For the carbs I would recommend the K&L rebuild kits, there are rebuild kits for the petcock and they are simple to rebuild. I would recommend replacing the fuel lines and filter and checking the chain and sprocket.

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    • #3
      I'm doing all the things you are needing to do. If you want to do the low dollar way, follow me. For the high end parts you'll spend hundreds......
      Petcock rebuild kit from ebay (Taiwan) for around $12. Installed that and works fine.
      Next is 4 carb repair kit from a different ebay Taiwan seller for $19.77. Waiting for that......

      As for the brakes, I also had the same problem as you. Maybe the same fix will work for you.
      Changing the old fluid is a good idea if it looks dark and dirty. Take apart the sticking caliper and check it thoroughly. They are prone to corrosion behind the piston seal - when that happens it will cause the seal to stick to the piston. To solve the problem I had to remove the pistons and seals, then carefully clean out the groove that the seal fits into. There was noticeable corrosion that had to be scraped out. The seal itself was OK, and so I cleaned and reinstalled all the other parts.
      Now it's many years later and it's still OK. I don't drive in the rain so the problem didn't return.

      good luck!


      • #4
        Thanks for the info. The fuel lines are definitely getting replaced, I have a bunch of high quality fuel injector hose (5/16"?) I got for an external fuel filter mod on the SV650S I used to own, hopefully that works.
        I got the part numbers for the kits from K&L and their economy carb rebuild kit is $20-30 (x 4). But looking around on Amazon I found this:

        It's a knockoff of the K&L kit, it says it replaces their part number (18-5061), a 4 pack for $26. Do you guys think this one would be worth while, saving over $50? Or could it be "too cheap" and not worth the risk?


        • #5
          I'd be willing to bet that the parts are all made in some Asian country regardless of who puts their name on the package. They could even be made in the same factory.
          So if it makes you feel better, spend more. For an old bike OEM parts are ridiculously expensive so it's worth taking a chance on the alternatives.