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Good First Bike?

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  • Good First Bike?

    So i'm lookin at buying a motorcycle... I've looked at all sport bikes and decided insurance was absolutley outrageous for a 19 year old. but, I stumbled across the Katana,and the insurance is extremely affordable. I'm most likely goin to look at a 2000-2001, 600cc Kat. So my questions are:

    Is this a good beginner bike?

    I don't wanna do 180mph, but will I be able to outrun my dad's Yamaha Roadstar 1700?

    lastly, how comfortable is this bike on a fairly long ride?


  • #2
    The Kat is not a bad beginners bike. Do have any riding experience? If you don't I would recommend someing smaller and lighter like Ninja 250 or maybe a Suzuki GS500. You can refine your skills a lot easier with a lighter bike.


    • #3
      kat is a good begginer bike due to its forgiving nature. the front is not wheelie happy so u wont have to worry about flipping over if you happen to blip the throttle a bit more than expected. also, i'd get a pre-98 katana or you might want to consider a sv650/s but they're a bit more powerful. price and insurance should be about the same..i'm guessing. and YES you'll walk that roadstar and any other cruiser for that matter hahaha
      Hello World.


      • #4
        Get a Kat and you can have all your questions and concerns addressed on this site. There is a ton of knowledge here.


        • #5
          The kat is a -great- beginner bike. I started on one. It has more than enough power you will ever likely need in the near future (enough to outrun the Roadstar too). I find it very comfortable and am very satisified with my purchase.

          Go Vols! UT '05 Grad


          • #6
            Hi Josh...

            I just started learning to ride about two months ago. I'm starting on a 2000 Katana 600cc. So far I love it. I'm handling it well and it's very comfortable. BUT, everyone is different.

            If you have no riding experience, check into the MSF course. I start mine the 20th of June. Make sure you have gear. Helmet, protective jacket, gloves, boots...those sort of things.

            Sorry...I tend to ramble a bit. Good luck!

            I'm a whole lotta woman, but a whole lotta fun!


            • #7
              Kat 600 or the Suzuki GS500. Me and Ne-Oublie seen a guy on one yesterday, and you could tell he was just starting out. Looks like it would make a good starter bike.
              -89 Gixxer 1100 Engine
              -Stage 3 Jet Kit / KNN Pod Filters
              -Ohlins Susupension
              -Various Other Mods


              • #8
                The Katana isn't a bad starter bike, but the Suzuki GS500 or (GASP!) Kawasaki EX500 are IMO even better bikes to start on.
                1994 Kawasaki ZX6E


                • #9
                  i don't remember how much power my kat had, but i would think that 1700 would be pretty torquey and might pull on you for a bit. i don't think that you'll walk on him, like previously stated, but who knows, i'm not the editor of two wheel tuner either, so there you go. thats my .587 Yen
                  if its got 2 wheels or a skirt....i'll ride it.


                  • #10
                    I have a 92 Kat 600 for my first bike and have been doing fine on it. It's definately fast enough to be fun when you rev it out but is very easy to keep in the lower revs until your comfortable with the power. If this would be your first experience with a bike it'll feel realy fast especially compared to cars that most people drive. Heck it even makes my 96 Z28 feel a little sluggish. It's pretty comfy too, I've done 3 hour rides with no complaints. I took the MSF class before I did much riding and that helped imensely. I was so much more confident and relaxed on the bike after the class. Katanas are also a great bang for the buck buy. I got mine for $1200. It's in excellent shape, Full exhaust, came with a almost new Joe Rocket Phoenix Jacket, Clymer manual, Jet Kit and an aftermarket front sprocket. If you look around you should be able to find a deal just be patient. Good luck....Later
                    92 Katana 600, Full Jardine Exhaust.

                    Welcome to Florida, 11 Curves in 318 Miles


                    • #11
                      My 99 was my first real sport bike and I have had no major troubles. The comfort is hard to beat for something in the sport tourer class. I have had no trouble going 200+ miles in a day with minimal wear and tear on my body.


                      • #12
                        if your not some squid or young dumg and full of something.. then get a kat. I've had dirt bikes all my life and my kat was my first street bike. I dont plan on getting anything faster. Tho i am changing my sprockets to 15-53 to get more acceleration. Hopefully it wont make it wheelie happy , i doubt it though. It is up to you ultimateatly of course.
                        " The key to Immortality., is first living a life worth remembering." -St Augustine


                        • #13
                          NOTE: STANDARD REPOST

                          Standard advice:

                          As a newbie, my advice is to look at cheap used bikes in the 400 to 500cc range. Find a bike that fits your build well, where you can put both feet on the ground and lean the bike between your thighs left and right a bit. The bike should be cheap -- $1k - $2k price range (preferably something you can afford in cash), physically light and nimble, and not all that powerful. If you wreck it during your learning curve, you won't cry at the financial penalty of it, and if you don't wreck it, you'll be able to get out of it whatever it cost you in the first place... It'll also teach you better riding habits.

                          To quote myself:

                          Originally posted by The CyberPoet
                          the Ninja 250 & 500's, Bandit 400's, Suzuki GS500 are an ideal starter bikes... [Newbie "riders"] would learn far better habits on the smaller bike than on a typical Katana (for reasons I'm about to explain):

                          There are certain great advantages to starting out on a small, nimble, high-rev'ving bike with a low total cost. Among others, you will learn to use the handling and power with far more finess and far more skill than you would on a larger, more powerful bike like the Kat. To put that into terms that make sense to someone coming from the car world:

                          When Colin McRae, the world-champion WRC (world rally cup) driver first started to drive (age 12 - 14), he did so swiping his dad's 1972 Ford Fiesta/Escort with a miniscule 1.2 or 1.4 liter engine. It had power nothing -- manual steering, manual brakes, and high-rev'ing engine with little torque. This taught him everything from precise handling to carrying speed through corners, finess and control, matching shift-speeds and proper gear selection. If his father had owned a Cadillac Eldorado with a 501 cubic inch engine and automatic-power-everything, he would have never had the opportunity (or the need) to learn proper gear selection, finess in handling, traction and handling loss of traction, etc. -- the huge engine and huge car just never require it of the driver. In the same sense, a larger, heavier and more torque-rich bike never require you to learn certain fine nuances of riding... you can just punch out in whatever gear for a passing maneuver, you don't need to carry speed through corners, etc. And there's the crux -- if you learn these skills as habits with your first bike, they go with you for the rest of your life. On the other hand, if you don't learn them at the beginning, unlearning mediocre and poor habits and learning the better/advanced habits later is very difficult and something many never master...
                          Thus, for all the same reasons that McRae went on to be the winningest rally champ in history, I say to you, get the Ninja 250 or 500, or a bandit 400, a nighthawk 450, etc., and start there. By the time you move up in a year or three, you'll be riding circles around at least half the guys who started on a Katana, and doing so with great confidence.
                          Just my two cents worth.
                          =-= The CyberPoet
                          Remember The CyberPoet


                          • #14
                            I'll give another bump for the Suzuki GS500F. Just bought one for my wife to learn on and it is awsome! We call it the "mini-kitty." IMO you will have an easier time learning on the 500 as opposed to the 600 kat in just the shear weight difference. It also sits a little more upright w/ wider handlebars which give you a little more control and requires a little less effort when during turning and slow maneuvers. This is just something that's helpful when you're learning to ride a street bike. It's super forgiving, but can also leave the speedlimit way far behind in a hurry (tops out well over 100 mph).

                            I've had a blast riding this 500 around, it's just a fun bike to ride, and offers miles and miles of learning. Plus with the new body styling (as of '04), it's a pretty good looking bike as well (people sometimes mistaken it for a GSXR). Honestly I like it's looks, at least in the front, over my '03 Katana's. You can probably find one cheaper than a Katana, and (as we just found out) the insurance will be a heck of a lot cheaper b/c you won't be placed in that 600cc price bracket. Check out for more information on it.

                            I am in no way knocking the Katana as a good learning bike, however after getting the opportunity to ride both bikes, I would definately suggest the 500 over the kat to learn on and get a couple of seasons under your belt... if for no other reason than the shear weight difference. You'll find you will probably progress farther, faster. Do your research (price, insurance, stats, etc. ) and go with which ever one you feel the most drawn to. If you have any questions on the GS500, feel free to PM me!


                            • #15
                              Hey josh, beginners and seasoned riders alike do well w/ kats. They are great all around bikes. Very forgiving to the riders, easy to handle, they are alittle on the heavy side, but once u get used to it, they are very stable, and rock solid.

                              The gs500f would be my choice for a beginner bike besides the kat. Its more lightweight, a smaller engine, and still comfortable and easy to handle.