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Talk me into getting a Katana 600

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  • Talk me into getting a Katana 600

    Hi All,

    I've been hanging out at this site for a few days now and thought it was time to post. I'm new to motorcycles period. I have signed up for my msf and the earliest class is in July. I actually took the learners permit test here in MD this past Saturday and failed it by 1 question . I will try again Monday. I have been researching which bikes a beginner should get. I'm 5'7" and 200lbs. First of:
    I want to get a bike that I can learn from and then be able to grow into. I'm not a speed so I won't be doing anything crazy.
    This bike is for commuting and to save money on gas.
    I want to stick with sport bikes because at 25 years old, I find them appealling and when I'm older like 40 I can switch to cruisers.
    My price range is under 7k. My local bike shop has a ninja 500r for $4995 and the katana 600 for $6300. I like how the katana's look and I'm leaning more towards them than the ninjas because I'm less likely to outgrow the katana. I have already called my insurance agent and the cost is the same for either one.
    So folks let me know what you experienced riders think. If everything goes well I will be back to the bike shop and be ready to buy at the end of april or early may.

    katana 600
    ninja 500r

  • #2
    I think people will be a bit more biased around here about the Katana.

    I started off with a Katana, I am 5 8 and my feet are almost flat on the ground. I personally like the look of the Kat better.

    Cool mods to do to it.
    And cool people ride them
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    • #3
      If your not dead set on a new bike. You can probably pick up a barely used Kat for the ninja price.


      • #4
        Originally posted by KatanaTX
        If your not dead set on a new bike. You can probably pick up a barely used Kat for the ninja price.
        I want to get a brand new bike so I woulnd't have to deal with the headaches that might come with a used "vehicle". I'm a newb at bikes so I want one that will be trouble free. I really find the katana appealing so I'm basically looking for reasons not to go for it. I've heard they are comfy on long trips compared to other bikes.
        How is the gas mileage on your rides?


        • #5
          I would buy my Kat all over again. My 99 Kat 600 has been ultra reliable and never a second of worry outside of normal maintenance. Go for the Kat because it has better comfort and styling.


          • #6
            You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders, and going about things in the proper way. You're a similar size/build as me, and I have a 750 Kat that I wouldnt trade for the world. Well the world maybe, but

            You'd fine on a 600 kat IMO...just wear your gear, all the time, be smart and respectful of your bike, your abilities and those around you and you'll be fine.

            Good luck and be sure to let us know what you decide.


            • #7
              I agree. You would outgrow that ninja pretty quick at your size. I think you would be far happier with that Kat 600.
              -89 Gixxer 1100 Engine
              -Stage 3 Jet Kit / KNN Pod Filters
              -Ohlins Susupension
              -Various Other Mods


              • #8
                Re: Talk me into getting a Katana 600

                Like the others I'm Biased since I commute (during the riding season) on my Kat. She's comfy, good on gas, easy to work on and sporty enough to have fun on in the twisties and comfortable enough to ride all day on.

                Reguardless of which bike you buy, one of your first purchases should be the factory service manual. The bike may be new, but it's actually quite enjoyable to do alot of your own work, That and a lot cheaper.

                Something to remember when you budget for your bike, don't forget to add the cost of gear. While A helmet may be all you legally need. Most here would recommend getting at bare minimum a Helmet, gloves and Jacket. Then Pants and boots when Money allows. You can go leather or textile or a mix of both to get what works best for you.

                Originally posted by canzures
                I want to stick with sport bikes because at 25 years old, I find them appealling and when I'm older like 40 I can switch to cruisers.
                That's too funny, there's a guy on A.B.sportbikes, goes by Coleman, 64 years old and rides an RC51. MY MSF instructor in his 50s rode an R1. Don't give up sportbikes just beacuse you get older .


                • #9
                  Ok this IS a Katana site but.....
                  How about, neither......Suzuki SV650s!
                  Awesome bike! Awesome price! Awesome ride!


                  • #10
                    Re: Talk me into getting a Katana 600

                    Originally posted by canzures
                    I want to get a bike that I can learn from and then be able to grow into...This bike is for commuting and to save money on gas.
                    I want to stick with sport bikes because at 25 years old, I find them appealling and when I'm older like 40 I can switch to cruisers...I'm less likely to outgrow the katana.
                    I am an experienced rider, but not with the Katana. I just got my new 2004 Katana (hey, you might get an even better deal on an unsold 2004 model) a few days ago, and haven't driven it yet. I'm waiting for a little warmer weather, and for a rain to wash the salt from the roads.

                    The larger of my two other bikes is a 1981 Yamaha XS 400, which is a standard bike in the classic 1950's British style. My XS 400 weighs 389 pounds dry. The Katana at 458 lbs is just 69 lbs more. But the Kat is a lot more difficult to push around in the garage, or to put on the center stand or take off the stand. The Kat is long and high, and with a full 5 gallon tank, there is a lot of weight located high on the bike. And with narrow handle bars, I really notice that I have less leverage to manuver the bike in the garage (engine off). I am 54 years old and stand 5'6" and weight about 160. I'm just not used to working that hard. Of course the proof of the bike is when its driven down the road under power.

                    The degree of steering turn seems quite small on the Kat. I'm sure I could turn a much smaller slow speed circle on my XS, not to mention my 175 cc dual purpose bike which could probably turn a circle in diameter less than twice its length without spinning the rear tire.

                    You say the bike is for commuting and to save money on gas. But also that you are 25 and love the Kat's looks. Be honest with yourself. If you are going to commute in a city in stop and go traffic, I can't see how the Kat will be comfortable. Its comfortable for touring at high speed when the wind lifts you a little off the gas tank so your hands don't have to support your entire upper body. I took a 20 minute ride on a sport tourer Yamaha 600 last year, and my hands were sore from supporting my weight holding onto those skinny handgrips at 40 to 50 mph.

                    In my case I bought the 600 Kat because I feel that I am still young enough to enjoy a sportbike. Practicality means little for me, just owning and looking at the bike is a reward. I am willing to work harder with the Kat, if I have to, and put up with discomforts if I find them. I think you are willing to put up with the discomforts as well.

                    If it really was a comfortable practicle economical commuter bike that you wanted, the Kat couldn't be the one. There's plenty of smaller, lighter, bikes with upright riding positions that you could get.

                    Oh, I learned today from this site that you really can't do a wheelie with a Kat. It's too heavy and long, and the engine won't get the oil it needs if a wheelie went on for very long. I was a little disappointed to learn this, but I never got good at wheelies even with my 175, so it was never a realistic goal anyway.

                    Let us know how you like the Kat. Keep us updated.


                    • #11
                      i'm the same size as you...5'7", around 200lbs..maybe a couple more. well, i bought my first bike last year and went with the 600 Kat. I love it. great starter bike IMHO. enough speed to keep me content, and handles well from what i've heard...i still take truns slower than most. it's comfy on the freeway and not to bad around town. that's just my 2 cents. good luck. you may be able to find a left over 2004 pretty cheap. i know we have a left over 2004 Blue one up here.

                      I have nothing to say, I have no opinion. That's what I learned from 9 1/2 years of marriage.
                      Thanks to all who are serving in our GREAT ARMED FORCES from an old Navy Squid


                      • #12
                        hands down, the kat. i have friend who has the ninja 500. the kat is a better bike all the way around. and on the kat, you won't get bored with riding it after a couple of weeks.
                        if its got 2 wheels or a skirt....i'll ride it.


                        • #13
                          Yes, make sure that you buy a BLUE one, they are the fastest. Check the statistics, they come that way from the factory.
                          2000 Kat 600
                          "Fast Blue"
                          Pic in Profile


                          • #14
                            I think the post should be renamed "Talk me out of buying a 600 Katana"...but then of course noone would post in it. There are no real reasons not to buy a Katana ov3r a Ninja.


                            • #15
                              well as said above that the kat wouldn't be a good commuter comfort wise. third ride EVER on the beast, i thought i'd take it to school. now for most this would be a short ride. i live an hour and 20 minutes from school. being a new rider i left myself some extra time to stop and take a break. to tell you the truth, 214 km later i didn't stop once on the way to school or on the way home. i'm a new rider like yourself, 21, been out a couple times and already put up 250km. it's a comfortable, easy riding bike with the power you need but not to much. good luck and the kat will be a good choice