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First Street Bike - Several Screwups

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  • First Street Bike - Several Screwups

    **This is turning into a novel, I'll separate the parts so you can skip**

    My name is Gabriel and I'm out of Rockville, MD. I used to ride motocross back in Pennsylvania and I finally figured it time to buy a street bike.

    So, I've been saving for awhile to get a bike and I finally found one a few days ago. I hadn't saved a lot of money up but I found a bike that was a pretty good deal for what I want. My girlfriend's father used to own a bike shop and can take bikes apart and put them back together so I took him with me and he said the bike was a good find. It's a 1989 Suzuki Katana 600 (GSXF600 Right?) and it has about 21,000 miles on it. I paid $450 for it.

    So, on to the things that are wrong with it

    1. Bad Battery -- I've already purchased a new one and installed it in the is not a sealed battery as I'm low on funds at the moment...nor is it the correct battery for the bike however it is a snug fit with the appropriate polarities.

    2. Multiple cosmetic defects -- There are quite a couple cosmetic defects on the bike...too many to really list here. A couple include some rust on the chain guard and chain itself, a slightly cracked headlight, and some fairing scuffs and scratches.

    3. Owner lost the keys to the bike and replaced the ignition...but no the gas tank cap. Had to crack the lock so I need a new gas cap..

    4. The front part of the "frame"...where the instrument cluster, headlight, etc. is tweaked to the right. My girlfriend's dad told me that that's easily adjustable after taking off all the fairings.

    The bike has a hard time starting considering it's been sitting so long, but it starts and once it does it runs strong...the clutch feels like new and the transmission shifts smooth as butter.

    Alright, so I've screwed up quite a couple times so far. 1) I reversed the polarity while jumping the biggy -- I tripped the main circuit breaker and once reset it works fine.

    I am 6'0" or so and only weigh 130-150lbs. I can bench 150-180 but this bike is really heavy and pretty damn hard to move. I was trying to push it uphill to put it back in its parking spot and i slipped on an oil started leaning and I couldn't stop it...was very painful to watch...I slowed it down to a crawl but couldn't reverse the momentum to bring it back up. Results: Broken turn signal but I've already replaced it. Oh, and spilled gas all over myself.

    So I've got a pretty lengthy todo list. Once I move the bike to my house tomorrow (Monday) I'll get started on everything with the help of my girlfriend's father.

    1. Getting the bike to run solidly,
    a. I most likely need to clean the carbs.
    b. I need to clean/replace the spark plugs.

    2. Functional Crap
    a. New gas cap
    b. Fairing screws
    c. Get a complete tool kit for the bike

    3. Cosmetic Crap
    a. This section is a short one...the bike isn't in that bad a shape and I figure I'll just sell it as is next season. I paid a pretty small amount for the bike so I don't really see the purpose of investing in it. If I really like the way the Katana rides I'll keep it.

    So yeah, hopefully she'll be good to ride in a week or so. It has a Vance exhaust which sounds pretty damn nice. Keep in mind I bought the bike mainly because I wanted a bike I wouldn't be afraid to work on...something I could go in and learn all the mechanics of. I've been reading through the walkthroughs and while it doesn't sound all that difficult, it doesn't sound easy either.

    Any opinions/things to look out for?


    **EDIT** Pics:

    Last edited by Duo Maxwell; 05-19-2009, 01:13 AM.
    Ride on, CyberPoet. You will be sorely missed.

  • #2
    Good luck man!

    I too am in the same position as you, first real road bike. Ended up with a 'barn find' full of oil and dead bees nest and mice **** for a few hundered bucks and a running parts bike for the same. So I will be doing the strip down rebuild, creating one good bike out of two. Started last week and plan to take a year to do it, from paint to engine rebuild, all on my own. So I am damn sure I will have some stories of my own. Just take it one piece at a time. Peace out man!



    • #3
      Welcome to KR! Sounds like you found a nice project bike. You have come to the right place for any and all info regarding your Kat!
      Think safe, ride safe.


      • #4
        welcome to kr. between this site and your gf's dad you should find all of the info you need to get that baby rollin. once you get it running right you just may want to keep it for a while.


        • #5
          Welcome to the forum!
          =USAF= Retired

          "If you can be convinced of an absurdity, you can be made to commit an atrocity." -Voltaire


          • #6
            Welcome to KR
            THE DOC
            RIP MARC......Ride on in Heaven Brother!
            Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a
            mistake when you make it again.


            • #7

              someone had to say it.

              Welcome to forums!!
              2008 ZZR 600 (His)
              Frame Sliders

              2009 Ninja 250R (Hers)
              Solo Seat Cowl & Fender Eliminator


              • #8
                Alright, two horrible pics...I'll be back in about an hour with more...the bike isn't by me.

                Last edited by Duo Maxwell; 05-18-2009, 06:11 PM.
                Ride on, CyberPoet. You will be sorely missed.


                • #9
                  Welcome to KR!

                  Looks like a nice project bike for a decent price.

                  93 750 Kat

                  Modified Swingarm, 5.5 GSXR Rear with 180/55 and 520 Chain, 750 to 600 Tail conversion, more to come. Long Term Project build thread

                  "I've done this a thousand times before. What could possibly go wron.... Ooops!"


                  • #10
                    hello and welcome, good luck with the bike

                    If you love it, let it go. If it comes back to you, you've high-sided!


                    • #11
                      Welcome and good luck. And btw I have a 2002 GSX600F and it's heavy for ME (I'm 5'10" 200lbs, I bench 405 and leg press 1300 and STILL have a little struggle with the bike here and there) it just takes some getting used to
                      "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone." - Bill Cosby



                      • #12
                        Welcome to KatRiders

                        You will get your bike all fixed up and it will be a very rewarding feeling. Just take things one step at a time. It is a good looking bike
                        2007 Honda CBR600rr
                        2007 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14

                        visit the Twisted Assassins


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Si Speed 317 View Post
                          Welcome and good luck. And btw I have a 2002 GSX600F and it's heavy for ME (I'm 5'10" 200lbs, I bench 405 and leg press 1300 and STILL have a little struggle with the bike here and there) it just takes some getting used to
                          Leg press 1300?? Damn .. how much can you squat? Could use a fellow like you up at the camp ground for tight-space positioning of our 35' travel trailer .. only 900lbs on the tongue .. be a snap for you! LOL

                          Applogies for the thread jack ..

                          Yeah the Kats are heavy in the slow stuff, but once moving they're groovy.
                          2008 ZZR 600 (His)
                          Frame Sliders

                          2009 Ninja 250R (Hers)
                          Solo Seat Cowl & Fender Eliminator


                          • #14
                            welcome to kr!!


                            • #15
                              Welcome to KR.