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Should I buy it?

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by Cochese, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

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    1996 Katana GSX-600
    $1500.

    New tires and battery. 15k miles. "ready to ride".

    I need something to ride to work 7 miles one-way because gas is killing me in my truck. It would be my second motorcycle. I used to have a 1995 Kawi Ninja EX500R a few years ago. I'm not looking for some ridiculous sportbike to kill myself on. I'm 6'3 200lbs. It's going to be a commuter/weekend errand mobile.
    Not getting it to impress chicks. Don't care what the guy on the GSXR-1000 with the backwards upside down visor and flip flops thinks about me riding a Katana.
    I understand the Katanas sit you upright slightly more than a sportbike and that these are considered sport/tour bikes.

    Opinions?
    I miss having a bike and would love to save $$$ on gas.

    Questions:
    What kind of MPG can I expect?
    What kind of maintenance $$$ can I expect? (brakes/tuneups/etc)
    Are Katanas semi reliable?
    What are my insurance options in Texas?

    Thanks in advance.
    Now I need to find $1500. Don't really wanna put it on a credit card.

    It's 30 miles away so I'm gonna try and go take a look at it on Friday.
     
  2. epsylum

    epsylum Boolit Hoze

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    looks like it's been wrecked, so there is possible abuse. Katana 6s are everywhere so no need to jump on one right away. I would try to find one that at least wasn't obviously dumped.
     

  3. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    I would also look for a used SV650 as well. The SV650 also sits upright (as opposed to the SV650S with the sportier riding position). Why the SV and not the Katana? The SV is lighter and easier to handle on a commute. And there's the Honda Bandit and other similar types of vehicle. They are honest street bikes and don't have the racer-wannabe fairings look like the Katana. You might even get a better insurance rate due to the fact that it's not a faired sport bike.

    But as far as the Katana goes, it's a tried-and-trued vehicle like the EX250 and EX500 (aka Ninja 250 and Ninja 500).

    This particular Katana just doesn't seem to be in good shape for a vehicle that only has 15K miles on.
     
  4. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

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    Holy crap, your right. I just looked up the NADA thinking it would be 2500-3000! Ha! $1500 low retail.

    Thanks for the heads up! I didn't notice the fairing damage until you mentioned it...
     
  5. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

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    Good info. Thanks a ton.

    Here is what I want:

    -Lots better gas mileage than my 2004 Ranger 4.0 4x4
    -a sportbikish appearance (don't want a cruiser)
    -a non uber aggressive seating position (like the katana)
    -$1000-$2000 (1500 would be nice)
    -liability and collision only. No comprehensive as I think
    that'll save $

    I was thinking Katana, but it doesn't have to be. I'm not partial to any one manufacturer. I don't mind semi naked bikes like the sv650. I had an EX500 Ninja and want something a tad larger... (I'm 6'3/200 lbs)
     
  6. epsylum

    epsylum Boolit Hoze

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    You just made every Suzuki guy on here cringe. ;)
     
  7. epsylum

    epsylum Boolit Hoze

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    In your price range it'll be tough to find one that doesn't need some kind of work. Not saying it's impossible. Katana 6's can be had around that price, but usually owned by other or whole strings of beginners, and you know what mistakes beginners make (we were all there at some point). You could look for older CBR 600 F2's or even 600 Hurricanes. Older FZR 600's. If not then you may have to dive into the 80's bikes to find a decent one at that price. I know I did. I have an 84 Kawasaki GPz 1100, I originally bought it from a dealer about 7 or 8 years ago for $2000. Then sold it to my dad, then bought it back.
     
  8. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

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    Other than the fact that this one has been laid down, is there anything about Katanas that's bad?
     
  9. epsylum

    epsylum Boolit Hoze

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    For your use, no.

    The main complaint with them is that they are slow (again not an issue with you). They were far from high tech when they were introduced back in the late 80's and all they have done is put snazzier (uglier) plastic on the late 90's and up models.

    Now that being said it will still outrun most cars on the road, but in the bike world, that's not hard.

    Another thing that I sort of touched on earlier is, a lot of people like to get them as a first bike. So, buying one used is a crap shoot. People's first bikes are thier learning bikes, so bike could be wrecked, dropped, not maintained, and even worse improperly maintained (you have to go find and reverse someone else's screw ups).

    About the wrecked bike thing. The mis matched flat black plastic and repainted gas tank was a dead give away. Judging from the gas tank paint job, it was probably done before the wreck. It looks like the usual crappy "solid color and chrome badging put on wrong" paintjob that I see all the time around town. Let's just say I wouldn't trust the people who have these kinds of paint jobs to give me the right month if I asked for it. Some people like to try and bring bikes back that should have been totaled. So you have to look out for things like a bent frame. If the bike rides funny or pulls wierd, good chance an alignment ain't gunna fix that.

    I am just warning you since in that price range you can very eaily wind up with a $1500 pile of worthless crap just as easily as a good working bike. If you know anyone that knows something about bikes (a bike mechanic would be best), I would have them give whatever you are looking at a once over just to make sure.

    Good luck.
     
  10. VWglocker

    VWglocker

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    you drive 7 miles each way to work. you might get 45mpg on the bike. you probably get what, 18-20mpg on the ranger. how long is it going to take you to make up the $1500?

    ps. don't forget to add in oil changes, insurance, etc.
     
  11. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    It's going to be his weekend errand mobile as well, so the mileage probably will rack up real soon.

    Glocktastic, you're a tall fellow so the Katana's relatively heavy weight wouldn't be a problem for you since that you can easily flatfoot both feet on that thing.

    When you get into the $1500 range, there really isn't a lot available that are in excellent shape, so shop wisely.
     
  12. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

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    I'm not the poorest bastard on earth, but working as a police officer in texas for the state isn't a big cash cow.
    On top of that, I'm getting married in Oct of 2006.

    My Ranger (16mpg) is a lease vehicle. I got it in March of 2004 brand new for about 17000. It's a 22,300 truck brand new. I worked at the dealership a few years ago and they D planned it to me, so I have some equity in it. What I'd like to do is sell it before the lease is up and use the equity to get a nicer motorcycle, or a cheap car and a 1500-2000 bike.

    First I have to find someone that wants a 2004 Ranger XLT 4.0 4x4!

    ;g


    Thanks for all of the good ionfo so far, all.
     
  13. VWglocker

    VWglocker

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    i'm not saying don't do it, just make sure you do your math. just quick figuring it looks like you'll have to ride the bike 11,000 miles before you recoup the $1500. thats the break even point (just in fuel costs). my 2 cents.
     
  14. epsylum

    epsylum Boolit Hoze

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    But, your formula doesn't factor in 2-wheeled fun.

    ;f
     
  15. phxtravis

    phxtravis Professional

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    I must agree about the SV650, not only does it look better but it also *should* get better mileage.
     
  16. Fast Glass

    Fast Glass

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    I sold my '93 750 Kat back in June for $2K. Kats are nice bikes for cruising/commuting. I got high 30s for gas mileage for mine. That was with a V&H full system, jetted, sprockets, and ignition advance. Only downside was the weight of the bike. Insurance is cheap because they are considered a sport tourer.
    That one looks like it was abused. Just a quick glance looks like the lower chin fairing is missing, case cover looks ground down, reset for the trip meter is gone, and the passenger grab bar is missing. Plus what has been stated about the fairings/tank. $1500 looks a bit steep to me.

    The SVs are nice, but hard to find one in the price range you have. Best bet would be to look on cycletrader.com for your area. Probably find more Kats, or CBRs in better condition.
     
  17. Jtemple

    Jtemple Geek

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    I vote for the SV650. Mine gets 50 mpg. I bought a new one a couple months ago; I couldn't find one used. It seems like everyone is hanging onto them.
     
  18. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

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    Heh..

    I've decided that I don't need that $1500 Kat.
    I've decided I need a SV650! I'd like to find a decent 1999. The search is on!

    50 mpg=;f
     
  19. epsylum

    epsylum Boolit Hoze

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    A wise decision my friend.
     
  20. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

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    Sometimes a wiseass like myself needs to just be wise ;)

    I need to find someone to buy my truck for 1200 under book value and I can buy one cash...

    FYI, I found two 'busas for $3500 and $3000!

    They are on Cycletrader.com if anyone is interested. I think they are 1999 and 2000.