Katana 600 as a track bike? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Katana 600 as a track bike?

In a few years I'm kicking around the idea of using the '88 Katana 600, for a few beginner track days.

My logic is this:

It doesn't have a huge amount of power to get me into to much trouble to quick. It would be forgiving with any errors of throttle use.

It is quite comfortable, offering all day use.

Its not worth much coin, even on the street. If I balled it up, I wouldn't be out much, for the lesson learned.

Spare parts are obviously a problem. They changed the model slightly, starting in '89. I'm not sure which parts are interchangeable.

Could some of you share your feelings, and also point out some of the unlikely track bikes you've used?

Also point out any other considerations I may not be aware of.

Thanks for sharing.

Ken.


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 10:51 AM
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Sounds like a good idea to me. You might want to look around to see if proper tires are available for it.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 11:07 AM
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Tires will be a big problem. Even newer kats have problems finding tires. You'd probably be bored with it within a few track days, then you'd have to sell it. That bike, especially in track form, would be tough to sell. Since you already own it though, you can't beat the price. If you didn't already own the bike, I'd suggest passing. Look for Biggy's Hurricane race bike thread from a couple months ago for more reasons.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 11:21 AM
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Just remember this bike won the 600 Supersport title in 88. As for "proper tires", I've seen guys on street tires smoke guys on DOT race tires.

If ya wanna run it at a track day, why not? I would. But the downside is if you do break something, it may not be easy finding a part at the track.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 11:31 AM
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I've run a Katana on the track, they are a little heavy and ground clearance eventually becomes an issue. However outside of those two they are fine for the track. It will teach you the basic skills and get you started, as far as tires it would use the same tire size as an SV if I remember correctly so that isn't a problem. If you start leaning it pretty good pegs are quick to touch down, but drag smoothly, and lean it further you will literally drag bodywork. I had an 01' Katana 600 and used that for the track because it's what I had but it did just fine for my first year of track riding. I would do it, then if you get hooked and are doing better and running into the ground clearance issues, then look for a used SV. The first gen SV's 99-02 are now getting dirt cheap.

Oh and as far as balling it up... Good luck, you probably couldn't do a whole to those things, they are tanks, full framed so they hold up well in a crash don't ask me how I know.

My .02 would be go for it enjoy it, see where it goes but if it costs you nothing why not. Oh and if you want to see pictures of the 01 on the track let me know and I'll dig them up.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebothmen
Oh and as far as balling it up... Good luck, you probably couldn't do a whole to those things, they are tanks, full framed so they hold up well in a crash don't ask me how I know.

Didnt you ride yours back from the Kettle Morraine a few years ago when you dumpped it in the woods missing parts? Or was that another kat? I remember 2 kats on that ride.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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lovebothkats, thank for the excellent insight. I was hoping you would chime in on this thread.

Thanks everone thus far.

Yes I only plan on using this to get exposure to what trackdays are all about. I'd like to use this bike for a season or two, then pick up something in the off season.

Ken.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 12:06 PM
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A friend of mine had a 97 Kat and couldn't get SV tires to fit (he wanted to buy my take offs). I'd hit up KatanaPlanet or something for more information. The rims might not hold a 160 tire, they are really skinny rims.

When you get hooked you won't be using it much. And it won't take 2 seasons before you start looking, it will be about 2 sessions

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 12:09 PM
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 02:18 PM
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Also as far as parts I wouldn't worry they didn't change a whole lot over the years, and you could easily find common items like levers and such on ebay I'm sure.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebothkats
Also as far as parts I wouldn't worry they didn't change a whole lot over the years, and you could easily find common items like levers and such on ebay I'm sure.
One consideration I have to make is what to do with the suspension. The rear sags a lot as I settle in. The bike has about 26,000 miles on it. The front I'm kind of hoping to just freshen the oil.

Ken.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 02:36 PM
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Put fresh, considerably higher weight oil in the front. That MIGHT get you by for awhile. There isn't much you can do with the rear without spending some bucks. If you can find a heavier spring that might help the rear.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 04:52 PM
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I have two Katanas sitting in my shop right now. They are both running SV takeoffs. I had a local machine shop make some rearsets for one to increase clearance and to add solid footpegs. I have lots of spare parts if you need any. You may also want to talk to Bill Taborn, I believe that he rides a Katana on the track.
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