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Discussion Starter #1
what would it be?

I'm contemplating getting a 600 rocket and I was wondering if there were any thoughts as to makes and models. I personally would like to keep the cap around 2 grand, but for the purposes of this discussion, that doesn't have to limit your comments.

what do you all think?
 

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an older 600 will get you right where you're lookin to spend, and be a good machine in performance terms. personally, I've got an F2 CBR 600, its a comfortable mix of sport, a dash of touring, and a lot of fun.
 

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bobthebiker said:
an older 600 will get you right where you're lookin to spend, and be a good machine in performance terms. personally, I've got an F2 CBR 600, its a comfortable mix of sport, a dash of touring, and a lot of fun.
Do a search for a bunch of motorcycle comparison tests, but keep in mind the subtle (or not) preferences some may have for a particular brand. When magazines accept advertisement from manufacturers it's part of the business, but it calls to question total objectivity.

You'll need to sort through the following sites, but they are some that I bookmarked when researching possible bikes for my needs. Judge for yourself. Comments by others welcome. Bart

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/BikeTest_Control.aspx
http://motorcycles.about.com/cs/roadtestsreviews/a/testindx.htm
http://www10.epinions.com/auto-Motorcycles-Kawasaki_KawasakiSportt-Ninja_500R
http://www.epinions.com/content_143556054660
http://www.forbes.com/bow/b2c/category.jhtml?id=268
http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/performancedata/
http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/buyersguide/Kawasaki-EX500-GPZ500S-Ninja500R-ZZ-R500.htm
http://www.motorcycle.com/mo/manufac.motml
 

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Yamaha YZF600R (thundercat) is a great bike, in my opinion. Mind you, I've only ridden my EX and a yzf600, and when looking for a next bike I limited myself to 100bhp. It's a relatively upright seating position, and even though it's leaned forward more than my EX, I find it more comfortable. There haven't been any design changes since 1997, so there are several years of them out there that will be for sale. It is heavier than the EX, by about 40 lbs, and gas mileage is close, but not quite as good. It also has no center stand, like the EX, so a rear stand will come in handy.

One things people comment on is that the clutch has a small friction zone. I have noticed there to be a smaller friction zone than the EX, but only when I've ridden one right after the other and try to notice. So if hadn't read people complaining about it, I never would've known. Something to look at if you see one used, is shifting into second. Although I've not experienced it first hand (my bike is only a month old), apparently some people end up with trouble upshifting into second and end up repairing/replacing transmission bits. Most of the posts about this, I've noticed, are from folks who also replace sprockets for better wheelies, so since I'm the only rider of my yzf I'm not concerned about it.

There's a tonne of info available about them over at http://www.yzf600r.com/, and a pretty good community in the forums there.
 

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Knightslugger said:
Art1989 said:
I'm a Suzuki kind of guy, you can't go wrong with any of the GSXR 600s
haha, yeah you can... it's a seriously twitchy bike that SHOULD have come with a damper from the factory.
So your talking the pre 2001 bikes I guess, pretty broad statement, IMO you'll reach the limits of the EX500 long before the head ever shakes on any GSXR 600, but I could be wrong. Maybe someone moving up from an EX500 should try something less intimidating like the Kawasaki's new 650 or a Suzuki SV650, both great bikes IMO. I really don't know what your trying to say our than slamming all GSXR 600's which is ok, I haven't ridden every year model ever made, I have ridden 8 or 10 though and had no problems. To be fair most of my seat time was drag racing them, not pounding the curves like I'm sure you do on your EX, when I was in Germany in 1999-2002 we use to go Hockenheim ring on Wednesday open track day and ride the track, at that time I was running a slightly modded ZRX1100 and dragging knee and sometimes hard metal parts like the kick stand, it wasn't the fastest or best handing but it manage to embarrass a few sport bikes guys very once in a while, now for the life of me I don't remember any of the 4 or 5 guys riding the GSXR's complaining about head shake, but I suppose guys like you pushing the bikes to their limits may have a problem, but for an average guy like me that problem doesn't seem to manifest itself very often, so I'd say an older GSXR 600 or any older 600 would be fair and economical choice wouldn't recomend anything made within the last few years as a first bike, but if your moving up why not. Thanks Art
 

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if I were to reccommend a different bike...

I'd just be sure that it said "Honda" on the tank.

FOG
 

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Art1989 said:
Knightslugger said:
Art1989 said:
I'm a Suzuki kind of guy, you can't go wrong with any of the GSXR 600s
haha, yeah you can... it's a seriously twitchy bike that SHOULD have come with a damper from the factory.
So your talking the pre 2001 bikes I guess
actually, i was referring to the GSX-R600 in recent history. I'm no hater though.
 

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If you want a better bike, better save up some money first.

Why not keep your 500 for a few more months untill you can afford something nice like a Honda 599, or an RR if that's your bag.

If you don't, you'll be in the same boat by the end of the next season, wishing you had a better bike.
 
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I'm eyeing down the ZX6R for my next bike, but in the 3+ years it'll likely be before I can afford that, my style may have changed.
 

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For the $$$ you're looking at maybe an older VFR would do. It may not exactly classify as a rocket (it is fast though) and it's bigger than a 600 but it does almost everything well. Sometimes I wish I still had mine ('92) and there's not a negative comment on it I could make except that maybe the oil light was hard to see.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I found a guy with a 95 katana for $1900. 12,000 miles, needs a little work. anybody have any thoughts about this specific bike?

thanks for all the input so far guys.
 

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Kind of an EX by Suzuki, That is a bike made up of old GSXR tech.
FOG
 

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old tech is right....all katanas are air/oil cooled. also add to that their quite heavy and seem to be more set up for a ST type of bike. if you want a more sports bike, i suggest either the old zxr6 (todays zzr600)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
so is it the general consensus that I'd be bored with the katana after one riding season? After all of my motorcycle experiences, I told myself I would never buy another carbureted bike, but I would like something with more power and am rather low in the funds department. If it were practical I'd just go buy a cbr from the dealer. But that just isn't going to happen. I've had two of my buddies say they'd give me $1400 for my 500, which is what I paid for it a year ago. I have an 82 440 ltd that I think I can sell for $500 as well. So I'm looking to spend as close to, and if at all possible, below 2 grand.
If everybody seems to agree that the katana isn't quite the right bike for me, then I have no problem passing it up based on that alone. I've got all kinds of time, its November and I'm in Wisconsin.
So thus far for contenders people seem to suggest the most in this thread is something from Honda, followed by either a zx6r or zzr600, and some debate with a Suzuki product. any other comments from the group here?
 

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The Katana will be more powerful than the EX, and i don't think you'll get bored of it too soon, but it's not nearly powerful as a CBR600RR. A used CBR600RR in the 03-04 range is right around 4-5000 bucks, depending on condition. check some of the CBR boards and toss up a WTB. see what people offer! same goes for the ZX! take a peak around the classifieds of those boards, find someone with a bike for sale in your area! don't be afraid to travel! bring some cash with you so you can give him an offer on the spot! he might bite for 500 less! maybe 1000's less! YOU NEVER KNOW!!
 

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I'm a Suzuki guy but not the Katana they are overweight and under powered the 600 having around 70hp and 36 to 38 ft lbs of torque with a wet weight of over 500 lbs, they weight more than a Hayabusa, they share very little in common with the old GSXRs namely a denutted an air-oil cool (engine good motor should last forever) Katana's are pigs I jetted one a couple years back and could not believe how fat and under powered it felt, if you thinking of a Katana just keep the 500 there is not that much difference power to weight and the 500 handles better, and is more fun to ride! Katana's are pigs IMO.
 

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Why no carbs? Personally, I'm of the mind that simple is better. If you're getting a brand new bike, it doesn't matter if it's running carbs or FI, it's going to be more or less reliable - so long as you're the type that puts on a few miles for a few years and then turns around and sells it.

If you keep a bike for 20 years, or you go to buy an older bike, or you just like to rack the mileage up quickly, (I'm a 20,000 miles/year type guy) then in all honesty, I must say simplicity is what sells me. The more sensors on a bike, the higher the chance of it being impossible to diagnose. I've had so many problems with fuel injected cars over the years - and not even old cars - that I just hate FI. Carbs are simple.

When a carbureated bike is having problems starting or running, the problem is always timed spark, fuel, or air. Always. Air is easy. Fuel is easy - just clean the carbs. Timed spark is easy - check if it has spark or not. If not, it's either coils or pickups/points/advancer mechanism or ignition module. All of which are easy to check.

Now you go and start adding throttle position sensors, mass airflow sensors, temperature sensors, knock sensors, computer controlled ignition curves, o2 sensors, and all the associated bullcrap, you're adding a whole lot of complexity and weight, and just asking for failure a few years down the road.

No, I'll stick with carbs, thank you.

Charles.
 
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