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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any riding experience on both the 500 Kawasaki and the 600 Katana? I'm shopping for a 500 right now but every other bike I've owned with the exception of my race bike and the katana was an older model Japanese bike. I've owned several old CB750 and CB900 bikes. I have an old CB500 that was my first bike and I'll never give it up.

The point is that I've not really had a lot of experience with sport bikes on the road other than the Katana. I didn't really care for it, I thought it was heavy and a bit of a pig at slow speed. I was wondering how the two compare. I know that the Kawasaki is a lot lighter than the katana but it also has less power.

Thoughts?
 

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Rode my bro's brand new '07 600cc Kan'a'tuna last week.....comfy on long rides but slow and heavy as you said, very narrow power band compared to a twin, seemed to have nothing below 6-7, and the EX feels more flic'able due to smaller size, less weight....plus the K is AIR/OIL COOLED!! (ie, no radiator)
 

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Like a fatboy that can benchpress 200 versus the skinny kid that can run really fast. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
wolf66 said:
Rode my bro's brand new '07 600cc Kan'a'tuna last week.....comfy on long rides but slow and heavy as you said, very narrow power band compared to a twin, seemed to have nothing below 6-7, and the EX feels more flic'able due to smaller size, less weight....plus the K is AIR/OIL COOLED!! (ie, no radiator)
Any difference between acceleration or does the weight difference make up for the greater power of the suzuki?
 

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The Katana will be faster, as it has 2 more cylinders and 100 more cc's. It is a great bike for beginners and I put 20K on mine before I bought an SV650S. The Katana was a great bike, my wife's Ninja is a great bike as well. She prefers the Ninja to the Katana, as it is lighter, easier to maneuver, less expensive, cheaper insurance, as bulletprool as the Katana. Both have a nice upright seating position, comfortable seat, basic components (nothing hi-tec with these bikes), maintenance will be less expensive on the Ninja, both have been around for a long time....
Either bike will be a good choice.
 

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I've ridden an older katana 600. I think it was a late 90's. I'm not really sure if they ever get updated though. I own a 2nd gen ex500. The katana is a bigger and heavier bike. It wasn't slow but the 500 feels to me to be quicker in your lower gears. I like it's powerband more as well. The katana has a higher top speed. According to most things i've read the katana will beat it in a 1/4 mile and top speed. I still would take the 500 over it any day. What's funny is my next bike will only be 400cc's and 33hp or so. That is until I decide to modify the hell out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So what is this next bike that is only 400cc and 33 HP.

When I lived in Phoenix I had an ancient Kawasaki kz400 that I rode everywhere. I paid $200 for it from a friend who needed the money then spent a few more dollars making it run right. The seat was cracked so I made a new cover from an old denim jacket, it wasn't pretty but I loved that bike.

I'm sure I looked silly on it since I'm 6' 6" but it got great mileage and was super light, kind of like riding a dirt bike on the street. Silly looking or not I had several offers from people I would run into on the street to buy that bike but I would never have sold it so of course, some one stole it instead.

That is actually what made me decide I wanted a 500 ninja, I loved that little twin and always thought it would be fun to take to an AHMRA race. Too bad I didn't get to keep it long enough to do so. I still keep my eyes on the paper for another one of those bikes.
 

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I plan on getting a DR-Z400SM for lots of fun. That won't be till after i PCS though. I may also get a cheap dirt bike depending on where I end up getting stationed next. But ya.

Back on subject. Try and ride both and pick what you prefer...haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I owned an older Katana at one point and didn't like it but it did have decent power. The big question I had was with the 500 will I wind up getting bored with the lower power engine. I don't care so much about top speed, I'll never need to go over 100 MPH on the street I was more concerned with acceleration and wanted to know if the 500 was going to be at least as quick or even close to the 600 Kat.

I've sat on a few 500's now but haven't had a chance to actually ride one yet. The wife just recently signed off on buying a new bike so I'm starting my shopping in earnest now.
 

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UberSquid said:
The big question I had was with the 500 will I wind up getting bored with the lower power engine. I don't care so much about top speed, I'll never need to go over 100 MPH on the street I was more concerned with acceleration and wanted to know if the 500 was going to be at least as quick or even close to the 600 Kat.
Good question about the power output. The ex-500 has a nice powerband. Will you get bored with the engine ? Can't say. Many owners have changed sprocket sizes to give the bike more out of the box torque. I have a 43 tooth rear sprocket on order now, to give the bike a little more low end power.

I find the stock machine has power stop light to stop light, it just doesn't wheelie with the flick of the wrist.

I can't say how it compares to a Katana, but I will say the ex500 just feels like it's a well balanced bike in terms of handling and size, it does NOT feel likea cow at slow speeds.

If you can find someone who will let you ride one, and really ride it, not just move along in a parking lot, then I guess you'd know how it rides.
 

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Lucky#13 said:
UberSquid said:
Lucky#13 said:
UberSquid.... where are you located ?
Bloomington Indiana
maybe nick will let you ride his , seeing how he now has the big ole' VN1500 :p
He'd never buy one then. I got my new battery last night and threw it in the bike today. Fired it up and was only hitting on one cylinder. Found the power wire pulled off the coil and was back on two. Test ride time.

I took it out around the subdivision in current form:
No headlight or gauges (or fairing, turn signals, mirrors, etc).
No mufflers whatsoever (which means nothing to hold the center stand down, so it kept bouncing and covering the exhaust).
Rear tire on it's last leg.
And to top it off it wasn't warming up very quickly and has been sitting so it was sputtering a little at low RPM.

I'm pretty sure I may have scared a few small children. When I first started it sans mufflers I told a buddy, "Hey, it's pretty quiet with no mufflers." I opened it up on a straightaway on the other side of the subdivision (100 yards from the house) and my buddy and my wife said it was insanely loud. I think I peed my pants a little when it took off. When I got back (this is a 3 minute ride, mind you) I pulled in the garage and immediately shut it off. Jokingly I said that I half expected a few cops to be following me. I was only half joking.

As for the question at hand, I've never ridden a Kan-o-tuna, but I looked at quite a few when I was bike shopping. I liked the seating position, which isn't far off from the EX. If the big thing you're worried about is speed (well, quickness actually), and you don't need massive speed (much like myself) then a sprocket change is all you'll need if you get bored. It's 16/41 stock (2nd gen) and a 15/42 is a nice change that hauls tail in my opinion.
 
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