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Test ride to remember

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by jphanna, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. it all started 2 months ago when i rolled up with my wife to a pub for dinner/dance and out the front was an unusual mbike owned by one of the bouncers. before i even walked in i was checking it out. it had KATANA sewn into the seat.

    speaking to the owner i found out his dad (he is only 23 or so) bought it as a bucket of bolts. he has taken over the project and i was interested in it as my son gets off his restricted licence in a late june. i asked if he would sell and he said yes. that was 2 months ago.......

    today about 90 mins ago i saw him and arranged a closer look and even test ride. its a 650 Katana 1983 with shaft drive. the sort of oddball mbike that would interest my son. first up.....petrol gauge doesnt work, oil light doesnt work, oil leak from sump plug and oil leak from tacko cable. not good. spray can paint job......getting the picture?

    i was interested to see how it runs and these loose ends can be tidied up. i asked him to ride my honda 750 while he follows me on the freeway to see how it goes at speed. sounds ok, but brake lever is 2 inches shorter than it should be compared to the clutch lever. that was a concern as i took off. ease it onto the road and then onto the freeway. first thing i notice is that the speedo wobbles 20kph. so if you doing 80, it wobbles from 80 to 100 on the display. also its a long stretch to the bars compared to my honda. my son is a short ass so he would find that uncomfortable. anyway i give it some stick and it had a bit off a cough as it started to increase revs......but boy did it rev!!!!! i couldnt help thinking that if this frankenstein of a mbike is this grunty in this shit condition, what was it like 30 years ago.....

    anyway ease off the freeway and back into the burbs and negotiate a big roundabout, and give it some stick on the way out.......now i could see how fast i was going as the speedo wobbles but it was then.......that i heard siren and flashing lights of an unmarked cop car behind me!!!!!!!

    he was just in front of me and he pulled over as well. by now i was counting how much i was going to be fined......

    he talks to the police while i try and get mbike to stay on stand. then finally i walk to policeman and he did a licence check on the katana and it was all good. we got off.......

    there was a small puddle of oil under the katana in those few minutes while standing there. anyway i rode my honda back home and said i will keep in touch.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. gotta love those old Kats, they were the 'it' motorcycle when I was a lad.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. My brother is currently restoring a 750 Katana (pretty sure it's the 750)... he's up to getting some custom paint done, I can't wait to give it a ride :)
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  4. The 'Banana' Katana.
    The frame was a, non-deliberate, flex member of the chassis and would 'give' when pitched over.......oh dear.

    This, and the pop-up headlight making this one of those iconic bikes.