My wife is looking at buying a 99-05 GSX Katana for a decent price, but I seem to recall them having cooling issues while sitting in traffic. I have been trying to find some concrete info on whether or not the Katana is air cooled or liquid cooled.
If the 99-05 is only air cooled, would there be issues of over heating while in traffic? She likes the style and comfort of the Katana more than my GSXR.
They are air/oil cooled (same as 86-92 gsxrs) but from what i know, overheating has never been an issue!
Any air cooled motor will run hot in traffic as that is its nature.
As long as it hasn't been overbored to within an inch of its life, it should be perfectly reliable in most any climate!
The katana motor has evolved little in 18 years and there is a reason for that!
It's perfectly reliable the way it is and needs little attention to remain that way!
You are very welcome!
PS...I kinda like the new katanas (kan-O-tunas as they are known) styling as well.
But...Since they are evolutionally challanged, you can pick up an older 600 or 750 pretty cheap these days if the old body style appeals to you/your wife.
She is more worried about the color than overall style at the moment I have been coaching her along in the right direction though. If we can pick up a mechanically sound bike for a decent price, we will just have it repainted white/pink or a combination of the two.
Are there any specific years or issues that would be a deal breaker for her? For example, the K7 Herky Jerky issues would be something that I would like to stay away from, but in relation to the Katana of course.
No...The 88-97's are all pretty much the same and the 98 and ups are as well.
You could delve into the katana forums to see fer-sure but i dont think there were any "issues" per say?
For a woman who rides easy and isn't going road racing, a kat can be an appealing ride.
Of course there are others...sv650, fzr600, ex500, gs500 and the list goes on!
But...If the katana styling is here driving force for buying one then there should be no real issues with the bike itself. The suspensions were abit mushy but for the intended purpose, they are fine. You can always put a pipe & jet kit on and wake the old kan-O-tuna up!
But...even in stock form, for the price, they are just fine!
My first bike was a 90 Katana 750. Then when I bought the SRAD, my wife inherited it. Like SRADIATOR said, it's air/oil cooled. 88-97 are pretty much the same, But I think 90 and on were shim style valves. The 600s have a different subframe than the 750s. In 98, they redesigned the bike. The 03s got a new tail with the same tail light as the Busa.
The engines are practically bulletproof. The bike is extremely reliable and a great commuter with the occasional run on the twisties.
Now for the bad: the bike is heavy in comparison to any other SS bike. Not so heavy that my wife can't handle it, but you definitely feel it. The other complaint she has is the levers are too far away for her small hands.
If you get the "pre-98" Katana, watch out for the second gear issue. A lot of them had issues where it would pop out of second gear. Most of that was due to rider abuse, but there was an underlying problem with some. That's the only real issue I can think of.
The svs is a sweet ride with unlimited upgrade possibilities!
An fzr 600 is another great bike at bargain basement prices.
Lets not forget the ever popular honda f2/f3 and my personal favorite the yzf600r!
ALL are good bikes depending on your wifes needs and what visually appeals to her.
Maybe it was the 600 vs. the 750 that had the shims.
At any rate, the next bike we'll be buying is an SV650S for her.
And I meant to mention this in my other post about the cooling issue. I live in central Texas and it's not uncommon to be 100+ with ridiculous humidity. The Katana was my daily driver and while it got hot it never really overheated. It didn't like sitting in traffic for too long and shutting it off while in bumper to bumper stopped traffic isn't a bad idea. But again, the engines are bullet proof. There is an all weather oil temp gauge you can get and install on it pretty easily if you're that worried about it.
Thanks for the advice guys, this will be invaluable to helping her select a bike she is comfortable with. I also live in a very warm climate, middle Georgia. That was the only reason why I was concerned about the heat issues.
I will point her in the direction of the of the other bikes too, thanks again guys.