Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

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Rettax3
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Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

Postby Rettax3 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:53 am

So after my ZX-11 (Kawasaki's answer to, well, EVERYTHING back in 1990, as it was the fastest production streetbike in the world, EVER, for about six years running until Honda's Blackbird and Suzuki's 'Bird of Prey' showed up) was made unusable by vandalism a couple of years ago, I have been looking for another open-class bike. I've looked at old Honda VF1000F Interceptors -really cool classic sportbikes, but overpriced for what they can do-, other ZX-11s, even ZX-9Rs. I revisited old interests like the Honda CBX -a straight six sitting sideways in a bike frame calls for at least one double-take-, older Kawasaki Z-1s, and the VF1100S Sabre (I still own a pair of the original, first-year VF750S Sabres, great bikes). I checked out newer models, like the TL1000s, and I even test-rode a ZX-14. Nothing quite called out to me though, and with a very limited budget I had a smaller pool of options to pick from.

I finally ran across this:
Kat1b.jpg
Kat2b.jpg

A late eighties open-class sport bike -not a repli-racer, but a softer-edged performance-oriented all-around bike. Suzuki's Katana 1100 (this one has been punched-out to 1216cc) was a good performing bike in its' day, and with the big-bore kit and racing-header exhaust that this one has, I would say it is competitive against my old ZX-11D. It uses tappet adjustment screws for the valvetrain, as opposed to the nightmare shim-under-bucket setup my old ZX ran with, so maintenance isn't as bad. It still needs a lot of attention, but it is good to ride right now. At 60, cranking the throttle open in third gear makes the bike feel like it wants to wheelie. I do think the clutch is a little warped, and coming off the line is weird -it pulls then hesitates then grabs-, so I'm not sure that it accelerates quite as hard as my ZX did, but I think with a new clutch it actually will pull as hard or maybe harder -and the ZX ran a 130+MPH 1/4 mile in 10.55 seconds with a 0-60 time of 2.8 seconds, so this old bike has got power to spare. The paint is actually pretty well done on this bike (not a color I would have picked for it myself though), and the plastics are in good (not perfect) shape. One of the best parts is that the power window still works!


1989 Super Charged 3800 Series II (First)Six-Speed Conversion GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 Five-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 Five-Speed Indy GTi (Rebuild Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 3400 Top-End Auto OD Z-26

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whiteretta
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Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

Postby whiteretta » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:01 am

That's gonna a be a fun ride man. I'm not big on crotch rockets, but they've been growing on me. One of my employees just picked up a 675? CC Triumph, and it's 50 lbs. lighter than his old 250 CC Ninja.

I just want a late 70's early 80's Suzuki GS and I'll be happy!


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1994 Chevy Beretta, mild 3500 swap.

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Rettax3
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Re: Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

Postby Rettax3 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:40 am

GSs are great all-around bikes. Like Honda's CBs and Kawasaki's KZs (I also have a 1980 KZ1000 'Z-1' that needs to be put back together, I WAS going to put a turbo on it, but now I am getting wicked thoughts towards using that little turbo on this 'new' GSX-F :twisted: ). They used to all be called 'UJMs' back then, a derogatory term meaning 'Universal Japanese Motorcycle', because they all looked the same -four cylinder, usually DOHC, air-cooled bikes. There were some exceptions, but these 'plane-janes' were the real work-horses of the motorcycling world back then. The Katana 1100 was almost more of a sport-touring bike than a true 'crotch-rocket'. It is big and roomy enough to actually sit up almost straight on, and my legs are not cramped-up at all. The Katana is tuned for stronger mid-range and even low-end torque rather than peak top-end H.P., making it much more rideable than a repli-racer type bike, like the GSX-R of the time. My old ZX-11 was about the same category bike, but less compromised on performance and a little more compromised on comfort than the Katana.

I just fabbed-up a pair of rear turn-signal mount-brackets (the original ones were rough-cut off in the same hack-job that claimed the rear 'fender' in the typical 'Euro-style' butchery that is far too common on sport-type bikes :roll: ). I will be using a pair of early-eighties Honda Interceptor turn-signals -the same style I retro-fit onto my old Honda Sabre 750 back in the day- on the rear of the bike. OEM Katana 1100 turn-signals are ridiculously over-priced, and very hard to find, they weren't used on anything else that I know of. I should have them wired-up this week... The original mounting pads on the front of the bike were bodied-over (and pretty well done, too), so I didn't want to re-drill into the bike's plastics for the signals. I am using signal-type mirrors for the front, but I need to fabricate a pair of mounts for them to make them fit just right, hopefully I will get those done this week too.


1989 Super Charged 3800 Series II (First)Six-Speed Conversion GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 Five-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 Five-Speed Indy GTi (Rebuild Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 3400 Top-End Auto OD Z-26


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