When things straighten out, there is more than enough urge on tap to dispatch the great trundling herds of Navigators and Suburbans clotting the freeway onramp. Settle into a rhythm and the 65-mph buzz in sixth gear makes you dream of a seventh. No worries. Those rubber handlebars and footpeg mounts do a much better job between 75 and 80. The stubby, relatively upright windscreen is less effective. Riders at or over six-feet-tall get a noisy stream of turbulent wind right in the face; shorter folks get less. Everyone got along well with the saddle for at least one 212-mile trip through the 5.3-gallon fuel tank, though 200-pound types might opt for firmer seat foam.
Whatever your physical dimensions, any opinion of Suzuki's Katana 750 hinges on personal expectations. To anyone expecting a $7200 GSX-R750, it's underpowered, overweight and undersprung. To a rider with less-demanding expectations, perhaps based on the performance of 1980s sporting equipment, it's a gem. To the rider who gives not a rodent's sphincter for the financial, physical or psychological commitment the latest pure-bred hypersports demand, this year's biggest choice may well be between this $7249 Katana and Suzuki's nifty new $7399 Bandit 1200S.
Suzuki Katana 750
|Type ||air/oil-cooled inline-four |
|Valve arrangement ||dohc, 16v |
|Displacement ||749cc |
|Transmission ||6-speed |
|Weight ||511 lb. (wet) |
| ||479 lb. (fuel tank empty) |
|Fuel capacity ||5.3 gal. (1.3 gal. reserve) |
|Wheelbase ||57.7 in. (1466mm) |
|Seat height ||31.1 in. (790mm) |