Suzuki Katana 750 - Short Shift

An Island Of Adequacy In A Sea Of Superlatives

By Tim Carrithers, Photography by Kevin Wing

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

MSRP $7249

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)
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