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just got my 96 katana 600

5393 Views 18 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Phease
as the title says i just got my 96 gsx600f and i could use some advice

1) i haven't really been on a bike this big before can someone please explain why neutral is between first and second?

2) Also how effective are sliders? will the just protect the bike or will the stop the bike from crushing my leg if i go down?

3) what shoes are the best i was thinking of getting yellow construction worker's boots, but now im thinking it will be harder to shift in them

4) is there a place i can strap the helmet to the bike so i don't have to carry it with me everywhere?

5) do any of you guys know where i can get a owners manual for this bike? (over the internet and free would be the best)

6) what kind of protection do you reccomend? (right now i have a body armor jacket a helmet and i was thinking about buying kneepads/shin guards to wear under my pants)

7) i bought it used with about 18,000 miles on it is there anything that will need to be replaced soon like the chain?

any info you guys could give me would be great didn't take the MSF yet i just want to drive it around before i have to take the test also just finished reading "Proficient Motorcycling" highly reccomend it. they cover alot of stuff people normally wouldn't think twice about
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1. All bikes I've ever ridden had neutral between 1st and 2nd. I highly recommend the MSF courses to help you get some of the basics down.

2. others answered this well.

3. I would buy boots made for motorcycling. I bought mine on closeout from for less than $70.00 and they work very well for riding. No laces to get in the way, and they're designed to make shifting easy.

4. I usually take my helmet with me, depending on where I am at.

5. I think you can get it from the dealer (for $), but I just bought the Clymer service manual and use the maintenence info from it.

6. You're on the right track, but instead of kneeguards, buying purpose-built riding pants is the way to go. I have some that fit right over other pants. Again, check out for a good selection.

7. As far as the chain, that bike is almost certainly on its second (or third) chain, depending on how the last owner(s) took care of the chain. It could be in great shape, or falling apart. Get a service manual so you know what to look for on the chain.

Other services to check on:

Tires! Make sure the tread is good and that they're not dry-rotted.

When was the last time the valves were adjusted? They should be done every 4-6K miles.

How long's it been since the break fluid and fork fluid were changed? They should be done every couple years.

How old are the plugs? If you don't know, it's probably worth replacing them cause it's not too hard or expensive.

Overall, that Kat is a good bike and should last a long time. 18K miles is not high at all on them.
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Does the bike turn over at all? Does it sound slow when turning over? If the bike turns over at a normal rate, check the condition of the spark plugs. They can cause a no-start and are easy enough to change.
icekillah said:
how bad is it to start the bike in first gear instead of neutral?
If you've got the kickstand up and the clutch pulled in, it's fine. Just don't forget that it's in gear and let go of the clutch before you're ready to take off.

Also, if your battery drained really quickly, it probably is on its way out. Better to replace it now before it leaves you stranded.
Gixxerdale said:
Uncle Bob said:
The great octane debate.

Bottom line don't use a higher octane than your engine is designed for, you will just waste money and may even reduce power. Just use the lowest rating you can that doesn't affect performance ( pinging or knocking ).

Higher octane fuel should be used in high compression engines only, high octoane means the fuel will ignite slower and burn slower, not a performance enhancer.
OK, OK, I take it back :) It's imbedded in my brain! My 02 requires a minimum of 90 octane. Not sure what is spec for a 96 Katana. Anyone know for sure?
87 octane on the Kat (stock) Run it on my 95 750, and have no issues.

Some people that have added exhaust, jet kit, ignition advancer etc. report needing higher octane.
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