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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I enjoy visiting both this forum and the Katanaplanet forum, and since the members of Katanaplanet are as enthusiastic about the Kat 600 as the 500R riders are about their bikes, I thought I'd pose these questions:

How does the 500R stack up against the Kat 600? Is the Kat that much faster than the 500? Anybody have experience on both machines?
 

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Okay, I have plenty of real world experience with this one.

The 500R and the kat 600 are almost identical on speed. I think 130+ the kat is a bit faster, but you don't need to go that fast anyway.

The 500R also handles better, it is 125ish lbs lighter than the katana. The old kats are just dang heavy.

My roomate has a katana 600, he has ridden the exact same amount of time as me. My 500R (even before I modified the heck out of it) was quite a bit more nimble. When I ride the katana I just feel like I'm riding a garbage truck, those things are heavy.

This isn't to say I don't like the katanas, I think they are great bikes, but the 500R is closer to a SS in handling characteristics than the katanas.
 

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I don't have any experience on the two but it seems the bikes are in different classes. A 500 is a two cylinder that sells for less than $5000 and the Katana is a four cylinder that sells for more than $6000.

A ZZR600 Kawasaki would be more of a comparison to the Katana.

A gs500f would be a better comparison to the ninja 500.

Just my thoughts on it.........
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, they are in a different class. However, both can be considered "cult bikes" in the sense that their owners keep them alive due to their loyalty, in spite of the fact that the motorycling press looks down their noses at them. This is definitely a question of whether the individual likes apples more than oranges, but because both forums are such fun, and the riders of these motorcycles seem to share a passion for their bikes, I thought it would be fun to compare them as everyday, real-world rides. Suzuki's 500 isn't even in the picture, since it's so lacking in power, it's chassis is considerably less hearty than the 500R, it's more expensive, and it's more expensive to mainain.

Motorcycle Online magazine (obviously an on-line publication) did a middleweight comparison test recently. The test included the BMW F650, the Yamaha FZ6, the Honda 599, the Triumph Speed Four, the Suzuki V-Strom 650, Harley's 1200 Sportster, and lastly, the Kaw 500R. The Kaw actually came in 3rd overall.

So, that being said, I repeat, which bike would you rather take on a 2,000 mile trip, and why?
 

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I would take the katana before I took the 500r. Now this is an unmodified 500R. I would take my 500R with the full fairings before the katana.

In their stock forms katanas are better for long trips. better wind protection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cool. So the Katana has better wind protection than the stone stock 500R. What about other variables, such as stability at high speeds, usable passing power, comfort....am I leaving anything out? Riding two-up maybe?

Once again, I'm aware of the fact that both bikes would do fine, but since it's so blasted cold outside, I thought it would be fun to ponder.
 

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the katana has a little bit better stability at high speeds based on its weight. but the 500r has always been plenty for me. Comfort is equal in my opinion.

Riding 2 up usually goes to the katana. its got better ergonomics than the 500r. but I've put 150+ miles with a girl on the back of mine in one sitting, no complaints.
 

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Freakinout said:
I would take my 500R with the full fairings before the katana.

SO, does the full fairing make that much of a difference? I thought most people just went with them for looks.


I do like making long trips.
 
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