Soon to be a kat 600 fighter


Been Around the Block
So now that the Honda is mostly done I have been looking to get a newer bike that is bit more comfortable for longer trips and highway cursing. I would love to get a brand new ride, but there is no way I can swing an extra bill every month. It just so happened that one of my buddies had a broken 92 Katana 600 (16,000 miles).

This bike was bought by my buddy from another mutual friend with it stuck in 1st gear. My buddy does not have the tools or the ability to diagnose and fix a problem like this so the deal was if I could get the bike able to be driven out of the garage where it was I would buy it from him. He was only looking to get what he had in it so for $400 I couldn’t pass it up. Worst case if I couldn’t get it going without removing the engine I would have wasted a few hours of my time, and my buddy would have a parts bike to sell.

Anyway the fix was pretty simple I pulled out the clutch basket and where the gear selector engages the shift star there was a loose bracket that was jamming everything. A bit of loctite and it was all good. The bike still shifts pretty rough into 1st and 2nd and lunges quite a bit with the clutch pulled, so I found a NOS clutch basket on eBay and will be getting a new clutch soon. The old basket is gouged up really bad. I think it is not letting some of the plates disengage.

The bike runs really well, but needs some work to get the idle stronger and a ton of maintenance work which is labor intensive but parts are pretty cheap. Bikes similar to this are selling for about $1000, so I will not feel bad if I have to spend a few hundred on parts.

Once I give everything a once over, and get it running well I will be ditching the scratched, and extremely ugly plastics and making the thing look a bit more attractive. I am trying for the opposite of the Honda build, get it running first then tear into it! Going for a bit of “fighter” styling, but I still want to keep it 2up and comfortable.

Here some pics of it after I got it to my place. It only died once on the 45min trip!!

I got some of my parts in! I am going to start working on the clutch issues this weekend.

Took it for a ride last week, first time I started it since it got it home. It definitely needs some carb work!

and I just found some inspiration for this project!
Good deal, mine cost me $1600 and it needed tyres, brakes, fork seals, carbs sorted plus a full service and a screen (into it about $2200 then stopped counting)
Keeping it more or less stock until I can get the 1027 motor built (probably drop 750 in sometime, as I have one)


Friend has built a couple as streetfighters, I'll see if I can find pics.
Wow $2200. I could get a couple of parts bikes for that price. I am hoping I don't have to spend that much to get this thing good to go. I am just worried about the important stuff for now.

I did start some work on it. I got the clutch out. It looks like the first few plates were sticking. And the gouges are pretty bad.



New one

Also ordered a factory pro shift kit with a stiffer detent spring. Should help tighten up the shifts and save what's left of the 1st and 2nd shift fork.

Now I just need some time to get it back together. Got a wedding this weekend and my european vacation coming up soon. We will see...
Yeah, bit expensive.
Problem was, I like them and the guy selling knew it. (plus there just were not any about at the time)
Biggest expense was new tyres, most of the rest was 'nickle and dime' stuff
andoor said:
I got some of my parts in! I am going to start working on the clutch issues this weekend.

Took it for a ride last week, first time I started it since it got it home. It definitely needs some carb work!

and I just found some inspiration for this project!
i'm looking forward to this transformation...can't wait
They're worth it though. Kat's are tough little bikes. Mine put up with a LOT of crap and never puked on me. I put about 20k miles on it in a year and sold it to a guy who now stunts it.
So before I went on vacation I got the clutch and everything back together, but when I took it for a ride the bike ran so bad I couldn't diagnose if the new clutch basket fixed the problems. So I started ripping to the carbs to do a full teardown. Should have them back together this week. I had a ton of fun removing the stripped pilot jets that one of the past owners must have tried to remove. New jets should be in today.
Got the carbs back together and on the bike. Synced them up and got the 600 running great. Finally able to ride the thing I noticed that the clutch hanging issue is fixed, but 1st and 2nd still shift a little rough. I have to be very careful and deliberate about my 1st to 2nd shift. I am hoping the new stiffer detent spring will help this, but the damage may already be done. Hopefully I can install the spring this week.

I am now researching how much a shift fork replacement would cost for me to do. Other forums have said it is not worth the work and to just get a used engine. I would rather stick with the engine I have knowing it runs fine. Any insight from anyone here?? I am not worried about how difficult the job will be as I have done transmission and rear end work on many cars. I do also have a line on a used engine which I may just pickup for spare parts if the price is right.
Check the linkage is adjusted properly.
If the gear change pedal height has been adjusted with the link rod it may be hanging in one direction particularly between 1st/2nd as it has to move further
I didn't even think of that, but the linkage looks good. I can now see how you put so much $$ into your kat. I just roughly priced everything out it looks like about $1400 for the stuff I want to do. It will still be cheaper than a newer used bike, and it gives me something to do over the winter!

In other news being an idiot I broke the oil pan trying to get it off to change my detent spring. I was going to change the pan out eventually anyway to a 98+ pan which will let me run the stock 4-1 pipes from the newer kats. So I got a 99 pan and pickup for $50 on ebay last night!

If the dentent spring doesn't help the shifting I am not going to do anything else to this motor. I am just going to run it till it blows, as a guy that works for my pops has a motor with about 8k miles I am picking up as a spare for a couple hundred.

My main focus now is getting all the suspension and chassis stuff sorted (chain, springs, seals, bearings). Including hacking the back half of the frame and fabricating a new seat and tail section. I also am going to do a R6 rear shock swap which should lower the rear about an inch and give me a lot more adjustability.

Now that the juices are flowing with this project I really have to keep myself under control and spread out the spending!!
I finally got all my parts in and was able to get it back together with the new oil pan. Only problem that I didn’t think of is that you can’t run the old 4-2 exhaust with the new style oil pan, so I had to order a 4-1 header pipe from a 98+. Not too expensive on eBay, but it was only the header no muffler.

Last night I took the bike for a ride and the stiffer detent spring really helped the shifting. I don’t recommend riding or even starting a 600cc bike with no muffler if you like your neighbors. I thought I was going to get the cops called on me. The thing was insanely loud and was popping like crazy, but the trans feels good and I think I can hold off on the rebuild for now. I did end up getting the extra engine just to have around.

So now the bike gets completely pulled apart!

To do list: (mostly for my own use as I lost the paper version)

Front fork rebuild (possibly new springs)
Brake system flush
Fab fork brace
New bearings/bushings all around if needed
New headlight/ signals fab brackets
Trail Tech Vapor speedo/tach
Flip stock handlebars
Bar end mirror
New foot pegs
Cut down original seat and recover
Integrate tail light into seat
Smooth out frame remove unneeded brackets
Cut off back of frame/ fab new support
Relocate wires / electronics
New chain sprockets and cush drive
New rear brake rotor / pads
R6 Rear shock
Purchase/ fab shorty muffler
Paint tank / modify belly pan fairing paint matte white
keep em coming! do you have a muffler why n ot cut and shorten it? i have done this several times. yoiu will have to shim your needles, the vepor is the shit man your going to love it, just new fork oil like 15 w will make a huge dif! sharp bike as your inspiration i am making that type of rear fender for mine as well... cut it out of a reg honda cruiser fender and i am making my supports out of welded up round bar
Fork brace is real easy on 95 Kats, just a flat plate with some holes ;D I've got some 1/8" alloy.
I made a 'trick' one for the forks on the XS840, about 5/8" thick, drilled and tapped for brake fluid to run through it (I'll have to get a pic sometime)
I have a fender eliminator on my Kat, was on the bike when I bought it
There are needle bearings in swing arm/shock linkage so they should be good.
Steering bearings will probably need doing though
Remove top yoke and swap bars underneath it, lowers them a lot.
Just fit front section of seat and build something for rear section

Are the side fairings in good condition (or even reasonable?)
wanna sell them if they OK??

Just got my Kat back up and running.
Needed new battery and major carb clean (took the plastic guides out to clean emulsion tubes this time)
fitted new chain and front sprocket (it's only 14t so wears MUCH faster than the 47t rear)
1100 uses 16t or 17t but 600 doesn't have enough power or torque to pull gearing that high
The fairings not broken or cracked, but have some serious scrapes from the bike being dropped. I will take some better pictures and send them your way. I am not going to use them so if you are interested we can work something out.

For some reason I was fixed on the idea of buying a short silencer and cutting down the mid pipe to tuck it in under the bike, but now I think I should at least try to cut up the stock 4-2 and see what I can get out of it. It is just collecting dust and it will save me a ton of cash. I cant believe the price of some of the slip-ons for the newer bikes they cost as much as the cat back I put on my car!!
to be honest you have 2 options... i think that it would look wicked to have a 4 -2 run up under the tail... personaly if i was you... i would bob both stock mufflers and shorten them to about in 1/2... then run them under the rear fairing for somethign like this

but if you wanna easier way you can cut here

give you a look something like this

i did that on a GSXR not long ago.... has a sick look when cut down... and you can just re use part of the stock baffle and packinig and the tail piece
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