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81cpcamaro Dork
10/18/17 11:20 a.m.

Not familiar with RF900, it does seem like an upscale Kat with the water-cooled GSXR based engine. That would help in traffic where the Kat gets a bit warm, no cooling fans on Kats. Can't remember the last time I have seen a RF900. Now you will have me looking at them as well.

Check Bike Bandit to see what factory parts are still available, usually the fairings tend to be the hardest to get, everything else usually fits many different models so no problems there.

Bobzilla MegaDork
10/18/17 11:28 a.m.

mY best friend had an RF900R. IIRC, Gixxer 600 frame, raised bars and hte Gixxer 900 engine sold as a "grand touring" or some ridiculous crap. I can tell you that it was stupid wicked fast and uncomfrotable as hell for me (6', 200lbs at the time) but he loved it (5'8" 130lbs). We would hit a particluar road that was always empty at 1am and "race". He would wait for me to shift to 3rd before launching and would blow past me on my CB750 before I shifted to  4th. 

wheelsmithy Dork
10/18/17 6:55 p.m.

I have a 600 Kat, and share an affinity for these engines/bikes. They are like the small block chevy of bikes. Everything interchanges. Super easy to work on, and, egad, I'm getting old, They are Old School. Easy valve adjustment, roomy architecture, but big, and heavy. I also had a wee strom, and loved it. If you are on two wheels, it is all good. 

doc_speeder HalfDork
10/31/17 10:55 a.m.

Ok, well I found my Kat.  It's an '89 750 with about 70,000km on it.  Runs, more or less.  By that I mean it obviously has some carb issues and/or vacuum leaks but the motor sounds mechanically healthy.  All complete, good tires, all the lights work, speedo doesn't (early Kat, likely just a cable issue?) body is all there but poor.  Lots of cracks/rash and incorrect fasteners.  It's ugly.  But PO has been riding it occasionally this summer.  $300.  Small bonus is the Vance & Hines 4-1 system and it sounds pretty angry.  So over the winter I'll rehab it and see how it goes!

First tasks will be refreshing the carbs with a Factory Pro kit, making sure the intake boots and manifolds are OK, adjust the valves if needed, get the brakes up to snuff if they're not and riding it to see what other stories it is hiding...

After that I'll look at cleaning up the bodywork and painting it.  Goal is to have a decent looking/functional bike all-in under $1000.

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
10/31/17 11:08 a.m.

In reply to doc_speeder :

Sounds like a fun project.

Willis New Reader
10/31/17 11:47 a.m.


stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
10/31/17 9:46 p.m.

$300 for a 750 Katana is a deal, even if it were just a pile of parts.  You done good.

doc_speeder HalfDork
11/2/17 10:20 a.m.

So I got the bike up on the centre (that's right, it's centRE lol) stand and had a good look at it.  It's actually better overall than I thought.  Things I've made note of since I got it in some good light:

-There's a 3/8" bolt jammed in holding in the windshield...

-The plastic bodywork is better than I thought, although there are a few missing tabs I'll have to fab up.  Lots of Youtube vids on this subject though.  Looks pretty manageable

-Rear fairings in way better shape than mine are quite readily available for cheap on Ebay

-front fender and chain guard are missing

-It clatters less than most of these that I've heard.  I'm taking that as a bad sign - as in the valves are likely tight but fortunately that's an easy job on these as the adjusters are screw-type rather than shim-type

-It runs on 3-ish cylinders, with the 4th occasionally waking up.  Not sure what's up with that the PO said "I took the carbs apart and put them back together and it didn't help".  I asked if he set the floats, cleaned the pilots etc.  He said "nah I don't really know about any of that stuff".  It won't idle with the choke off

-It has what appears to be a pretty fresh o-ring chain and sprocket set

-It's filthy.  Like everywhere.  It looks like somebody sprayed it with a cooking oil mixture then set it in a dust storm for a month.  Everything is covered with grime.  I think it's been a long, long time since it had a bath.  Maybe never...

-all the turn signals and lights function correctly and there's no butchered looking wiring that I've seen so far.

-Battery appears to be quite new

-brakes feel good at the lever/pedal, but I haven't been able to see if they actually work well or not but I think they're likely alright

-speedo problem is very obviously a cable.  It's pretty much snapped off right at the wheel.

-clutch is stiff feeling.  Cable appears to be covered in this same grime/grit.  A new cable is cheap, I won't bother cleaning and lubing this one

-Tires are at least 70% remaining.  Avon on front, Bridgestone on the back.  Is that a problem? I've never had a street bike, not sure if they are supposed to be a matched set?

-The seat is in very good shape.  No rips or cracks

In all truth, with a few hours to rebuild and synch the carbs and change oil, I think it's basically rideable as-is

Cosmetically, I have a few little things planned.  I'll likely mod the front fairing to accept a set of integrated signals/mirrors and fill in the existing signal stalks.  They are hideous.  Similarly, I'll clean up the tail somehow.  It's also ugly.  I'm thinking it will get a coat of Rosso Corsa on all the plastic panels and I'll get the wheels PC in gold or bronze.  I like that combo.

For $300 I'm pretty stoked.  What's the best picture host these days?  Does this board like imgur or Google photo or something else?  I'll put up a few pictures


doc_speeder HalfDork
12/14/17 3:48 p.m.

So, an interesting quibble came up yesterday that I'm trying to wrap my head around. I had the coils off to remove the valve cover and adjust valves (of course they were all pretty tight - likely never been done. Bike has 69,000km on it).

One of the previous owners has installed a relay for the coils, which is cool, and it was working fine before I disassembled everything. I deduce this because the bike would start and run. It was using one of the 12v orange/white wires that normally is connected to the + side of the coils as a trigger for the relay.

When reinstalling the carbs/airbox/coils etc I noted that now, there's no power to those orange/white wires, therefore no trigger power for my relay, therefore no power to the coils, therefore no sparky.

All other electrical systems seem to be operational. When the key is turned on, I hear the main relay (by the battery) click on. All lights and instrument panel lights work.

The only thing I can think of is that I had the sprocket cover off and when I put it back on I may have pinched/broken the wiring for the side stand switch. But the bike is in neutral and the instrument cluster neutral light functions fine. 

Would this maybe cause my issue of having no 12v power to the coils? I somehow think it might.

Also, the horn is not plugged in...lol

If not, where should I start looking? Hopefully the CDI didn't spontaneously fry...

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