The Suzuki Katana
Front WheelEngineKatana BodylineEngine Casing
"The product must have 'Art', if it is to be successful"

GS650G - Rider View

GS650G KatanaThis is another bike that I have owned, twice in fact. The first was a GX model that sadly went when I needed more dosh (sold to a friend who still has it 10 years later!). It looked a bit of a street fighter as it had been re-sprayed black and had a very loud and nearly straight through 4-into-1 micron exhaust fitted.
The shaft drive was excellent and that combined with the looks made me want the next 650 Kat a couple of years later. When a new tyre was to be fitted the rear came off in minutes and went on just as fast - no oily chains / wheels and tensioners to deal with. The reduced rear tyre life was well worth it. GS650G KatanaThe second Kat was a GZ model (pictured above) imported from the United States with only 3800m on the clock, (from LA - how come they get nice weather all year and do so little miles?) and was like new. Both bikes did touring trips, the second, 2 up around the Republic of Ireland covering 1500m in a week, and never gave any problems. The top ends can go upwards of 10000m before the values need to be re-shimmed and cam chains 30000m. Both bikes suffered from difficult starting if left for 4 or more weeks and had to be jumped off a car more than once. All in all I really liked the 650 and would buy another one if I could afford to run it along side my 750 and 1100 Katana.

GS650G - Tester Verdict

Good Points Excellent shaft drive - you wouldn't know its there and taking the rear wheel off/on is a piece of cake. Long distances before re-fuelling.
Bad Points None really - it is what it is and does it well. Not the faster or lightest bike, but wasn't meant to be.
Performance As a tourer good, as a scratcher not so.
Comfort Very good - 2 up from East Anglia to all round Southern Ireland and no probs.
Braking Again OK for this type of bike.
Handling Very neutral with nasty habits.

 

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