I bought this bike as a leftover in 1991. This is what it looked like when it was relatively new. There are three generations of Katanas, this was the second, made from ’89 to ’97 in the 750 size. There were also other sizes of Katanas made in the vaious generations.

Katana at Devil's Tower

Katana at Devil’s Tower

In 1992, my brother and I took a three week tour thru the mid-west ending up in Ohio at the AMA’s Motorcycle Heritage Museum during their Vintage Motorcycle Days celebration. Anyone remember how wet it was that summer in the mid-west? One night in Ohio we had 6 inches of rain. We had to abandon the tent and spent the night sleeping in the campground’s restroom. It was so wet that the factory semi’s at the museum had to be towed off the lawn because they had sunk into the mud during the weekend! Still the trip has some good memories, like the night we were at Devil’s Mountain in Wyoming. This is where they filmed the landing sequence for Close Encounters and the night we were there we were treated to a spectacular lightning show that set the perfect mood.

Katana on Mt. Hamilton Rd.

Katana on Mt. Hamilton Rd.

This was taken on the backside of Mt. Hamilton. Are you getting the impression that Mt. Hamilton is a fun ride?

My Montana trip

My Montana trip

In 1996 I took the Katana to Montana to check out that new speed limit of theirs. Wow, 105 mph, totally legal. Cruising all day at 80-90! What a blast. Now if the weather had only cooperated. Here the Katana sits loaded up in front of a friend’s vacation house.

Moments before it hit ice. Beartooth Pass in 1992.

Moments before it hit ice. Bear Tooth Pass in 1992.

Another shot from the Montana trip. At this point it has been raining for almost two solid weeks. I’m tired of it and I’m just trying to get the hell out of there. The fastest way home is over Bear Tooth pass, elev. 10k ft. The afternoon I get there it starts raining and I hear it is snowing up on the pass. So I sit it out for the night in a motel. The morning breaks nice and sunny and the pass is open so I head on up. This picture was taken about two miles from the summit. About a mile later the snow and ice on the road gets much worse and at one point just the crown of the road is enough to start the bike sliding. It went down faster than I can write “crash” and broke the right fairing and mirror. My choices were to try and continue through the last mile to the summit, or backtrack about 250 miles to go around in search of a lower pass. I decided to play it safe and started descending. In one shady corner I spotted a blanket of black ice and I slow to about 10mph. Didn’t help, the bike slipped anyways, and fell on the left side breaking that fairing and mirror. So this is the last picture of my bike looking good.

Katana 750 with polished rims

After the rims were polished.

In 1997 I started fixing up the Katana. I installed a Works shock, had the wheels polished, a few other parts chromed or polished. I had hoped to get the bodywork fixed, but then the engine started going south after 40k on the odometer. Lots of other things started breaking too, so I sold it after buying my Sprint ST.