Church of MO: Value Class Sportbikes of 1997

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By John Burns

Well, two of them anyway: Yamaha FZR600 and Suzuki Katana 600. By `97, both were long of tooth and short of performance, but you could pick one up with factory financing as low as 14.9%! Indestructible though these things seemed to be, they were also disposable. You don’t see many of either anymore, not in our neck of the woods. RIP, and let us give thanks for the FZ-07s, SV650s, and other inexpensive blessings Yamaha and Suzuki have showered upon us in the ensuing years. Amen.


Value 600-Class Sportbikes, 1997

Budget-Value 600s: Yamaha FZR600 Vs. Suzuki GSX-600 Katana

story by Sean Higbee, Contributing Writer, Photograph by Motorcycle.com Staff, Created Monday, Dec 23, 1996
For years manufacturers have been locked in a dogfight to produce the best 600cc sportbike. Consumer demand for machines that are not only faster but better handling have forced them to constantly update and improve each model: These days, it is rare for a brand’s flagship 600cc sportbike to go more than three years without a major redesign. While manufacturers have succeeded in producing remarkable motorcycles, the advances in technology have lead to astronomical prices, some soaring as high as $8,200. This places top-level 600s out of reach for many buyers, especially college students — ever willing to finance their poverty-stricken, savings-depleted life away in hopes of a good job several years down the road, low payments are often the primary factor when buying a new bike. So where would you look for a quick middleweight sportbike at an affordable price? Not just inexpensive to purchase, mind you, but to own as well. We introduce you to the “Value 600” sportbike class — Yamaha’s FZR600 and Suzuki’s Katana 600.There is a popular American saying that describes the philosophy behind the Katana and FZR: “If it …read more

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