So, back in December '11 I got to hang out with a few friends on their bikes, and got to put around on one of their new 2011 Ninja 250s. From that point on I was hooked. So I went to my motorcycle class, and got my license.
Spent a few weeks checking craigslist for bikes in my budget (under $2000) and wasn't finding much. So I upped it to $2500, and got way more bikes showing up. After lots of thinking and research, I didn't want to get a 250, since I do quite a bit of interstate driving (400miles+) and wanted something with more power. Ended up finding a few older Ninja 600s, and a wrecked GSXR 750, but didn't want to spend $500 on fairings, and god knows what else.
Anyways, test rode a 2009 Ninja 250, a 1999 Ninja 600, a 1996 Katana 600, and finally a 2001 Katana 750.
The 250 didnt have the power, the Ninja 600 wouldn't come off his 3k asking price, and the Kat 600 didn't ride well at all. (destroyed fork seals, and had been improperly lowered)
The 2001 Katana was the heaviest of the bunch, the biggest by far, and didn't have any proper manners. So I picked that one of course.
This is what she looked like right after I got her home.
Main issues were, the gas cap was busted, and had no support ring, the windscreen was yellowed and cracked, and the seat was torn and split where it meets the tank.
First thing I did was paint the windshield. Looked so much better than it did.
Second thing was fixing the gas tank cap. Just got a billet one from Ebay.
So that went on for a few months, until March 24th. Went out for a little fun ride, check the weather before hand, looked plenty clear, wasn't supposed to rain for the next 2 days. So I went on my merry way putting around the few twisties we have in my area, just having a grand time. On the way back home, out of no where it started pouring rain. No dark clouds, no warning. No drizzle. Just suddenly a deluge.
It was so bad that I could barely see out of my visor, even tucked down. So I started slowing down from 55, to about 45, as I was going to pull into a gas station up the road to get out of the storm. Well, right around 40-45mph, my back tire caught a small pothole that had oil in/around it, and caused my rear tire to lock up. I tried to ride it out, but the back end kicked out too far and I lowsided. I separated from the bike, hitting right on the point of my right shoulder, and I rolled and bounced for about 50-75 feet before coming to a stop.
Sat up, checked my hands, feet, and neck...all there, all working. So I went to stand up, and couldn't. A few people at the gas station saw me go down, and ran over to help. 2 guys picked my bike out of the road, and 1 other helped me over into the parking lot.
Bike was scraped up, bent the brake pedal, tore the mirror to hell, and scraped the new exhaust some. After about 30minutes, I got the bike to start back up, got my jacket, gloves, and helmet back on, and limped back home.
Thank god for protective equipment.
Helmet took the most of it
I split my right shoulder pad in half when I hit, and tore most everything from my right elbow, to my right shoulder-blade. No breaks, but I spent the better part of 2 months regaining use of my arm. I damaged my knee cap, and no longer have any feeling where the scar tissue is (the entire road rash spot in the above pic) Needless to say, I didn't ride any.
Finally got back on the bike after I was healed up...with a little more caution this time. Felt great though to be back on it after so long.