There are so many beautiful sport bikes being made now that it's hard to decide on just one. The first time I saw one was back at college in 1988 - a beautiful new Honda Hurricane. I was very much impressed. I was drawn to their great looks and wonderful sounds.
I started with a Kawasaki Ninja 250 and when I was ready for a full-sized bike, I decided upon a new, red 1993 Katana 600. I liked the Katana's more comfortable upright riding position and its beautiful full-body fairing. I put 7500 miles on it which included many sunny afternoon drives and even a Texas Hill Country ride, eventually selling the bike in 1995.
I decided to take on a motorcycle rebuilding project in March of '94 to help take my mind off my then much-despised job. I found an old 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 for sale (it wouldn't run) and bought it for $425. Over the next six months I spent many hours lovingly tearing down and rebuilding it, trying to maintain the original Kawasaki detailing. In the end, I spent about $1800 in parts putting it back together and (regrettably) sold it one and a half years later for $950. I think it was worth every penny.
During the course of the restoration I included several modifications and upgrades. I replaced the original ugly spoke wheels and goofy bicycle-like tires with allow wheels and sport tires. I also upgraded the wimpy-looking single disc brake with dual cross-drilled brake rotors and twin chrome exhaust pipes. The bike then took on a whole new look. I was very proud of my "custom" modifications. I finished it off with a professional coat of British Racing green and matching pinstripes.
On the street, I found this bike to have gobs of torque, even more than my Katana. It pulled hard from a stop at full throttle and felt like a tractor in first gear. With a five speed gearbox and little wind protection the bike was best suited for cruising. The whole rebuilding experience was very educational and I came to appreciate the solid build quality of these Japanese cruisers.
Willis, TX, USA