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I recently bought a 95 Suzuki Katana and have had nothing but problems with it. Keep in mind that I don't know very much about the mechanics of bikes so please answer in as simple of terms as you can.

I was originally told that the bike had sat for a while and that because of this the bike would back fire a little bit and didn't like to idle. I was assured that it hadn't sat for long and that all that was needed to fix it was for it to be ridden and it would work the kinks out on it's own. Since then, the "kinks" have not been worked out by simply riding the bike.

The problems:
I am currently getting roughly 60-70 miles on a tank of gas.

When fully pinned in 6th gear my bike wont go faster than 85 mph.

If I try to maintain any speed over 70 mph for more than a mile or two the bike will bog down and wont go up past 50 mph. (scary as hell when your on the highway and your bike drops 20 mph)

It doesn't want to maintain a consistant idle. About half of the time when I come to a stop the engine will shut off. I set my idle up to around 1500 rpms to keep this from happening as often until I figure out what's wrong and how to fix it.

When I changed the oil I found there was a lot of gas in it.

When I take off or shift into higher gears it backfires quite a bit. I've been trying to keep from riding too much until I get it running better, but it seems to backfire most often after I've been riding for a while.


I'm not all that mechanically inclined so please humor me if some of these issues seem to be pretty basic. I didn't plan on this being a project/experiment bike but it is what it is and I need to learn how to work on my own vehicles anyway. If anyone has any recommendations and it isn't too much of a burden, I would ask for step by step instructions for anything that you wouldn't think your mother might know how to do.
Thanks for the help!
 

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If you're new to wrenching and don't really know what's wrong with it, don't do a bunch of things at once. Try one thing, test it out, and then if that doesn't work, try something else. Otherwise, you can get yourself bogged down with doing too many things and then not knowing what thing you did that may have made any difference in your problem. It sucks chasing down a problem after you've done a whole bunch of work and aren't sure if you may have caused something yourself. As you get more experience, this becomes less of a problem, but still something to keep in mind.

In this case, I wouldn't try adjusting your carbs at first. If it was sitting, it is likely that they're gummed up and just need a good cleaning. Try doing a thorough carb cleaning first. If that doesn't work, then try adjusting things.

An oil change, air filter change/cleaning, new spark plugs, and coolant change are all good things to do as well to a new-to-you used bike. However, in my limited experience, if you have a carbed bike with those types of problems, it's probably the carbs that are to blame.
 
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