The original Suzuki Katana has maintained a legendary status since its launch in 1981, with a design that remains as impactful now as it did then. With styling cues from the original machine and the latest Katana 3.0 concept, the new Katana moves the design into the modern era, with its contours and lines inspired by the strokes of the handcrafted Japanese Katana sword.
The positive riding position, enhanced by one-piece handlebars, sees riders nestled behind a fuel tank and top fairing that are also immediately recognizable as Katana, boasting retro appeal but with a modern twist. Classic red Suzuki lettering adorns the tank, while the fairing also takes the machine’s original angles and exaggerates them for a purposeful-looking front end. The bike is finished in the classic silver.
The immediately recognizable rectangular headlight is updated with stacked LED lights. At the back, LED taillights sit in an angular seat unit. It also houses the indicators, with the whole design further highlighting the clean look of the tail section, atop which sits a one-piece seat that further pays homage to the original Katana in its design. Seat height is 825mm.
Despite drawing inspiration from an ‘80s legend, the new Katana is underpinned by thoroughly modern engineering. The frame is the same lightweight, twin-spar aluminum frame that is specific to the popular GSX-S1000 series, designed for nimble handling and superior road-holding performance. Fully-adjustable 43mm USD front forks and a rear shock adjustable for rebound damping and spring pre-load come courtesy of KYB, and Brembo monobloc front brake calipers are shared with the current GSX-R1000, biting 310mm floating discs. ABS is provided by Bosch.
Power comes from the inline four-cylinder engine that began life in the GSX-R1000 K5, but heavily revised and modernized for street-based performance. Renowned for its torque and midrange as well as top-end power, the 999cc engine uses a long-stroke design (73.4mm x 59.0mm) for a broad spread of power across the rev range, with peak power output of 150hp at 10,000 rpm, and peak torque of 108Nm at 9,500 rpm. A three-mode traction control system is also available.