Suzuki boss promises ten new bikes over the next three years
Platform-engineered Katana signals a new direction
Suzuki have promised to launch at least ten new bikes by 2021. Speaking at the official unveiling of the new Katana, Suzuki president Toshihiro Suzuki vowed that this is just the first of a host of new models as the Japanese firm bid to upgrade their range. “This bike is a great demonstration of Suzuki’s future. We aim to strengthen our line-up, while creating new series from existing models. By the end of 2021 we plan to launch more than ten new models, focusing particularly on large bikes,” he said.
“The Katana signals a new way of working for Suzuki,” added Paul de Lusignan, director of Suzuki GB. “Designed by an Italian designer with the brief of making an almost productionready bike, it signals a move away from working solely at the factory. But once the big Suzuki bosses saw it and then said ‘go’ the factory put its whole effort into making it production-ready. “With the Katana we’ve got an element of platform-sharing [it’s based on a GSX-S1000] and that will form a key part of our strategy. I think over a longer period of time we’ll end up with a smaller number of platforms and a larger number of models. For all manufacturers the cost of making engines and chassis is very high, so it makes sense for Suzuki to share platforms across models.” It’s unclear at the moment what these models will be, but there are obvious gaps in the range, including the space left by the Hayabusa. The Concept GSX, which is clearly intended to be its replacement, has been shown many times in recent years hinting at a likely return for the hyperbike in the not too distant future.
Also, if the Katana is a success, expect to see more new retros appear. “Some of those bikes will be upgraded versions of bikes that already exist, and some will be completely new,” concluded de Lusignan.
‘The Katana signals a new way of working for Suzuki’
PAUL DE LUSIGNAN, SUZUKI GB
Toshiro Suzuki with Katana designer Dolfo Frascoli