Suzuki boss prom­ises ten new bikes over the next three years

Plat­form-engi­neered Katana sig­nals a new di­rec­tion

MCN - - CONTENTS - Matt Wildee & Dan Suther­land

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

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