Team Clas­sic Suzuki: Mar­vel as a Suzuki Katana en­durance race bike is built live on stage at the show.

FOR MO­TOR­CY­CLE LIVE Katana race project to be built from scratch at the NEC show!

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Nec Show Guide - By Michael Neeves SE­NIOR ROAD TESTER

‘We’re build­ing a race bike just like Suzuki did un­der the Heron ban­ner’

Team Clas­sic Suzuki will be rac­ing at the 4-Hour En­durance Leg­ends event at Don­ing­ton Park on May 6-7 next year on a Katana F1 Su­per­bike that will be built from the ground up at next week’s Mo­tor­cy­cle Live.

Backed by Suzuki’s Vin­tage Parts pro­gram, this will be the third year in a row that one of their bikes has been as­sem­bled and fired up in front of a live crowd. Two years ago they cre­ated a TL1000S en­tirely from new stock parts and last year they re­stored a slab-sided 1985 GSX-R750F.

The build will be han­dled by Team Clas­sic Suzuki’s Nathan Colombi, the man be­hind Michael Dun­lop’s Clas­sic TT race-win­ning Team Clas­sic Suzuki XR69 this sum­mer.

Plans for the first shake­down tests in De­cem­ber/jan­uary are un­der­way and Suzuki will an­nounce the three­rider team at Ca­role Nash MCN Lon­don Mo­tor­cy­cle Show on Fe­bru­ary 17-19.

“This project all came about through the Suzuki Vin­tage Parts pro­gram. We’re the main spon­sor of the En­durance Leg­ends event and we thought ‘let’s put a team in’,” says Tim Davies, Suzuki Vin­tage Parts man­ager. “We de­cided to run the Katana. It fits within what we do and there are still masses of parts avail­able for it as pro­duc­tion con­tin­ued in Ja­pan un­til 1996.

“To come up with a con­cept like this and get it ap­proved by Suzuki UK was a chal­lenge be­cause it’s not cheap. But last year we sold over £1.5m of parts and that suc­cess has en­abled us to do things like this, spon­sor the team and at­tend all the events and shows this year.

“We’re build­ing a race bike to go rac­ing in the name of Suzuki GB, just like Suzuki used to do un­der the Heron ban­ner. We’re go­ing back to our roots with this project.

“Even though it’s a proper hand-built race bike it’s still got a lot of gen­uine Suzuki parts in it: a new crank, bear­ings, all the gas­kets, seals and nuts and bolts, which we source from the parts bin.”

Quick-re­lease bat­tery The Katana runs a to­tal loss ig­ni­tion sys­tem so the bat­tery will need to be changed half way through the four-hour race dur­ing its sched­uled pit­stop. Wheels and tyres Dy­mag CH3 wheels shod with Conti Roa­d­at­tack Clas­sic Race rub­ber. 100/90 x 18 front, 150/65 x 18 rear. The fin­ished bike will be rac­ing at Don­ing­ton Park on May 6-7 Chas­sis Tig-welded tubu­lar chrom-moly frame with re­vised steer­ing ge­om­e­try, wheel­base and swingarm pivot. Al­loy box­sec­tion swingarm with chain ad­justers taken from Michael Dun­lop’s Clas­sic Tt-win­ning XR69. Nathan says: “The swingarm is ca­pa­ble of run­ning a 200-pro­file slick, which gives us op­tions for the fu­ture. But we have to run a 150-pro­file for the race within the 16-valve rules. Run an 8-valve en­gine and we could go with big­ger wheels and brakes. We think this route is bet­ter for re­li­a­bil­ity.”

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