O The leg­endary street brawl­ing su­per­bike is back

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents -

Stun­ning new take on a bril­liant 1980s icon

Suzuki may not have been par­tic­u­larly pro­lific with new bikes over re­cent years, but this new Katana goes a long way to mak­ing up for it.

Cyn­ics might say it’s ‘just’ a dressed up GSX-S1000, but let’s not for­get the GSX-S is ac­tu­ally a good bike that just isn’t bold enough to stand out. You can’t ac­cuse the new Katana of such coy­ness.

More homage than replica or rein­ven­tion it’s nev­er­the­less any­thing but bland. The nods to its an­ces­tor’s chis­elled nose, square head­lamp and hunched flanks are all clear to see. And the fact Suzuki have used the 37-year-old font for the tank logo is a lovely touch, too.

More sporty street bike than faired su­per­bike, it looks to be a com­fort­able ev­ery­day bike and week­end bruiser that hasn’t been whacked with the wand of medi­ocrity – a bit like a more po­tent and pre­mium Z900RS.

Its 148bhp pow­er­plant is shared lock-stock and four SCEM (Suzuki Com­pos­ite Electro­mechan­i­cal Ma­te­rial) coated bar­rels with the GSX-S, with dual throt­tle valves, a 44mm throt­tle body (like its GSX-R1000 sib­ling), and 10-hole in­jec­tors for pre­cise atom­i­sa­tion. The throt­tle con­nec­tion and feel have been tick­led to im­prove de­liv­ery, too, aimed at re­duc­ing the ag­gra­vat­ing abrupt­ness of the early GSX-S mod­els which had all the pro­gres­sive­ness of a light switch.

There’s three-way trac­tion con­trol, a slip­per clutch, ABSe­quipped Brembo ra­dial calipers, low rpm as­sist and a full LCD dash that has been nicked from Suzuki’s GSX-R1000R su­per­bike then given its own in­ter­face. Light­ing is by

LEDS and 43mm, KYB the forks front, in­verted, whole and rear she­bang a preload and fully-ad­justable in­di­ca­tors, sits and on re­bound rear shock. damp­ing-ad­justable The tyres are Dun­lop Road­sport 2s in 120/70 and 190/50 fit­ments on 17in rims.

In fact, the only ob­vi­ous de­merit in this oth­er­wise at­trac­tive retro’s spec is its lack of fuel ca­pac­ity, with the low-pro­file tank and nar­row tail unit pre­sum­ably caus­ing a pack­ag­ing night­mare that re­sulted in squeez­ing the new Katana’s fuel vol­ume down to a miserly 12 litres.

We’ll for­give it that mi­nor an­noy­ance, though, be­cause it sim­ply gives an­other chance to see your­self aboard when re­flected in the fill­ing sta­tion win­dows.

There’s no word on price or avail­abil­ity just yet.

It’s based on GSX-S with 1981-in­spired Katana body­work

yet­fullavail­abil­i­tyjust. LCD dash is a vari­a­tion on the GSX-R1000R’S set-up

Slinky tank means there’s only room for 12 litres of fuel

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