RETRO RE­BOOT

This could be a re­al­ity tomorrow, would you want it?

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CONTENTS - WORDS AND IM­AGES: KAR LEE

Suzuki’s GSX1000 Katana…

Suzuki’s love af­fair with the Katana and its dis­tinc­tive styling runs deep, and far be­yond the stop-start na­ture of its 21-year life­span. Launched to mixed re­ac­tion in 1980, the Tar­get-de­signed pro­to­type from the year be­fore had been tem­pered slightly but the GSX1100 Katana was un­mis­tak­ably dif­fer­ent to any­thing that had gone be­fore. While it spawned four-cylin­der clones in dif­fer­ent ca­pac­i­ties in­clud­ing the 1000 and 750, the Katana DNA was also ex­tended in di­luted form to a shaft-drive 650, 550, 400 along with a par­al­lel twin 250 and sin­gle-cylin­der 125. It’s im­pos­si­ble to un­der­es­ti­mate how much in­flu­ence the Katana has had on the Suzuki range. In­cred­i­bly, the last 1100 Katana (Ja­panese home mar­ket only) rolled off the pro­duc­tion line in 2001. Even to­day, the Katana lines can still be seen in places on the flag­ship 175bhp GSX-R1000. Which got us think­ing: for­get traces of Katana styling here and there, how about repli­cat­ing it di­rectly but us­ing a GSX-R rolling chas­sis? It’s so mind-bog­glingly ob­vi­ous we’ve re­booted it in ex­actly that fash­ion. We think Suzuki has missed a trick here – do you agree?

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