O The legendary street brawling superbike is back
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