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Suzuki unveils all-new Katana

Suzuki has unveiled an all-new version of the Suzuki Katana, and no, it isn’t turbocharged.

Coming up to this year’s Intermot show, there was much teasing of a new Katana model, and there were high hopes it would feature the same turbocharged engine that Suzuki has been flogging around the show circuit in the Recursion concept bike. Alas, that isn’t the case; it’s powered by a street-friendly version of the GSX-R1000R’s 999 cc inline-four.

In this guise, the engine will make around 147 hp, and put out about 80 lb-ft of torque.

Instead of a turbocharged futuristic machine, then, what we’re getting is a very cool machine that mixes design echoes of Hans Muth’s iconic 1981 model with modern technology.

Along with that inline four engine, the new Katana has three-way traction control, USD front forks, ABS (no word on whether it’s leaning ABS), LED headlights and radial-mount Brembo brakes. Curb weight is 215 kg.

Like the original, the new Katana was built with European help; in this case, the Japanese company worked in conjunction with Italian designers. The project began in 2016, and the final version of the machine is expected to be on dealership floors next riding season.

At the unveiling in Intermot, Suzuki’s bigwigs talked about how this model shows the company’s dedication to the future. It’s interesting to see if this is the machine that carries forward a reborn Suzuki, considering the company’s new plant means new possibilities. The official press release (below) has company president Toshihiro Suzuki saying “There is much more to come from Suzuki, as we maintain our customer-focussed perspective and bring innovative and exciting motorcycles to people around the world. By the year 2021, we plan to launch 10 new models, focusing particularly on large bikes, and strengthen our overall lineup and create new series from existing models.” Stay tuned!

Suzuki Motor Corporation has unveiled the all-new KATANA for the overseas market at the INTERMOT International Motorcycle, Scooter and Bicycle Fair held in Cologne, Germany from 2 to 7 October 2018

The all-new KATANA is a completely new model which derives from the original GSX1100S KATANA that won the hearts of riders around the world with its avant-garde KATANA (Japanese sword) design, when it was showcased at the Cologne Motor Show in 1980. Upon developing the all-new KATANA, Suzuki poured in all efforts in expressing the Suzuki craftsmanship and the KATANA, on the back of Suzuki’s manufacturing spirit and KATANA’s history. As a result, like a Japanese sword of tempered steel, the all-new KATANA, which has both a distinctive, avant-garde styling design and contemporary technologies, was born.

With the GSX1100S KATANA as its motif, the highly distinctive design of the all-new KATANA is arranged into a modern look and adopts sleek, sporty profile with sharp, sweeping lines. With distinctive vertically stacked LED headlight and LED position lamp that gives the image of an edge point of a Japanese sword, it has a characteristic face that expresses the KATANA. Plus, satellite rear fender extending from the swing arm is adopted for the first time on Suzuki motorcycle. This enables placing turn signals and license plate holder in lower position and realises clean and compact design.
In order to realise exciting acceleration and riding suited for street use, 999cm3 inline-four engine based on that of GSX-R1000 is installed on a lightweight frame. Also, three-mode traction control, ABS, inverted front forks, Brembo radial mount front brake calipers, etc. are standard equipment.
The all-new KATANA will be produced at the Hamamatsu Plant and is planned to be launched globally from the spring of 2019 in areas including Europe.

Main specification of the all-new KATANA
– Overall Length 2,215mm x Width 830mm x Height 1,110mm
– Wheelbase 1,460mm
– Curb weight 215kg
– Engine 999cm3 four-stroke, liquid-cooled, inline-four engine
– Max. output 110kW/10,000rpm
– Max. torque 108Nm/9,500rpm
At the press conference held on 2 October, Toshihiro Suzuki, President, Suzuki Motor Corporation said, “Our role at Suzuki is to create products people need, bringing a source of fun and excitement into their lives. The all-new KATANA is a great demonstration of Suzuki’s future. There is much more to come from Suzuki, as we maintain our customer-focussed perspective and bring innovative and exciting motorcycles to people around the world. By the year 2021, we plan to launch 10 new models, focussing particularly on large bikes, and strengthen our overall lineup and create new series from existing models.”

5 thoughts on “Suzuki unveils all-new Katana”

  1. Definitely like the updated look. The previous GSX is a great motorcycle burdened with anime styled plastic. For me it’s the difference between something that looks like a machine versus a toy. Still I’m sure the haters will be telling the rest of us what they would have done.

    1. Yeah, I think it’s pretty good. I would have been even more pumped if it had been the turbocharged version we wanted, or else a 750 or 600 version released at the same time, but I realize there’s not as much money in that. Make no mistake, this is Suzuki’s direct reply to the Z900, and might not sell as well, but will definitely have its fans.

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