The Katana is back: Suzuki unveil the 2020 Katana 1000
This is big news for anyone who was wearing school shorts or more in 1980 when the original Suzuki Katana 1100 was released. It was designed in Germany by ex BMW designers – hence it has a destinct BMW tone to it – and at the time, it was the fastest production motorcycle available. People of the time, even now when greyer and wrinklier, still talk about the Katana with reverence, often rubbing their hands menacingly in a sort of Dick Dastardly manner.
The look and feel of the original Katana was so prominent that it went out of production in certain markets only in 2003. There are still many Katana clubs worldwide and they still enjoy a hefty following.
Since last year, Suzuki has been teasing about a new version of the machine, even going as far as releasing a teaser video.
Now, at the Intermot Show in Cologne, Suzuki has finally uncovered their latest incarnation. It definitely has the signature Katana look, with the dual rectangular headlight shrouded in front fairing cowls, a half fairing and raised up handlebars. It is unmistakably Katana.
Below the hood, things a quite different and, at the same time, very familiar. The Katana is based on Suzuki’s GSX-S1000F sport-tourer, the same bike The Bike Show has been using for the Red Star Endurance Series. The motor is based on the 2005 GSXR1000, although retuned for a more progressive power delivery. While the original Katana was the most powerful production motorcycle of the time, this version doesn’t carry quite the same accolades, sporting the 147hp motor of the GSX-S. We are just going to have to wait for the new Hayabusa to see a next level supersonic motorcycle.
It also keeps the same twin-spar aluminium frame, KYB suspension and Brembo brakes. The electronics package features ABS, traction control and three riding modes.
Despite not carrying the same accolades as the original, it has all the same style and menace, no doubt making anyone who rides these machines look like a James Bond villain. That in itself is worth another 50hp. And, if our GSX-S experience is anything to go by, it should be comfortable, plucky and surprisingly good handling, which is probably everything anyone born before 1980 wants.
Despite being labelled a 2020 model, the new Suzuki Katana is expected to start arriving in showrooms worldwide in the first quarter of 2019. Pricing is still unconfirmed.
2020 Suzuki Katana gallery – click to enlarge: