Four decades ago and the Katana concept was unveiled, spawning a family of Kats, with production finally ending in 2001. Suzuki has taken just 14 months to produce a retro homage of the original.
Let’s cut (ahem) right to the chase: the new Katana is always going to be a bit of a Marmite bike – it’s not to everyone’s taste.
Given the fairly niche market and the huge cost involved in developing a new motorcycle from scratch, it made sense for Suzuki to take the GSX-S/F models and base the new bike on that, but that didn’t stop them making the Katana a bit of a looker.
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The front of the bike is faithfully based on the old Katana: There are sword-inspired lines, a stubby screen, a die-cast mudguard strut and, of course, a rectangular headlight. What stands out there is the single-unit handlebar, which rises higher than the old Katana’s clip-ons. Apparently this approach was chosen for rider comfort and better steering.
Read more about the Katana in the May issue of Classic Motorcycle Mechanics, in the shops NOW!Enjoy more Classic Motorcycle Mechanics reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.