In turn, Suzuki launches into the neo-retro segment. As usual with a lot of delay and a choice between surprise and exercise. To leave his mark on this very fashionable segment, each manufacturer draws on its past and reinterprets it with a more or less spicy sauce.. Under this doctrine, what machine was Suz going to come out of limbo to trigger temporal vibrations? ?
The 750 GSX-R? It certainly won its place in the motorcycle pantheon in 1985; but it comes back to life almost every year with special series.
The RE-5? A great idea but a flop at the time. Besides, almost everyone does not care about the rotary engine today … The GS 750? The Van Van ?
No, we need a model that has shocked the spirits, who shook his time, who has become a reference for some or for all. And the bike that corresponded the most when the challenge was launched, it is the KATANA !
As at the dawn of the 80s, this motorcycle marks its territory and its difference with an offbeat design. Suzuki has skilfully transported the strange allure of the 1100 Katana to its future, drawing a present of the same ilk. This temporal leap dictates the pageantry of this ‘Classic’: taut, robotic, deviant lines, it wants to be carved by saber blows, of which it bears the name. The half-fairing took great care to present the most indisputable (and much-discussed) element this bike had to wear. A well square headlight, placed vertically and especially wedged between the diagonals of the fork crown. Guaranteed effect. LEDs will take care of the brightness.
In order to purify its stern, plate and indicators have been released on a support anchored on the swinging arm. An appendix that we find on more and more machines. We thus have an exit from the seat perfectly freed from the obligatory heaviness, where the two-tone saddle can calmly doze off on a fire with vampire gums..
The style is accomplished, it seems. On the form, while on the substance … Miss Katana did not fully respect the spirit of her aïeule. Yet like her, her being is based on the big roadster of the range. Except that Suzuki had transformed it at the time into Sport-GT. A pair of handlebars-bracelets lengthened the riding position, allowing a sporty look and an ordeal for the forearms. The new generation will offer a more relaxed roadster driving position ‘… almost a shame; something distinctive would have suited the silhouette better. Personal opinion. It will not be completely the same as on a GSX-S 1000, because of the seat raised by 10 mm, 825 mm from the ground.
In the 1980s, the real name of the big Katana was GSX 1100 S. Today, its ‘revival ‘is technically based on the 1000 GSX-S. Fun as the appellations ironically know how to cross the ages. Chassis as an engine will thus have few criticisms to deal with. The large 4-cylinder comes from an old GSX-R 1000, of course reworked for roadster use and approval. With 150 horsepower, roundness and consistency all Suzuki, this block is a power companion of very good company. Less explosive than the last generation of hyper-roadsters, it is more reassuring but still strong enough to tear off pairs of molars.
Also closely derived from a GSX-R 1000, the aluminum perimeter frame can do the job valiantly, aided by a fully adjustable 43mm Kayaba inverted fork and a rear shock from the same manufacturer, adjustable in preload and rebound. As you’ll have to brake hard at one point or another, two 310mm discs are ready to suffer under the onslaught of Brembo 4-piston clamps..
The on-board electronics do not differ either. With a silicon card deck including ABS, Easy Start System and 3-stage traction control, can be deactivated. The minimum union today, while the competition continues to overbid with active ABS in curves, driving modes, anti-gimmicks everywhere. Suzuki still leaves a lot of confidence in the pilot, just a little less than a Z 1000.
We regret that the Katana does not benefit from some bonuses, in order to mark a technological difference in driving. Kawa did it well with its Z 900 RS, better equipped at this level than its sister Z 900.
No more sensors, no additional neurons … But all the same a new dashboard, especially for her. A digital panel in the format of that of the last 1000 GSX-Rs, filled with its own graphic charter. The information is plentiful, nothing is missing, and the appreciable little touch will make her proud: the Japanese logo ? when the engine starts.
The tank appears to have been borrowed from Robocop’s back. Its design harmonizes between the past and the plasticity of the Katana, unfortunately with a surprising punishment. It takes 5 liters of fuel less. With 12 liters of total capacity, autonomy may become a concern. We could see it as another tribute to the past: who remembers the reduced range of the 1000 TLR, where you were overcome by anguish once you exceeded 100 km on the counter trip? ?!?
Another small sanction, more anecdotal, the vintage trim placed on this GSX-S weighs it down by 5 kilos. No worries – 215 kilos, that’s still reasonable. In the guns of Japanese roadsters.
Suzuki could have shaken the market much earlier; the Stratosphere concept-bike having marked out the terrain, this Katana would have had a much stronger impact by landing in the wake of the BMW NineT. It is not too late but the saber arrives during the battle, with more difficulty to impose itself. In addition, some will see only a revamped GSX-S 1000. This is not wrong, but what a dressing! Because with it, the Suzuki roadster finally has something to stand out in terms of style – the standard and F versions really lacking in sex appeal. Suddenly, this 1000 Katana could well surprise on a ground where we do not expect it.
Anecdotal and yet equivocal point, the 1000 Katana is the most powerful neo-retro of the moment, by far.
What you must remember
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1000 Katana 2019
Model marketed in
medium: 5.30 l
about 250 km / h
The technical aspect
Suzuki 1000 Katana 2020
- Tank: 12 liters
- Width: 835 mm
- Height: 1110 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,460 mm
- Operating weight: 215 kg
- Train before
- secondary by chain
- Rear axle
(73.4 x 59 mm)
at 10,000 rpm
at 9,500 rpm