As sharp as its namesake, Suzuki takes another stab at the Katana.
Words: Allan Lane//Images: Suzuki
The Suzuki GSX1100S Katana made its debut in 1981. At the time, its design was both modernist and futuristic. Throughout the years, the Katana fell victim to the design trends of the time that made it subject to the pursuit of aerodynamic bliss. Model year after model year, the GSX1100S Katana morphed into the Katana 600, last produced for the 2006 model year. Suzuki dropped a tease in 2017 with their Katana 3.0 Concept, unveiled at EICMA. The Katana 3.0 Concept was built by Engines Engineering with design credits going to Rodolfo Frascoli.
The new 2020 model from dives deep into the soul of the 1981 Suzuki Katana with aesthetics that will resonate with the true Katana purist and lure in new fans of the model as well. Here are then things that you need to know about the 2020 Suzuki Katana:
1. The Katana has a Suzuki GSX-R1000 engine: Suzuki chose the inline four cylinder, liquid cooled 999cc, liquid cooled, four stroke GSX-R1000 engine from the 2005 – 2008 model year range. The engine has been tuned to provide a smoother throttle response and an increased torque band.
2. A return to the future: The new Katana takes its visual cues from the original 1981 model but has been hitting the CrossFit circuit. Its lines are sharp with intent and while keeping its futuristic presence. The new Katana went back in time, grabbed the original Katana, beefed it up before returning to the future with a modern take on a futuristic classic. Spotlighting its heritage is the red logo decal, inherited from the 1981 Katana.
3. Wheels and tires: Paired with the Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tires, the Katana’s wheels have six spokes and were cast from aluminum.
4. Ergonomics: The seating on the Katana is less aggressive, offering a standard riding position for the rider. With a seat height of 32.5 inches, the bike manageable when at a standstill, allowing a greater chance that feet can be planted flat on the ground.
5. Suspension: The Katana is fitted with fully adjustable KYB 43mm inverted front fork suspension set up that offers 4.72 inches of stroke. The rear link suspension features 2.5 inches with rebound damping and spring preload adjustability.
6. Brakes: The brake system includes a Brembo radial-mount monobloc setup and a Bosch ABS. The dual 310mm floating front rotors are paired with four 32mm piston calipers.
7. Traction Control: Included in the suite of bells and whistles is a three-mode traction control system. The system continuously monitors wheel speed, throttle position, crank position, and gear position and will decrease power if wheel slip is detected. In the LOW setting, the TCS is less engaged and is intended optimum riding conditions. The MIDDLE setting has more interaction and is appropriate for urban asphalt and decent riding conditions. In the HIGH setting, the system has the most interaction and serves the rider best in wet or cold riding weather. The TCS can be disengaged entirely if the rider chooses.
8. Frame: Consisting of a twin-spar aluminum alloy frame, the primary tubes of the Katana’s frame run directly from the steering head to swingarm pivot. The swingarm is an aluminum alloy, strongly braced to assist the frame in saving overall weight and improving performance and handling.
9. Instrument Cluster: An LCD multifunction compact data cluster provides the rider with a plethora of usable data while riding: Speedometer, Tachometer, Odometer, Trip Meter, Lap Time, Gear Position, Water Temperature, Fuel Consumption, Traction Control Mode, Battery, and a Clock.
10. Exhaust System: The four into two into one exhaust system includes an underbelly exhaust chamber and a Suzuki Exhaust Tuning valve. The exhaust chamber takes on some of the system’s bulk and fits underneath the Katana’s engine, thus allowing for a smaller sized muffler pipe and cleaner rear end section. The SET valve, activated by a servomotor, uses a butterfly valve to control exhaust pressure waves to improve combustion at a low RPM.
The 2020 Suzuki Katana will be available in a Metallic Mystic Silver when it hits the showroom floor in 2019. However, Suzuki will have a bevy of components and accessories so that you can customize your Katana to your liking.
Leave a comment below on your thoughts on the return of the Suzuki Katana.