The Suzuki Katana was one of the most highly anticipated motorcycle unveils at the 2018 INTERMOT motorcycle show and the new bike lived-up to the hype surrounding it. As expected, the new Katana pays homage to the original bike which debuted in 1981 and is one of the most iconic sportsbikes ever made by Suzuki. The 2019 Katana shares its underpinnings with the Suzuki GSX-S1000 naked bike, and the motorcycle carries forward many of the design elements that was seen on the Katana Concept showcased last year.
It features a square LED headlamp housed in a sharp front fairing which is connected to the bottom of the short, but chiselled fuel tank. One drawback of the design is that the fuel tank only holds 12-litres. The floating tail section is minimalistic and adds to the appeal of the motorcycle. Another interesting highlight is that the Suzuki font on the tank is similar to the one used on the original Katana that made its debut 37 years ago. The bold styling of the new Katana is likely to play a key role in pushing sales of the new motorcycle. The all-digital LCD dash is similar to the one used on the Suzuki GSX-R1000R.
Powering the new Katana is the same 999cc motor as seen on the GSX-S1000R. The liquid-cooled, in-line-four powerplant churns out 150hp at 10,000rpm and 108Nm of peak torque at 9,500rpm. Transmission duties are handled by a 6-speed gearbox with a slipper clutch. It also features a three-level traction control system that can be turned off too. There was some speculation that the Katana could debut with a new 700cc turbocharged motor, but it appears we will have to wait a little longer to see the first production turbo from Suzuki.
Underneath the retro-styled body sits the GSX-S1000's modern twin-spar aluminium alloy frame, which should endow it with likeable handling dynamics. Suspension hardware consists of a fully-adjustable KYB 43mm dia USD fork and a link-type monoshock unit adjustable for pre-load and rebound damping. Anchorage is provided by Brembo radial calipers and dual-channel ABS is standard.
The Suzuki Katana will go on sale in Europe by early 2019 and it’s quite possible that Suzuki India will get the iconic motorcycle to our shores, perhaps by the end of next year. The upright and relaxed riding posture, retro-modern styling and the legendary name might make the Katana a popular performance bike for Suzuki in India.