Suzuki’s much-awaited Katana has arrived in the UK. The new Katana is the evolution of an icon, with the original legendary machine still widely regarded today almost four decades on.
The 2019 version takes styling influences from the 1981 model, including the instantly recognizable face and sword-cut lines, but is a thoroughly modern interpretation.
The Katana is based off the GSX-S1000 platform and its twin-spar aluminum frame. The new motorcycle is also powered by the same 999cc four-banger derived from the 2005-2006 K5/K6 GSX-R1000 — making 150 PS at 10,000 rpm and 108 Nm of torque at 9,500 rpm.
A long‑stroke design with a 73.4mm bore and a 59.0mm stroke allows the combustion chambers to be compact. It therefore allows a combination of an optimal compression ratio, a flat‑top piston shape, and a broad spread of power throughout the rev range. Advances inside the engine begin with the pistons. Suzuki used finite‑element‑analysis techniques to make the pistons light without compromising their rigidity. The benefits include broad torque and quick acceleration.
Cam profiles optimize the valve timing to achieve power characteristics that are ideally suited to city streets and twisty suburban roads. Iridium spark plugs ensure strong sparks for efficient combustion that translates into higher power, linear throttle response, easier engine start up, and stable idling.
The exhaust system has a 4‑2‑1 design with equalizer pipes between the 1‑and‑4 and 2‑and‑3 header pipes. The system fine‑tunes the exhaust pulses for strong low‑to‑mid‑range output. The exhaust chamber after the joint section fits under the engine, so the muffler is minimally sized for a clean, agile look. A catalyzer in the exhaust chamber keeps emissions low enough to satisfy the strict Euro 4 regulations. The exhaust pipe incorporates a Suzuki Exhaust Tuning (SET) system. A servo‑actuated butterfly valve opens to a degree calculated from the engine speed, throttle position, and gear position. It controls exhaust pressure waves to enhance combustion at low revs.
The brand new Katana comes with fully-adjustable 43 mm KYB inverted front forks and a monoshock with adjustable preload and damping. It also gets dual 310 mm front discs with Brembo Monobloc four-piston calipers, dual-channel ABS, an LED headlamp, Easy Start, Low RPM Assist, and three-mode traction control that can be switched off.
The LCD instrument cluster packs a wide range of useful information into a compact form. The panel features a custom display with graphics exclusive to the Katana and white lettering on a black background. The tachometer features a “peak-hold” function, which shows peak rpm when rpm drops. So the rider can recognize the peak rpm of the last moment when downshifting.
The 2020 Suzuki Katana makes use of angular, chiseled lines and distinct, slashed facets that play with shadows and light to give the bike a blade-like feel. In addition, it is the first motorcycle of Suzuki to receive a swingarm-mounted satellite rear fender to keep the tail section looking clean and aggressive. Its Metallic Mystic Silver paint and Katana markings harken back to the original 1981 GSX1100S.
The new Katana boasts a three-stage traction control system to tame its torquey, 150hp GSX-R1000-derived inline-four cylinder engine, itself wrapped in a lightweight twin-spar aluminum frame.
It is equipped with the Suzuki Clutch Assist System (SCAS), the clutch acts as a slipper clutch system when changing down rapidly. SCAS is an advanced clutch system supporting both sporty riding and less fatigue on long rides.
It features a 12 L fuel tank and a wet weight of 215 kg (1 kg heavier than the faired GSX-S1000F).
The Katana is available in Metallic Mystic Silver or Glass Sparkle Black.
The Katana is being offered in Europe at the special introductory price of £11,399 (PhP751,627). The first 200 customers to purchase will also receive a special edition commemorative book, which details the history of the iconic machine with previously unseen images and content from those involved with the Katana over the years, and the mighty Samurai sword with which it shares its name.
Suzuki Philippines has promised to offer the Katana locally, though has set the date for its arrival in 2020.