2019 Suzuki Katana
Suzuki have just launched the new 2019 Suzuki Katana, based very closely on the existing GSX-S1000 with the same chassis, engine, exhaust, suspension and brakes.
1982 Katana, GSX1100S
The original Katana, GSX1100S was launched in 1982 with a very powerful, for the time. air cooled 1100cc TCCS engine, it had groundbreaking styling but quite a dated chassis and proved very popular and now has a cult status.
The rider and motorcycle were incorporated as a complete aerodynamic package, with the fairing and fuel tank flowing air over and around the rider. The first prototype appeared in April 1980, with an official unveiling a few months later at the Cologne show. To everyone’s surprise Suzuki announced the Katana (named after a Samurai sword) would go into production during 1981, and so it did, for the 1982 model year.
The Katana’s styling was radical and opinion was polarised, you either loved it or loathed it. And while it looked modern the technology underneath the bodywork was far from groundbreaking. At a time when other manufacturers were incorporating liquid-cooling, rising-rate and single-shock rear suspension, and experimenting with 16in front wheels, the 1100 Katana harked back to the past. The 1074cc four-cylinder engine may have had double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and Suzuki’s TSCC (Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber), but this air-cooled b;ock was very much an evolution of an earlier design.
This didn’t stop it producing a class-leading 111bhp at 8500rpm, making the Katana the most powerful production motorcycle available. Unfortunately the chassis lagged behind the engine, as beneath the style was a stock GSX1100 Suzuki, complete with twin-shock rear end, skinny front fork (albeit with trendy hydraulic anti-dive), and a 19in front wheel.
The wheelbase stretched 1520mm and the weight was a considerable 232kg. The alternator and ignition were hung on the outside of the crank causing the engine to be extremely wide and hadto be placed high in the tubular steel cradle frame to give ground clearance. Long, wide and heavy, and with a high centre of gravity, the 1100 Katana was no lithe back road scratcher. The 1100 Katana was one of the last Japanese bikes built to the old formula of an engine massively overpowering its chassis. It may have been fast but terrifying. Capable of more than 230km/h but at 200km/h it was seemingly out of control..
Although the Katana has now earned a cult status, even when it was released it was a flawed dinosaur. Style may have predominated over function but that hasn’t diminished its appeal.
2019 GSX-S Katana 1000
Unfortunately its a bit heavier than the GSX-S1000 at 2015KG with a smaller fuel tank at 12L. It has a new dash (looks like a huge improvement over the existing GSXS, more like the 2017 GSXR) and improved throttle control by re-routing the throttle cables.
It has a very short tail with a stylish rear light and splash guard with number plate and indicators suspended from the swingarm.
One big difference from the original was that the first Katana had quite low clip on bars and the 2019 version much higher handlebar,
In the pictures the code for the Katana seems to be GSX-S1000s/m and the colour code is YMD, Metallic Mystic Silver
The seat height is also higher at 825mm (GSX-S750 820mm, GSX-S1000 810mm)
|Overall Length||2,125 mm (83.7 in)|
|Overall width||830 mm (32.7 in)|
|Overall height||1,110 mm (43.7 in)|
|Wheelbase||1,460 mm (57.5 in)|
|Ground clearance||140 mm (5.5 in)|
|Seat height||825 mm (32.5 in)|
|Curb mass||215kg (474.0 lbs)|
|Engine type||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, in-line four|
|Bore x stroke||73.4 mm x 59.0 mm (2.9 in x 2.3 in)|
|Engine displacement||999 cm3 (61.0 cu. in)|
|Compression ratio||12.2 : 1|
|Fuel system||Fuel injection|
|Transmission||6-speed constant mesh|
|Suspension Front||Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped|
|Rear||Link type, coil spring, oil damped|
|Rake / trail||25° / 100mm (3.9 in)|
|Brakes Front||Disc brake, twin|
|Tires Front||120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless|
|Rear||190/50ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless|
|Ignition system||Electronic ignition (transistorized)|
|Fuel tank capacity||12.0 L (3.2 / 2.6 US / lmp)|