Life on bikes

It’s official – Suzuki Katana unveiled at Intermot

The bike many of us have been begging Suzuki to make is definitely going to happen, the GSX-S1000-based Suzuki Katana 2019.

To date, Suzuki has resolutely refused to join the retro bandwagon, but the long wait for them to join BMW, Ducati, Triumph, Yamaha, Kawasaki and even Honda on the homage-to-classics trail may have been worth the wait.

Today, Suzuki launched the 2019 Katana at the Intermot Motorcycle Show in Cologne. As we predicted just a month ago, the bike will feature the legendary K5 GSXR engine (albeit heavily adapted), housed in a GSX-S1000 frame. We thought the bike wouldn’t arrive until 2020, but the good news the bike will actually hit the UK in spring 2019.

Suzuki Katana 2019
© Suzuki GB

The GSX-S1000 is one of the most undervalued supernaked bikes around – a great bike to ride but in a slightly dowdy package. Dressing this great frame and engine with Katana-inspired bodywork may be the missing link.

The 2019 Katana follows on from the Katana 3.0 concept bike shown at last year’s EICMA International Motorcycle show. The concept was so well received it’s thought that it gave Suzuki the faith that there would be a market for the bike.

Suzuki Katana 2019
© Suzuki GB

Although the styling is retro, the bike itself is very definitely modern, featuring Brembo brakes, Bosch ABS, three-stage traction control, digital display and LED lighting front and rear. Peak power output is 150hp at 10,000rpm, with a peak torque of 108Nm at 9,500rpm.

Like the GSX-S1000, the Katana will feature a fairly upright riding position – great for longer rides but also good for getting the bike down in the twisties. The major difference between the two bikes, aside from the fairing, is the Katana has a much smaller tank, reported to be only 12 litres.

Prices are yet to be announced.

Want to know more why we rate the GSX-S1000 so highly? Read our review where we put it up against the Triumph Street Triple 765 RS.

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