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Suzuki Teaser Video Points to New Katana?

Suzuki recently resurrected the Katana name by registering a new trademark, and now we have a teaser video that seems to point to only one possibility … a new Katana introduced by Suzuki this Fall at Intermot.

The Katana design was originally contracted out by Suzuki to Hans Muth, formerly with BMW. Production Katanas rolled off the Suzuki line for the 1981 model year, and the design was unique … and polarizing. The name stuck around for several years in various iterations. Suzuki would be joining a large group of other manufacturers bringing back older model design features, probably with modern engine and chassis performance. This Fall will be interesting for a number of reasons. Stay tuned.

Early 1980s Suzuki advertisement.

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Artem says:

    Katanas are still on road.
    Watched them a couple of weeks ago.

  2. skybullet says:

    Say what you will, styling sells. If they get that right and back it up with a really good bike they will not have squandered the name.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Replacement for B-King…

  4. My2Cents says:

    I was just sitting on a Kawasaki 900 Cafe last night and getting ready to propose. In my youth however I pined for the original 1100 Katana, I was slow to react and then they were gone. I know Suzuki has that 1250 a/c Bandit motor hanging around…….maybe a second chance after all.

    • DucatiSSsp says:

      Bought my first motorcycle in 1984, a new ’81 Suzuki GS450EX in Metallic red for the whopping price of $1200. Also sitting on the floor was a 750 Katana. Think they had to give me some towels for all the drool that was coming out of my mouth.
      I did however pick up a new Suzuki XN85D about three years later. A bit heavy, but stayed glued to the road. Unfortunately, i took out a Volvo with it. 🙁

      • My2cents says:

        The XN85 was a great addition to the turbo era and oddly the manufacturers were on the same page with widely differing results. I believe your Suzuki would be rare find in first quality condition today.

  5. Mick says:

    I guess if some guys really like it and everyone else hates it. They will have nailed hit.

    Good luck.

  6. Rapier says:

    How is Suzuki doing? Does anyone know? Here and globally. Is the car company a totally separate thing?

    • johnny ro says:

      When you want to know how a company like Suzuki is doing, you can read what they say about that in their annual report to investors.

      Chart on page 5 shows they made 3.4 million cars, and 1.6 million bikes in their fiscal 2018 which ended March 31 2018. Was an up year. They did not sell quite that number, expect inventories to fluctuate a bit.

      Harley would like to make that many bikes, even if many Suzukis are tiddlers.

      Previous pages show they have 50% market share in the Indian car business.

      They are doing OK. In the car world, a worry is they are not big enough to keep growing along with Toyota and VW as technology changes. Bikes no problem.

  7. Ericstraordinary says:

    Let’s just hope it isn’t just a parts-bin bike with the GSX-S750 engine in it.

    I would still love to see them bring out a new SV1000 with the styling of the SV650X.

    • Selecter says:

      1) The GSX-S mill would be more in keeping with the original, and later Katana ethos. Inline four, sixteen valves. Absolutely nothing wrong with this engine at all, even in its current detuned form – 100WHP is nothing to sneer at. Sounds pretty freakin’ fantastic, too.

      2) As for parts-bin bikes… Suzuki has some pretty good parts in the bin. Hell, they could use the whole GSX-S platform aside from the styling and still come up with a winner, if everything was applied properly. Brakes, chassis, and suspension on that bike, while hardly cutting-edge, are all good pieces. Miles better than the “true” retros like the Bonneville and V7 have… and it’s not even close.

      And I only expect that since I (like a few here, I’m sure) fully suspect some sort of neo-retro thing in this case.

      The biggest question to me is where they go with the “Katana” brand. The brand has different levels of capital, depending on the market. Over in Europe, “Katana” referred only to the earlier bikes, and the brand’s capital exists mostly as memories of cutting-edge styling and high performance. The later budget sportbikes were dubbed simply “GSX-F”. Whereas, here in the US, the GSX-F was foremost dubbed the Katana, in 600, 750, and 1100 flavors. A Katana-branded bike would need to fight the “can-a-tuna” stigma of those porky bikes with weird styling, even if they were solid, dependable everyday rides with ‘adequate’ performance for a street bike.

      Knowing which market they’re looking toward would give one a good idea if it will be a retro bike or if it will be a whole new sport or sport-touring brand…

  8. Bob K says:

    How would a Katana fit into the lineup when there’s already a GSX-S1000? And even a GSX-1000F? Would these get axed? If the Katana is supposed to be more premium than those 2, why build another bike so close that it might pinch sales from the GSX-R?

    • Stuki Moi says:

      I can’t imagine Suzuki leaving balance shafts out of any sport touring motor. The latest GSX-R has become a pretty darned focused track slayer. BMW does use their buzzbomb on less focused models, but unless they are getting really desperate, I just can’t imagine Suzuki doing that.

      The 1000F is”not a sports tourer” per Suzuki. The Katana may well be more Ninja 1000 like. The Ninja seems to be much more popular than the GSX-F everywhere, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Suzuki launch a more touring focused liter bike to compete more directly with that one. Hard luggage, better wind protection…… heck, include cruise, and half those in the market for the Ninja may switch allegiance…. Perhaps Suzuki is thinking a smaller, lighter, less complicated and much less pricey H2SX, without the complications of a blower. It’s not as if liter bikes strictly need more power than they have in NA form, to haul some hardcases at even semi sane road speeds.

      • Bob K says:

        I’m already a Ninja 1000 owner, since 11 and have a H2 XS SE on the way. I use it as a sport tourer and commuter pretty much every day. The 1000F seems to me the same kind of bike, though lacking hard luggage from Suzuki. But Givi can already offer mounting and cases for it. The Katana would have to be better than the N1k, 1000F or be something completely different altogether. I guess we’ll know what the hell it is soon enough.

  9. Tom R says:

    It would be wise to keep expectations in line here.

    I hope they don’t end up bringing…a knife to a gunfight.

  10. Grover says:

    The Katana started out radical but settled into a role similar to the Interceptor, but cheaper and less complicated. It will probably be a normally aspirated I4 with ergos between Sport bike and Sport Tourer. I would assume that lower cost will be one of its selling points as is Suzuki’s usual approach. It will be nice to have another bike to choose from that’s not a cruiser.

  11. PR says:

    No, I never could like the original from ’83, with the two-tone seat. Ride Apart has a nice picture of what’s probably coming to Intermot.

  12. SausageCreature says:

    How funny would it be if everyone got their hopes up for a Katana remake, only to have Suzuki reveal a Gladius (also a type of sword) remake instead.

    Or maybe instead of the original Katana, they give us something more akin to the 600/750 Katanas of later years.

    Okay, okay, so maybe recent motorcycle unveilings have made me a bit cynical.

  13. frank says:

    Not sure what that last 22 seconds was, but a new bike from Suzuki would be great.

  14. KenLee says:

    As a proud owner of 1100 Kat’ 83 I’m very curious, what they will bring to the market this time under Katana name. Something like Suzuki Stratosphere concept would be great, but I’m affraid, it will be lower budged and less imperssive…

  15. Denny says:

    Was the original Katana product of an east German designer? The next one may not need “defector” just straight import.

  16. Wendy says:

    I loved the original, could be on board for the second.

  17. GT08 says:

    Hey Kawasaki wake up.
    I’m waiting for a ZRX for year now.
    If Suzuki bring back the Katana, i will not wait anymore.
    I am with Kawasaki for year, but when the first Katana was there i was young and poor.
    This time is a different story and i dont whant to miss this.
    No ZRX in sight i’ll go for the Kat !

    • Dave says:

      The Z900RS is it. If that bike doesn’t do it for you, no use in waiting any longer.

      The Katana I remember best was a early 90’s, cheesy, cheap, wannabe sport bike. Hopefully they know better than to revisit that.

      • Bob K says:

        I really hated that one. So did the one friend I knew that owned it.

      • Tom K. says:

        I remember a friend from work having a 600 or 700cc 1990’s Katana in the mid-90’s. I had a V-Max at the time, and couldn’t resist illustrating that whole “No replacement for displacement” concept to him on a backroad near Joliet. He understands now.

    • dude says:

      get a H2 SX and be done with it. No better bike anywhere now or anytime soon.

  18. GT08 says:

    I want one with the moving head light like the 85 or 86 year.

  19. Neal Aronson says:

    I hope its that half-faired turbo twin with sport touring ergos, under 450 lbs, and under $11k.

  20. Jeremy in TX says:

    It would be pretty cool if that little turbo engine found its way into something.

    • Dave says:

      If they can achieve the kinds of things that Honda has been with their latest auto-turbos, it’d be amazing. They’re slinging a big Accord from 0-60 in sub-6 seconds with a 2L I4 turbo that reportedly has tons of bottom end. Same with Ford’s newer truck engines.

      • Bob K says:

        All these new 4 cyl turbo cars are pretty impressive, boasting peak torque from about 1800 rpm to near redline. But I still bought the normally aspirated V6 for it’s smoothness and balance even though the bottom end wasn’t as good as the turbo 4.
        I’m all for turbos coming into motorcycling. Better efficiency and power and less reciprocating mass and less displacement needed. I don’t know how well Suzuki can do a modern turbo compared to Honda and Kawasaki.

    • TimC says:

      Since I’m in Denver anything forced-induction (other than stuff at the H2 power level) would be very interesting indeed.

      • Bob K says:

        I hear you. I used to land speed race with a friend in Berthoud (N of Boulder) so we’d always run around Estes park and through Nederland and such when I’d visit from Houston. His dyno always showed about 10 HP less out of a 100 hp bike at 5000 ft than when I’m at 150 ft at home. Still was good enough for aggressive riding around Rocky Mountain NP.

        • TimC says:

          Oh yeah, you’re still on a Bike, so it’s not like it’s Slow or something (I have a lowly FZ6 to start with). I just hate losing power due to the altitude, so losing less would be nice.

          And P2P is great, north of Nederland to RMNP is world-class….

          • Bob K says:

            I see your dilemma. The 600 4 valve class does get out of breath. I always rode my boxers or Buells to Berthoud. The lower revving twins, especially the two valvers, were really good at filling cylinders at altitude since they were designed for low end grunt in the first place.
            My friend moved to Idaho, perhaps 6 years ago, so I really miss staying there and riding like an ass all over the NPs.

  21. WSHart says:

    Shades of Zatoichi! Here’s to Suzuki (successfully) paying homage to their own storied history of power, handling and style.

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