The Katana Returns To The Suzuki Lineup To Cut Through The Competition
The original Suzuki
GSX1100S KATANA caused a sensation when it launched in
1981. It won the hearts of riders around the world and forever changed street
motorcycle trends. The impact was so great, the KATANA continues to influence
motorcycle designs even today.
Having poured its heart and soul into forging the original KATANA, Suzuki never
lost its passion for the model. The legend of the KATANA lived on within the
company as successive generations of designers and engineers anticipated the
day they might get to work on new version.
Fast forward to the fall of 2017 when the KATANA 3.0 CONCEPT model was
introduced at EICMA in Milan. Designed by famed motorcycle designer Rodolfo
Frascoli and built by Engines Engineering, this new vision of a thoroughly
modern KATANA sparked a fire in the hearts of all.
Listening keenly to the feedback from EICMA and excited about the potential
demonstrated by the KATANA 3.0 CONCEPT, Suzuki felt this was the right time to
introduce a thoroughly modern version of the legendary KATANA. Development
began soon after, with a team of designers and engineers burning the midnight
oil in Hamamatsu until satisfied they had brought together all the elements
necessary to create a new legend with the 2020 KATANA.
Each of the styling features and performance components that distinguish the
KATANA underwent many iterations to achieve the desired level of refinement
and functional beauty. Overall, the development process came to closely
resemble the arduous process of creating the Japanese sword from which the
model's name is derived.
The KATANA product concept is; "Forging a New Street Legend"
The KATANA was developed to be a sporty-looking standard street
takes lean, mean retro flair and evolves it to offer thoroughly modern styling and
performance. Built to deliver the exciting ride one would desire in a current 1000cm3
class motorcycle, the KATANA is also designed to provide easy control over that power
and a comfortable riding position.
In paying due tribute to Suzuki's legendary KATANA while updating both the looks and
level of performance to a leading standard for today's street scene, the KATANA reflects
Suzuki's ongoing commitment to fine craftsmanship and its willingness to sweat every
detail to get them right.
Major features of the KATANA
Sleek, sporty profile with sharp, sweeping lines
Gives the distinctive design of the legendary KATANA a totally modern look
Sharp front end and clean, taut-looking rear end
Distinctive new LED headlight and LED front position lights design
Unique satellite rear fender extending from the swingarm
Red logo decal inherited from the legendary 1980s KATANA
Two-tone seat designed for comfort and good looks
Custom black upswept muffler
High-performance 999cm3 liquid-cooled inline-four engine
Inherited from the GSX-R1000 and custom-tuned for the street
Precision fuel injection system
Advanced engine control management
Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) system
Suzuki Exhaust Tuning (SET) system
Custom 4-2-1 exhaust system
Lightweight, compact and highly rigid aluminum frame
Lightweight, ruggedly braced aluminum swingarm
Fully adjustable Ã43mm KYB inverted front forks
Radial mount 4-piston Brembo front brake calipers
3-mode traction control system
Low RPM Assist
Suzuki Easy Start System
Back-torque limiting clutch
Tubeless Dunlop tires with custom-designed pattern
Antilock Braking System (ABS)
Comfortable upright riding position
Informative full-LCD instrumentation
Styling design concept: "A cut above"
The epitome of fine craftsmanship and pure functional beauty.
Design inspiration for the original 1981 Suzuki KATANA came from the famed Japanese
sword of the same name. It is a fitting motif for two reasons. Firstly, it reflects well the
sharp lines and outstanding performance of the legendary KATANA's functional beauty.
As importantly, it reflects well Suzuki's philosophy of uncompromising craftsmanship
and attention to detail.
Japanese swordsmiths devote countless hours to repeatedly forging, hammering,
folding and welding raw steel to achieve the proper level of purity and develop the right
balance in the material before giving shape to the blade. So too, Suzuki devotes
whatever time is necessary to produce and test prototypes as it develops the materials,
components and final design of its motorcycles. The results shine through clearly, even
when it comes to details never actually seen by the user.
The KATANA faithfully inherits the same design motif as well as the spirit for which
Sleek, sporty profile with refined lines that convey a sense of speed
>Modern appearance that also offers retro appeal* (*Originating with design cues inherited from the legendary Suzuki KATANA)
>Sharp front end with LED headlight and LED front position lights
>Clean, taut-looking rear end
>Unique and sharp rear fender and license plate holder extending from the swingarm
>Attractive two-tone seat designed for comfort
>Black upswept muffler
A new design featuring a
vertically stacked LED headlight with a unique rectangular
shape and LED front position lights accentuates the sharp look of the KATANA's face.
The rear section benefits from the following design features:
Satellite rear fender extending from the swingarm
The KATANA introduces a small rear fender supported by the swingarm that hugs the
rear tire. Moving it, along with the rear turn signals and license plate holder, to this
position eliminates parts extending from under the seat to give the tail section cleaner
lines and a tougher, lighter new look.
Short, upswept black muffler
The upswept muffler's short, compact design combines with its black coloring to
further enhance the clean, mean look of the rear section.
The black and gray two-tone seat features a stepped design that maintains the sleek
profile of the KATANA while ensuring a comfortable riding position and positive footing
for the rider. Passenger comfort is also a priority, with the seat strap design ensuring a
Engine design - outline
Power is supplied by a four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 999cm3 inline-four engine. It is a
street-tuned version of the legendary 2005-2008 GSX-R1000 engine designed to provide
smooth throttle response and immediate, controlled acceleration. The result is exciting
and thoroughly satisfying performance with characteristics that make it easy to control.
The reasons Suzuki chose to use the GSX-R1000 engine (from 2005-2008) are as follows:
Its long stroke design delivers broad low-to-mid range power and torque that is well
suited for street riding.
Its crankshaft/gearbox layout allows the use of a frame design that runs straight from
the steering head to swing-arm pivot. This results in realizing a lighter weight main
The 2005-2008 generation GSX-R1000 won a number of racing championships around
the world. The engine has great reputation in the market, it is reliable, and it delivers
plenty of power.
The exhaust system looks clean, delivers an exciting exhaust note, and contributes to
This 4-into-2-into-1 system includes equalizer pipes between the 1-4 and 2-3
header pipes. It is a design that fine-tunes the exhaust pressure waves, thereby
contributing to stronger low-to-mid range output.
The system has an exhaust chamber after the joint section, which is carefully shaped
to fit under the engine. The exhaust chamber helps minimize the muffler size, giving
the rear section a cleaner, more agile look.
The exhaust system contains a catalyzer for clean emission that complies with EURO 4
emission regulations. (Euro 4 emission regulations)
The Suzuki Exhaust Tuning (SET) system employs a butterfly valve actuated by a
servomotor. The amount of valve opening is determined by engine rpm, throttle
position and gear position. The SET system controls exhaust pressure waves in order
to improve engine combustion at low rpm.
The twin-spar aluminum alloy frame is aimed to provide nimble handling and
great road holding performance.
The frame's main tubes are designed to run straight from the steering head to
the swingarm pivot. This is ideal for achieving both high rigidity and low weight.
Designed using the latest FEM analysis technology, the frame weighs about the
same as the one on the current GSX-R1000.
The aluminum alloy swingarm comes from the 2016 GSX-R1000.
The highly rigid, ruggedly braced swingarm provides great road holding
performance and superbike looks.
Dimensions and Ergonomics
The upright riding position is designed for comfort, ease of control, reduced
fatigue, and maximum visibility.
The 825mm seat height is relatively low for the 1000cm3 class.
The slim design of the seat - fuel tank interface makes it easy for riders to plant
their feet firmly on the ground.
The upright riding position is designed to provide optimum control over the bike
and maximum comfort, even on longer rides.
Text source: Suzuki