Suzuki Katana was one of the most highly anticipated motorcycle unveils at the 2018 INTERMOT motorcycle show and the new bike lived-up to the hype surrounding it. As expected, the new Katana pays homage to the original bike which debuted in 1981 and is one of the most iconic sportsbikes ever made by Suzuki. The 2019 Katana shares its underpinnings with the Suzuki GSX-S1000 naked bike, and the motorcycle carries forward many of the design elements that was seen on the Katana Concept showcased last year.
It features a square LED headlamp housed in a sharp front fairing which is connected to the bottom of the short, but chiselled fuel tank. One drawback of the design is that the fuel tank only holds 12-litres. The floating tail section is minimalistic and adds to the appeal of the motorcycle. Another interesting highlight is that the Suzuki font on the tank is similar to the one used on the original Katana that made its debut 37 years ago. The bold styling of the new Katana is likely to play a key role in pushing sales of the new motorcycle. The all-digital LCD dash is similar to the one used on the Suzuki GSX-R1000R.
Powering the new Katana is the same 999cc motor as seen on the GSX-S1000R. The liquid-cooled, in-line-four powerplant churns out 150hp at 10,000rpm and 108Nm of peak torque at 9,500rpm. Transmission duties are handled by a 6-speed gearbox with a slipper clutch. It also features a three-level traction control system that can be turned off too. There was some speculation that the Katana could debut with a new 700cc turbocharged motor, but it appears we will have to wait a little longer to see the first production turbo from Suzuki.
The Suzuki Katana will go on sale in Europe by early 2019 and it’s quite possible that Suzuki India will get the iconic motorcycle to our shores, perhaps by the end of next year. The upright and relaxed riding posture, retro-modern styling and the legendary name might make the Katana a popular performance bike for Suzuki in India.
Suzuki has also showcased the 2019 GSX-R1000R which gets fitted with stainless steel braided brake hoses replacing the rubber hoses as seen on its predecessor. This should come as a welcome change for track riders as one of the major concerns with the GSX-R1000R was that the brake lever used to feel spongy after repeated hard braking. However, it’s surprising that the base variant still continues to get rubber hoses.
Also, the new GSX-R1000R gets fitted with a new adjustable swingarm pivot thereby allowing track enthusiasts to change the setup of their machine. The base GSX-R1000 now features a bi-directional quickshifter, which thus far was only available in the ‘R’ variant. Both the variants will be now shipped with Bridgestone RS11 tyres that replace the RS10 as seen on the older bike. Visually, the new motorcycle is identical to its predecessor, barring for the matte black finish on the exhaust muffler. No changes have been made on the mechanical front.