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The legendary motorcycle “SUZUKI KATANA” Teaser video


Now that less than 20 years have passed since the last model in 2000, the “SUZUKI NEW KATANA” will finally be revives. It is said that the actual model exhibition at the Osaka Motorcycle Show (March 15 – 17) to be held soon and the Tokyo Motorcycle Show (March 22 – 24) will be surely confirmed, and it seems that Katana fans can not wait to show off I think that. WEB Young machine has been carrying the special feature of “KATANA”. However, this time, we want to discover past video archives, look back on the history of growth from the birth of “KATANA”, we would like to introduce the specifications of the first model and test ride impressions.

# 1/4: 1980 Early Announcement Early November Edition

Prior to the birth of “GSX1100S KATANA” In November 1976, about five years, SUZUKI, that was a two-cycle manufacturer, released the “GS750” air-cooled 4-cycle In-line 4 · DOHC 2-valve engine. The 1000cc version was added in the following year, the GS series won a lot of races such as Suzuka 8-hours Endurance Road Race, Suzuki ‘s first big displacement 4-cycle series made a satisfying success. Suzuki, which demanded higher power, completed a 4 valve unit that introduced original technology, and in 1980, GSX1100E was sent out to the world. The power achieved 105hp against 90hp of Flagship model GS1000S before that. The performance was exactly alright. However, there was a negative opinion about the form of a square type which aimed at innovation. So, Suzuki decided to order a design to an external designer. Suzuki decided to oder to “Target Design” in Germany. The result of its design is “KATANA” which emits the unique presence.

# 2/4: 1980-2000 Overview

In the autumn of 1980, at the Cologne show in West Germany, a mock-up model that was shaped by “Target Design” company was first demonstrated. The model given the form which imaged Japanese sword was named exactly “KATANA”. That design was shocking beyond imagination, but hence the impression of a lot of people was that it was “a show model to the last.” However, the form of the GSX1100S KATANA that was released at the end of 1981 was exactly the show exhibit model itself. Through the prototype production, the presence and shape of the screen, the form of the muffler, etc. were changed, but the design was finally never changed to the ordinary quiet one. Suzuki’s decision to release a show model’s own commercial model was greeted with surprises and praise. Moreover, its performance was the fastest at that time. Naturally it recorded explosive hits all over the world.

# 3/4: The First Model Detail Check

The first KATANA GSX1100S that was released at the end of 1981. The biggest feature is its innovative design reminiscent of Japanese sword. The coloring of the first model also imagined Japanese swords, exterior, frame, engine all unified with silver. Only the seat was a two tone color of navy blue and gray. The surface of the seat was adopting a backskin tone with a non-slip and rough touch, but this was also a new attempt. The logo of SUZUKI, which was largely decorated on the tank, was orange, which is said to be associated with the shrine’s gate “Torii”. Although it was a long-selling model sold for about 20 years, only its own form never changed to the end. Even now, there are many fans who love this design.

# 4/4: The First Model Test Ride Impression Edition

(Tester is Hiroshi Maruyama) First, I will talk from position. Although it is a characteristic point of KATANA, the clip-on handlebar that is installed under the top stem bridge is very narrowed down. Also, when reaching hand to the handlebar, the length of the tank is felt. It seems that the degree of freedom of the body is considerably lost by the low handlebar and the length of the tank so far, but this position is surprisingly battley and it is cool when you start riding. Indeed when you ride it in the streets, you have less freedom to turn the steering and make a U-turn, but you can enjoy it enough to run the winding road. I think that it was the charm of this model.

* It is reconfigured based on Young Machine April 2006 Appendix DVD.

Original Source[ Young Machine ] (*Japanese)

See SUZUKI Moto Index Page
See Accessories for SUZUKI GSX1100S KATANA (GS1100S)



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Motorcycle Magazine Pubisher
 Young Machine is long loved magazine publisher since 1972 issued by Naigai Publishing. Their articles are often quoted by foreign news as they are fast and unique that are supported by their overwhelming coverage skill of motorcycle news ,data and topics. This highly originated article is popular not only in Japan but also overseas riders which no one complain about its popularity as one of the most entertaining motorcycle magazines in Japan where various magazines are becoming out of print.

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