After a whole year trying to get our hands on the new Suzuki Katana, I couldn’t let this chance to get a first ride on the iconic Katana.
The original Suzuki Katana released in 1981 as a GSX1100S was an iconic motorcycle that I got a chance to ride it during my secondary school days. Even back then, without a license to ride a big capacity bike that I wouldn’t let that chance slip away. I had also ridden the pop-up light 750 and the rare 250 Katana. The Katana at that time was a performance-breed machine and would satisfy anyone who rode it.
Katana name derived as a Japanese sword with single-edge curve blade of the Samurai. So the rider was the Samurai and the machine was the Katana blade!. Indeed, I felt like a Samurai, slicing the wind.
Fast forward to 2020, having got the first ride the new Katana, getting on the Katana, had the same feeling of the eighties with the styling with a touch of futuristic modern feel. TFT meter was impressive touch, but the feeling of the Samurai slicing the wind didn’t really fizzle. The new Katana felt heavy as I was reversing out of Sam Sharman‘s porch. (Sam is Givi Asia’s marketing manager).
Immediately I took it for a spin out at the main road. The new modern styling of a retro streetfighter does give me a flashback of the old Katana ride. But the 80hp 1000cc felt lumpy and without Quickshifter clutchless gear changing was disappointing. I was more concerned about the ride feel than on the Katana its self.
Our first ride is all about feel and not really about the spec, but a quick check, the new Katana is powered by a modified, street-tuned version of the 999cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC in-line four from the GSX-R1000 K5 (2005-2008) hence the lumpiness. I can’t really say the first ride was disappointing, probably it’s the weight of 215kg compare to my own bike which I rode to Sam’s place was only 180kg. Actually this was the first bike I tested after 2 months due to the Covid19 pandemic.
Well still hope Suzuki Malaysia will let me have the Katana for a full review. Suzuki Katana is CBU and priced at RM85,000.00 excluding road-tax & insurance.