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Is the Katana about to get a shot in the arm?

It’s been reported in Japan that Suzuki’s Katana is about to be joined by a faster and harder hitting ‘R’ version

new suzuki Katana on the way

IT’S been reported in Japan that Suzuki’s retro-naked roadster the Katana is about to receive a facelift in the not too distant future with a hike in specification also.

The Katana was unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in 2018 to much applause from most of the people there who could remember the original – and some of those that couldn’t! It took the silhouette of the original 1100cc, air-cooled original, and draped the angular bodywork over the chassis and running gear of the capable – but not ground-breaking – GSX-S1000.

It’s not that the GSX-S is a bad basis for the Katana but, as I said in my video review from the UK launch – it’s just not the best thousand cc naked in a class than includes the MT10SP, BMW S1000R, and Ducati’s incoming V4 Streetfighter.

For an idea of what the updates to the Katana could look like, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a look at Yoshimura’s custom version of the Katana we saw at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show earlier this year. On their stand they had a fully blinged up version of the naked on their stand. It was draped in all the motorcycle jewellery you’d expect from Yoshi’ including full exhaust, rearsets, bellypan, and assorted engine and radiator covers. It didn’t really have any performance parts fitted though – just aesthetic items.

But there was another bike at the show which was codenamed the Katana 1135R which shared some of its parts with the GSX-R1000R superbike, including altered swingarm, Showa Balance Free Forks, Showa Balance Free Rear Shock, and Brembo Monobloc calipers.

As the name of the bike suggests, the new Katana could also feature a capacity hike over the standard bike, which is a clever way of ensuring the machine can compete with the rest of the hard-punching super-naked class without having to build a completely new unit, which takes lots of time and millions of dollars!

We have no word from Suzuki if this is the plan for the bike or not, but it’s a fair bet that they want to rule the roost in the class and not dwell in the mid-field, an update such as this could be just what the big Kat’ needs!

Suzuki Katana 2019 Review