The world of Suzuki erupts!

The rebirth of the Katana “KATANA 3.0” debuts in Milan!

  • 2017/11/10

At the EICMA (International Motorcycle show Milan) announcements of new models came one after another, but what caught many bikers’ attention was the Katana 3.0, which proved to be a cut above the rest. As everyone knows, when the Suzuki GSX1100S Katana appeared in 1981 it was the most desirable bike, and while that image has been emulated some 36 years later in the 2017 machine, it has been remade by top-class Italian designers.

Collaboration with Italian bike magazine & engineering company

The Katana 3.0 was displayed at the exhibition stand of Italian magazine Motociclismo. The project kicked off in spring 2016 as a feature in the magazine with Rodolfo Frascoli, the designer who handled such bikes as the Moto Guzzi Griso and Triumph Tiger. The bike uses the chassis and engine of a GSX-S1000F, and is equipped with things like an original design tank, seat and upper cowling. This was no design mockup put together just for the show, however, but a machine that has been made to a prototype level. Someone will quite likely be able to swing a leg over it one day for real.

As for the design of the Katana, it has distinctive lines connecting from under the nose of the headlight to the tank, and has characteristics like the seat area that elevates up high to the tail end of the risen tank. Thus, it certainly retains the ambience of the original GSX1100S Katana. Such things as the cut out style fixtures decorating the side covers, and the blacked out parts on either side of the seat evoke the design details of the original Katana. The new Katana matches superbly with the base of the GSX-S1000F chassis, and the finish does not give the impression that it is a retrofit by any stretch of the imagination.

The Katana 3.0 displayed at the Motociclismo exhibition stand. The engine and chassis are left the same as the GSX-S1000F. Only the yokes and bar handles are exchanged with a handle bracket that gives an original plate finish, which is garnished above with the Katana emblem. There was also a demo movie with a scene showing the bike actually running.

Engines Engineering in Bologna are responsible for production of the machine. This company does anything from making plans for bikes, experiments, various tests, and even goes as far as dealing with the MotoGP and Moto3 class racing machines. There are only a handful of such comprehensive engineering companies, and this is the only one in Italy. As for the project, first of all some 3D data is set up based on the design of Frascoli, and while this is coordinated with data obtained from the optical scanning of the GSX-S1000F, various adjustments are calculated as the exterior of the Katana 3.0 is made to fit perfectly with the chassis.

The base body of the Katana 3.0 is the same as the Suzuki GSX-S1000F ABS. If you look at the photo, you can see that, other than the exterior panels and cockpit area, it is much the same. Incidentally, the GSX-S1000F is a high-speed sports machine equipped with a water-cooled four-cylinder 998cc engine, 148bhp, 10.9kg-m, 214kg (wet weight). Price, $11,299. It would be great to be able to ride a modernised version of the Katana one day!

We would like to introduce some of the comments made by the people who came to check out the Katana 3.0 at the Motocicilsmo exhibition stand that have been posted on the magazine’s website. Such things are being said as “The design respects the original Katana”, “They are succeeding well in combining a 36-year-old machine for today”, and “I strongly felt that by looking at the bike the beauty of the original was once again conjured up”. Moreover, it is being reported how most of those attending the interview responded by saying how if the Katana were to be released for sale they would want to buy it. Such a big reaction like this was felt not only at the EICMA venue, but also throughout the world as the news has already been dispatched via SNS and the like. It is not only the Katana fans, but also amongst many riders that this has become a topic for discussion now. Our magazine has been successful in securing an interview with a person concerned with the production of the Katana 3.0 at Engines Engineering, so we want to keep you up to date on the situation.

The Motociclismo exhibition stand was set up at a different pavilion to where the Engines Engineering stand was held, and it displayed the Katana 3.0 and the original GSX1100S Katana. This is a clay model for analytical use, so in order to make the design more appealing, the two companies decided to leave the right-hand side of the bike in the original bare clay.

Katana 3.0 LED red light and tail light. These lights are complete originals by Engines Engineering, and are finished in such a way that it is able to give the bike model authentication. The person in charge said how being able to design lights like these is a testament to the strength of both companies.

●Click here for Engines Engineering website (A well respected bike maker)  
(Photos & article by Yaoyama)

Incidentally, we genuinely have real hopes for the return of the Katana  

We have already been told many times from our readers how this all seems like a fantasy, but we hold hopes that the Katana will eventually arrive. The reason being is that Suzuki acquired an EU registered trademark for the Katana in March 2015 (See photo above), and it goes on for a fairly long time until December 2024. Moreover, at the 2015 Intermot show it was announced on screen about the “SUZUKI NEXT 100” business plan, and the Katana was there in the mix with the RG250, Hayabusa and the like. (See lower photo above). In line with the revival boom that’s about these days, it would seem apt for such a bike to appear in time for Suzuki’s 100-year anniversary in 2020! We can only guess that some great things should be released either way.

This is the dream CG version of the Katana produced by us. It is equipped with a 6-cylinder stratosphere engine that has a distinguishable radiator fixed at the rear. The GSX-S1000 engine here has also been made by Engines Engineering! Not really, Suzuki! By all means do make this a project for the rebirth of the Katana though! (Head of YM CG)






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