Suzuki Katana WorldSBK Lock Project: More Neo, More …


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How did you get through your (multiple) confinements? Maybe you’ve perfected this banana bread recipe, made the most of your daily rationed outdoor routine, or perfected your work-life balance.

If you’re like us, we’re sure you’ve also spent some time getting your bike ready for the summer… Team Classic Suzuki certainly did. And the result is this very intriguing version of the Suzuki Katana, which has become the ultimate nostalgic neo-retro racing car that we just can’t stop looking at.

While the revived Katana may not have been the smash hit Suzuki hoped it would be, in the hands of Team Classic Suzuki – who have had time to kill due to the wide array of race cancellations on road – it takes on a whole different lease of life.

Not only has the design been altered to be more faithful to the 1980s original, it also features some of Suzuki’s more recent traits. But what’s most intriguing is what you’ll find underneath – the 2008 Suzuki GSX-R1000 platform driven by Team Alstare in the WorldSBK Championship. In short, there is a lot going on here!

The Classic Suzuki team certainly knows their way around a Katana. He built a racing version of the nude to compete in the classic European Endurance Championship, but for this latest interpretation, he transformed those unmistakable design quirks around an advanced 200 hp GSX-R1000 K8 with a custom oversized swingarm, bespoke Alpha Performance Fabrications subframe, Ohlins trick suspension and Yoshimura EM Pro electronics.

The refresh is courtesy of Nathan Colombi, who completed the ‘reboot’ by tweaking the design to be both more faithful to the original and up to date with Suzuki’s current design language.

This means that the brushed aluminum-style paint and graphics are classic, while the most eye-catching element of Katana’s silhouette – the large rectangular headlight – is now laid out in a style similar to that of the recently launched GSX-S1000. .

Is this a clue that the Katana is going to get a makeover? Time will tell, but an example of Suzuki’s Superbike heritage blending into a slightly mind-boggling “back to the future” look piques our curiosity… and we all agree.

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About Todd Wurtsbach

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