Team Classic Suzuki revealed their completed lockdown project – 2008 WSB Katan-style makeover
With the global pandemic wreaking havoc on retro bike racing plans, Team Classic Suzuki decided something had to be done to pass the hours. A lockdown project was in order, and what the Suzuki Vintage Parts sponsored outfit came up with is really very special.
It’s a tribute to the legendary 1980s Katana, built around a 2008 GSX-R1000 World Superbike racer. It uses a frame and inline four-cylinder engine from Alstare Racing, the company that built the WSB machines from Suzuki at the time.
To that, Team Classic Suzuki attached a bespoke oversized swingarm and custom subframe from Wellingborough-based Alpha Performance Fabrications. This allows for the use of an old-fashioned dual-shock rear suspension setup, much like the old Katana, with delightfully golden shocks supplied by Öhlins.
The 200 hp liter engine has been completely refreshed, treated with an Alstare WSB manifold, Racefit exhaust and Yoshimura EM Pro electronics. The latter will make the bike more “maneuverable”, says Team Classic – despite the elements from which it is built, it is a road bike.
The Katana creation has the same Dymag CH3 three-spoke wheels used on TCS’s XR69 replicas, as well as modern Brembo brakes. The rear footpegs were designed from the ground up, while the nose is a genuine new and old Katana part from the Suzuki Vintage Parts program but widened by one inch.
On the other end, TCS took one of their racing seats and modified it to fit the tank, which was transferred from the WSB machine. The final touch is the badge of the original model and the red Suzuki logo found on the real Katana.
The result is a fabulous looking motorcycle which, it must be said, references the old Katana in a much more graceful way than the machine Suzuki currently sells under that name. Too bad it’s a unique piece, really.