Team Classic Suzuki, a promotional vehicle for Suzuki’s vintage parts program in England, competes in championship endurance races. In 2018, the team won the superbike category in the Oschersleben 4 hour endurance race with John Reynolds and Pete Boast on a Katana. The team was set to make their Isle of Man TT debut in 2020 on a contemporary GSX-R1000 – we all know how it turned out.
When you can’t run, you tear yourself away. In the case of Team Classic Suzuki, you build. The result is this superb Team Classic Suzuki Katana, which is a fascinating street legal retro-mod based on a 2008 Suzuki Alstare raced in World Superbike.
The Katana is powered by a 2008 GSX-R1000 engine that develops 200 horsepower at the rear wheels. The exhaust is initially routed out of the Alstare World Superbike headers. Racefit in Darley Dale, Derbyshire, about an hour north of the Donington Park circuit, takes over for the exhaust gas journey through the muffler. Cooling is provided by a factory radiator and oil cooler, with fluids being guided through aluminum pipes. An ECU and Yoshimura EM Pro software were brought in to handle refueling and other engine management tasks. For the construction, Nathan Colombi of Team Classic Suzuki carried out a complete refresh of the classic powertrain.
The retro look comes through changes to the Alstare World Superbike frame. Instead of the linkage-assisted single-shock rear suspension, the Team Classic Suzuki Katana features a unique subframe and wishbone swingarm created by Alpha Performance Fabrication in Wellingborough, Northhamptonshire, about 60 miles north. -west London. The new rear section allows the fitting of twin Öhlins shocks, in homage to the original 1981 Suzuki Katana.
Team Classic Suzuki’s XR69 racing replicas use British built Dymag CH3 wheels. Those same cast magnesium wheels are deployed on this Katana build, with Brembo rotors, calipers, and pads taking care of all deceleration. Team Classic Suzuki slipped the rear brake caliper behind the swingarm for a clean look, and the result is flawless. The rubber is courtesy of Michelin Power Cup Evo road approved tires.
The tank comes from the Alstare Suzuki, while the seat is a modified part from the Team Classic Suzuki. The headquarters originate from Parabiago, Italy, a few kilometers northwest of Milan, by Race Seats. The elegant perch is adorned with an embroidered Katana logo. To complete the ergonomics, Team Classic Suzuki has added its own rear controls.
Up front, the nose is the Katana NOS, which can be obtained from vintage Suzuki parts, modified to fit the more modern front end. The seat unit has the Team Classic Suzuki logo painted on the back, as well as the Katana logo painted on the lower front. The rear light and the headlight are LED.
Final details include carbon fiber panels accentuating the seat and nose units, as well as fittings and fasteners from Indiana-based RaceFastener.
If you happen to see the Team Classic Suzuki Katana retro-mod in your rear-view mirrors, remember that the double-impact resto-mod is a 2008 World Superbike racing bike under its fabulous skin.
Suzuki Katana Classic Team Photo Gallery