The Katana is cool, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you think my “1 of 45” claim makes no sense – I had no idea this bike existed until I started my research. Meet the GSX1100SXZ, affectionately known as the “Wire Wheeler.”
Most countries got the Katana as a 1100, though Americans imported a 1000 for AMA Superbike homologation purposes. Well, turns out America wasn’t the only country who needed some homologation-specific changes: Suzuki built an upgraded 1100 in response to a request from their distributor in New Zealand who was worried about how the Honda CB1100R would perform in their national race series. New Zealand’s national championship required just 20 production bikes for a model to be cleared for racing, so Suzuki delivered exactly that number to Rod Coleman of South Pacific Suzuki Distributors. It worked, as the SXZ won the 1981/1982 New Zealand National Production Championship with riders Dave Hiscock, Neville Hiscock, and Robert Holden. I haven’t been able to establish why, but Suzuki ended up building 25 more of the GSX1100SXZs and exported them to South Africa for a total of just 45 worldwide.
The “wire wheeler” nickname comes from the lighter spoked wheels, the rear of which was a 18″ for better track rubber. Additional upgrades included more powerful front brakes from a Suzuki GS1000GZ, Mikuni VM32SS round-slide oval-bore carbs, larger 33mm bore mufflers, upgraded camshafts + clutch, and a round swingarm. This example (VIN: GS110X-101097, Engine #: GS110X-149909) has 26,257 miles and it’s said to be completely stock.
Find this rare Katana for sale in Johannesburg, South Africa with bidding up to $6,000 and the reserve not yet met here on Iconic Motorbike Auctions.
Disclosure: Bike-urious is a partner in Iconic Motorbike Auctions.