In the late 70s and early 80s, Japanese manufacturers were selling standard bikes as fast as they could make them. And while most of the bikes were technically sound, they all started to emulate each other, creating the UJM (first coined by Cycle magazine). Suzuki’s Marketing Manager in Germany told his Japanese management, “we had the most technically advanced bikes, but their design was uninteresting!” In response, Suzuki hired a three person team called Target Design, led by the ex-chief of BMW’s styling, Hans Muth to update the ‘company image’. This was his first creation, which was an immediate show-stopper at the Cologne Motor Show in 1980. In fact, the fairing might remind you of a similar Muth creation – the BMW R65LS.
The Katana (also known as the GS1000SZ) had enough poke to back up the interesting styling thanks to 90 horsepower at 8,500 rpm, enough for a top speed of 140 miles per hour.
This example (VIN: JS1GT72A4C2101484, Engine #: GS10X-101678) has 14,944 miles and it’s been with the current (third) owner since 1998. It was serviced in December of 2020 by Pete at Melrose Moto with a fuel flush, oil change, new tires, and a carb rebuild. The sale includes a GS1100S service manual, GS1000S service manual, Clymer service/repair handbook, Haynes owner’s workshop manual, the original Suzuki owner’s manual, three floppy disks with photos of the bike from the original owner, and two keys.
Find this Katana for sale in Santa Monica, California with bidding up to $5,200 here on Iconic Motorbike Auctions.
Disclosure: Bike-urious is a partner in Iconic Motorbike Auctions.