So many modern motorcycle designs are either modern interpretations of a worshipped design from decades past or a straight recreation of a classic with hidden modern components. Suzuki is one of the latest to attempt it with the 2020 Katana. When the original Katana was designed in the early 80’s, there wasn’t a nostalgia market like there is today to tap. You just had to wow the consumer with design and performance. Love it or hate it, when it comes to the original Katana: mission accomplished.
In the late 70’s and into the beginning of the 80’s, Suzuki had the performance part of the formula figured out, but their designs had become a bit stale. The company wanted to bring something to market that would draw attention to their entire lineup. They pulled in three German designers that had worked for BMW to design this new bike. Much of the bones would be from their GS line, but everything else would be radically different. The design was not just a visual achievement – the dipped seat design was used to make the rider feel more one with the machine, and Suzuki did comprehensive air tunnel tests to maximize the aerodynamics with a rider on it. I personally love the design. To me it looks like the 80’s distilled into a motorcycle, the two wheeled equivalent of a DeLorean.
The seller has done a decent amount of research on the history of the bike and included it with a good list of specs in the posting, making my job a little easier. The bike itself has just over 26,000 miles on it, which is low for 37 years old, but the bike has been used as it should be. What a treat it would be to own one of these. They are and continue to be a truly unique design. Nothing has ever struck me in quite the same way as the original Katana.
Find this 1982 Suzuki GSX1100 Katana in Gilbert Arizona for $10,750 here on Craigslist.