The Katana name originally debuted with one of the most striking motorcycles of all time. But in the late 80s, Suzuki brought the name back for a much more conservative model that was tasked to compete with some impressive midsized sportbikes like the Yamaha FZ600 and Honda Hurricane. 1988 was the first year for the updated model, which was offered in 600, 750, and 1100 displacements.
Basic specifications for the smallest option were a 599cc inline four engine that produced 86 horsepower and 44 pound feet of torque through a six-speed transmission. The tank carried a hefty 5.3 gallons. It was officially Suzuki’s first 600 – the Gixxer 600 didn’t come until 1992 – and while it didn’t sell as well as the competition the press still thought it made for a good streetbike. In a 1988 review, Motorcyclist said “the Katana has turned a well-defined class, with each bike having its own strengths and weaknesses, into a free-for-all. The new kid on the block is a very strong contender, with what may be the best combination of power, comfort, and handling yet offered for casual street riders – and serious enthusiasts as well.”
This example (VIN: JS1GN72A2K2101623) has approximately 10,500 miles and it’s entirely stock except for the mirrors and tires. There’s some scratches but overall the bodywork is in great shape for the age. The bike had been sitting for a couple of decades, but the seller brought it back to life with “new tires, air filter, battery, pilot jets, oil change, brake fluid flush, and carb cleaning” and says it now runs great. He was planning on making it a classic track bike, but felt it was too nice to risk having it get scratched up.I
Find this Katana for sale in Woonsocket, Rhode Island for $3,000 here on Craigslist.