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2022 Suzuki Katana: India Launch and its Legacy

2022 Suzuki Katana: modern, laden with tech, and recognizable
2022 Suzuki Katana

I believe that Suzuki's existence in India can appropriately be described as gentle, yet, substantial. Be it one of the strongest names in motorcycle history, Hayabusa, or the understated V-Strom, Suzuki has a small but prominent big-bike lineup in India.

Now, the Japanese bike-maker is looking to expand it with the launch of the all-new 2022 Katana.

Why is Katana Important?

Originally introduced in 1980, Katana was re-launched in 2019 as an all-new model and based on the 2017 GSX-S1000. Clearly, the new Katana resembles the original model with familiar, yet, modern styling. And while it might not be the case today, the original Katana's styling was as radical as it could get in 1980.

Suzuki Katana
Suzuki Katana 1981. Image credits Wikipedia/Allmoto

Katana enjoys a strong legacy in Suzuki's history. Back in the day, it was meant to be a styling exercise and thought of as a concept by the (still existing) German design company Target Design (created by former BMW designers Hans Muth, Hans-Georg Kasten, and Jan Fellstrom). It's a nice story of how Hans Muth got Kasten and Fellstrom to quit BMW to work on a Suzuki project in order to revive the company's struggling image, and which eventually resulted in the birth of Katana.

With zero restrictions (and expectations) from Suzuki, the Target Design team, in 1979, worked on two radical designs ED-1 (550cc) and ED-2 (1100cc), both were later displayed as concepts in 1980's Cologne show. All the pieces fell into place especially when the public gave a positive response leading to the production and public release of Katana in 1981.

Katana was sold until 2006. But such motorcycles are destined for a second life, and of course, reviving old classics is typical in the motorcycle industry.

Reborn in 2020 and Refined in 2022

Katana was re-introduced in 2019 as an all-new 2020 model. Based entirely on the 2017 GSX-S1000, the new Katana was already a pretty good motorcycle. Using the updated K5 (2005-2006) GSX-R1000 inline-4 engine and the chassis combined from the GSX-S1000 and the GSX-R1000, the 2017 GSX-S1000 and the 2020 Katana were one of the most practical and preferred road bikes.

2022 Suzuki Katana

2022 Suzuki Katana
2022 Suzuki Katana: Faster, Efficient, and Better

The latest Katana sees small but critical improvements that enhance the performance and the overall riding experience of the motorcycle. While the design in general continues to remind us of the original Katana, it is sleeker, refined, and more proportionate. Visual changes include gold-colored front forks, different colors on the wheels and a darker shade on the seat.

The 999cc inline-4, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valve engine makes the peak power of 152 PS at 1,000 RPM higher than before, at 11,000 RPM; while the torque is 106 NM at 9,250 RPM. Also, the engine gets new camshaft profiles, new valve springs, a new clutch, and a new exhaust system. Of course, the engine is Euro5, and BS6, compliant. Other than several performance-enhancing changes, the cooling efficiency is now better with the radiator's new design reducing airflow resistance by 18%, leading to 1.5-degree lower engine temperature at idle. That is quite significant, especially in our weather conditions.

2022 Suzuki Katana
2022 Suzuki Katana: Metallic Matte Stellar Blue

The motorcycle gets all the contemporary features to make riding safer and more enjoyable on the road. Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S) features Suzuki Traction Control System (STCS) which now gets 5-mode settings (up from 3-mode before), Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (SDMS), Ride by Wire, Low RPM Assist, and Suzuki Easy Start System. The lighting is all-LED, from head to tail!

2022 Suzuki Katana
2022 Suzuki Katana: Metallic Silver

The 2022 Katana is available at INR 13.61 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi, and in two colors: Metallic Matte Stellar Blue and Metallic Mystic Silver.


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