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Suzuki's Katana 2022: A Blend of Nostalgia and Modern Performance

Suzuki's Katana 2022: A Blend of Nostalgia and Modern Performance

Nostalgia is a powerful force in the world of motorcycles. It takes us back to a time when bikes were simpler, yet full of character. Suzuki, known for their sporty machines, wasn't particularly known for indulging in nostalgia until a few years ago when they resurrected the iconic Katana. Originally a symbol of the 1980s, the Katana turned the tide for Suzuki and brought them back into the limelight. However, we're not talking about the North American versions of the GSX-600F lazily slapped with the Katana name. We're talking about the real deal, the Katana that made a true comeback in 2019.

The 2022 Suzuki Katana is not an all-new bike, but rather a refined version of its predecessor. It heavily borrows from the GSX-S1000, but with a more upright riding position, it deviates from being a pure sports tourer like the original Katana. This update brings various improvements, making it an intriguing option for motorcycle enthusiasts.

At first glance, the Katana's distinctive looks immediately catch the eye. Its modern interpretation of the iconic bikini fairing pays homage to the original design while adding a contemporary touch. The bike has a short and stocky appearance, thanks to its tidy tail and low nose. The Katana logo on the fairing, featuring a sword over the kanji for 'katana,' adds a nice finishing touch.

Sitting on the Katana, you'll notice the presence of an LCD display, which is a bit of a letdown considering the prevalence of color TFT screens in today's market. However, the Katana logo appearing at ignition-on serves as a pleasant distraction. Once on the move, the bike's firm damping becomes apparent, although Suzuki has attempted to soften it slightly. Despite this, the suspension strikes a good balance between ride comfort and handling. The Katana changes direction eagerly, instilling confidence when leaned over, and offers reasonable feedback from its tires.

Under the Katana's fairing lies a 999cc inline-four engine derived from the GSX-S1000. It has received updates to comply with Euro5 emissions regulations, resulting in a broader spread of torque. The ride-by-wire throttle system allows you to choose from three different engine maps via a Suzuki Drive Mode Selector, catering to varying riding conditions. Additionally, an up-and-down quickshifter comes as standard, adding a touch of convenience.

The Katana's mechanical components, including its twin-spar aluminum frame and adjustable suspension, closely resemble those of the GSX-S1000. The chassis provides a stable and composed ride, while the braking system, consisting of twin front discs and a rear disc, delivers ample stopping power. Alongside the new riding modes and quickshifter, the Katana also features Low RPM Assist, traction control, and a slip and assist clutch. The LCD display, though not the most advanced, now includes a red 'Night Mode.'

On the road, the Katana impresses with its performance. Although it may lack the character of some competitors, such as the Yamaha MT-10 or the Ducati Streetfighter, it offers a thrilling riding experience at a more affordable price point. The mid-range torque allows for brisk acceleration in any gear, while the gearbox provides seamless shifts with the quickshifter. The Katana's handling is agile, making it a joy to navigate through corners.

However, it's worth noting that the Katana's fuel tank capacity is smaller than that of the GSX-S1000. With only 12 liters available, it may require more frequent visits to the pump, limiting its long-distance touring capabilities. This is an important consideration for riders who prioritize extended journeys.

In conclusion, the Suzuki Katana blends nostalgia with modern performance. Its distinctive looks, strong engine, and reasonable value make it an appealing option for motorcycle enthusiasts. While it may not have the most advanced technology or the largest fuel tank, the Katana offers an engaging and enjoyable riding experience. If you appreciate its styling and can overlook its limitations, the Katana represents a solid choice in the market.



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