On the first day of EICMA, motorcycling gave to me… a new Suzuki Katana! With a star-studded reveal ceremony scheduled in for the first day featuring Sylvain Guintoli, Joan Mir, and Alex Rins, we got a first look at the latest attempt at sharpening the Katana for a future market.
With Alex Rins atop the bike our host went through what’s new – based on the 2021 GSX-S1000 platform, the new Katana will have around 150 bhp with a broader spread of 108 Nm of torque thanks to a new intake and exhaust camshaft, new valve springs, a new exhaust and new airbox.
The Japanese manufacturer has also introduced a ride-by-wire throttle to smooth power delivery, giving riders three selectable engine maps to pick from (Mode A / B / C – all the same peak power, but softening the initial delivery as you switch up the modes).
With switchable traction control, an up/down quickshifter, new Suzuki clutch assist & slipper system and GSX-R derived swingarm, is the updated Katana enough to induce more sales?
Fully adjustable KYB front forks paired with the preload & rebound adjustable rear shock feature here again, with 310mm discs and Brembo monobloc calipers providing the stopping power. Hoops for 2022 are Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2, coming over from the GSX-S.
The Katana will also feature the low-rpm assist and one-touch easy start system.
New Suzuki Katana for 2022
Visually, the 2022 model comes in two new colour options – a dark matt blue with gold forks and wheels, and a dark grey version with red wheels and red accents (including the dash with a new red ‘night mode’).
Interestingly it isn’t certain if a standard ‘Katana grey’ version will make a debut in Spring 2022 when it’s estimated they’ll hit dealers in the UK – and some fans have raised questions about the decision to not answer the grumbles of owners.
In particular, the small range from 12-litre tank (given at around 120 miles), lack of cruise control (despite even going to ride-by-wire for 2022), and even the choice of continuing the same style, rather than heading in a new direction.
We’ll wait for an official price confirmation from Suzuki, but it’s unlikely to stray far from the current £11,500 tag.