Few Japanese motorcycles are held to as high regard as the Suzuki Katana. When it was first released in 1981, it captivated enthusiasts thanks to its then-radical styling—something it would go down the motorcycle hall of fame for. It goes without saying that today’s generation of motorcycle enthusiasts is very much into all things retro. As such, it wasn’t really surprising when Suzuki resurrected the Katana in 2019, and gave it a modern overhaul.
As it would turn out, however, the current generation Katana, or neo-Katana, if you will, isn’t exactly an all-new machine sitting on the bleeding edge of technological advancement. It is, in reality, a dressed up Suzuki GSX-S1000 running an iteration of the engine found in the 2005 GSX-R1000R. That said, the folks over at Hamamatsu have given the Katana a refresh for 2022. Apart from “striking new colors”, the Katana, surprisingly, gets a few refinements when it comes to electronics.
For starters, the new bike receives a revamped throttle-by-wire system, comparable to the 2021 GSX-S1000’s revised throttle system. A new electronics package is also included, which provides the bike with more power, lower emissions, and better torque delivery across the rev range. Suzuki claims the bike now has 150 horsepower, which is three more horses than the previous model. Furthermore, the bike is now Euro 5-compliant thanks to the upgraded electronics package. The fact that it now comes standard with a bidirectional quick shifter is perhaps the coolest part of it all.
Suzuki has adjusted its five-level traction control system, to add to the list of upgrades on the 2022 Katana. TC may still be turned off if the rider wants it, but the settings of each option have been improved to provide an even more engaging riding experience. Rubber-mounted handlebars and a revised slipper-assist clutch system have been added to the Katana for better comfort and long-distance touring capability. Last but not least, the bike’s instrument panel has been upgraded, bringing its tech package fully into the twenty-first century.