1981 – SUZUKI GSX KATANA – 1100

The Suzuki Katana was a sports motorcycle produced in the early 1980s at the request of Suzuki Deutschland specifically for their market needs, and designed by an outside design team. The Katana was named after the much vaunted and famous Samurai sword. The design team of the Katana was the southern Bavarian firm of Target Design and consisted of Hans Muth, Jan Fellstrom and Hans-Georg Kasten; Muth is still active in the motorcycle industry, building custom motorcycles under his own name, as well as have done design work for the likes of BMW motorcycles (such as the R90S, R100, R45 and R65 models) among others. The Katana design was essentially a styling exercise utilizing existing motorcycle chassis technology. It featured a forward nose and a shaped, blended fuel tank with a merged fuel tank-to-seat arrangement at a time when squared off fuel tanks and flat-faced fairings were the norm. The design also incorporated favorable aerodynamics, with emphasis placed on high-speed stability. When the first production Katana hit the street, it was the fastest mass-production motorcycle in the world. So radical was the design departure from previous mass-market cycles that most major motorcycle magazines of the era thought the design would not appeal to the masses. To celebrate Suzuki’s 70th anniversary, Suzuki took the unprecedented step of remanufacturing a batch of 200 Katana 1100′s in totally original 1980 specification. These bikes were individually numbered, all silver, and all sold on the day of their release. Not wanting to miss out on a good thing, Suzuki released another 200 for 1991, presumably to celebrate their 71st anniversary…!

Years: 1981-1983
Design: Hans Muth
Provenience: CMM Collezione Motociclistica Milanese


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