Much have been said about Suzuki’s Katana motorcycle, which is of 999cc inline four design, over its predecessor, the Katana GSX1100S. As far as I am concerned, it’s a new motorcycle, the handling and characteristics are better, sharper and faster than the original configuration.
Of course, there are a few limitations on the new Katana, but I don’t think they are going to be an issue for many riders – it's heavy (not a surprise as the Katana is mostly metal instead of plastics), needs a larger leeway for a U-turn and smaller fuel tank (12 liters), for a 1,000cc bike!
I must say the 12-litre tank capacity took me by surprise when its low fuel warning lights up just after 188km of mileage ride, with the electronics indicated the Katana had approximately 37km to go from the remaining fuel! However, that was an inaccurate measurement by the electronics as there’s still 3 liters in the tank, good for another 60km!
The motorcycle has the Japanese Katana embossed on both sides of the front panels, to reflect the beautiful gaze of the sword, which exciting to wield. The epitome of fine craftsmanship, the famed sword combines sophisticated Japanese aesthetics and pure beauty into a sharp design, the same characteristics which Suzuki has incorporated into the Katana.
The new Katana features an LED headlight as well as LED front position lights which accent the sharp lines of the cowling that covers the custom-designed instrument panel. The tail light features a striking lighting pattern, and the satellite rear fender extending from the swingarm complements the clean, compact and sharp look of the rear.
At the heart of the Suzuki Katana’s powerful performance is a custom long-stroke version of the legendary fuel-injected 999cc inline-four engine that first proved itself on the 2005–2008 Suzuki GSX-R1000. Its broad torque output range combines with a new throttle control that delivers the power smoothly. Both the induction roar and exhaust note are tuned to heighten the sense of riding pleasure, although at times, the noise may sound as if the engine was struggling when about to reach the top speed.
Both front suspension and rear absorber are factory-tuned for stiffer performance, which for the most parts are pretty much stable except for tarmac that is very bumpy, to the extent the Katana’s handlebars tend to vibrate and bumps could be felt harshly from the seat! It’s up to the individual to opt for softer suspension settings to cope for a bumpy ride.
The Katana has 3 settings for Traction Control – 1 is for Track; 2 is for City/Winding Road and 3 is for raining/slippery tarmac. For this test, the TC was set on 2 all the time including light drizzling of the weather. It was when the rain got heavier, did TC 3 was engaged. Overall, the new Katana is rider-friendly and easy to ride for an inline four 1,000cc naked sports.