When we heard that Motohangar had ripped the bodywork off a Suzuki Katana, we were dismayed. After all, the Katana is one of the most iconic motorcycles ever made.
But then we found out that Patrick Jones and crew were revitalizing a 2006 Suzuki Katana, not one of the 1980s originals. A little research revealed that the name was revived in the USA for the GSXF range, a series of bland sport-tourers with none of the angular magic of the original.
“This one came to us from one of our first clients,” says Patrick. “He got a CB750 from us a while back, and then wanted something as a daily driver/commuter. So he bought a Katana, and asked what we could do with it.”
“We wanted it to have a mix of old and new flavors,” says Patrick, “and a bit of ‘industrial urban assault’ styling!” To get the right aesthetics, Motohangar went for bare metal and minimal paintwork, plus aggressive-looking Avon Distanzia tires. (“They seemed to really pull the look together.”)
The budget was small, so the huge seat was given a starring role and the taillights were fitted underneath, after a little subframe modification. The stock GSXF tank was stripped back to the metal, and minor black detailing was added elsewhere for a monochromatic look.
A shortened FMF exhaust system suits the style of the bike and was a major part of an overall weight-reduction regime. The rest of the work was relatively straightforward: relocating the battery, adding pod air filters, and re-jetting the carbs for maximum performance.
To improve the stance of the Katana, Patrick lowered the front end a tad, and then added Vortex clip-ons and a GT380 headlight. And it looks good. Maybe not as arresting as the original German design, but a helluva lot better than the starting point.
“It was refreshing to work on this bike,” Patrick comments. “We’ve been doing a lot of CBs and 70s bikes, so this was a change of pace and we’re proud of the final product.”
If you’ve ever seen a GSXF ‘Katana,’ you’ll know that Motohangar has done an amazing job.
Got a taste for 1980s styling and the best part of $50,000 to spare? Then check out the resto-mod Katanas available from the Japanese shop AC Sanctuary.