I remember being dumbstruck when the Suzuki Katana was launched back in 1980. And after a period of distaste, I now find those angular looks growing on me again. They say that retro fashion moves in 40-year cycles, so maybe the second coming of the Katana is nigh.
The Katana GSX1100S had a strange gestation. It was conceived in Bavaria by Target Design, at the behest of Suzuki’s marketing manager for Germany. This Katana, however, comes from the Japanese resto-mod masters AC Sanctuary. Called the RCM-189 Final Edition, it’s designed to be the ultimate expression of the breed.
As with all RCM (‘Real Complete Machine’) builds, the frame has been cleaned up and reinforced. The engine has been blueprinted and rebuilt, and is fed by Keihin FCR carburetion. Gases exit via a Nitro Racing system with titanium mufflers; an Earl’s Performance cooler keeps temperatures under control.
The 17” wheels are from Oz Racing, shod with Pirelli Diablo Rosso rubber. The suspension is an Öhlins setup originally designed for the Yamaha XJR1300, and the brakes are a mix of Brembo, Nissin and Sunstar components.
Knowing AC Sanctuary, the build quality will be matched by insanely fast performance and a massive upgrade in handling dynamics. Now, wouldn’t it be interesting if Suzuki pressed the original Katana back into production again, like they did briefly in 1990?