Additional photos of this 1982 Suzuki Katana are available here for your perusal.
Last week, a customer showed up at the shop on this beautiful Katana and told us he wanted to put it up on Iconic Motorbike Auctions – our first “walk-in”, of sorts. How could we say no to a beautiful example of Suzuki’s legendary Katana?
In the late 70s and early 80s, Japanese manufacturers were selling standard bikes as fast as they could make them. And while most of the bikes were technically sound, they all started to emulate each other, creating the UJM (first coined by Cycle magazine). Some considered it efficient, others considered it boring. Either way, it’s why bikes like the Katana are very important in the history of motorcycles.
Suzuki’s Marketing Manager in Germany told his Japanese management, “we had the most technically advanced bikes, but their design was uninteresting!” In response, Suzuki hired a three person team called Target Design, led by the ex-chief of BMW’s styling, Hans Muth to update the ‘company image’. This was his first creation, which was an immediate show-stopper at the Cologne Motor Show in 1980. In fact, the fairing might remind you of a similar Muth creation – the BMW R65LS.
The Katana (also known as the GS1000SZ) had enough poke to back up the interesting styling thanks to 90 horsepower at 8,500 rpm, enough for a top speed of 140 miles per hour.
This example (VIN: JS1GT72A7C2101611) shows 62,125 miles on the odometer, a number we were all shocked to see at the shop considering how nice the cosmetic condition is. There are a few period upgrades, including a Lockhart oil cooler and Kerker exhaust. As shown in the photo album, the sale includes the original center stand and exhaust.
There are a few scratches on the front fairing, front fender, and tank, but nothing unreasonable considering the age of mileage of this machine.
Despite the miles, this Katana runs strong. With the period upgrades and impressive overall condition, it would make for the perfect classic rider. Show people who buy the new Katana what they really should have bought!