In reviewing this bike we have to admit that there is something special about the new Katana which makes us obliged to take a closer look at the discussion points. The upright seating with a medium height of 835 mm places the rider at an ideal positioning. The bike has some amazing selling points yet there are other points that must be acknowledge which aren’t that impressive. Here is the good and the bad in reviewing the 2019 Suzuki Katana 1000.
The new Katana 1000 is equipped with a 999 cc engine that cranks 148 bhp for plenty of sped and rev. It’s a capable bike that is fast and it’s also easy to ride. What makes it so special is that it features incredible cornering. The body of the bike is a modernization of the 1982 GSXS1100 Katana model which was designed by Hans Muth. It’s an attractive bike and it’s joining the ranks of the revived bikes which are the latest trend in rider preferences these days, at least within a few key niches in the market for new bikes.
The new Katana 1000 is tuned to the hilt and the design team has seen fit to combine several details from the old bikes with some of the new more modern features in what we think is a nice blending of the present with some of the best things about the past.
The aluminum front mudguard strut gives a nod to the original while new LED lights and a swingarm mounted number plate hanger is Suzuki’s brand new contribution. It gives the bike a racy look. They tweaked the KYB suspension to accommodate the changes in the weight distribution for the bike to make it softer at the tail and firmer in the front. The riding position is altered a bit with the upright bars and the taller seat which is a bit more narrow. New Dunlop Roadsmart 2 tires are the first to be featured on a production bike and they made the cut for this model.
The new Katana 1000 offers sharp handling and there isn’t much that it won’t do. The grip, steering and general handling are good, but it’s not quite up to par with the likes of the Kawasaki Z900RS or the Yamaha MT-10. The quality of the ride could be refined with a bit too much bounce from the rear shock to make it a suitable tourer. It’s powerful enough with great acceleration and rev but there are some rough edges that could have been polished, particularly since they raised the price over the GSX-R1000. The ABS controls are a bit more basic with different pads that give you a lot of bite on the road.
Not a sipper on the highway
The 12 liter tank wont quite deliver if you’re planning on riding for stretches that are over 100 miles because this bike isn’t a gentleman sipper, it drinks the fuel. The bike has its pros and its cons like most do, but we’re not sure that they can justify the price increase. We’ve seen it offered for around 11,000 in British pounds. For a bike that is lacking in sophistication and refinement, and still has a few kinks to work out in the manners of the throttle at low speeds, we must say that it’s good looks and other features are nice and it’s a good bike, but they could come down a bit on the cost. In defense of Suzuki, you can’t go wrong when i comes to the quality of the build and the materials. They insist on perfection and it’s one of the most reliable bikes on the market, they just seemed to miss the mark with a few needed improvements and with giving the price a bump when they can’t give us a good enough reason why, unless the top speed of 145 mph and 80 lb ft of torque are factors. Still, we shouldn’t complain because it’s coming in at a little below what Honda is charging for their comparable class bike.