New Suzuki Trademarks Point to Return of Katana and Gamma Names
Could there be a storm brewing deep inside Hamamatsu? That appears to be the case after Suzuki has began the process of re-registering the Katana and Gamma names, adding fire to the increasing speculation that the Japanese bikemaker is preparing to bring back the two motorcycle families into the fold.
Here’s what we know so far: Suzuki registered the Katana name and logo with both the US and European trademark offices. Meanwhile, the Gamma logo was re-registered in the European trademark office. That’s about it.
Granted, it’s not much to go by, but if you think about it, Suzuki wouldn’t take these steps and then just live these new trademarks idle, sitting in the garage collecting some dust. There’s a plan behind these new registrations, even if the specifics at this point are still murky at best.
The Katana is the intriguing name because it could add fuel to the likelihood of the turbocharged Recursion Concept finding its way to production in the near future.
Remember, the Katana used to be a a line of performance-oriented bikes that was eventually absorbed into the sport-touring market. The return of the Katana name and the admittedly awesome Katana logo could mean that Suzuki’s preparing to dust off the old performance family and bring it back to prominence.
As for the Gamma, it’s possible that Suzuki’s bringing back that name, albeit in a different configuration from its previous incarnation. Short-lived as it was, the Suzuki RG500 Gamma had its fair share of admirers as a 500cc two-stroke superbike. This time around, there’s a sliver of chance that Suzuki could opt to take four-stroke route for the Gamma.
That could be the reason why Suzuki left out the Gamma in the US trademarks office since on-road two-stroke bikes are frowned upon in these roads.
Whatever Suzuki’s plans are for re-registering these two names, it’s clear that the company’s planning for some kind of model uprising in the future.
Click past the jump to read more about Suzuki’s plans.
Why it matters
You could make a case that the Suzuki Katana didn’t really go by the wayside since Suzuki’s current line of GSX bikes can be traced back to the Katanas of yore. But it’s the name that’s really important here.
Older Suzuki enthusiasts will likely tell you that the Katana was about as awesome of a name as any bike had in history. Combine that with its history and racing pedigree and it’s easy to understand why Suzuki wants to bring the name back. The fact that it has a concept superbike in the Recursion Concept waiting in the wings only adds to the growing hope that we’ll see the Suzuki Katana return in the future.
The Suzuki Katana first burst into the scene in 1979 as a sports bike design penned by Bavarian firm Target Design at the behest of Suzuki of Germany specifically for their market. Eventually, the Katana was produced from 1981 to 2006 where it enjoyed success in a number of markets, including Europe and North America.
Through the course of its life, the Katana adopted several factory variants and sub nomenclatures, none more impressive than the GSX1100S that arrived in late 1980. Not only was it a landmark moment for Suzuki and the Katana line, but the GSX1100S’s arrival coincided with Suzuki’s boasts that it was the fastest mass-production motorcycle in the world at that time.
The GSX1100S wasn’t just a commercial success, either. It’s combination of power and radical design laid the road on how high-performance bikes were to be developed. Over the years, the Katana evolved into more than just a road-going super bike. Some models, beginning with the 1982 1100SZ were eventually homologated to support the team’s motor racing endeavors.
Suzuki eventually shelved the Katana in 2006, even though a lot of believed that it would only be a matter of time before the name and its history were dusted off and brought back to life.
Well, it appears that time has finally come.