• Suzuki set to bring back the "Katana’ brand

  • Suzuki Katana GSX1100
  • Underpinned by the GSX-S1000F
  • 2017 Suzuki Katana concept

The Japanese registered name protection for Katana and the logo

It was at the 2017 EICMA that we first heard of Suzuki’s intentions of bringing the name ‘Katana’ back into the motorcycling realm. Showcasing the ‘Katana 3.0 Concept’, Suzuki was mulling about bringing the concept to production, but somehow lost steam and people didn’t have much to talk about.

Now though, fresh new information has surfaced suggesting that Suzuki has strong intentions of getting it back for real. The Japanese firm has recently filed for a trademark application in the USA for the name ‘Katana’ and a swanky new logo too with the sword. It is more of a logo and name protection really.

Suzuki set to bring back the "Katana' brand Exterior
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Suzuki Katana GSX1100

First designed in 1979 by Target Design of Germany for Suzuki, Katana were names given to bikini faired sport touring motorcycles that roamed the streets here through 1981–2006 for the revised GSX-F series. Several variants of the 1982 Katana 1100SZ were produced by Suzuki to support racing. Suzuki also produced 550 cc, 650 cc and 750 cc versions of the Katana under the GSX series of bikes.

At the 2017 EICMA, Suzuki re-introduced the Katana brand, albeit as a concept model designed by renowned motorcycle designer, Rodolfo Frascoli. It is underpinned by the GSX-S1000F with designs inspired by the Katana endurance race bike of the 80s. With design cues clearly mimicking the machines of the past, Suzuki is showing strong intentions of making it to production.

Suzuki set to bring back the "Katana' brand
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Suzuki set to bring back the "Katana' brand Exterior
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2017 Suzuki Katana concept
Suzuki set to bring back the "Katana' brand Exterior
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Underpinned by the GSX-S1000F

If you scratch your brain a little, you’ll recollect that Suzuki also showed us its Recursion concept back in 2013 that resembles the Katana design cues with its bodyworks. And we believe that this is the path Suzuki is taking on. Touted to be called the GSX-700T, it will be Suzuki’s entry into the world of forced induction and might as well carry the ‘Katana’ brand with it.

The GSX-700T has already been displayed to all the dealers in Europe at a dealer meet and will have a 700cc “XE7” engine that will give out close to 150 hp of raw turbo-charged power. Eating away the likes of the liter-class performance right off their face.

A 'turbo-charged' Suzuki is heading our way Exterior
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Suzuki Motor Company is in desperate need of a model or two that will give their struggling presence a much-needed lift; especially after their poor show at the 2017 EICMA that just had the Suzuki SVX650 X on display. This GSX-700T might just be the one saving them, both in terms of sales and brand perception.

Knowing that a motorcycle takes at least 4 - 5 years from concept to production, the GSX-700T falls right in line with the unveiling which might happen sometime in 2018-19. Until then, stay tuned with us, and we will update you with new light.

Kawasaki better watch its backs.

Sagar Patil
Sagar Patil
Motorcycle industry expert since 1997! - sagar@topspeed.com
Over the years, a deeper conscience of machines moving body and soul has given him a crisp grasp over the concepts of motorcycling. A sucker for details and common sense, he loves getting his hands dirty every once in a while. His love affair with motorcycles ushers in the specialist skillset making Sagar our go-to expert for everything on two-wheels.  Read full bio
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