Suzuki Australia has announced that the reincarnated Katana will arrive in September at $18,990 ride away.
That’s more than $1000 more than the similar retro-inspired Kawasaki Z900RS.
It’s a hefty price to pay for a bike that looks very little like its predecessor, but is packed with modern tech.
The Katana price includes 12 months registration and is backed by Suzuki’s 24 month, unlimited kilometre warranty.
If you pay the deposit and change your mind after three business days, Suzuki Australia told us they would only refund $450.
The remaining $550 would take into account the “reasonable administrative costs Suzuki will incur as a result of your cancellation”.
All customers who order the Katana online also receive a Katana-themed Arai QV-Pro helmet, valued at $995, with their bike delivery.
The next month, a second “Glass Sparkle Black” version was unveiled at the EICMA show in Milan.
Australia will get both colours.
The 2019 Katana has several styling cues from the old Katana including sharp lines, sports screen, half-fairing, stepped two-tone seat, stubby black exhaust and rectangular headlight.
Modern styling changes and features include full LED lighting, a remote rear fender and a massive catalytic convertor underneath.
The biggest change is straight bars instead of clip-ons, so it might be ergonomically less painful to ride.
Power comes from a long-stroke version of the fuel-injected 999cc inline-four engine with 110kW at 10,000rpm and 108Nm of torque at 9500rpm.
Features include a back-torque-limiting clutch, Suzuki’s three-mode Traction Control System, Fujico disc brakes with Brembo front brake calipers and ABS, and new tyres with a tubeless inner structure designed exclusively for the Katana.
Suzuki makes a point of saying the seat is comfortable, probably because the old Katana was notoriously uncomfortable. However, the seat is fairly high at 825mm.
Former two-stroke GP racer Nobuatsu Aoki who raced against Mick Doohan features in this video riding the upcoming Suzuki Katana, claiming it delivers power in a similar way.
Interestingly, Nobuatsu who finished third in the 500cc GP championship in 1997 to Mick, says the bike reminds him of his GP machines. Or at least we think so. It’s a little confusing, or may simply be lost in translation.
This is what he has to say about the power delivery:
The power at full throttle is important, but very little time is spent full power.
Much more of your time is spent just easing open the throttle from the fully closed position.I ’d rather feel the smooth pickup you’d expect from a two-stroke or GP machine.
When the engine kicks in and the chain tenses, it’s important to have a mechanism that gradually increases the load to the rear tyre.
The Katana seems to have such a system, but it hides it.
Nobuatsu is filmed riding the bike on a slippery, wet, Japanese road strewn with leaves so he comments on the traction control and ABS and says it gives “great confidence”.
For a racer who spent his career with his head down and bum up, Nobatsu says he enjoys the upright stance of the Katana which is far removed from the original.
I like the riding position built into the Katana … the positioning of the handlebars feels natural the first time out, testifying to the value of the Suzuki tradition.
A proper engine in a proper chassis. And the riding position is fantastic. I was surprised how easy to ride it is.