Suzuki may bring back Katana nameplate on an upcoming motorcycle
Recent filings at the United States Patent and Trademark Office suggest that Suzuki may be looking to revive its Katana nameplate from the 1980's. The motorcycle maker filed an application with the agency on February 8, 2018, for the 'Katana' mark along with the Japanese character mark and sword motif that was traditionally carried by bikes bearing this name.
1981 Suzuki GS1100S Katana
The first Katana motorcycle arrived in 1981 when Suzuki hired Hans Muth of Target Design, Germany to improve the company's image. Hans and team set about creating an open-class motorcycle based on the underpinnings of the GS1100 and the result was the GS1100S Katana. The styling of the bike was hugely popular and its consequent success prompted Suzuki to produce it in 550cc, 650cc and 750cc versions. The nameplate had been used by Suzuki up until the early 2000s but the machines bearing the name were becoming quite forgettable and the name was retired up until the 2017 EICMA, where a Katana concept was shown. This was not a factory project, the Italian magazine Motociclismo were the brains behind it.
The Suzuki motorcycle most likely to bear this badge will be a production version of the turbocharged parallel twin derived from the 2013 Recursion concept. The 2013 Recursion also showed some Katana styling cues and the production motorcycle will bear a GSX moniker by way of its 700cc DOHC parallel twin, four-valve engine. This turbocharged engine was shown under the name 'XE7' in 2015 and should be significantly more powerful than the 100PS output of the 2013 concept bike's SOHC 588cc twin. While there have been rumours that this bike could be called the GSX700T, the possibility of it being badged a Katana cannot be ruled out.
The Katana name is well remembered by motorcycle enthusiasts and Suzuki could do well for itself with a flagship level motorcycle bearing that name.