The Katana's design started when Suzuki hired Hans Muth, ex-chief of styling for BMW, to update the company's image. This original design was a 650 cc which a forward nose and a shaped, blended fuel tank with a merged fuel tank-to-seat arrangement at a time when squared off fuel tanks were the norm.
The design also incorporated favorable aerodynamics, with a special emphasis placed on high-speed stability, and was repeatedly wind-tunnel tested in Italy. In late 1980 when the GSX1100S Katana hit the street, it was claimed by Suzuki to be the fastest mass-production motorcycle in the world the new looks were matched by unprecedented performance levels. So radical was the design departure from previous mass-market cycles that most major motorcycle magazines of the era thought the design would not appeal to the masses. Nevertheless it was a sales success, and still looks modern today.
Several variants of the 1982 (Katana 1100SZ were produced by Suzuki to support racing. The GSX1000SZ (c1981) was produced to homologate the type as eligible for racing. under the then current international superbike racing rules which included a 1000cc capacity limit. Suzuki also produced 550 cc ,650 cc and 750 cc versions of the Katana. The 650 had a shaft drive, while the 1984-1986 750 is distinguished by having a pop-up headlight.
111bhp 232kg 136mph 11.5std1/4
108bhp 232kg 137mph 11.3std1/4
90bhp 212kg 130mph 12.0std1/4
73bhp 218kg 125mph 13.2std1/4
54bhp 215kg 107mph 13.9std1/4
42bhp 197kg 106mph 15.2std1/4