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Team Classic Suzuki Take The Legendary Katana Racing

The legendary Suzuki Katana will be hitting the track at the Endurance Legends 4-hour endurance race at Donington Park, and Team Classic Suzuki have done a sterling job making it race ready.

We’re not talking about the more modern incarnations of the Katana either, we’re talking good old fashioned 80s style Suzuki Katana. We’ve presented a few theories lately about the future of motorcycle design trends and since all fashion more or less rotates in a cycle, we reckon the 80s are up next. This might be a purpose built classic racer, but if anything it galvanizes our theory a little more. If the 80s come back to the motorcycle industry and the bikes look this good, we’ll happily take the rest of the nonsense that went with the era just for a chance to own one.

The Endurance Legends 4-hour race held at Donington Park in the UK first popped up in 2015, and proved to be a resounding success. To enter into the top tier F1 Classic event, teams must enter a bike that is between 750cc and 1300cc, with 2-valves per cylinder, that classes as a pre-1995 model. There are exceptions, providing that the organizers think that any post-1995 models would “enhance the grid.” This special event allows up to revisit that golden age of racing where the machinery was brutally powerful, but without the benefits of modern riding aids.

The Team Classic Suzuki Katana GSX1100SD

Team Classic Suzuki are a special race team with full backing from the Suzuki factory. This particular model was actually built live in front of the crowds of the UK’s Motorcycle Live event back in 2016. As you can see, it’s a stunning looking Katana, but it has a few differences that set it apart from the crowd.

The suspension comes from K-Tech – including the classic twin rear shock arrangement, the wheels are magnesium units from the UK’s Dymag, and the new swing arm comes from Sweet Fabrications. The chassis is more or less stock, save from a few differences to the head stock and the lower swing arm pivot for better handling and beneficial ground clearance.

The engine has had a few nice upgrades too. The GSX-1100 unit has been bored out by a further 70cc, and now comes equipped with higher lift cams and stainless steel valves. Everything else has been kitted out with genuine Suzuki parts courtesy of the Suzuki Vintage Parts program, such as the bearings and the conrods. The carbs have been changed too, as per the competition rules. You can watch it getting built in the video below.

The race will take part on May 7th and this glorious Suzuki Katana will be piloted by Team Classic Suzuki riders James Whitham, Michael Neeves, and the legendary Steve Parrish – the very same Steve Parrish we know and love as a GP racer, truck racer, and general prankster. And we think this Katana is going to dominate the track.

Categories: Motorcycles

Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…