2022 Suzuki Katana, Track Test

By Karan Singh | on November 19, 2022 Follow us on Autox Google News

The moment I laid my eyes on the Suzuki Katana, I was in love. And not just me, our entire team would have their jaws drop every time the Katana was out on the track. The retro lines of the bike flow together so well with the modern components that you just can’t take your eyes off it. Suzuki has done a commendable job of reviving the legendary design, without making it look like a relic. The Katana, based on its looks alone, could be crowned the Best of 2022, and I’m pretty sure no one would charge at us with pitchforks. But perhaps the best thing about the Katana is that it matches the show with the go, and how!

The Katana is powered by a 999cc inline-four-cylinder engine with almost legendary status – the K5. It’s (pretty much) the same engine that helped the 2005 GSX-R1000 win a slew of competitions. Of course, in the Katana, the engine has been heavily tweaked to help it conform to modern emission regulations, but that hasn’t made it any less of a weapon – not in the least.

With a stonking 150bhp at a screaming 11,000rpm, the Katana has some serious firepower. Key in the ignition, thumb the starter (the fuel switch and starter are integrated into one), and the Katana growls into life before settling into a gentle, refined purr. Vibrations? Haha, none! This thing ticks along smoother than a Swiss watch.

But all that is irrelevant. Forget how it looks. Forget how it sounds – even though it sounds as if Benzaiten (the Japanese god of music) himself has meticulously composed that exhaust note – what boggles the mind is the way the Katana rides. The speed is, of course, shocking – the Katana warps the distance between two corners faster than your brain can comprehend. It takes a few laps just to settle into a rhythm, and only once you do can you start to appreciate how well it handles.

Roll off the throttle, get in position, brake, lean. Then brake a bit later in the next lap. Then a bit later still. Then, ignoring all the alarm bells ringing in your head, brake even later. The Katana has so much raw grip from those fat Dunlop tyres (120/70 ZR17 front and 190/50 ZR17 rear) that you’re constantly pushing the envelope lap after lap, just to find you haven’t even scratched the surface. If you do push things a little too far, the Katana has your back – five-step traction control, riding modes, and ABS. No cornering ABS though, and also no lean-sensitive traction control – a bit of a miss, but I’m not complaining. The Katana’s throttle is well calibrated, and the engine puts out power in a wave that rises in ferocity as the revs climb, which means you don’t need Marc Marquez’s throttle control to keep it right-side up. This almost friendly nature of the Katana allowed Simran to push it hard, resulting in a lap time that is just a second short of the Streetfighter V2’s – the fastest bike this year.

It’s not perfect, obviously. The Katana is a bit lazy, especially during quick direction changes, and the Dunlop tyres leave you wanting a bit more. Plus, the quality isn’t top-notch, and the LCD display looks a bit dated. But that’s it. That’s all you can fault the Katana with. It’s a brilliant motorcycle – one that you’d never get bored staring at, and one that you’d enjoy on every ride. At ₹13.61 lakh, it’s also priced ridiculously well for what is essentially a litre-class missile.

  • 2022 Suzuki Katana (Lap Time – 01:07.2)
PARAMETERS POINTS SCORE
QUALITY 10 7.5
COMFORT & PRACTICALITY 10 7
REFINEMENT 10 9
DESIGN 10 9
DRIVETRAIN 10 8.5
RIDE & HANDLING 10 8
X FACTOR 15 13
LAP TIME 05 4.8
VALUE FOR MONEY 20 12
TOTAL 100 78.8

 

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Tags: Suzuki Suzuki Katana

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