0% Finance On Suzuki’s Iconic KatanaArmani Moffatt
Do you have £2000 free as a deposit for a shiny new motor bicycle on a 0% deal? Were you looking for a bike that’d cost you no more than £268.05 per month, precisely? Lastly, does that bike need to be a modern iteration of a much loved classic? In an intangible corner of some part of multiverse somewhere, probably, there’s a place where that’s what everybody wants. In this reality, answering aye to all of the above will mean you’re part of a rather niche group, but the current offer on Suzuki’s semi-flagship naked should be tempting to many others.
The current 999cc Katana caused a bit of a stir when it was released, with praise and disappointment doled out in roughly equal amounts in terms of its styling. However, this isn’t too different to how the first was received, which went on to become a classic, so there’s plenty of time for this version to build its own loyal following.
One of the biggest misconceptions of the current bike is what exactly it’s based upon. It is in fact the GSX-S1000F, itself a sports-touring version of the naked GSX-S1000 roadster. As such, the initial reception to the new Katana in terms of feel was a little confusion at its soft’ish and surprisingly relaxed chassis because the belief was it was based solely on the S. This did colour first ride reviews somewhat, the va va voom didn’t quite match the visage type thing, although longer term reviews revealed that initial impressions were indeed a little wide of the mark.
The Katana isn’t about the sporty life, and it isn’t really about emulating a classic even if it resembles one and was created from the exact same ethos – take an established bike and make it look very different. It is its own thing, it looks nor feels like neither the S or the F and even the power delivery from the GSX-R1000 K5 derived engine comes with a bit more of a punch at certain points of the range due to some subtle ECU manipulations, which gives it a little extra character. As it’s own thing, it’s something of a beaut and vastly underrated, and wants a legacy of its own, rather than trying to live up to the decades old bike that carries the same name.
It manages to mix an impressive road holding ability including high levels of comfort, with just the right amount of ‘manic’ on demand, while telegraphing clearly when one may be taking things too far by releasing just enough rope for you to get a hold of yourself and reign it back in, well before things go from being fruity to complete fruit salad. With the traction-control off it’ll stunt about a bit although the extra rush through the mid-range means not with quite the same composure or control as its S sibling. Everything else about the bike is perfectly competent and above average in terms of brakes, fuelling, build quality and so forth. Mechanically, and in the current climate, for £11,499 you’re getting a real bargain, in other words. The only actual disappointing fact here is the bafflingly small 12-litre fuel tank, a whopping seven down on the S or F, for apparently no good reason either.
Whether or not you like the looks is down to you of course, but it does scrub-up far better in the metal/flesh than it does in pictures. Actually, this very scribe was riding a new Katana once, fully leathered up on the way home after picking it up from Suzuki, when coincidentally in slow traffic coming in the opposite direction was another new Katana. The rider on it looked the absolute part – white Simpson’esque style lid, cool black leather jacket with a hoody hood spilling out out the back of it, jeans and smart looking pair of modern’classic boots. He clearly got the Katana vibe just as the Katana vibe bounced off a perfectly clad him, they looked the perfect match.
Yet wearing leathers on one never felt out of place, because it’s still a very fast machine with a wealth of capability under the hood, and thus never felt like it belonged only to those who emulate the style. It is definitely worth a test ride if you’ve ever been Katana-curious, and they do garner a lot of attention when they’re out and about so it’s as much a talking point as it is a damn fine motorcycle and, to reiterate, currently available on 0% finance. All points in its favour of course, but could it earn yours? Find out at a local dealer, or find out more on Suzuki’s website.
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