I am young enough that most of what I can remember of the 1980s is skewed by the forming mind of a child, thankfully. New Coke, ponytails to the side, Cabbage Patch Kids…Alf – it is all a bad dream as far as I am concerned.
The 1980s were a pretty good decade for motorcycles though. Two-strokes still reigned supreme in grand prix racing, and some of America’s best two-wheeled heroes were riding them.
The only rider-aids that were available were things like handlebars and footpegs. Even then, racing a motorcycle was a pursuit full of perils.
Mirroring this notion on the production side of things, the superbike was just starting to be born in earnest, with consumers able to buy fire-breathing monsters that tested the limits of chassis and tire design. A healthy dose of male bravado was involved in riding a motorcycle like a Katana.
If the current trend in the custom world is to re-invent these machines, then we are all for it.
In that vein, motorcycles from the 1980s are coming into their own in vintage racing as well, though depending on where in time various organizations delineate a motorcycle being “vintage” in its design.
On the other side of the pond, the Classic TT at the Isle of Man is an event worth watching, and the bike we see here is ready for the Endurance Legends 4-Hour Race at Donington Park later this year.
It is a Suzuki GSX1000SD Katana, built by the Team Classic Suzuki outfit – a special factory racing team support by the Japanese manufacturer. It drips with an iconic 35-year-old design, with some modern world thinking as well. It’s tasty AF.
This #7 machine will be piloted this year by riders James Whitham, Steve Parrish, and Michael Neeves – some high-profile names in British motorcycle media, who know how to ride a motorcycle at speed, as well.
These riders might be a little “vintage” themselves, but still wouldn’t mind seeing this Katana doing the business at a race track. Until then, here are some obscenely high-resolution photos for you to drool over.
Source: Suzuki Racing