Is Suzuki Teasing a New Katana for INTERMOT?

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Yesterday, Suzuki posted this teaser video, gearing us up for a reveal at this year’s INTERMOT show in Cologne, Germany. If you watch the clip above, you can tell why…I mean, it has all sorts of sword references, and Suzuki has been doing quite a bit with the “Katana” name as of late.

Recently trademarking the name in the United States, as well as partnering with  custom bike builder on resto-mod versions of the GSX1100, Suzuki has gone out of its way to remind us of this iconic motorcycle from decades passed.

With the video ending with a cursive writing “斬” – Japanese for “slash” or “kill with a sword” – the subject of this teaser should be obvious…or so it seems.

I have to admit. The dots are all there, and Suzuki is seemingly leaving us simply to connect this very obvious points. Reviving the Katana name is a strong move for the Suzuki brand too, as the bike has a rich history, and the trend to design from the 1980s is still a fresh concept.

A revamp of the Suzuki Katana could be a big win for the Japanese company, especially during a time where it is still struggling to find its feet. Every part of me wants to get excited about this video, but let us play Devil’s advocate for a moment.

We know that Suzuki plans to debut a bevy of important models for 2019. The Suzuki GSX-R600 and Suzuki GSX-R750 models are expected to debut for next year, as is an all-new Suzuki Hayabusa.

Three very important models for the Suzuki Motor Corporation are on the ticket for the 2019 model year…so why stuff a fourth in there? For one, we can argue that Suzuki needs to make a big move to stay relevant in the industry.

The Japanese brand has fallen behind the other three houses from the Land of the Rising Sun, and needs to make quick steps to catch-up. I can believe that notion.

But, crowding the launch of other products is never smart, especially when they all overlap the sport category. Instead, I offer you a different perspective from what you will see from others reporting this story.

We have already explained that the  kanji “斬” character here roughly means to cut with a sword. That with the sword-smithing video shots, makes for an obvious message. What is less obvious though is that 斬 is the basis for other words. Adding another character to the base gives us “斬新” which means innovation – an interesting change of direction, especially for something that concerns Suzuki.

Suzuki has much to innovate on. The company recently built an all-new production facility, which will modernize how it makes motorcycles and reduce costs in the process. The forgotten turbocharged Recursion concept is about ready for debut as well, and there have been no shortage of rumors concerning the technology behind the new Hayabusa.

I don’t think it is as clear what Suzuki has in store for us at INTERMOT. We will be there though, ready to report on whatever surprises they may have.

Source: Suzuki (YouTube)

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.