Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 12th September 2018

This week Suzuki has been teasing us via social media with a video that implies they are about to let a new Kat out of the bag, a Katana that is. Modern retros are big business and it would make sense for Suzuki to add a hot new retro bike to their range for 2019, especially when they have one of the most iconic designs of the 1980s in their original Katana. The Katana name conjures up images of silver dream machines and the GSX1100S Katana is one of the most recognisable motorcycles of the period. The bikes, styled by German company Target Design, it’s also a machine that attracted owners who liked to modify their bikes and, as a result, not too many have remained original. Prices for examples of anything near standard have been increasing over the years, with fully restored machines often breaking the £10,000 barrier.

This 1983 model we found on eBay was the last variation of the original Eighties 1100 Katana line.

The metallic silver paint remained an option but by now it also came with a choice of either a blue or maroon go faster stripe. The 1074cc motor got a smart coat of black paint, instead of the more natural silver finish that graced the earlier models and even the trademark snowflake cast wheels were changed for less distinctive six spoke items.

This 1983 model sports a Y reg plate and hasn’t spent its life idle, there’s over 50,000 miles on those once trend setting dials. The original exhaust is long gone and in its place resides a chrome Harris works collection four into one system, a nice piece of period bling.

The crash bars might not look so cool, but they would prove their worth should something bad happen. Under that sharp Katana suit lurks basically a standard GSX1100. Back in the day many people didn’t grasp the styling of the Katana, which hard to imagine now.

This Katana is on sale at a Suzuki dealership in Edinburgh and looks to be fairly straight. The £7,495 asking price isn’t going to break the bank and the shop selling it have just reduced the price by a grand, as it was originally on the market for £8,495. Are classic bike prices at last cooling off?

Having survived and remained mostly original for over three decades it would be a shame for this Kat to end up being butchered into a special? That said, some GSXR1100 three spokes and a more modern front end would liven up the handling no end!

What to look for when buying a GSX1100S Katana

Modifications aren’t a bad thing, just check that they’ve been done properly.

There are a handful of GSX1000S models out there, much rarer than the 1100 model. They are easy to spot because instead of the CV carbs used on the eleven, the thousand came with slide carbs. They were built for racing purposes, where the engine capacity limit was 1000cc.

Find out more about this example at: