Suzuki Katana Jindachi, the history of motorcycling returns with broad shoulders on the asphalt of the new millennium. Can we call it a retro sport all-rounder?
The name for those like me who were already in the 80s motorcycle, says a lot. The Katana in those years immediately became a legend thanks to its skills, especially motorsport, but not only. His particular style made a difference compared to his almond-eyed cousins, all quite similar to each other and in fact he was a great success.
With the new project, the Hamamatsu house just wanted to recall the style of the old Katana that we find mainly in the fairing, with taut lines and large rectangular lighthouse central which obviously today has obtained LED technology, as well as all the other lights, including arrows. The tank also recalls the past, a little rounded, while the rear part of the tail follows the new trends, dominated by the beautiful saddle which in our model is embellished with red inserts that then recall the writings on the tank and the stickers of the rims of the same shade , we also find two small spoilers that refine it and make it even more sporty. The project as a whole convinces and denotes one unmistakable style. In short, Suzuki wanted to respect the past, but by modernizing the whole. We do not therefore define it as a pure replica as on other competitive models; here everything is new while recalling a style born in the past.
The engine, chassis and various mechanics are all in black, in contrast to the superstructures which, on the model we tested, are in metallic silver. The swingarm to which the license plate is connected by means of a sturdy structure and therefore completely separated from the tail also maintains the black tone. Appropriate choice for the sporty and modern style of the bike.
Suzuki also offers motorcycles completely black, perhaps even worse, but the lines are less visible and therefore you lose a little in personality. Perhaps the younger ones prefer the aggressive line while the nostalgic the silver one? As always, like what you like!
2The Jindachi version
Since Suzuki spoils us, the model they have entrusted to us is the top of the range, called Jindachi benefiting from accessories which on the basic model can be had as extras. Doing the math, for those who want the complete package, it is better to take the top version, saving a lot.
The main difference is the beautiful Akrapovic short exhaust, slim and finished in carbon. We highly recommend it for the wonderful sound it emits when you insist on the gas, but even going slowly it satisfies its dark rumbling that signals the true character of the bike, a friendly beast.
Other details are more aesthetic than anything else, such as the smoked windshield, some inserts on the tank that recall carbon, red stickers with the writing of the model on the rims and the two-tone saddle.
On the front prices, the most equipped model costs 14.290 euros while the basic one 13.690 euros. Only the muffler costs € 915 and therefore the comparison is clearly in favor of the more equipped and captivating Jindachi.
3How are you
The displacement is the usual 1000 cc (999 to be exact), which has been specially softened for this model obtaining a truly excellent result. It reacts ready to the bass and then goes up with one unique progressivity in the 4 cylinders, up to unleashed at the highs.
The most beautiful however takes place between bass and mids revs where it could be compared to a twin-cylinder which we know has superior torque qualities and greater progressivity. Here, however, being a sport-derived quattro, fluidity is combined with power, generating a truly superlative combination. We have to congratulate Suzuki. Enjoyable on all occasions. From walking along the lake as a couple, to fun and adrenaline on the track.
Nothing new on the tire front and that's okay: ant. 120/70 and post. 190/50. Excellent coverage on our model, Dunlop Sportmax Roadsposrt which did not give problems in all the conditions of our tests.
Il tank of 12 liters appears just sufficient, especially if you drive sportily, where obviously the consumption of a 4-cylinder with this beautiful sporty character becomes high. Despite being a very comfortable bike and therefore also devoted to tourism and long journeys, autonomy seems very limited to us, forcing more frequent stops. At least a couple of liters more would have helped.
4How to dance
On the front of the cycling all is well, except for some sacrifices on the cobblestones or on the disjointed city, but we know that you can't want everything. The rigidity of the suspensions however adjustable, they don't help on those occasions, but give their best on mixed and guided routes, even at a high pace. If you push it further, the front is lightened, triggering annoying pitching that lead to a slower pace. Taking this bike to the limit is still really difficult given the power it is equipped with, but if you want to insist with the gas, as soon as the asphalt is not perfect, this disturbance warns you that you have exceeded the limit and it is better not to insist, even if the engine still has any (it seems practically infinite). So nothing dangerous, but it is good to know and take it into consideration. The rear, on the other hand, always remains stable and is also helped by the electronics of the traction control adjustable. We have left it on level 3 where it only intervenes in strong accelerations and still lets have fun in safety. We only noticed it from the light that turned on the beautiful and truly complete digital dashboard, therefore without disturbing in driving even forcing. If you prefer less or more intervention, you can still customize it. L'ABS on the other hand is fixed and at low speeds on the bumpy he went into action too early. Perhaps on such a sporty model, it could have been delayed further, but we are talking about details that are almost irrelevant in driving.
The weight of only 215 kg in running order guarantees a truly lively and effortless ride. Natural on every occasion, you drive it with extreme ease. The location with the beautiful wide handlebar it is natural, the legs are comfortable even for those who are tall enough and the extreme slenderness of the bike can be noticed, which allows a very sporty ride, but also extremely relaxed and comfortable on all occasions.
5I would buy it because ...
On the road I think it is perfect, combining the qualities of a great sports engine with the pleasure of driving everywhere. The hairpin bends or the roundabouts even offer fun for how agile the bike is thanks to the elasticity and fluidity of the engine, but also to the extreme versatility of the vehicle.
The passenger also enjoys decent spaces and the saddle is comfortable, which is impossible on more racetrack models. Lastly, we point out the particular slenderness of the bike in the center and therefore with great space to move on the legs or on the saddle when you are committed to tackling guided routes with the desire to go, which I assure you often happens. The sensations it gives in the mixed and also in the tight mixture for this general lightness, are truly satisfying. A true champion of the curves. A vehicle that will never make you regret buying it.
Texts by Stefano Guazzaroni - Photo by Fabio Casuccio - Video by Fabio Capone
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