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The ultimate Katana specials

Published: 15 April 2001

Yoshimura has got hold of five of the last Suzuki Katanas to be built and is turning them into jaw-droppers.

After 20 years of continuous production, Suzuki has finally pulled the plug on the Katana, which has remained virtually unchanged since the prototype version was shown at the Cologne bike show in 1980.

Yoshimura has grabbed five of the last " Final Edition " and made them into the Yoshimura Katana 1135R.

It features many of the parts Yoshimura has developed over the years to help Katana owners keep up with the latest sports bikes. As the name suggests, the engine has been treated to a big-bore conversion – increasing the capacity to 1135cc – along with a range of internal alterations. These include new carburettors as well as new pistons, con-rods and camshafts.

The extra-big oil cooler and full, titanium Yoshimura exhaust hint at the engine’s potential power. Suzuki’s oil-cooled GSX motor – which also formed the basis of the legendary GSX-R1100 – has long been renowned as one of the most tuneable engines ever made, and with Yoshimura’s expertise, the output of the 1135R should be over 150bhp at the rear wheel.

To reduce weight, the fuel tank has been swapped for a hand-beaten aluminium version which, along with the use of lightweight carbon fibre for parts like the front mudguard, helps cut the weight to less than 200kg (440lb).

To cope with the extra performance, Yoshimura has fitted a braced alloy swingarm instead of the stock steel tubular design. The swingarm is sprung by a pair of fully adjustable Ohlins piggyback shocks, while the forks have also been reworked to improve the handling.

It is likely to cost around £15,000