Posts by tag: Hans Muth

Featured Listing July 31, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 1983 Suzuki Katana 1100 for Sale

Introduced in 1981, Suzuki’s Katana looked so radical and futuristic that it polarized the motorcycling community. Since the GSX-R that followed a couple years later really set the standard in terms of styling for pretty much every sportbike that followed, the Katana ended up with a kind of retro-futurist vibe, a bike from an era that only really happened in the minds of the designer. The bones were very traditional, with a twin-shock rear suspension, a 19″ front wheel, and Suzuki’s well-developed but hardly cutting-edge inline four. There’s obviously nothing wrong with 111hp and wind tunnel tested aerodynamics, but those looks were the biggest attraction both then and now. And those looks are on display in this gorgeously restored example.

The striking styling was done by BMW designer Hans Muth and Target Design, and aerodynamics developed using Science! gave a claimed 147mph top speed. Later bikes featured a pop-up headlight that was always intended for the bike, and I’ve always loved the compact gauge cluster that tucks in behind the minimalist screen. The rest of the bike was based on conventional, workmanlike components and proven technology from Suzuki’s vast catalog.

The engine was plenty stout and very reliable: an air/oil-cooled 1074cc dual overhead cam inline four with 16-valve heads and Suzuki’s Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber technology powered the beast, hung in a twin-shock cradle frame that provided stable handling for the hulking, 535lb wet bike. Anti-dive forks up front were a nod to modern technology, although they never worked all that well.

After its introduction in 1981, the bike made it to US shores in 1982 fitted with a 998cc version of the TSCC engine to qualify for Superbike racing, with the full-sized 1074 arriving in 1983. At the time, performance would have been quickly superseded by the GSX-R that soon followed, but those wild looks and musclebike performance make it a fast-appreciating collectible today.

From the Seller: 1983 Suzuki Katana 1100 for Sale

When I took on this project, I approached it as if I were the original owner maintaining the bike as a rider that was well cared for over the years. Trying to strike a balance on original finishes and as preserved as possible. The upper fairing, tank, side vents and side panels are new Suzuki parts. The upper and tank, not sold anymore, are NOS. The tank has never had gas in it. The bike was run with an external bottle prior to final assembly.  When the bike arrived in the shop, it had 19K on the odometer and was documented for title purposes at that time. Upon inspection, sometime around 1985 or so the original gauges were damaged and a Katana 750 set was installed and improperly hardwired on the bike. A new, complete wiring harness was purchased and installed. The proper replacement set of 1100 gauges from Japan were sourced that show 18,820 miles indicated. Title will reflect 19k, as the bike came in.  Bike last titled in 1987.  
Anything that had to come off the bike to be addressed was replaced or repaired to original spec (except carb jetting, K&N and V&H pipe). For example, the tires were replaced so, the wheels were powder coated and new bearings installed. The motor was not pulled from the frame, nor was the frame or swingarm painted. All original patina is present on the frame, including the fragile VIN sticker on the left side. I choose not to paint the frame and swingarm because it is original once. If the new owner wishes to paint the frame and swingarm, that would be their choice and can be handled in this shop. I have the original parts including the old gauge set that were taken off the bike, as well as the rear shocks.
New parts:
  • Michelin Pilot tires
  • Ohlins S36P rear shocks
  • Suzuki wheel bearings
  • Suzuki NOS tank and upper fairing
  • Suzuki side panels, left and right
  • Suzuki fuel petcock
  • Suzuki mirrors, pair
  • Suzuki OEM hand grips, pair
  • Suzuki switch gear left and right
  • Suzuki front turn signals
  • Suzuki Ignition coils
  • Suzuki rear master cylinder
  • Suzuki rectifier
  • Suzuki Igniter
  • Suzuki tail lens
  • Suzuki signal generator
  • Suzuki relays
  • Suzuki oil filter
  • Suzuki clutch lever
  • Suzuki clutch cable
  • Seat cover, replica
  • K&N air filter
  • EBC front pads
  • Replica front windshield
  • SuperSprox Chainwheels
  • RK Gold chain
  • Battery
  • NGK plugs
  • Vance and Hines Supersport exhaust
  • Rebuilt original carbs, all new O rings, gaskets, needle valves
  • Halogen bulb
  • Powder coated wheels
Clean Florida title in my name ready to go. Not built to reside in a museum, although it is not far from getting there. Built to ride. The front fork set up is original, no leaks, but not rebuilt. If the bike ends up with me, I will be replacing it with a GSX-R1100 USD unit and a 17in wheel. Runs very well, crisp throttle and ready to go. New Michelin Pilot tires, EBC brake pads
Asking $10,900    
I would consider partial trade for RG500 or RZ500 trades with cash from my side, for similar condition bike. If you need to know more about my work, check out gsxronly.com and look here as well. https://jalopnik.com/get-your-hands-on-an-early-suzuki-gsx-r-while-you-still-1794407221

Thanks for the interest.

Chris Perkins (407) 492-5854

The seller has posted bikes with us in the past, and all look to have been of the highest caliber, and this one is no exception: unless a pure, time-capsule museum-piece is your goal, you’re unlikely to find a first-generation Katana nicer than this one.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1983 Suzuki Katana 1100 for Sale
Suzuki October 8, 2019 posted by

Spring has Sprung – 1982 Suzuki GSX-1100SXZ Katana

– At least in the seller’s Cape Town home.  This low-mile Katana is an excellent original and unusual -SXZ variant that was only offered south of the equator.

1982 Suzuki GSX-1100SXZ ( South Africa ) for sale on eBay

As 1980 approached, Suzuki was having its way on the track and in the showroom, and the SXZ was specified by the New Zealand importer to homologate the model for racing down that way.  Beside the radical look of the Hans Muth design, these Katanas came with spoked wheels ( 18-inch rear ), bigger brakes, carburettors and exhaust, and performance camshafts.  Actual tech for the time meant air cooling, right-side-up forks, and twin shocks.  Even with power bumped up from the usual -S’s 111 hp, the 500-plus pound dry weight was undeniable.  But it made for a great endurance racer and GT.

This owner has had some knowledge of the SXZ’s special lineage, and preserved it beautifully.  Some close-up details would be nice, but metals and finishes look close to faultless in what’s shown here.  Most bikes closing in on their 40th birthday have had some degree of customization, but this Katana is very original.

I am the second owner of this very special Katana for the past twenty-six years.
The mileage is low for the age of the vehicle.
In total, she has done just over 17,000 Km (10,493 miles) of which I have done about 7,500 Km (4,630 miles) during my 26 years of ownership.
She is in mint condition, well maintained and recently serviced.

The factory’s change to an 18-inch rear wheel is puzzling, maybe it was deemed the easiest way to increase ground clearance and decrease the rake angle, lending more quickness to the steering head.  The up-and-coming GSX-R put the kibosh on the Katana’s racing career, but the model has had a lasting impact on Suzuki’s stable, being revived this year as a 2020 model.  For a fan with the time and resources for an international purchase, this looks like a special opportunity.

-donn

Spring has Sprung – 1982 Suzuki GSX-1100SXZ Katana
Suzuki September 22, 2019 posted by

Pun Free Post: 1982 Suzuki GSX1000S Katana for Sale

One of these days, I’m going to write a Suzuki GSX1000S Katana post that incorporates all of the “edgy styling” and “sharp detailing” and “cutting edge design” jokes into one, long sword reference, every sentence carefully forged into a kind of Damascus steel masterpiece of bad puns. Today is not that day though. Instead, I’ll focus on the bike and spare you my attempts at metallurgical humor. Let’s be honest here: the Katana was not a brand-new bike, even though it certainly looked the part when it was introduced in 1981. In fact, the styling was really the only forward-looking element of the design, aside from a set of anti-dive forks.

The engine was Suzuki’s proven air/oil-cooled 1074cc inline four with standard five-speed gearbox from the GS1100, hung in a traditional frame with a twin shock rear suspension, and a 19″ front wheel matched to a 17″ rear. That familiar and bullet-proof mill featured DOHC, 16-valve heads and Suzuki’s TSCC “Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber” to put out 111hp, but the 511lbs dry weight obviously blunts performance somewhat.

It’s not that the Katana was slow, exactly. How could a big four-cylinder motorcycle with slippery, wind-tunnel aerodynamics ever be slow? But it was decidedly old-school, and the GSX-R that followed immediately in its wake showed the real way forward for the sportbiking world. With a bit of work, the Katana will handle well enough, but if you think “muscle bike” instead of “sportbike” you’re probably less likely to be disappointed. Top speed was a claimed 147mph, with tested speeds coming to within a few ticks of that, but it was reportedly pretty terrifying at anywhere near that speed. Best keep it around the ton and just enjoy the old school flexibility.

Slower speeds also permit you to bask in the attention you’re likely to attract, since this is the kind of bike that turns heads wherever you go. Styling was done by former BMW designer Hans Muth and his firm Target Design, and the result was hugely polarizing, but certainly not boring. Later bikes even got the pop-up headlight that looks like was always intended for that tiny nose cone. I’ve personally always been a huge fan of the gauge cluster, where the overlapping faces of the primary dials save space and generally look pretty trick.

Teased in 1979 and introduced in 1981, the bike came to the USA in 1982 powered by a smaller version displacing 998cc to stay under the 1025cc limit for Superbike competition, but but the full 1074cc version came hot on its heels in 1983. The seller simply refers to it as a “Katana” and it’s entirely possible we could have the 1000cc or the 1100cc version here.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Suzuki GSX1000S Katana for Sale

I’m selling a beautiful Katana out of my personal collection! It is one of the first 1000 of production! The bike runs awesome, in good weather it will start and idle 90% of the time without the choke! It was totally gone through buy RR Restorations! New, brakes, battery and tires. The carbs, front and rear calipers and anti dive have all been professionally rebuilt! With only 11K miles I hate to see it go, but its time for someone else to enjoy it as I did! The bike come with a money back guarantee! However, your deposit is none refundable and buyer is responsible for return shipping! This is a beautiful bike that will turn head anywhere you ride it! If you have any questions please feel free to ask! Please free to make and reasonable offer! I don’t have to sell it, just what to make room for another! The bike runs, rides and everything works the way it should!

The buyer is completely responsible for shipping and the arrangements if needed! I will help the shipper in any way possible!

Katanas have proven popular as the basis for resto-mod projects, owing to their relatively low values, readily-available parts to maintain and tune the strong, reliable engine, and the wild design that even today looks like some dimension-hopping refugee from an alternate, much cooler future 2019 than the one we actually got. This one should probably be left alone though, with maybe just some updates to the fork and shock to keep the bike’s wayward high-speed handling in check. It’s not completely original, with the Kerker exhaust, but looks way too clean in general to chop up, even in the name of “improvements” and, at $7,000 is still a relative bargain.

-tad

Pun Free Post: 1982 Suzuki GSX1000S Katana for Sale
Suzuki November 29, 2018 posted by

On Target: 1983 Suzuki Katana GS1100SX

It came from the 80s. And while that is an accurate tag line, the truth is it sort of oozed its way boldly out of the 1970s. Like the last of the front-engine Formula 1 racers, the Katana was visually stunning and stood at the pinnacle of old-school performance. Unfortunately, that pinnacle was really a precipice; the new world of liquid cooling, single shock swing arms, GP-inspired 16-inch front wheels, five valves per cylinder and aluminum perimeter chassis was just around the corner. By 1984 the Kawasaki Ninja made the Katana a hot-rod relic, and the remainder of the Big Four were close behind. Suzuki gamely fought back with the likes of the Gen I GSX-R, but the era of air-cooling was headed the way of the dinosaur. Yet for a brief period of time the Suzuki Katana was top dog – and remains an iconic model even today.

1983 Suzuki Katana 1100 for sale on eBay

The seller has provided an accurate account of how the design of the Katana came to be, but fails to note the pedigree of Muth (long time BMW designer responsible for the R90S, R100S, R100RS and R65LS to name a few), and the extent to which the Katana design language extended throughout the Suzuki model range. The Katana was the most visually extreme, but the XN85 Turbo and full range of GS models all retained key elements and lines of the Katana. But the Katana wasn’t just another pretty face. Stuffed full of a DOHC, 1100cc in-line monster of a motor, the Katana was claimed to be the fastest mass-production motorcycle of the day with 80+ HP (!). Beneath the styling, the rest of the bike was surprisingly pedestrian; a stock GS1000 chassis complete with twin shocks. Wheels are 19 inchers, likely chosen as much for style as performance. Ancillary components hang off the end of the crank, making this bike impossibly wide. While some technology peeked its way into the build (4-valve heads, anti-dive fork), the Katana was really a tarted up, big motor bike. Which is why we love it.

From the seller:
You are looking at a great condition 1983 Suzuki GS1100S Katana, one of the iconic bikes of the early 1980s.

The 1100cc model of 1983 replaced the 1982 1000cc model which was supposed to be part of a homologation program to make them eligible for Superbike racing.

The Katana project actually began in Germany with a company called Target Design in 1979 with Target Design to improve Suzuki’s GS1100. Ex-BMW designers Hans-Georg Kasten and Hans Muth partnered with Brit Jan Fellstrom to overhaul the Suzuki lineup. The Katana, named for the famous Japanese sword, first appeared at the Intermot show in Cologne in May 1980, and production examples appeared a year later with only a few changes from the show bike.

More from the seller:
This particular bike is part of a collection which is being sized down. It has been parked for quite a while and is NOT READY TO RIDE

It will require some attention to make it roadworthy if it is supposed to be ridden.

Please note that the title will show an odometer discrepancy according to the BMW regulations in Ohio. The mileage shown on the speedometer on the bike is 75, but the actual mileage is approx. 6060. The original speedometer showing 5984 miles will be included.

Complete and original (or period correct) Katanas are getting stronger on the money side. While time has tamed their brutal status as a monster – performance slower than that of a middleweight today – keep in mind that the chassis and suspension is pretty much 40 year old technology. While never a canyon carver in its day, Katanas today are best utilized for more genteel rides and for the show. Today’s bike is more on the show side of the fence, having traveled only 6,000 miles in its life and being the resident of a private collection. The seller notes that due to the time it has sat it will need to be serviced. That likely means carbs and tires, and any other pieces that have gone brittle with age.

This bike is currently at $4,500 with several days to go – and what appears to be NO Reserve. The current price is a bargain for a vintage Katana, although with over 100 watchers it will surely climb before auction end. We don’t see a lot of these, but looking at past pricing puts an average somewhere in the $8k arena. This bike appears cleaner than most, which may help elevate its value. Check it out here, and then jump back to the comments to share your thoughts. Is this a Love It or Hate It bike for you? Good luck!!

MI

On Target: 1983 Suzuki Katana GS1100SX
Suzuki October 25, 2018 posted by

2nd Life – 1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana

RSBFS normally shies away from buffed-up resto-mods, but this long term transformation is understated, very true to the original – and a looker.  This owner has polished where appropriate, but powder-coated in many cases, with a nice performance rebuild of the 1100cc four.

1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana for sale on eBay

 

On the radical side, the German firm Target Design penned their edgy 111 hp flagship, as the headlight fairing slashes its way toward 136 mph.  Suzuki’s twin-swirl combustion chamber ( TSCC ) and forged engine internals made all that power more reliable.  Ergonomics are long and low, rake and trail numbers optimized for high speed  work.  Forks had anti-dive but were not adjustable, while dual rear shocks had five selections for preload and rebound.

 

Evidently restored by the original owner, this Kat has some serious mods in the engine and could be shown as a light custom.  Some normally bright parts have been powder coated black while forks and calipers ( and float bowls ! ) have been polished.  With stripes, the paint is celebratory compared to the original.  The owner says this in the eBay auction:

The bike starts and runs great, and has about 600 miles on it since being restored.
 
Engine assembled by Scott Horner / Heads Up Performance
 
Wiseco 1160 piston kit
Heads Up Performance ported and polished head
Yoshimura stage two cams
Crank rebuilt by Falicon
New OEM rods, oil pump
Vance & Hines Super Hub rebuilt by APE Performance
APE Billet clutch basket assy, Valve job w/ bronze valve guides, Undercut trans gears, Heavy duty cam chain,
Manual cam chain tensioner, Adjustable cam sprockets, cam chain guide
Vortex Overhead oiling kit
Dyna ignition, green coils, HT wires
Paint by AT. Markus
New GSXR front master cyl & OEM rear
Stainless brake lines/fittings
Powder coated frame and all brackets
Bolts stainless, new OEM or black oxide finish
EBC Pro-lite brake disks
Works shocks
Pirelli Sport Demon tires
Rizoma Blinkers and Grips
New seals/bearings
 
With four days to run, bidding is active and has almost reached the original MSRP, at a level now reserved for singles and scooters.  It’s a lot of bike, with the forward riding position better for higher speeds.  The detailed restoration on this Katana shows well, and the engine upgrade backs the design up with plenty of oomph.
-donn
 
2nd Life – 1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana
BMW July 8, 2018 posted by

Footloose – 1983 BMW R65LS

BMW’s R65 was introduced as a junior model to the R90 and an update to the R60.  Hans Muth was enlisted to style the LS, with his signature triangular fairing and orangey-red bodywork with enigmatic white alloys.  This one has been hidden away and revived a couple of times, with an extraordinary 4,629 miles and show-bike condition.

1983 BMW R65LS for sale on eBay

Not really much new mechanically, with the moderately oversquare two-valve twin pushing just 50 hp through the automotive dry clutch, 5-speed, and of course shaft drive.  Conventional forks and dual rear shocks are traditional, though black exhausts and dual front disks note a sporting intention.  Fairing, tank and side covers are trim, accented with black details and bare aluminum castings.

Every bike of this age will have some stories to tell, and for this example, most involve long periods in the garage and an occasional return to service.  Expected white wheels are unpainted on this one, perhaps an update to the color scheme as the model was halfway through its life-span in 1983.  So clean it’s displayed with mirrors underneath, the deep sump sparkling.  Sacrilegious though it would be to replace them, the faded rondelles are a distraction.  From the eBay auction:

The bike has given 45-55 mpg for the last year’s fuel economy at altitude.  The finish on the original paint that draws eyes and comments wherever I go.  The paint …THE PAINT… this Hennarot Red is so perfect you’ll have to put on sunglasses from the shine , just never exposed to the elements or left in the sun !  This bike has only 4627 original miles on it and is in a perfect state of tune.  In the last 100 miles I’ve adjusted the valves, balanced the carbs , this puppy just purrs like a sewing machine, not a wisp of oil leakage anywhere !  The original Continental tires still have great tread left on them and can probably go another 3000 miles before replacement , or leave it in it’s Concours shape and bring it to Pebble Beach now !  This LS has great handling with a glassy ride in the 60’s and 70’s mph , a 5.5 gallon tank gives plenty of range.

Never really compared to leading supersports of the day, R65LS was a nice handling gentle-person’s machine.  The scale of the R65LS suited smaller riders, and the weight was less than other Beemers.  Engineering and build quality was of course for the long haul.  Muth’s design was a flash in the pan for BMW but has held up well.  Even for a gorgeous example, the owner has named a serious starting bid and it will be interesting to see how it goes…

-donn

Footloose – 1983 BMW R65LS
Suzuki March 30, 2018 posted by

Sling Blade – 1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana in Canada

A world away from the usual design-by-committee UJM, Suzuki’s original Katana set the stage and riding position for a new generation of road-going sportbikes. This largely original survivor is just across the northern border.

1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana ( Canada ) for sale on eBay

 

Designer Hans Muth spent the 1970’s bringing aerodynamics and attitude to BMW’s R90S and R100RS, and left to form Target Design with partners Hans-Georg Kasten and Jan Fellstrom.  The designers’ first commissions were for Suzuki, the GS550M and GSX1100S.  The 1100 brought 4 valves per cylinder and 111 hp to the party, and the Katana’s wedge fairing made 137 mph possible.  Changes for 1983 included forged connecting rods and progressive rear springs to accompany the anti-dive forks.  Competition formulas of the day didn’t have a place for 1100’s, but the Katanas sold well on Suzuki’s other successes, and the model name was used until the mid-2000’s in the U.S.

 

Waiting for spring in Montreal, this Katana shows 20,000 miles, super clean and factory bodywork in great condition.  Wheels and exhaust have been updated.  From the eBay auction:

Beautiful Katana 1100 with lots of care given to it.  Paint is perfect.  Engine runs super smooth.  New tires.  Original seat in perfect condition.  New exhaust system.  And wider aluminum rims.  (I do not have the stock wheels and exhaust).

 

Largely eclipsed by the GSX-R line-up, the Katanas soldiered on in the showroom providing options for those less track-oriented.  Kind of the Hayabusa of its day, the 1100 Katana was Cycle World’s fast machine for 1983, using a half-mile yardstick.  The design got high marks for stability once the stiff suspension was backed out to minimums.  The riding position calling for speed, this Katana could certainly be on the road, but with a little attention could be shown as well…

-donn

Sling Blade – 1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana in Canada
Suzuki May 10, 2017 posted by

Time Machine: 1982 Suzuki Katana 1000

Grab your leg warmers and get ready to dial up your favorite Tommy Tutone number – we’re going back to the 1980s! Hard to believe that Suzuki dropped the Katana on a flabbergasted world more than 35 years ago. With looks dominated by a big-block inline four and scantily clad with an itty-bitty bikini fairing, the Katana was as provocative as it was performance-oriented. Even today this bike stands out as something special; the design language still tells a powerful story as this bike looks mean and menacing just parked in the drive.

1982 Suzuki Katana 1000 for sale on eBay

Primarily a collection of existing parts, the Katana was not mechanically groundbreaking. Motivation comes from the GS model lineup, and the Katana 1000 is actually – GASP – less powerful than the GS1100 that donated the motor. But the sporting intent of the Katana is quite clear, and with a less-is-more philosophy overall the Katana made for a potent platform in the day. Today, archaic elements such as two valves per cylinder, air cooling and twin shocks make this look like it came from the caveman era. Yet this was built to go AMA Superbike racing (hence the 1,000cc vs 1,1000cc engine), and go racing it did.

From the seller:
This Katana is in very good condition, the fuel tank has a few small scratches and a shallow dent close to the filler cap. The bike shows 14939 miles looks to be original miles on the bike. The front reflector holders are missing on the bike. The exhaust system is new from MotoGP Werks. The inside of the fuel tank is clean. This bike looks like it has been taken care of during it life time. I was not planning on selling this bike as it is a great example of an original bike and it took a long time to find an original bike with out modifications. Realizing that I still have a number of projects ahead and needing the space I have decided to pass the bike on.

Katanas continue to be polarizing models today. Although the Katana name has been slapped on many a bike since 1982, it is really the original that one should bring to mind. Many examples have been rodded, rat-rodded, or simply abused to the point of salvage. Clean, original examples are very difficult to find. And while this one is not 100% original, it is closer to factory than many we come across. The seller has done a good job highlighting the known discrepancies, and would likely entertain questions should a prospective buyer have any.

This auction is live right now, and bidding has been moderate. The price is nearing the $8k mark at time of this writing, and the reserve is OFF. Get in while you can, because this bike is going home at the end of it all. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments section and wax nostalgic with us. Did you lust after a Katana when it was released? Did you actually OWN one? Were you even born yet? Good Luck!!

MI

Time Machine: 1982 Suzuki Katana 1000