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The Big Kat: 1982 Suzuki Katana 1000

Mike 4

If you are an enthusiast of a certain age, big bore nostalgia simply must look something like this 1982 Suzuki Katana. Designed by Target Design of Germany (with key member Hans Muth involved), the Katana was a stunning departure from motorcycle design of the time. This was a bike that looked mean and ready to hurt you just parked on the showroom floor. If it were a dog, it would growl at you as you approach. Dominated by motor and angular bodywork, the Katana also had subtle elements such as the nifty all-in-one gauge cluster, the offset gas cap, and the two-tone seat.

1982 Suzuki Katana for sale on eBay

Strip away the iconic bodywork and the GSX transforms into what is essentially a more pedestrian GS. The air-cooled mill, the 4-valve heads, the 5-speed transmission… it was already there in the parts bin just waiting to be used. But Suzuki put it to good use in the creation of the Katana, a bike that differed surprisingly little from the stunning concept bike unveiled just a year earlier. From the original model spawned many variants and sub-variants, both in terms of capacity (i.e. extending the Katana name throughout the lineup), as well as different versions of the big bike.

From the seller:
1982 Suzuki Katana 1000
14,505 Original Miles
Engine, carburetors and exhaust completely stock
Brake system overhauled
Recently serviced
New clutches
New throttle cable
The original black chrome exhaust is in excellent condition
Stater cover has minor scratches.

The seller has included a video walkaround tour of this particular bike here:

There is some confusion concerning this particular example. The eBay advert clearly states this is a 1000, but the supplied video calls it out as an 1100. Both are possible, but the 1100 is more likely due to the rarity of the 1000cc homologation models (Suzuki was targeting AMA racing at the time). A VIN check could help here, but none was supplied. Additionally, the seller states the original black chrome exhaust is in excellent condition – but I see bright chrome in the pictures. That could be lighting or perspective as well, so possibly not an issue. There are some non-stock mods that I see including flush-mount turn signals front and rear and what appear to be non-OEM brake lines and fittings. That is really only critical if this is to be considered an investment machine, as stockers continue to command the highest market prices.

This auction is going on now in a classified, Buy It Now format. The seller is asking $19,500 for the bike which in today’s market might actually be going rate for a top line GSX1000S / GSX1100S, if not a little optimistic. We don’t see these time machines come through much anymore, and the stock on hand is certainly dwindling. That makes this a pretty rare find (even during the springtime high season), and interested parties might want to check out all of the details here. Good Luck!!


  1. Myke Schwartz Myke Schwartz

    Correct on the turn signals & brake lines not being stock. The carb tops & float bowls have been polished. I’m suspect of the anti-dive leaking because of the teflon tape on the bleeders. It is a 1000, not a 1100.

  2. Jeff Nielsen Jeff Nielsen

    If I recall, all 1982 Katanas were 1000s to qualify for Superbike racing, which required 1025cc or less. In 1983, AMA Superbike went to 750s, so the 1983 Katanas had the 1100cc motor, and a slightly different paint job.

  3. Mike Mike

    Thanks for sharing some great knowledge and feedback, Myke and Jeff!

    – Mike

  4. jess jess

    Looks like a really nice example w/ stock black chrome exhaust and original suede/like seat. It will be interesting if it sells for that price on ebay. I think he may get that money on BAT w/ the deep pocket bidders there. The ’82 models must be appreciating, Maybe the ’83 Honda CB 1100 F is headed this way. Crazy market . . .

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