The Suzuki Katana
Front WheelEngineKatana BodylineEngine Casing
"The product must have 'Art', if it is to be successful"

Past Reviews: MCN - September 18, 2002

SOME BIKES ARE GREAT to ride, and some are just great. This is the definitive selection of machines that are both. Take most bikes for a spin and your day will be improved. Maybe even your whole year. The 50 presented here will give you memories for a lifetime.

And the great thing is, most of these bikes are accessible. What's the point in producing a list of definitive machines when most people haven't had a chance to say if they are or not?

OK, so there are a couple of rarities that might be tricky to get your leg over. But at least you know, if fortune smiles your way and you get the chance to ride a Brough Superior, it's going to be worth it.

There is every chance you'll have ridden some of these bikes already. You might have owned several of them. Use this list as a starting point, and see how many definitive machines you can get under your belt.

To help you, the back page of this supplement shows you where to ride some of the 50 machines you have just got to ride. Best get going.

Richard Fincher, Editor



STYLING. SO IMPORTANT THESE days, almost ignored in the early '80s. Whadda we need? Wheels? Check. Engine? Got it. Headlamp - round or square? And there we go - the next model rolls. off the line.

And then came this. In 1981, the Katana looked like a spaceship (and providently went like a rocket) and the world went 'we like'. Ride it now to have people go 'we still like'.

You could cheat and get a 250 or 400cc grey import. We might excuse you because this is really about looks, though the original held its end up as a true muscle bike. The reach to the bars and surprisingly high pegs might trick you into thinking you're on something sporty, but do be careful - the engine will happily outdo the frame's best attempts.

Just so you know the others...

  • Aprilia RSV Mille R
  • Bimota SB6R
  • Bimota TESI
  • BMW R1150RT
  • BMW R80GS
  • Brough Superior SS100
  • BSA Gold Star 500
  • Ducati 900SS
  • Ducati 916
  • Harlet Davidson V-Rod
  • Harley Davidson 1200
  • Harley Davidson Fat Boy
  • Honda C90 Cub
  • Honda CBX1000
  • Honda CR500
  • Honda CX500
  • Honda Fireblade
  • Honda Goldwing
  • Honda Monkey Bike
  • Honda NR750
  • Honda VFR750
  • Honda VFR750 RC30
  • Husqvarna TE610 Supermoto
  • Kawasaki GPz600R
  • Kawasaki GPz900R
  • Kawasaki KR-1S
  • Kawasaki Z1
  • Kawasaki ZXR750 H1
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1100
  • KTM 520SX
  • Laverda Jota
  • MANX Norton 500
  • Moto Guzzi California
  • MV Agusta F4S
  • Norton Commando
  • Royal Enfield Bullet
  • Suzuki DRZ400
  • Suzuki GSX1100S Katana
  • Suzuki GSX1300 Hayabusa
  • Suzuki GSx-R1000
  • Suzuki GSX-R1100
  • Suzuki RG500 Gamma
  • Suzuki TL1000S
  • Triumph Bonneville
  • Triumph Speed Triple
  • Vespa PX200
  • Vincent Black Shadow
  • Yamaha R1
  • Yamaha RD350LC
  • Yamaha TZ250


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