Wanna buy a Suzuki Katana 650? Some of you might say yes, but unless you’re talking about the shaft-driven model from the 1980s, good luck. Suzuki currently sells the 1000cc Katana, and it seems that’s it—the company isn’t exactly rushing new models to market these days.
No worries, though! Japanese aftermarket outfit Webike realizes there’s a demand for smaller neo-retro bikes, and has put together a Katana lookalike kit for the SV650 (cheekily named the Tanto kit, after another famous Japanese cutting tool …).
Neo-retro machines are Hot Stuff right now. In a world that seems hellbent on a dystopian future, motorcycle designers have dusted off the angular cyberpunk visuals of the early 1980s. Take a classic design like the Hans Muth Katana, mix in some LED lighting and smooth out the fairing a bit, and you’ve got something perfect for the post-modern present. Honda’s CB line pulls this off perfectly, and so do Husqvarna’s Svartpilen and Vitpilen lines. As for Suzuki, the company that arguably revolutionized superbike design with the original Katana design in 1981, the Blade Runner look returned in 2019. Suzuki took its GSX-S1000, gave it Muth-style makeover, and called it the new Katana.
Suzuki only offers that 1000cc version, though, unlike the 1980s, where it had several models with the Katana name and styling, including 550cc, 650cc and 750cc models. Webike’s filling that gap, with this SV650 bodywork kit that looks considerably better than some of those ’80s-era machines did. It’s priced at 101,755 yen, which works out to roughly $1,000 US. You can see more details here, and maybe you can even figure out how to import a kit overseas. It looks fairly easy to install; if you’ve already got the SV650, this could be the cheapest and most practical way to get yourself a (kinda, sorta) Katana!