Katana Central — Bike June 1982

19 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Katana Central — Bike June 1982 отключены
Suzuki GS 550

Past Reviews: Bike June 1982

Testers: Calderwood and Brecon Quaddy

Tim Bishopp and Ian McKinnell

Which of the statements is nearest the truth?

A) motorcycles are good value they offer reasonable and low weight at a sensible price;

B) motorcycles are dull as ditchwater they’re so sensible;

C) anything than the ultimate is well, or

D) starting features with a is cheap-shot journalism.

The right are A, C, and particularly D, which is an immutable principle and the first sentence is there because I’ve sitting here for three chewing fags and trying to of some way of opening without excuses for what is ultimately a satisfactory Suzuki.

The usual was something like this: pull into a car park and the 550 Katana’s motor, which’d ticking and pinging as it cooled after a thoroughly enjoyable bit of scratching. Then some would waddle over, a highly critical eye over the invader styling and, in laden with remorse for the he was certain he was about to cause me, the knowledge that the Katana’s and frame were more or straight 1977 GS550.

Er, yes correct. Oh, I see. He means the merely a dinosaur masquerading as a from outer space and he I’ve paid more fifteen hundred quid for a relic. Yet another punter into believing that which isn’t next model isn’t worth the its specifications are printed on.

Rubbish. So as a motorcycle does the business immaterial whether the basic five years old or fifty, if the Japanese have seen to it motorcycle design is becoming politics, where a year is a long time.

But argument is under such circumstances; the thing to do is scoot off using revs, execute a scraping 180 є at the nearest roundabout and go home to the shards of rolled rubber from the right footrest. In any my smirking informant was off the mark.

The well-tried dohc 549cc with its almost square and … is not quite the same whose excellently useable won it many friends when it the old GS550. That bike had a set of 22mm slide carbs but were dropped in favour of Mikuni CVs when the Katana was last year.

This is the noticeable change — the CVs sharpened the 550’s throttle considerably, though any improvement in consumption is probably more offset by the greater encouragement to the motor hard through the Power is said to be up by 2.7bhp to at 9,400rpm (9,000rpm on the 550E Frame changes are minuscule: 0.3 є rake and 1 mm more trail the Katana’s own mother wouldn’t difficulty recognising it.

Suzuki felt that the GS could the transition to Katana-ised form major trellis changes or the of TSCC, TDCC or other of making mixture hop around the for added oomph. When the GS was the aim was to provide middle-of-the road for people who felt they do without the extra power and of a 750 but enough attention was paid to and braking to make the GS a very roadster.

Thus, unlike the two shaft-driven Suzuki’s whose have very different outputs and characteristics, the two 550s almost identical motors a conventional two-valves per cylinder and a comparatively mild 8.6:1 ratio.

Because of all the foregoing, the 550 can’t be considered as a member of the generation’ of sporting light like the Kawasaki GPz550 or the Yamaha XZ550 V-twin and 16-valve CBX550 four. It instead on improved looks and to help proven motor and make up for rather excessive

Fortunately, the formula works well and it wasn’t long the 550 was winkling its way into my affections in the way as the 650 Katana did last year. The of making a good first was, I’ll admit, immeasurably by Heron Suzuki GB move from a dingy down a mean lane in the of West Croydon to a super-spiff HQ in West Sussex.

The 550, all Suzuki test machines, had immaculately prepared. The motor taut and whipped through its emitting a characteristic Suzuki growl though it felt down on power compared to the Nevertheless it rolled rapidly up to an ton-ten on the slight downgrade away from the motorway and cruised easily enough at and 90mph until the M23 ran out at Hooley.

position on the two middlesize Kats is similar: knees tucked under the tank cut out thanks to the pegs’ close relationship to the dip in the seat; arms stretched out the humped five gallon (23 metrication junkies) tank to the flat black bars. The crouch leans you on to the wind and some way to reducing the tall top feel transmitted from the high seat and 40lb of fuel in the full tank, but in of the shortish 57.5in (1460mm) this is no small bolide in its

As soon as I hit single-carriageway traffic it clear that the Suzuki its power well into the top end of the rev In fact there’s bugger all to of below four grand and its character is strongly reminiscent of old 400-4 without, thank the heavy clutch action.

All the I nearly dropped myself in the a couple of times before I got the that point-and-squirt tactics a generous handful of throttle and use of the three, widely spaced ratios. Once the mill was and truly spinning the short-shift would snick lightly and forth between ratios but in slow moving traffic it became notchy and sticky, odd clunks lashing through the as the clutch went home. was about the sum of bad behaviour from the however, and the clutch stood up to a heavier than average at our test track.

The Kat’s slow-speed steering is quick considering its generally straight-line stability at speed but its centre of gravity tends to it roll around, though it was enough to maximise use of the extremely front discs. Those discs at the front with natty red-painted spiders, and callipers are excellent stoppers.

have a nice progression bonking to a halt at 20mph just a pair of fingers on the dogleg lever to tyre-howling from full honk. At the is that rare bird, a live piston Japanese working on a 10.75in (275mm) again carrying quantities of orange/red paint. Frankly, overkill in the stop stakes, as the old GS’s rear drum was sufficient.

On the plus side, the pedal transmits useful on gentle applications but unless you tread carefully in emergency (when it’s damn to do so, of course) the back wheel to come round and visit the

Cresting a rise at Purley after collecting the Katana, I was by the sight of wall to wall clouds over London but the torrential downpour they on me was the only rain which during the test. With a of rain teeming down and the awash, the brakes and tyres well enough in rush traffic but I’ll have to on past experience of Suzuki to say that they’d probably well on the open road.

The two weeks were unseasonably dry warm even — and days the sun shone on the faintly lines of the Katana.

Apart from the conventional of headlamp and instruments on the steering the 550 and 650 are muted versions of the two biggest The 550’s tank is more than the rakishly canted on the GSX1100S, splaying out to the width of the and relying on the hump round the filler cap and the Suzuki logo down the knee cut outs for effect.

The front-flip of the two-tone seat is much less than the 1100’s and the rearward of the rider’s portion cuts accommodation to a sparse platform. rests on an ugly plastic housing the large stoplights and a excuse for a rear mudguard.

The front mudguard is oddly in the middle and, being too to brace the forks and too skimpy to much crud off motor or is the least effective part of the The black anodised finish on the into two exhaust system looked okay on the W-registered machine though the excellent to detail on the rest of the machine was let by ugly daubs of corrosion-resistant black paint round on the pipe junctions.

Close of the black frame paint it to be a subtle eggshell finish. The shock absorber springs and the HT leads are finished in red and the wheels white on the principle that if you be wild you can still be whacky.

has really been improved is usually neglected section of Jap the suspension. Ignoring the fashionable towards air springing, Suzuki equipped the Katana with spring front forks firm enough for its naughty weight of nearly 5001b A rubber cap on top of each fork leg an adjuster giving two choices of preload setting, while at the four damper settings on a ring atop each and five spring preload give dial-what-you-like suspension.

It all Even the softest front is comfortably non-soggy and the rear me to set things up the way 1 wanted and yet tolerated the of a passenger without losing so effectiveness that a change of became imperative.

Mid spring preload at the rear and damping gave a firm but allowed the rear end to undulate for a few if set off by a bump; increasing the damping put a to that but had the rear tyre the road on really bumpy Fortunately, the only time it be persuaded to leave the ground in a was when I took an off-camber hander near my home at instead of the 50mph normally by the far less effective suspension on my own Yamaha. The Kat gave one bar-churning and settled down without so as a wriggle.

Static ground is 6.3in (160mm) and the first to touch down on right is the footrest, even though carried high and well set on the bottom tube of the pillion subframe. Trying harder for an exaggerated body-off posture to up for the high weight distribution but at point the back of the petrol and the ski slope on the front of the seat levering your feet off the Rest assured, it’s to drag the undercarriage through though rarely necessary.

for the MIRA test track Nuneaton in Warwickshire) up twisting A north of Aylesbury, it was clear this is one Jap multi whose output is well within the of its frame and suspension. Holding on the clock uphill, down and through the wide bends making fullest possible use of the top gears even though 500rpm separates each On the motorway with its different of time and distance, 110mph had to come up on the speedo fairly but now the 550 seemed to struggle to hit the ton before a or a dawdling Metro driver a roll-off.

Low, flat ‘bars of GS550 Katana are comfortable and at high speed.

I kept Roland Brown to come past on the Laverda Jota 120 elsewhere this ish) but he to be having difficulty reconciling the attention-drawing noisiness with the of his licence — not a problem the heavily silenced Katana; it make some pretty noises at 10,00Orpm but they carry very far. The Bridgestone Mag Mopus tyres impeccably apart from a of white-lining. Nothing else capable of throwing it off line so by the we reached the test track I was impressed apart from a neck after 80 miles into the wind.

Maybe not so bad for a bike giving away a nine bhp and 30-odd pounds to the Kawasaki (GPz550). We’d filled the tank before the Katana and it did find a couple mph after 35 miles at or near the had worked through a gallon of It refused to rev past 9500rpm in even with a light and only just revved to the in fifth when, thanks to the of the two top ratios, it was pulling the same

Fact is, the 550’s got a weight At 4751b (215kg) with one gallon of fuel on board not surprising it can hardly outrun a 3641b (165kg) Guzzi even though the latter has 48 Italian horses to call on.

Suzuki GS 550
Suzuki GS 550


Tagged as:

Other articles of the category "Suzuki":

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts


Born in the USSR


About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.

Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about Motorcycles.