1982 Suzuki GS1000 Katana
The Katana is no longer a fish out of water.Most of us see the Katana as a model that's a favorite with the squids and newbies, and a rather weak performer for the most part. But Robert Hitch took his original Katana from way back in 1982 and dunked it deep into the parts pool. Some of the updated parts were easy swaps, while others are custom one-off creations by the man himself (who pulls day duty as a welder, so he's pretty handy in the fabrication department).
After powdercoating the original frame and swingarm, Hitch hooked on a GSX-R1100 front end. Not to have the rear outdone by the front, the dual shocks were tossed in the pond of a single-shock set-up (also donated by a GSX-R1100). With the higher-spec suspension he didn't want the frame to flop, so he reinforced it with a series of gussets in the front and rear.
The upgraded suspension was begging for more power, and Hitch couldn't resist a full engine build to bring it up to date. The new and improved 1170cc motor boasts a fully ported head, Web cams, a Falicon crank and a race-cut tranny as well.
The ignition system was completely rewired, and while he was in there, Hitch went ahead and installed a Dyna 2000 ignition and coils.
With the bulk of the mechanics and electrics sorted, Hitch moved on to his theme and design, which he designates the Thresher Shark. When we heard of the project it sounded more like a Great White Hope, but Hitch certainly proved us wrong. Every custom piece has had Hitch's hands laid upon it in one way or another, and his shark is no longer the chicken of the sea it once was. But why all the effort? Hitch laid it out simply: "These old dinosaurs make a very good base for new-school concepts. Even the Harley gang like this bike."
The Buyer's Box
1982 Suzuki Gs1000 Katana
Front end: 1995 GSX-R1100 forks, clamps, wheel, brakes
Rear end: Suzuki RF900 swingarm, GSX-R1100 shock and rear wheel
Motor: 1170cc, ported head and over-size valves, Web cams, Falicon crank, race-cut transmission, 36mm Mikuni flat-slide carbs, digital Dyna 2000 ignition and coils, Hindle exhaust
Accessories: ZX-9 rearset hangers
Other: Autometer tach
Owner: Robert Hitch
Builder: Aztec Welding (727) 518-7715 Largo, FL