Twist the throttle on the way-back machine and be prepared to experience a blast from the past that's guaranteed to put a smile on your face once you see the 2020 Suzuki GSX-S1000S Katana. Hans Muth would sure be proud of this retro ride.

The new Katana builds on the original distinct design of the 80s-era Katana with a modern twist. The pointed front fairing, square headlight, angular bodywork, upright riding position and sexy silver bodywork leave no doubt as to what you are looking at. The differences between the old and new bike, however, are what will make or break the new Katana.

2020 Suzuki Katana lines
The angular lines of the 2020 Suzuki Katana harken back to the original design that debuted in 1981. The look of that motorcycle has inspired many custom bikes over the years but nothing is quite as cool as what was just unveiled.Courtesy of Suzuki

At the heart of this new street weapon is a 999cc, inline, four-cylinder engine with six-speed transmission, ripped right off the 2005–2008-generation GSX-R1000. Suzuki claims it will crank out nearly 150 hp with 80 pound-feet of torque. If those numbers are legit, the Katana should be fast enough to hang with any of the modern open-class streetbikes and smoke most of the retro classic machines we’ve seen in the last decade.

2020 Suzuki Katana headlight
This is where the original look of the Katana takes a modern twist. A pair of dual, stacked LED headlights should cut a swath through the darkness while the running lights should help you be seen during the day.Courtesy of Suzuki

The engine features a back torque-limiting slipper clutch and three drive modes, just like the Gixxer series. Add in start-assist technology, ABS, radial-mount Brembo calipers, 310mm discs, 43mm KYB inverted fork, and adjustable rear shock to go along with its 57.5-inch wheelbase and we have to expect the Katana will end up somewhere between a Gixxer and a Bandit. That means competent in the canyons, comfortable on the daily commute, and, at a claimed 474 pounds, hopefully a ton of fun to ride.

2020 Suzuki Katana
Just look at the stance of the new Katana. It looks like it’s ready for a fight while it’s sitting still. It has 150 hp, a 190-series rear tire, aggressive bodywork—what is not to like about this bike?Courtesy of Suzuki

A lightweight aluminum frame that looks similar to a GSX-R frame, braced swingarm sourced from the 2016 GSX-R1K, wide rear tire, and six-spoke cast aluminum wheels shod with 120/70ZR-17 and 190/50ZR-17 Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tires, add to the burly appearance of the Katana while the small, 4-into-1 exhaust, tidy taillight, and license plate holder look like they were all well thought out.

2020 Suzuki Katana rear view
The back of the 2020 Katana is clean and tidy. The rider and passenger seat are no-nonsense and to the point while the license plate holder looks like a custom component more than an OEM hanger bracket.Courtesy of Suzuki

The subframe and seat are compact, which completes the buffed, musclebike look that starts with the wide front fairing and flows back to the stubby seating area. That square headlight got a makeover too. It is actually a pair of stacked rectangular LED lights that’s nestled between a pair of LED running lights tucked inside the pointed bodywork.

2020 Suzuki Katana
A twin-spar aluminum frame, braced swingarm and KYB suspension, Brembo brakes, and a full suite of rider-assist electronics should be enough to help tame the corners of any canyon or make for a comfortable commute.Courtesy of Suzuki

With all of the quality hard parts ticking all the right boxes on the performance checklist, it should come as no surprise that the rider accommodations are nice as well. With a seat height of 32.5 inches and a slim, narrow waist should make it fairly easy for the rider to touch the ground. The bars are in an upright position and the instrument cluster is a fully adjustable LCD monitor that provides a full array of info including gear position indicator, clock, instant fuel economy, range, ABS, traction control, and Power Mode settings, and much more.

2020 Suzuki Katana
The 2020 Suzuki Katana sources its engine from the famous 2005–2008-era GSX-R1000 so it should hold its own in the canyons, on the road or at the dragstrip.Courtesy of Suzuki

Little details like the red Katana logo on the 3.2-gallon fuel tank and two-tone seat are a nice touch but there will be a few small options available as well. The most useful being a small smoke windscreen or a red/black seat. Carbon clutch and case covers are cool but the red Brembo calipers look oh-so ’80s. Overall, though, we are impressed by what we see here.

After pouring over the stats and spec sheet we have a sneaky suspicion the 2020 GSX-S1000S will be success. It appears Suzuki has come up with a sweet fusion of modern tech into a bike that stays as true to the original design as we could hope for. Suzuki is keen to embrace the history of the original motorcycle as the project team set a goal of “Forging a New Street Legend” while pouring their heart and soul into this project. Only time will tell if this Katana will carve out a place for itself in motorcycle history. Unfortunately there is no release date or pricing available at this time so for now we have to be content to imagine how awesome it will be as we await our invite to the press launch.