The New Jack: ICON 1000 Katana Custom
A 1982 Suzuki Katana Like You’ve Never Seen Before!
It’s always refreshing to see a custom shop break the norm and tackle something different. As much as we love a Kawasaki café racer or a Yamaha flat-tracker,we’ve seen far too many of them recently; only the truly remarkable catches our curiosity and what we have here, is something worth looking at. It once was a 1982 Suzuki Katana but now it’s known as the New Jack , a modern approach to the future with more than a touch of nostalgia for the 80s. Well done ICON 1000, you have our attention!
The ICON 1000 Katana Build!
Based out of Portland, Oregon, ICON 1000 have already made a name for themselves in the custom build community with some spectacular builds in the past; combine their building experience with their talent for selecting and manufacturing some of the best riding gear out there and you’ll see that they’re a force to be reckoned with. Sure, they’ve made bikes in the past but the New Jack Suzuki Katana interpretation is a real eye-opener.
So how do you convert a Suzuki Katana into this beauty? ICON 1000 began by taking an original 1982 model as the donor and rethinking some of her more misguided features. The front was the first to go; the yokes were stolen from a CBR 929 Fireblade, with forks from the 954 model and wheels poached directly from a VTR RC51 SP2.
The engine was also scrapped and replaced with a 1200cc bandit engine, upping the ante by 100cc and adding a custom exhaust for the full package. Adding the larger engine brought in a few frame based issues but nothing that couldn’t be remedied with a bit of engineering. On top of that, this ICON 1000 Katana now wears a swing arm from a TLR1000R. The tail unit and the seat were also in house custom jobs.
The brakes have had an update, with the New Jack wearing Pro-Lites and Pro performance pads and the rubbers have been upgraded to a set of beautiful Continental Race Attack Slicks, perfect for the track. With excellent mechanics, brakes and tires, the bike also needed some flashy design elements to set it apart from the crowd: enter the rear shock arrangement. Nitron NTR Race Pro shocks sit side by side as if a dual mono, which is a really serious bit of engineering and one worth of applause. Couple that with the twin filler petrol tank and you’ve got a souped up 1982 Katana that’s ready for a serious endurance race.
The original Suzuki Katana wasn’t the sexiest machine out there; but the early 80s weren’t renowned for good style choices. Even the legendary Kawasaki KZ series went all boxy for some reason. So, I’m glad that someone has found the beauty within the beast and brought some futuristic styling to this dated looking machine. It’s pointless but fantastic. Like all great works of art.