I love racing motorcycles, I love racing history, I love endurance racing, and it turns out, seeing all that brought together under the warm star filled sky of Spa many years ago flicked a switch in my head that could only be turned off by taking part, but taking part needed a bike.
The following posts detail the thinking, the building, the parts, the spending (groan) and not least, the huge amount of help and inspiration from people much cleverer than me to get it done.
The original* plan was for this to end up on the grid at Spa to race, and have not only a fabulous looking Katana at the end of the journey, but a race finish to celebrate.
*Spoiler alert/teaser - we did get to Spa... to find out what happened, read the rest of the story!
When the big GSX1100 engine we’re using in our Katana left the factory 32 years ago,
Let’s be clear, I’m not a great mechanic. My engine building style if called anything at all, would be called a triumph of wishful thinking (and frugality) over talent.
I probably shouldn’t ever be allowed on the internet. The comedian Dave Gorman once described it perfectly “ I don’t know about you, but I find being connected to everything quite distracting”
The Katana offers a bit of a challenge suspension-wise. It’s heavy, it’s fast, my build won’t use any original suspension components, we’ve made the frame much stiffer and to cap it all, I haven’t done anything like this before; what could possibly go wrong?
Do a Google image search of Katana and you’ll end up with an array of pictures that you’ll barely believe started life as the same model.
We’ve already covered a lot of the thinking behind the electrics in part 6 and will test the viability of the chosen systems later on, but regardless of the theory, somebody needs to make the chosen electrics work by making a wiring loom to join it all together.