Suzuki Katana and Suzuki Gamma hold an incredible position in the history of the Hamamatsu based brand. Whereas the Katana was the Japanese brands touring model the Gamma was a racing motorcycle built by Suzuki which participated in the 500cc Gran Prix World Championship. After years of lull since the financial meltdown of 2008, there finally seems to arrive some life at the Suzuki headquarters, as they prepare for a new model on-slaught for us riders throughout the globe.
Suzuki has re-registered the Katana name & logo with both the European and American trademark offices, while the Gamma logo has been re-registered in the European Union. What this means precisely in terms of future models is up for debate. A look back at history reminds us that, the short-lived Suzuki RG500 “Gamma” was a 500cc two-stroke superbike platform, which raises some eyebrows on how the name could apply in a four-stroke dominated world.
If it is a two-stroke model, it makes sense that Suzuki wouldn’t register the name in the USA, as the Land of the Free has made on-road two-strokes an almost impossibility. It would be unfortunate to see the Gamma name used for a small-displacement street-bike line for Europe, though that is our best guess with the available information.
As for the name Katana, the evidence might already be in front of us with the Recursion concept. The Suzuki Katana line started life as a performance-oriented machine, and slowly saw its name watered down into the sport-touring segment. Using the Katana name in conjunction with small-displacement yet high-output turbocharged machines would be a fitting re-use of the iconic mode line.
One interesting aspect to note with the USPTO filing is that Suzuki filed for the Katana trademark back in October 2010, but only allowed it to be published in September 2014. Whatever motive the Japanese company may have for the Katana name, it has been brewing for quite some time.