Common Tread

Video: Not like any other Katana you've seen

Mar 10, 2015

This is what you do over the winter when you're known for custom builds that can expect to take some abuse, not sit on a pedestal.

The ICON 1000 New Jack began its life as a 1982 Suzuki Katana. From there, the engine was replaced with the 1200 cc engine from the Bandit, which was paired with a custom exhaust, custom velocity stacks, and a PBI sprocket.

ICON New Jack
The ICON 1000 New Jack. ICON photo.

To stand up to the abuse, the New Jack got multiple frame braces, the swingarm from a Suzuki TL1000R, Honda CBR929RR triples, and rear sets. The front suspension was pulled from a Honda CBR954RR, and the rear shock is a Nitron NTR Race Pro unit.

No build of this sort would be complete without tires and brakes, so ICON fit Continental Race Attack Slicks front and back and Pro Lite Brake Rotors with Pro Performance pads to get this thing to slow down.

The Suzuki Katana was the big man on campus when it was released, with Suzuki claiming it was the fastest production bike at the time. While the New Jack isn't actually too huge a departure from the original Katana aesthetically, I doubt many of you with stock Katanas could get your bikes to ride like this one.

I love the old race footage ICON included, but between how squirrelly this bike looks and the music, this video just stressed me out. It took a few watches to realize that rear-facing front-fender-mounted shot is a thing of pure brilliance, mostly because it made my stomach twist in knots the first few times through. You won't find me in a parking lot trying this stuff anytime soon, I'm pretty content leaving it to the pros.