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Charitable Scoots: Solo Katana Build Raises Thousands for Charity

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The UK’s National Motorcycle Museum has just seen thousands of dollars raised for the MS Society UK charity – and it’s all thanks to a commission build of an old 1982 Suzuki GSX1100 Katana.

The report from MCN states that the builder – a man by the name of John Martin and the founder of Air Cooled Suzuki (ACS) – had just seen his wife diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

John and Florence Martin. Media sourced from the MS Society.
John and Florence Martin. Media sourced from the MS Society.

Determined to do justice to the build, Martin found a donor bike for £750, and with the help of Suzuki GB (who, through its Vintage Parts Programme, donated a host of new components, available from stock) sourced parts from all over the UK to finish the project.

A 1982 Suzuki GSX1100 Katana, restored by John Martin in support of his wife, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Media sourced from the Charity Katana Raffle.
A 1982 Suzuki GSX1100 Katana, restored by John Martin in support of his wife, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Media sourced from the Charity Katana Raffle.

The end result was auctioned off for a very nice £12,650, of which 100% has gone to the Multiple Sclerosis Society UK.

As for the bike herself, she’s purportedly become quite popular, with a memorable outing featuring a certain TV presenter by the name of Henry Cole (from ITV4’s The Motorbike Show), out for a scoot on the thing.

A 1982 Suzuki GSX1100 Katana, restored by John Martin in support of his wife, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Media sourced from the Charity Katana Raffle.
A 1982 Suzuki GSX1100 Katana, restored by John Martin in support of his wife, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Media sourced from the Charity Katana Raffle.

“My wife Florence is suffering with Primary Progressive MS – there is no cure or medication for it at the moment,” admits Martin in the report.

“Yet, she keeps a positive attitude and finds the time to raise money for the MS Society charity. She has managed to write a book and have it published.”

“I figured if she can do this whilst she’s suffering, I can surely do something to help.”


A 1982 Suzuki GSX1100 Katana, restored by John Martin in support of his wife, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Media sourced from the Charity Katana Raffle.
A 1982 Suzuki GSX1100 Katana, restored by John Martin in support of his wife, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Media sourced from the Charity Katana Raffle.

Unfortunately, Martin’s untimely passing in November of 2021 has now left the legacy bookended. It is up to the good people of our motorcycling community to continue John and Florence’s efforts, that they are never forgotten.

Sourced parts for the 1982 Suzuki GSX1100 Katana, restored by John Martin in support of his wife, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Media sourced from MCN./
Sourced parts for the 1982 Suzuki GSX1100 Katana, restored by John Martin in support of his wife, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Media sourced from M

Be sure to support the Multiple Sclerosis Society UK by visiting their website and donating to the cause.

Drop a comment below letting us know what you think, and as ever – stay safe on the twisties.

*Media sourced from the MS Society, MCN and the Charity Katana Raffle*​


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