The Kawasaki GPz900R – A True Classic

Posted by on September 18, 2010 | No Comments

All through the seventies, bike manufacturers, particularly the Japanese giants had been competing to produce the most powerful and fastest bikes of the time.

Honda were gaining a reputation for innovation and powerful bikes, a mantle that kawasaki wanted to overhaul, especially that Honda had just produced the VF750F with it’s 86 bhp V4 engine, and perhaps for the first time with a Japanese bike, a machine that also handled well.

Kawasaki had a history of producing great motorcycles, and had delivered an almost knockout punch in 1981 with the GPz1100. However, the 1984 GPz900R rewrote the rule books and went on to become an absolute classic.

A high performance motorcycle that stays in production for 15 years is a rarity, however, the GPz900R did just that!

Kawasaki employed the services of American drag racer “Pee Wee” Gleason to demonstrate the new bike at Leguna Seca. Hitting in excess of 150mph, Gleason then completed the standing quarter in under 11 seconds. That proved it’s pace, but the domination the bike enjoyed in standard trim in the Production TT proved it to be a great handler as well.,

With fully enclosed bodywork was sensational in looks and design, and although there was very little revolutionary in terms of parts, it was the first bike to have a liquid cooled, dohc, 16 valve transverse power unit.

Apart from the engine and bodywork, nothing else was particularly revolutionary about the GPz900R. Even the frame was the tubular steel spine design which other manufacturers were dispensing with for their performance machines at the time.

The design brief had been to combine traditional Japanese raw power in a motorcycle, but this machine had to handle well also.

Todays superbikes are in many ways derived from the design of the GPz900R, with monoshock suspension and enclosed bodywork, making the Kawasaki possibly the founder of modern bikes with it’s values of power combined with handling.

Kawasaki later introduced the GPZ1000RX and then the ZX-10, but they were both outlasted by the GPz900R even though they were intended as replacement models!

Zac loves his bikes and understands how vital it is to look after them properly, especially when they are garaged or if they are kept outside. Zac recommends Harley Davidson motorcycle covers as they are well made and do a proper job. Visit his website for proper deals on

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