History Kawasaki GPZ - Models

Power Play

Sporty and high performance motorcycles were always a domain of Kawasaki. With the contraction the G P Z in the model designation inspire the world-wide fan municipality for years.

Power has extremely strongly motorized machines belongs to this label like the yellow to the egg with Kawasaki tradition. The 500er three cylindercylinder three-cylinder was considered to end of the 60's as Sprint monster absolutely, the 900er Z1 marked center of the 70's the newest state of the art Vierertakt. After these milestones of motorcycle history Kawas GPZ series was started 1980 with a Big Bike, which provided properly directly for sensation.

The GPZ 1100 FI (first without lining) received the descriptor " fastest wheelwheel wheel of all times " after the first test of the US magazine Cycle World immediately. The 1100er power block drove the quarterly mile down in 11.18 seconds. To admire there was also a novelty with the technique: An electronic fuel injection, which was built after bosch license by the Japanese company Jecs. To Germany Kawas new flagship was imported only starting from 1981. But already 1982, after only one sales year, replaced dfi (digitally fuel injection) the FI system, which operated still with an air intake flap for amount of air entry and directly into the cylinder head used injection nozzles. Exterior distinguishing feature of the 1982 GPZ 1100 dfi was one lenkerfest installed mini lining. Already in the year after a frame-fixed half lining then already replaced this somewhat halfhearted wind protection.

In the eighties all Japanese manufacturers with hectic model policy acted. Novelties came and went, to modifications at the model pallet gave it zuhauf. With Kawasaki there is an exception this rule acknowledged: The G P Z 9 0 0 R almost one decade remained in the supply, although some candidates were activated to the separation. The 900er provided abroad with the name addition Ninja was sold world-wide proud 60000 times and survived even successors like the GPZ 1000RX and the ZX10. The GPZ 1000RX with 96 ccm capacity plus and 125 HP maximum performance was introduced 1986. It was to be moved more handily, made however puncto chassis tuning of more compromises than the 900er. The RX an air supply, in order at high rate cool air with positive pressure into the air cleaner box too had already gotten, a forerunner later ZXR RAM AIR system.

The GPZ 900R was the first Japanbike with a liquid-cooled four-valve series four-cylinder. Anno ' 84 hardly gave it a Big Bike, which was equal this racer. Even the throttled 100PS version brought it on a maximum speed of over 240 km/h. Besides the Ninja was owing to six-course transmissions remarkably acceleration-strongly, also the chassis with 16 " front wheel convinced with perfect characteristics: handily enough and extremely track-stably in addition. Nevertheless all gold was not which shone. The first years of construction of the GPZ 900R prepared with hit valves unite annoyance, the open-loop system rattled gladly and the coolant temperature indication announced frequently the overheating of the engine, although that around the heart was not at all so too warm.


Some modifications brought the 1990 then to something into the years GPZ come again on the state of the art. The chassis got a stronger fork, broader rims and a four-piston brake pliers at now 17 the inch front wheel. Into will could the GPZ 900R in the year 1993 finally into the retirement go. During its career it still was with the emergence of the optically identical GPZ 750R godfather. In identical 16 the inch chassis sat (almost) the same engine, to which only with another crankshaft to fewer capacity had been help. The liquid-cooled GPZ racers with 900 / 750 Kubik were naturally many more complex and more expensive than the older air-cooled types, which were further parallel offered and to likewise large popularity enjoyed. The old DOHC engines nevertheless looked on a long tradition back. The series Four, which provided 1982 in the first GPZ 750 for propulsion, descended in direct line from the proven Z 750, which is again Z 650 as an ancestor in the ancestor gallery had.

By modifications to the pistons and other carburetors cultivates current 2 valve engine on an uprated GPZ - level heaved. This first 750er GPZ came completely in the style of the Superbikes at that time: with delicate lamp lining and quite highly attached steering wheel. Large 22 litres the tank called every now and then even mockery on the plan, some said that the GPZ 750 the Grand Prix suggesting signature do not earn at all, because the large range would do also a Tourer in the honour.

Since for the long-distance WM soon only four-cylinders to 750 ccm should become certified, Kawasaki already presented a new GPZ 750, which came substantially more sportily therefore for 1983. By closer valve angles, higher compression and new, contactless transistor - ignition system was raised the maximum performance on 87 HP. An aluminum - Rocker with Excenter chain-stretch device and University of Trak suspension revalued the chassis. The firmly at the framework installed half shell gave the 1983 the sportily dynamic appearance to version.

Starting from 1985 this model was offered also with full lining and followed thus strongly the turbo-version. This turbo- Kawa could heat 1983 with 0,73 bar load printing and over 100 HP even the not throttled GPZ 1100, from which the wind-cooled four-cylinder had inherited dfi injection. Impressing one 200,000 revolutions achieved the turbine as sharpening deer number and drew from that somewhat old engine 25 extra HP however become outstanding co-ordinated with turbo-operation. The turbo GPZ set also one point of conclusion under the Japanese production of loaded motorcycle engines; and it can send itself the fame, those among connoisseurs best ones of all mass production - Turbos to have been.

At that time the advancement liquid-cooled four-valve seemed more reasonable - engines. The next large throw took time not for a long time -- this time in the sporty middle class. The engine of the GPZ 600 was one of 900er detached development. The two Overhead cam shafts were centrically propelled not laterally, but. Fork rocker fingers (with adjusting screws for correcting the valve clearance) operate altogether 16 valves. Those nominal 75 HP (litre performance = 125 HP) were at present the conception 1984 revolutionary in this capacity class.

The " boss " appeared, like at that time among sportsmen usually, with 16 inch chassis and anti Dive at the telegabel in front. For lack of competition the GPZ 600 R of 0 to 100 prospered to the class-best, also because their chassis marvelously balanced and the brakes were strongly and stable. When 1987 the GPX 600 to overhauls was set, the GPZ 600 R - similar as the 900er - could maintain ground still for a long time. In the motorcycle scene there was so violent sympathy demonstrations that Kawasaki saw itself forced 1989 to also give the GPZ 600 the GPX engine with sharper control times and full 82 HP on the last way.

Finally 1990 came the from for the small Ninja. It had continued the tradition of the GPZ 550, a GPZ sportsman of the first hour. Already with the conception anno 1980 shone the 550er with 58 HP, a new optimum in this class. Almost naturally were at that time a small cockpit fairing and a six-course transmission. As the first Kawasaki model indicated the small GPZ the progressive operating Unitrak suspension system with central shock strut, well-known of Toni Mang's GP racers.

In the development levels followed an engine (1983), stronger on 62 HP, and a repeated increase (by higher compression and longer valve overlap times) around 3 HP in the year after. Although the technique of the air-cooled 2 valve thereby was quite output-provoked, the 550er four-cylinder ran very cultivated. As with engines if the badly controllable cold run phase did not have to be deplored all GPZ, in which the engines turned usually much too highly, to the GPZ would have been entitled to engine a cult price.

From such praise Hymn in things run culture far, appeared the GPZ 500 S in the year 1986. Their liquid-cooled two-cylinder with ever four valves per combustion chamber ran roughly, sat down however by enormous road performances in scene. In the structure the engine corresponded to a bisected GPZ 1000 RX four-cylinders also by 180 degrees of shifted stroke taps. 60 HP when 9800 revolutions per minute from scarcely 500 ccm were at that time, like also today, a strong performance for a twin.

After two years 500 S received a double brake in front instead of the single disk. Only for the year 1994 a more global renovation pended. 16 inch chassis to 17 inch was changed over, new brake calipers and stronger fork as well as a Facelift with new headlight and modified plastic parts help in front the GPZ 500 S apart from their favourable price to new attractiveness. She is by the way today a last representative of the GPZ series, which had to offer some in former times also in the small class. Thus about 1983 the GPZ were offered to 400, in which a DOHC four-cylinder engine operated, with 46 HP an adequate motorcycle, which again by a half shell lining and on 49 HP extended engine fought to 1985 revalued for the favour of the customers.

The increase in output was achieved by larger carburetors (30 instead of 26 mm) and a new drilling - / deviation ratio. Unfortunately 27 HP throttle version of the GPZ 400 could cause only few enthusiasm with the level driving licence owners. This market segment was covered already sufficiently by the GPZ 305. In the shadow of their large, fast brothers the air-cooled two-cylinder developed alternatively 17.27 or 34 HP. The unusual capacity size reminded the at the beginning of the 60's with 306 ccm of the Honda CB 7, was sold.

The temper of the Kawasaki OHC of engine, the strong start also in the driving licence class 1a version and the handy, light chassis almost predestined the GPZ 305 for a risers. The 1984 model with the addition designation " Belt drive " propelled the rear wheel no longer via roller chain, but over a maintenance-poor toothed belt. The GPZ 250 already used this driving belt from PU, kevlar and nylon since its appearance 1983. Their twin engine is drilled out also in the GPZ 305. Even if the performance of the 250er Kawa were limited to insurance-favorable 17 HP, the smallest GPZ possessed already a double disk brake in front and Unitrak rear suspension strut. Which series replace the GPZ ' s in the Kawasaki program now, is not quite clear. Are the sporty ZZR's or the super+sporty ZX or ZXR type moderate it?

GPZ of models always ranked among the sport motorcycles, proved in addition, long-distancesuited and sufficiently comfortably, showed thus exactly those characteristics, which go off modern supersportsmen. No miracle thus that GPZ's are desire worth for sport fans today still, that enjoy fun and comfort apart from almost strength also as much as possible when driving want.....