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 Kawasaki - GPZ (ZX)
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Kawasaki D2-492-18-08
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 900
Model : GPZ (ZX)
Production : 1982 - 1990
Category : (R) Street Bike


GPZ 900 R Ninja - 1983

Maintaining a reputation

The motorcycle shows of Fall '83 marked a further step along the road of ever-increasing power outputs. Conscious of the inroads they had made already, the Japanese manufacturers decided to tone down their efforts. Kawasaki decided to advance undercover and to counter the 1000 and 11OOcc machines of its rivals by launching a 900. Nevertheless, its engine marked an important technical turning point.

Compact Design

The Ninja proved to be innovative in many respects. Rather than raw power, Kawasaki had sought compact design, with a remarkably narrow engine, with its camshafts driven direct from the end of the crankshaft. It was also remarkably low-built: the frame was reduced to a strong backbone with a bolted-on tubular aluminum rear section and the engine suspended underneath. The machine's aerodynamics benefited from its low profile.

Fast and Reasonably Priced

The Ninja was not the most powerful of the new machines of its day. On the other hand, that clearly revealed its sporting nature. Its discomfort on the road was only rivaled by its ability on the track. Very fast, yet reasonably priced, the Ninja was a surefire success, so much so that Kawasaki was forced to resume production after having halted it! While its frame design was an evolutionary dead encl., the Ninja's new-generation engine appeared in several subsequent Kawasaki models.


Engine: 908cc (72.5x55mm) water-cooled transverse four-cylinder

Power Rating: 115 hp @ 9500 rpm

Valves: twin overhead camshafts, 4 valves per cylinder

Fuel System: carburetors

Transmission: 6-speed; chain final drive

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swinging fork (rear)

Brakes: disk (front); disk (rear)

Wheels: 120/80x16 inch (from); 130/80x18 inch (rear)

Weight: 507 lb (dry)

Maximum Speed: 149 mph

Kawasaki’s big bangers have often played on their ''outlaw" image; the Ninja brilliantly sustained the legend in its day.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at info@moto-collection.org for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

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