Photo ou archives : B. Thiebault
GPZ 500S - 1991
An excellent medium twin
Kawasaki not only builds the famed big "Kwackers" but also offers a full range of models for various purposes, each with its own character. The GPZ 500S is an economical high-performance, medium-capacity machine that is also extremely rational.
Half an RX 1000 Four
Launched in 1987, the GPZ 500S is one of the rare modern Japanese bikes to use a four-stroke vertical-twin power plant. The choice was dictated by considerations of marketing Â– for its uncomplicated image Â– and cost-cutting, because the GPZ twin uses many of the internal components of the RX 1000cc four. This modern 60 hp twin offers extremely competitive levels of performance as well as over 36 lb-ft of torque. Besides, its compactness has enabled the designers to create a low, narrow machine weighing just 440 lb ready to roll.
Ideal for the Tyro
The chunky GPZ 500S is an ideal bike for the relatively inexperienced beginner. Mounting it is no great problem. The low saddle height, the excellent weight distribution and the good handling at low speeds make the GPZ 500S an excellent bike for city streets, despite its engine's lack of flexibility under 3000 rpm. Above that level, it really comes to life. Thanks to its performance and comfort, this Kawasaki is well-suited to touring, for its well-sorted frame and powerful braking give a sporty ride on twisting roads. The economical GPZ 500S is an excellent example of the modern all-purpose medium capacity motorcycle.
Engine: 498cc (74x58mm) water-cooled vertical-twin four-stroke
Power Rating: 60 hp @ 9800 rpm
Valves: twin overhead-camshafts; 4 valves per cylinder
Fuel System: two 34mm carburetors
Transmission: 6-speed, chain final drive
Suspension: telescopic forks (front); UniTrak single damper (rear)
Brakes: 10.25 inch disc (front); disc (rear)
Wheels: 16 inch light-alloy (front & rear)
Weight: 440 lb
Maximum Speed: 119 mph
The GPZ 500S demonstrates the virtues of an economical medium-capacity machine, a type available from few modem manufacturers.