1987 Kawasaki GPz900R (“Ninja”)


  • Beauty, stance, renown, legendary presence and power; still an awesome ride today
  • Colourway and decals presented to achieve replica appearance to the machine featured in 1986’s Top Gun
  • Fastest production bike in the world, 1984-88
  • Seven owners, with 32,800 miles only

The Appeal

  • A rare opportunity to acquire an innovative legend: truly an iconic, ground-breaking bike
  • Instant reverence and recognition amongst bike (and Top Gun) fans
  • First production bike with official top speed of 150+ mph and standing quarter under 11s
  • Excellent investment opportunity

The History and Paperwork

Kawasaki’s GPz900R was unlike anything the motorcycling world had ever seen. It was a big leap for bike engineering, and is considered to be the grandfather of the current generation of superbikes. Unveiled to the press in December 1983, within six months the machine was off to race in the Isle of Man TT, where it came 1st and 2nd overall.

The firm had mounted the world’s first 16-valve liquid-cooled inline 4 engine lower in the frame to bring down the centre of gravity, achieving better agility. The engine itself was also employed as a stressed member, making the bike lighter and improving dynamics. 

Amongst other innovations: first large-scale production motorcycle to use a crankshaft counter-balancer (much smoother), and front suspension with variable dampers so that riders could brake hard without worrying about nose-dive affecting the bike’s balance. Even the spring-loaded fuel cap was aircraft-inspired as it sat flush in the fuel tank, making the bulky, twist-style fuel caps seen on Harley-Davidsons (and other competitors) look ancient.

And talking of aircraft, well there’s that wonderful scene early in Top Gun where Maverick (Tom Cruise) rides his GPz900R next to a USAF F-18 taking off. As iconic as that scene is, and as iconic as the actor riding that motorcycle is, the motorcycle itself also became an icon. GPz900R didn’t just open a new era of motorcycle craze in America, it put Kawasaki on the map as a big player. Demand exploded: suddenly, everyone wanted a light, agile machine with a forward riding stance.

E975 JAJ’s seven owners have clearly looked after the bike, respecting the heritage. The present vendor bought it in July 2016, and has covered only approx. 900 miles since then.

  • V5C present and correct
  • MoT to July 2023
  • Some service history and paperwork from independent specialist
  • Speedometer cable replaced March 2018 and again September 2022
  • Rear brake pads and caliper seals done March 2018 at 32,630 miles
  • Two original owner manuals
  • No insurance markers, and HPE clear

The Interior

  • Seat condition, bars, mirrors, pedals and dash all excellent
  • Renntec rear pannier has a few rubs and small scratches

The Exterior

  • Overall condition and appearance is very good
  • Faring and cowling show no signs of damage aside from minor stone-chips
  • Some areas, to be expected, are more commensurate with the bike’s 36 years than others
  • Exhaust outlets have some minor scrapes, and there’s the usual surface rust on the underpipes
  • The red and black paintwork is of course not original, but is generally excellent and looks genuinely effective as a “Top Gun” replica, complete with appropriate decals
  • There is a little paint bubbling on the fuel tank
  • All the chromework, badges etc. present and correct, showing weathering commensurate with age

The Mechanics

  • 908cc capacity, 115 bhp liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder pulls extremely well, accelerating smoothly through the gears.
  • Matching numbers: engine ZX900AE047267 and chassis ZX900A-037425
  • Starts with choke, but soon settles to steady, healthy burble
  • No mechanical work has been undertaken during the present vendor’s ownership, due to the very modest mileage run – but there is nothing untoward to report in terms of noise, smoking, or feel on the road
  • You’ll probably want to give it a mechanical health check due to the very low recent mileage
  • Wheels are in excellent condition, and the tyres are new



Who wants to own a legend? OK, this particular bike isn’t THE one running alongside that F-18, but if it was you’d think twice before taking it out or parking it anywhere. What E975 JAJ is, however, is a fine example of THE bike that in 1983 started a new superbike trend for lightweight, forward-stance machines. 

TC riding it in TG simply propelled the machine into motorcycling superstardom, even for those who hadn’t already noticed the innovations and experienced the supreme balance of performance and handling. The cosmetic conversion to Top Gun replica has been very well executed, and you can be assured this bike will get the attention it deserves from those who know. Not so many about now, either: the rarity value and heritage combine to make this an excellent investment. Grab your helmet (and one for Kelly McGillis) and prepare to bid!

 Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1987
  • Make Kawasaki
  • Model GPZ900R
  • Colour Black and Red
  • Odometer 32,941 Miles
  • Engine size 908
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Weston-On-Trent
  • Location Derbyshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
1 bid
  • Ad•••• £3,500 02/12/22

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