The Kawasaki GPZ900R (ZX900A) was a sportbike
manufactured from 1984 to 1996.
The GPZ900R was a revolutionary design, in
that its 908 cc liquid cooled 16 valve engine
was a first for Kawasaki, and delivered 115
brake horsepower (86 kW) (depending on market).
Although its steel frame, 16 inch front and
18 inch rear wheels, air suspension, and anti-dive
forks were fairly standard at that time, it
took Japanese Superbike performance to a new
level. Water cooling and 16 valves allowed additional
power, and the frame used the engine as a stressed
member for improved handling. It had a top speed
of about 155 mph (248 km/h) (holding the record
for the fastest production bike at the time),
and a standing quarter mile time of just 10.55s
was recorded by specialist rider Jay "Pee Wee"
Gleason. It won the 1984 Isle of Man Production
TT at an average speed of 105 mph ridden by
The 1984 GPZ900R was the first Kawasaki bike
to be officially marketed (in North America)
under the Ninja brand name.
Although superseded in the US market within
3 years, the 900R remained popular in Europe
and Asia for many years. In 1990 the A7 model
saw the deletion of the anti-dive units, front
fork diameter increased, and front wheel diameter
increased to 17 inches. Although no longer competitive
with the cutting-edge sportsbikes of the day
it was marketed as a competent sports-tourer.
Emissions controls meant that it ceased to be
sold in Europe in the late 1990s. Kawasaki ended
production for Asian markets in 2003 with the
final models being significantly reduced in
power due to emissions and noise requirements.
It was superseded by the Kawasaki GPz1000RX
in 1986, although critics noted the newer machine
was heavier and handled less well than its predecessor.
It was also featured in the movie Top Gun.