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NOSTALGIA TRIP | 1983 Kawasaki GPZ 750 Turbo

Kawasaki GPZ-750 Turbo

Kawasaki GPZ-750 Turbo

200mm wide tires add to the scare.

200mm wide tires add to the scare.

It was a time where big was really big. This was after Mad Max when liter bikes started sporting bikini fairings and had straight bars. Yamaha came up with the XJ1100 while Kawasaki brought fourth the GPZ 750 Turbo. This was the first turbocharged motorcycle in the early 80’s. With a claimed 112 hp, this was considered a sportbike then but in today’s political correctness it is considered a sport-touring motorcycle.

Personally I find turbo a bit unsettling. I was on a V-Max before and I wasn’t warned about that setting and I suddenly rocketed when I reached 3000 rpm. In a busy street! I wish it was verbal actuated like KITT to save me from surprises. I still don’t get it.

There were other turbocharged motos like the Suzuki XN85, the Honda CX500 and CX650 turbos and the Yamaha Seca Turbo. But the Kwak 750 was at par with its own GPZ1100 and this was no simple feat. It was the fastest production motorcycle built by the Japanese then. Kawasaki has laid claim to manufacture the fastest street bikes ever. You can see it now with their new Ninja 1000.

But it was the GPZ 750 that became the collectible. The rest disappeared to motorcycle limbo. These units were pretty huge for the regular aside from being heavy. Most of them relied on steel frames. But more importantly, was design for American highways. This is something us Pinoys have to seriously consider. Sure it looks good (at the time) but lugging it daily will bring fire and brimstone.

The 750 Turbo to this day still looks good, and the timing for a comeback is great. The fuel-injection still is good as today’s typical model. You can keep the stock model with its thin tires and forks and awful suspension but it won’t be long before you modernize this magnificent machine. This particular bike had a Yamaha R1 front and rear. So you could imagine how incredible this bike could perform compared to its stock form thirty years ago.

USD forks from an R1

USD forks from an R1

The clip-on handlebars were also switched to standard bars. This way the rider will be in an upright position without affecting the use of the fairings. But going beyond 200 kph will require crouching because this monster can reach a good 270 kph. The R1’s stopping power just added a little confidence.

A show-stopper wherever it goes, this unit calls attention to enthusiasts and the indifferent. The lines exude speed and machismo compared to bikes today that actually look more effeminate (sorry guys). Motorcycles are supposed to be basic in design. Two wheels and an engine slapped in between. But engineering development led to the requirement of putting shields to protect the rider from the blast. This is where it took forever before they finally attracted the mainstream. With the advent of Transformers-looking designs, Kawasaki’s groundbreaking designs and engineering still gives the feeling like they are still in power to this day.


  • Manufacturer: Kawasaki
  • Also called: ZX750E, GPzx1 750T or 750 Turbo
  • Production: 1983–1985
  • Predecessor:Kawasaki KZ750-R1
  • Class: Sport bike
  • Engine: 738 cc, 4-stroke, transverse 4-cylinder, air-cooled, DOHC, 2-valves per cylinder
  • Power: 112 hp (84 kW) @ 8,500 rpm (1983 model)
  • Torque:73.1 lb•ft (99.1 N•m) @ 6,500 rpm
  • Ignition type: Electronic
  • Transmission: 5-speed
  • Frame type: steel
  • Suspension: Front – Telescopic forks with antidive units
  • Rear: Uni-Trac rear suspension with aluminum swingarm
  • Brakes:Dual disc (front); Single disc (rear)
  • Tires: Tubeless 110/90-18 (front); 130/90-18 (rear)
  • Wheelbase: 1,490 mm (59 in)
  • Dimensions:L 2,220 mm (87 in); W 740 mm (29 in)
  • Seat height: 780 mm (31 in)
  • Weight 223 kg (492 lb) (dry); 241 kg (531 lb) (wet)
  • Fuel capacity: 18 L (4.0 imp gal; 4.8 US gal)
  • Related: GPz750