KAWASAKI GPZ1100 (1995-1998) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"An overweight dinosaur but on the road it's actually a great machine. Just don't go chasing the latest GSX-Rs"

Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding

"An overweight dinosaur but on the road it's actually a great machine. Just don't go chasing the latest GSX-Rs"

  • At a glance
  • 1052cc  -  123 bhp
  • 38 mpg  -  38 miles range
  • Medium seat height (795mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The Kawasaki GPZ1100 is more sporty tourer than sports tourer. Launched with zero cutting edge technology but a honking great engine with a hearty midrange that makes rapid riding easy. On the spec sheet the Kawasaki GPZ1100 is an overweight dinosaur but on the road it’s actually a great machine. Just don’t go chasing the latest GSX-Rs on a twisty road.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The Kawasaki GPZ1100 is heavy plus that weight’s carried quite high. The GPZ1100 can feel a bit of a handful at walking pace but get moving and it carries itself with amazing poise. Great all day the only problem comes if you try and chase sports bikes on the Kawasaki GPZ1100 – the suspension and extra bulk means its hard work.

Engine 4 out of 5

Straight from the Kawasaki old-school GPZ900/1000/ZX10/ZZR1100 family – and none the worse for it. The Kawasaki GPZ1100 is gentle at low revs but comes out swinging like a healthy prize fighter by 4000rpm with more to come the higher up the tacho you go. The top end of the Kawasaki GPZ1100 can’t match the latest tackle but who cares? Carbs means smooth delivery, good economy and occasional icing.

Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5

Reliability-wise it’s good news. The Kawasaki GPZ1100s engine’s strong and easily capable of six figure mileages. There’s no major mechanical problems with the Kawasaki GPZ1100 but build quality was poor. Brake callipers, wheels and the exhaust all corrode easily on the Kawasaki GPZ1100 and the motorcycle can look tatty fast.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

Never flavour of the month and quite rare on the used market – but Kawasaki GPZ1100s are often at bargain prices. Owners are more likely to be older gents and unlikely to thrash or neglect their GPZ1100s. Watch out for high-mile commuters – the suspension and chassis bears will be tired. Yamaha’s XJ900S Diversion is cheaper to buy and run but slower. Find a Kawasaki GPZ1100 for sale.

Insurance group: 14 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Kawasaki GPZ1100 screen, riding position and seat work well. That means long days in the saddle can be achieved without aches or a numb-bum on the GPZ1100. Pillions are pretty well catered for too. An ABS equipped version of the Kawasaki GPZ1100 was available but at just over a grand more than the standard bike few were sold and the plug was quickly pulled.

Owners' Reviews

4 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI GPZ1100 (1995-1998) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3.8 out of 5
4 out of 5

Cheap wheels

17 January 2009 by nickodemon

Good bike. Does what is required of it. Plenty bottom end and midrange. Comfy, good for touring. A bit heavy. Read more

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good value

13 June 2007 by GaryLondon

I've had the GPZ/ZX1100E for 3 years and have had heaps of fun on it. It is heavy but when you get rolling the power is quite effortless. It is reliable but the exhaust fell apart, corroding at the welds. A new Remus 4-1 sounds better and looks the... Read more biz. Apart from that I've only replaced anything that perishes apart from an oil seal on the gear selector. You can't twist through canyons like an R1 but open it up on a motorway and 'it'll go stink'... The Goodridge metal hoses have given me fabulous breaking, a must if you want to avoid break fade.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good value

13 June 2007 by GaryLondon

I've had the GPZ/ZX1100E for 3 years and have had heaps of fun on it. It is heavy but when you get rolling the power is quite effortless. It is reliable but the exhaust fell apart, corroding at the welds. A new Remus 4-1 sounds better and looks the... Read more biz. Apart from that I've only replaced anything that perishes apart from an oil seal on the gear selector. You can't twist through canyons like an R1 but open it up on a motorway and 'it'll go stink'... The Goodridge metal hoses have given me fabulous breaking, a must if you want to avoid break fade.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5

Simple but effective

17 March 2007 by Wozza1973

The GPz1100 is a bit of a simple bike by today's standards, no real frills here. It is very comfortable for long rides and the engine is a real gem with lots of torque. It's very hard to find parts as not many of them were sold, so nobody really... Read more carries them. The engine is very similar to the ZRX1100 though, so that does help. The bike can be a bit ponderous at low speeds and it also prone to head bearing wear, which makes matters worse.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 4 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1995
Year discontinued 1998
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 123 bhp
Max torque 74 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.1 secs
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 38 miles
Specification
Engine size 1052cc
Engine type 16v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame type Steel cradle
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Seat height 795mm
Bike weight 242kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload, rebound
Front brake Twin 300mm discs
Rear brake 250mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 170/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1995: Original Kawasaki GPZ1100 model launched.
1998: Kawasaki GPZ1100 siscontinued.

Other versions

GPZ1100ABS: Offered during 1996 and 1997 but at £8995 few were sold.

Photo Gallery

  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GPZ1100 motorcycle review - Riding