KAWASAKI GTR1000 (1986-1999) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"80s touring dinosaur has its good points"

Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding

"80s touring dinosaur has its good points"

  • At a glance
  • 997cc  -  110 bhp
  • 41 mpg  -  250 miles range
  • Medium seat height (815mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The Kawasaki GTR1000, an 80s touring dinosaur, has its good points; a screen which actually protects the rider well, shaft drive, comfy saddle, a massive 28.5 litre fuel capacity and - for the time - respectable handling. But the aged GPZ1000 motor, weak brakes and dated styling limit its appeal.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

You know, for an old 80s omnibus, the Kawasaki GTR1000 goes around corners surprisingly well. Yes, the GTR1000 is top heavy and needs some body-shifting moves to make it turn into tight hairpins, but the overall handling is OK for most people's idea of a touring pace. Worth checking the suspension carefully on any used Kawasaki GTR1000 - the bike can weave if the Uni-Trak linkage is neglected.

Engine 2 out of 5

The GPZ900/1000 in line four cylinder motor was the boss in its day, but its day was 1984. The Kawasaki GTR1000 saw its peak power drop from 110bhp to 92bhp in 1994, but Kawasaki re-tuned the engine to make more midrange and it has enough grunt to eat up motorway miles with ease. The Kawasaki GTR1000 gets hot `n' bothered in heatwave weather though.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The Kawasaki GTR1000 engines can easily clock up 80,000-100,000 miles without major issues. The only area to keep an eye on is the air-assisted suspension, which can be leaky and generally worn after a few years. Otherwise the overall finish on some parts of the Kawasaki GTR1000 can be iffy, leading to furry alloy and rusting steel details on an otherwise sturdy motorcycle.

Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5

As a used buy, the Kawasaki GTR1000 has plenty going for it, especially its resale price, which can start as As a used buy, the GTR1000 has plenty going for it, especially its resale price, which can start as low £1000 for something two decades old. But Yamaha's FJ1200, BMW K100LT and Triumph's 900 Trophy all compete on price, comfort and touring ability. Find a Kawasaki GTR1000 for sale.

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

Equipment 4 out of 5

Excellent panniers on the Kawasaki GTR1000, easily detachable too. The fairing also offers superb weather protection, much better in fact than many modern touring bikes. The Kawasaki GTR1000 has details like tripmeter, clock, fairing vents etc are all there and later `94 onwards model has updated dashborad and lockable fairing pockets. For its time, the Kawasaki GTR1000 was a well thought out touring motorcycle.

Owners' Reviews

No owners have yet reviewed the KAWASAKI GTR1000 (1986-1999).

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Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1986
Year discontinued 1999
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 110 bhp
Max torque 73 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.1 secs
Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Tank range 250 miles
Specification
Engine size 997cc
Engine type 16v, in line 4, 6 gears
Frame type Tubular diamond type
Fuel capacity 28.5 litres
Seat height 815mm
Bike weight 258kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound
Rear suspension Preload, rebound
Front brake Twin 300mm discs
Rear brake 280mm disc
Front tyre size 110/80 x 18 in
Rear tyre size 150/80 x 16 in

History & Versions

Model history

1986: Kawasaki GTR1000 launched.
1989: Kawasaki USA cease production of the Kawasaki GTR1000 due to poor sales.
1990: Kawasaki GTR1000 production restarted.
1994: Revised Kawasaki GTR1000 appears, 12kgs heavier, more midrange, new wheels, uprated brakes.
1999: Kawasaki GTR1000 discontinued.

Other versions

1200 Voyager II ( US market only ).

Photo Gallery

  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Top view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Top view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Top view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Top view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Top view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Top view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki GTR1000 motorcycle review - Side view