KAWASAKI GTR1000 (1986 - 1999) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£100|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||16v, in line 4, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular diamond type|
|Fuel capacity||28.5 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||41 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£100|
14 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||110 bhp|
|Max torque||73 ft-lb|
|Top speed||130 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.1 secs|
|Tank range||250 miles|
Model history & versions
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.
1200 Voyager II ( US market only ).
Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI GTR1000 (1986 - 1999)
4 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI GTR1000 (1986 - 1999) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£100|
5 out of 5 for value compared with comparable bikes.
Buying experience: Purchased privately at a heavily discounted price due to the previous owner's age - he'd ridden it for 15 years.
Annual servicing cost: £100
Old school, but i have 3 of these since i was in my twenties, an I'm now fifty something. Bombproof reliability, easy to maintain, comfortable, as hell, and I used to travel between northern Germany and the UK on a monthly basis, all year round. No its not a BMW , no its not an St ot FJR, what it is, is a touring bike that will last forever, i had one with over 180,000 miles, without taking the head off! The screen is one of the best i have ever used, i did fit heated grips and saddle base, because of the winter miles i was doing. The panniers are enormous and even fully loaded, did not adversely affect the handling. Keep an eye on the monoshock as i changed all of mine over time, but handling is as you would expect from a dinosaur. Heavy but that was good in crosswinds. all in all I would still have one now if I could find one in good nick.
After carrying out the carb Mod, you can easily return it to its full 110 BHP. engine maintenance is very easy for any compitant mechanic, without any special tools.
self maintenance, means you pay for tyres only, always use BT 021's, and oil , filters etc. Valve adjustment is via adjustable tappets.
enormous luggage and very cosy fairing, fat saddle, for larger bums
when you look at this motorcycle as a function of the price they are available, I consider them a huge value. one of the best parts of this bike is a 20 year production run which makes good used parts readily available.
this can easily be remedied by several custom brake options. there are aftermarket brake brackets available which allow the use of better quality calipers. Some have even gone to a ZRX front end which offers much better braking.
in stock form the motor is very serviceable. however, again, the after market comes through with replacement cam and carburation options which vastly improve torque and ride-ability.
the protection of the fairing components are incredible for long-distance travel. there are very few other motorcycle models that can do better. Panniers have terrific space and are easy to use. the aftermarket comes through with trunks in various sizes to meet all needs. lower footpegs, highway bars, and various technical components are available which improve the overall value of the bike as well.
Buying experience: I just bought this 94 model used with only 15,000 miles for USD $1250. with only routine maintenance items being replaced, I have a sport touring motorcycle which will last another 10 years. how much better can it get?
Annual servicing cost: £100
I've marked it 5/5 because for the money nothing comes close, yes there are better, newer bikes but nowhere near this price bracket. It really is one of Kawasaki's best kept secrets, absolutely brilliant fairing (with a change of screen).
Very soft suspension that's actually very good for touring, gets a bit bouncy at higher speeds. Later model brakes much better with twin piston calipers and no linked brake crap.
Lacks a little low down torque but the engine pulls well enough at low rpm, there is a barely noticeable flat spot just under 2k revs but in reality it's not really a problem. Engine makes pretty good power higher up the revs, the downside is it can be a little viby at certain revs.
Basic, old school tech such as carbs, no ABS etc. Very easy to keep running for years. My biggest gripe is the finish, it really is quite poor in some areas but keep on top of it and it'll be fine.
I do everything myself so it's just parts to pay for.
Has all the basics, twin trip meters, clock.
Buying experience: I bought my bike from a dealer with 2600 miles on the clock in pristine condition, 21 years old at the time of writing this and I paid 2 grand! like I said for the money it's hard to beat.