First-ever Kawasaki Ninja at Brands Hatch BSB

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Geoff Johnson’s 1984 Production TT-winning  Kawasaki GPZ900R will be paraded at Brands Hatch this weekend during the 25th Anniversary of the Ninja.

The bike was run at the ’84 TT by Plymouth dealership GT Motorcycles, only weeks after the GPZ900R had been launched in America as the Ninja.

“We saw a chance and took it” says Mike Grainger, of GT Motorcycles.

“Geoff Johnson was reckoned to be one of the best riders of the time racing production bikes, so we taped over the indicator lenses, took the main stand off for more ground clearance and did any modifications that were allowed under the rules”.

Grainger’s gamble paid off as Johnson ran a faultless race and played a part in creating a chapter in Ninja history that now stretches across a quarter of a centaury.

Paying homage to that heritage, Grainger has been persuaded to bring the actual race-winning bike out of his private collection and prepare it for an emotional series of parade laps at Brands Hatch this weekend.

Current TT star Conor Cummins has been selected to pilot Grainger’s Kawasaki Cummins normally races a McAdoo Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R on the roads and the Manxman is relishing the prospect.

He said: “I know how hard it is to try and win a TT and that’s on a bike that has been built just for the TT course.

“To last the distance and win on a bike that you could have bought in any motorcycle shop shows just how right the Ninja was right from the start.”

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin