Product Type: Kawasaki motorcycles
Newest Review: ... 60 litre panniers. Aside from the poorly designed unitrak rear suspension linkage I reckon Kawasaki created a real bike of worth in the ... more
A great return to serious biking
Author Name: Les D
Advantages: Relatively light, lively, economical.
Disadvantages: Not for the very tall
Like many other GPZ owners I have returned to biking after an absence of, well, more years than I care to think about.
I had a very brief flirtation with a diminutive Yamaha 2-stroke and soon found it so totally uninspiring that it had to go and make way for something just a little more 'interesting'.
I did my homework and decided that the GPZ was worth a look and was lucky enough to find one at a good price not far from home. Riding it home on that first day was enough to tell me that this was indeed what I wanted. We have a stretch of coast road that gives a mix of fast straights and not-too-scary bends and that enabled me to put the GPZ through it's paces in a sedate sort of way.
Since then I've enjoyed every outing and am learning to work with what the bike has to offer. I wanted to be able to put my feet flat on the tarmac when I stop, show a respectably clean pair of heels away from the lights and tackle the hills of Dorset two-up with confidence that I wouldn't run out of oomph half-way up. Modest ambitions, I know, but the GPZ delivers all of those and more.
Others have been more explicit here about performance and so on and my experience so far leads me to agree with what's said. The more I get to know this bike, the better I like it and the more I take advantage of its decent handling and nippy performance. I doubt if I shall ever stretch it - and myself - to hit the red line in top but the occasional flight up to 7-8,000rpm feels pretty good to me.
In short, it won't set the world alight but if you want a lively, reliable and economical ride you won't regret buying a GPZ.
Summary: Remember it's a 500 twin, you'll find it an enjoyable ride.
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