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Kawasaki posted by

Collectable Icon: 1983 Kawasaki GPz550


This post is in our archives. Links in this post have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.

For riders of a certain — ahem — level of experience, the GPz model lineup was the quintessential sport bike during a time of alarming advancements. This was a watershed era for sport riders everywhere, as the Big Four labored tirelessly in the pursuit of new technology. By comparison, this era of the GPz could be considered one of the last “basic” layouts; the best of the old school tech. The next step involved liquid cooling, suspension advancements, brake advancements, fueling evolutions and chassis revolutions.

1983 Kawasaki GPz550 for sale on eBay

Although it does sport a Uni-Track single shock rear suspension – which not only saved weight over twin shocks, but more importantly introduced the revolution of rising-rate linkages – very little else on this GPz could be considered high-tech. Instead, Kawasaki relied upon execution excellence by assembling an air-cooled four-cylinder engine using two valve heads (a hot-rod version of the KZ motor), good for nearly 60 horsepower. Triple disks all the way around (albeit with single pot calipers) and an air-adjustable front fork promised sporting credentials. As an overall package, the GPz delivered.

From the seller:
Low mileage
Original paint
Perfect running middleweight four
Triple Disc brakes
Electronic ignition
Fuel gauge
Amp meter
New clutch , fresh battery
Factory keys, owners manual
Air charged fork
Adjustable unitrack
Adult owned
Clear Massachusetts title

In the world of touch-enabled smart phones, this is a Motorola flip phone with no text option. Even in the day it was shockingly fundamental. All would change in another year for Kawasaki with the advent of the Ninja (initially as a 900, then later as a 600), but the writing was on the wall for the air-cooled GPz series; within 5 years they would all be gone. Here is your chance to go back in time and re-live the glory that was old-tech expertise. The pictures could be better, preventing close inspection (i.e. is that rash on the left side case?). As always, RSBFS recommends talking to the seller and visiting the bike in question if at all possible. Bidding has been very light, so this might be a January bargain. Check it out and let us know what you think!



  • “In those days
    spirits were brave
    the stakes were high
    men were real men
    women were real women
    and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri
    were REAL small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri!”

    – Douglas Adams

    • There are times that this comment section can really use a “like” button.

  • I remember when this bike just cane out, in my opinion this is the bike that is responsible for the whole super bike craze

    • @gary-agreed. I think the first gen gpz 550 was 81 and that launched the racer rep/dedicated sport bike thing. Very cool example here.

  • First bike I ever bought, age 19, in 1983.
    $2622 out the door. List was $3199 I think.
    Rode it 8000 miles – until it was stolen at LAX while I was loading planes for Western Airlines at night while going to UCLA.
    Flawless bike. Never had a single problem with it. Been trolling the internet many moons searching for another one. Another 1983 sold last week for $4500 on eBay.
    Road it out to the Rock store/Malibou Lake regularly. Many RD350LC’s challenging me on Mulholland.
    Wish I had another one.

  • One of the few bike I’ve purchased new. I had it transported from GA to Los Angeles and 6 years later, back to Atlanta (when employers paid travel expenses)
    Fun, reliable, and classic design.

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