Motorcycle Classics Blogs > The Classic Life

Found on eBay: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550

by Landon Hall

Tags: Kawasaki, GPz550, 1981,


Kawasaki has made a wide variety of motorcycles over the years. Last week we featured a 1973 Kawasaki H2 750, a fun (if slightly impractical) bike we've always loved. So, another week and another Kawasaki, but this time one that's just as happy carving canyons as it is carrying groceries on its handy luggage rack — a 1981 Kawasaki GPz550.

We've always respected Kawi's lovable line of GPzs, from the approachable 550 to the powerful 1100. Editor Backus is the proud and happy owner of a 1982 GPz750 (even if it happens to be apart this winter while it receives a new set of rings) and it's a bike that helped him remember how fun and good Eighties Japanes four-cylinder can be.

The GPz550 was recipient of many accolades when it debuted back in 1981, as reviewers found the bike to work well on twisty roads and longer hauls, thanks to comfortable ergonomics, 51mpg highway fuel consumption, a 3.8 gallon tank and a reasonably wid and supportive seat. To read more, go here to read our article on the Kawasaki GPz550 from the November/December 2005 issue of Motorcycle Classics.

According to the seller, this bike is in fine fettle and is 99 percent original, with the only modifications being aftermarket loud horns and a Dyno-Jet Stage 1 jet kit with cone air filters. With just over 7,000 miles, this bike has seen just three owners, has new tires, a newly-sealed fuel tank, and runs and rides great.

Go here to visit the auction for this sweet little GPz, and remember, this is a practical motorcycle. At least that's what I plan to tell my wife when I try to explain to her why I need it. -- Landon Hall