1982 Kawasaki GPz 750

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The 1982 Kawasaki GPz 750 was the last - and probably best - of Kawasaki's air-cooled 750s.
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The GPz’s angular styling extends all the way to the seat faring.
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Black chrome pipes and all-black engine look great on the GPz.
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Black chrome pipes and all-black engine look great on the GPz.
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Twin-disc front brakes were plenty strong for the time, capable of hauling the GPz’s 500-plus pounds from 60mph down to zero in about 130 feet.
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1982 Kawasaki GPz 750
Engine: 738cc DOHC air-cooled transverse-mounted inline four
Top speed: 125mph (period test)
Transmission: 5-speed, chain final drive
Weight(wet): 506lb (230kg)
MPG: 40-50mpg
Price then/now: $3,348/$1,500-$3,500

Kawasaki made its reputation in the 1960s with fast 2-strokes and cemented it in the 1970s with the legendary 903cc Z1, a 4-cylinder 4-stroke bolt of lightning. The boys at Kawasaki knew a sporty image sold bikes, and the new for 1982 Kawasaki GPz 750 showed just how sporty a Kawasaki could be.

The Kawasaki Z1 was critical to Kawasaki’s success. Thanks to the Z’s rock-solid underpinnings, Kawasaki was able to market variants based on it for the rest of the 1970s — and beyond. Its basic architecture supported a new line of sport bikes in the 1980s, the GPz series, introduced for 1981 in 1,100cc and 550cc models. Like all Kawi fours before them, the new GPz sport bikes boasted double overhead cams, plus electronic ignition and triple disc brakes, expected equipment on any bike with sporting pretentions.

Although the GPz 1100 could claim to be one of the first production motorcycles to sport fuel injection, it wasn’t necessarily the most technologically advanced bike of its day. That issue didn’t bother Kawasaki fans in the slightest, for while GPz’s may have lagged in technical terms behind some bikes, they were undeniably fast and fun.

The front row of then-popular club races for 550s were heavily populated with Kawasakis, and the bigger GPz 1100 swiftly gained a reputation as an excellent sport tourer.

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