Youngtimer test: Kawasaki GPX 600 R


Youngtimer test: Kawasaki GPX 600 R

Youngtimer test: Kawasaki

Kawasaki GPX 600 R

With the angular GPX 600 R, the Japanese followed suit in the 1987 race for the fastest 600 and poured fuel on the fire. With success?

Kawasaki certainly didn’t want to show its fans an X for a Z with the introduction of the GPZ successor. At first glance, the GPX 600 R was too clearly distinguishable from its predecessor. The paneling was still slim and slim, but much more angular, the completely new color scheme did the rest. Under the dress, however, a lot looks familiar. The liquid-cooled four-cylinder is based on the GPZ engine and, after a thorough overhaul, produced 85 instead of 75 hp. First. The test model from 1994 brings it (after the GPX was not offered in the meantime from 1990 to 1993) adapted to the insurance class to only 78 hp, but hardly offers poorer performance. The four-cylinder still hangs in a steel frame, which is even narrower than the GPZ and saves weight. The Kawa developers had reduced the weight by ten to 206 kilograms. Together with the unusually small 16-inch wheels, this leads to the excellent handiness of the 600 series. The negative aspects of the 16 incher (standing up when braking, nervousness and moderate precision in corners) are hardly to be found in the GPX.

The driving behavior is relatively neutral, the straight-line stability at full throttle, the Kawa only reacts a bit sensitive to ruts. On the other hand, it reacts to the accelerator gently and with a steady increase in power from 2000 rpm. From 6000 tours things really get down to business, and the engine willingly turns up to the 11000 mark. Sounds like a real athlete. However, if you take a seat in the deep seat, you will find a comfortable spot, sit not too low over the narrow handlebars and feel at home straight away. Unless it measures over six feet. Then he has to fold up properly and bend his legs sharply. A co-driver on the high pillion bench has to do that anyway. The wind protection is only moderate, and the 600 hardly invites you to travel. Even more so than the brisk country road dance, because the precisely switchable gearbox, the great handling and the quite snappy, if not optimally controllable, brakes enable a brisk pace and thus provide plenty of driving pleasure. And because the engine has long since proven its robustness, a used GPX can now be recommended as a long-lasting, problem-free everyday athlete.

Short judgment


  • Extremely handy
  • Well-balanced, easy-revving engine
  • Adequate seating comfort for the driver
  • Effective brakes
  • Fleet performance


  • Hardly suitable for a passenger
  • Sensitive to ruts
  • Unusual tire dimensions

Technical specifications


When the GPX 600 R was reissued in 1994, the ineffective ESCS was omitted. The brake was and remained neat.

The data (factory information):
engine Four-cylinder four-stroke / in-line
Displacement 593 cc
Power transmission Six-speed gearbox / chain
power 57 kW (78 hp) at 10500 rpm
Max. Torque 54 Nm at 8000 rpm
Front brake Double disc (Ø 270 mm)
rear brake Disc (Ø 250 mm)
Front tires 110/80 V 16
Rear tire 130/90 V 16
Suspension travel front / rear 140/130 mm
Tank capacity 18 liters, normal
Colours red
Maintenance intervals 5000 km
price 5415/5471 euros (new price 1989/1994)

The measured values ​​(factory specification):
Top speed (Factory specification) 210 km / h
acceleration 0−100 km / h 3.9 sec
Draft 60−140 km / h 13.7 sec
Weight with a full tank of 208 kg
Payload 182 kg
consumption Country road 5.8 l / 100 km



Tight bends, switchbacks – one of the easiest exercises for the extremely handy GPX with its 16-inch wheels.


In the city:
Its low seat and low weight hardly pose any problems even to small, petite drivers when stopping at traffic lights or when maneuvering. The seating position, which was once considered sporty, is very relaxed for today’s standards, the slim paneling allows cheeky snaking.

On the country road:
The small 16-inch wheels make the fairly light GPX extremely manageable, without annoying you with the wobble that is otherwise often observed. The four-cylinder pulls out gently and evenly from below, but really groovy propulsion is only available above 6000 rpm. The brakes decelerate very well.

On the highway:
Even if the legs have to be bent in a sporty way, the overall sitting posture can be described as relaxed. The modest wind protection of the slim fairing is more of a nuisance on long stages. The directional stability is flawless, the GPX only reacts very sensitively to ruts.


The mechanically loud, easy-revving four-cylinder pulls out cleanly from below, but only gets down to business from 6000 rpm. No food lover at full throttle.
(3 out of 5 stars)

landing gear
The small 16-inch wheels make the GPX very handy, fortunately, but hardly wobbly. The hard strut reacts a bit stubbornly.
(3 out of 5 stars)

Bite and deceleration performance are pretty decent, controllability and stability could be even better.
(3 out of 5 stars)

We like the straightforward, complete and clear cockpit. Main stand, luggage rack, other special features? Nothing.
(3 out of 5 stars)

The driver sits relatively relaxed, very tall ones sit a little cramped in the deep hollow. The stubborn suspension strut is particularly annoying.
(3 out of 5 stars)

Suitable for beginners
The GPX is low and light, which suits the inexperienced. It drives bitch-free and brakes properly, beginners can handle that.
(4 out of 5 stars)

One thought on “Youngtimer test: Kawasaki GPX 600 R

  1. Awesome written review. Restored and drove my ‘94 for 30k km in four years, loads of fun on and off road for a lanky 6’2. Add leather luggage lacks and go sport touring, but anything over 300km per day is a bit too ruff for the cheeks.

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