Hollywood movies have always seen extravagance taking a center stage. The more the action, the more the entertainment and of course, more money coming in. Motorcycles have always added to the drama unlike anything else, from heroes to villains, bikes have impacted the lives of many youths to the extent of them being a part of the motorcycle community later on. 

Some of these movies are Marlon Brando in the Wild one and Tom Cruise in the Mission Impossible franchise among many more. The adrenaline rush when you see an action-packed sequence where the Hero manages to outrun the villain on his bike is so thrilling that you’d wish you could be that cool.

Tom Cruise is a person who had enough screen time with a number of motorcycles. The Hollywood action hero’s influence on bikes goes a long way. With the number of bikes he’d cast in movies along with owning a few, it’s better to say that when it comes to motorcycles, Tom Cruise and Hollywood go hand in hand.

Everybody remembers the Kawasaki GPZ900R Maverick rides in Top Gun. Here's a deep dive into why it's so cool.

What Makes The Kawasaki GPZ900R Special?

Top Gun Maverick Tom Cruise rides the Kawasaki GPZ900R
Via: Fox News

One of the reasons that made the GPZ900R a legend is the fact that it was considered as the predecessor of the modern-day sportbikes, much like how the Lamborghini Miura is to supercars. Part of the reason why the Kawasaki sore to fame was its cameo in Top Gun. Setting that aside, the bike alone was very innovative for the mid-1980s. Kawasaki launched the GPZ900R affectionately called ‘GPZ’ in 1985, a sub liter sports bike regarded as the spiritual successor to the Kawasaki Z1. A year prior to launching the GPZ, the ZX750 Turbo caught a lot of attention for the amount of engineering it brought to the table. But, the GPZ was a closely kept secret for almost 6 years while the ZX750 saw development start in 1981.

The ZX750 was brought in much earlier despite its short development period while Kawasaki took its time for the GPZ900. When the GPZ came out the bike left everyone awestruck with the amount of sophistication it had. It was so capable that six months after being unveiled to the press, dealers entered three works GPZ900R bikes in the Isle of Man Production TT finishing in first and second places. Talk about a stunning podium finish.

Given that Isle of Man is one of the prestigious yet notoriously dangerous motorcycle race know to mankind, excelling in that was an incredible feat for the bike. This along with an important factor which we’ll dive into later made Tom Cruise choose the Kawasaki GPZ900R for Top Gun; Maverick should be pilot something worthy is it not? In the Top Gun 2 sequel, Tom Cruise has been spotted on a Ninja H2R; the fastest Kawasaki to date.

RELATED: Here's What Top Gun Got Wrong About Planes As Well As Flying Them

Let’s Go Over The Ins And Outs

Top Gun Kawasaki GPZ900R
Via: Pinterest

Right off the bat, the Kawasaki GPZ900R used a 908 cc 16-valve inline-4 engine with liquid cooling. The GPZ made an astonishing 115 hp at 9800 rpm! Remember this was in 1985 where numbers like these are rare for race bikes let alone a homologated production bike.

The turbocharged ZX750 (often called the GPZ turbo), often compared with the GPZ900 made 112 horsepower but, used a whole different setup entirely. The GPZ900R used a steel frame, 16-inch front, and 18-inch rear wheels, air suspension, and an anti-dive fork as part of its chassis along with using the engine as a stressed member.

Importantly though Kawasaki positioned the engine lower in the frame, allowing it to maintain a lower center of mass enabling blistering levels of performance. The Kawasaki GPZ900R can do the standing quarter-mile in under 11 seconds, 10.976 to be precise! It’s an astonishing feat for a production bike with license plates to achieve such levels of performance during the 1980s.

Despite its tire-shredding performance, the GPZ was a comfortable urban bike, owing to the new suspension and a crankshaft counter-balancer that eliminated secondary vibration. Along with this, the cleverly designed aerodynamic fairing along with the comfortable riding position meant the Kawasaki GPZ was a good companion for long-distance rides.

RELATED: Yamaha VS Kawasaki: Which Offers The Best Bang For Buck?

A Lot Of First's

Top Gun motorcycle: Kawasaki GPZ900R
Via: Bikes Republic

Being the grandfather of modern-day sportbikes, the GPZ brought in a lot of industry firsts. For starters, remember the important factor we talked about? Yeah, the Kawasaki GPZ900R was the world’s first production motorcycle to cross the 150-mph mark. With a top speed of 155 mph, the Maverick had no doubts as to which bike he’ll be riding in Top Gun.

In addition to this, the GPZ was the first production bike to feature liquid cooling and 4-valves per cylinder with an overhead valve design. The list doesn’t end there, the GPZ is the first bike to introduce a variable damping system that was used in the forks and marketed as anti-dive forks. The GPZ900R also had an aircraft-inspired flush-fitted, spring-mounted fuel cap that replaced the bulky, twist cap. To top it off, the GPZ900R was the very first Kawasaki motorcycle to rock the Ninja badge.

Sources: Wikipedia, Cycle World, Kawasaki

NEXT: 10 Celebrities Who Ride Badass Motorcycles

Jay Leno with the Ferrari La Ferrari
Someone Calculated What It Costs Jay Leno To Pay Car Insurance
Read Next
About The Author