’84 Kawasaki Ninja 900
At this time I was working at a Kawasaki dealership in the LA area, along with a couple of other jobs, and was lucky enough to have a 900 Ninja as a demo bike for about 3 months. The dealership gave me the bike because they knew that my beloved ’72 Kawasaki H2 had recently been stolen and they didn’t like me riding my Honda CB750F to work each day. As a matter of fact, they made me park down the block a ways so our customers wouldn’t see a Kawasaki guy riding a Honda. Some owners are so picky…
The 900 Ninja was as eye opening as my H2 was twelve years earlier. It didn’t have the explosiveness of my H2 but it was light years ahead of the CB750. Smaller and much more compact than even Kawasaki’s own GPZ750 of the time. The 900 Ninja was the first of the liquid cooled 16 valve motors, 115 horsepower and topped out at around 155mph (I can attest to that speed). The engine was really narrow by standards of the time and that allowed Kawasaki to set the motor lower in the frame to help the bike handle better. It also was the first of it’s generation to use the engine as a stressed member. The testament to its speed and handling was a 1,2 finish at 1984 Isle of Man TT. The 900 Ninja was truly a motorcycle designed around that remarkable engine. If the 900 Ninja had an Achilles heel it was the 16″ front wheel. All in all one of the most impressive motorcycles of its time. Actually of any time. Hey, you wouldn’t let Tom Cruise ride just any old motorcycle in Top Gun now would you?!
The Ninja was loved by the moto-journalists at the time and still is. The 900 was soon upstaged by the GPZ1100 in the power arena but the big Ninja was no match for the nimble 900 on tight twisty (our favorite) roads. The original Ninja had what some perceived as an overheating problem, Kawasaki came back with a redo of the temp gauge. Seemed to work as I remember.
I found this very nice, though not completely stock, ’84 900 Ninja on ebay. But…I have a of question. The owner says it’s a Japan import. OK..but why does it have an MPH speedo instead of KPH model? Maybe he is thinking that just because it came from Japan it’s a Japan model? Maybe? The bike does have an aftermarket exhaust but that’s OK, it has been jetted and air filtered to suit the pipe. This is a really nice first generation Ninja. Well worth adding to your collection. Upgrade the tires and ride the daylights out of this classic bike. Click on the pics below for more info.