Custom Kawasaki GPZ550 by a graphic designer named Nigel Cripps
Custom Kawasaki GPZ550 by a graphic designer named Nigel Cripps
20 Oct Custom
Sponsored by Moto Animals

A little while back, Ickenham’s moto architects introduced us to a custom showstopper based on Kawasaki’s vicious GPZ550, a solid pick for workshops seeking to craft a breathtaking masterpiece to soothe just about any self-respecting rider’s soul.


The stock bike is brought to life by an air-cooled DOHC inline-four powerplant, with two valves per cylinder and a displacement of 553cc. At a whopping 10,500 rpm, this bad boy will be more than happy to generate as much as 65 hp. At the same time, a generous torque output of up to 36 pound-feet (48 Nm) will be achieved at optimal revs.


Ultimately, this whole shebang allows the GPZ to run the quarter-mile in 13 seconds at 102 mph (164 kph), while the top speed is rated at no less than 122 mph (196 kph). Despite scoring rather poorly in the handling department, it’s quite safe to say this fiend was an apex predator among two-wheeled beasts of its time.


OSG kicked the transformation off by treating the bike’s rear end to a pair of Hagon shock absorbers and a fresh double-sided swingarm unit, as well as a GPZ1100’s seven-spoke hoop. At the front, the Brits went about installing a Yamaha Fazer’s top-grade forks and an 18-inch wheel that hails from a Kawasaki Z1300.


Next, the specialists turned their attention to the machine’s engine, which they’ve honored with a 615cc piston kit to take things one step further. To complement this upgrade, England’s experts added K&N pod filters and a new four-into-one exhaust system. Motogadget’s inventory was then raided to obtain an M-Switch keyless ignition module and a set of discrete M-Blaze turn signals in the quest for a clutter-free aesthetic.


With the exception of its tail, GPZ’s weary bodywork was removed to make room for a GT550 sexy gas chamber and a GPZ1100’s front fairing. The latter is adorned with countless LEDs and a custom headlight item to enlighten your ride. The finishing touch comes in the form of a Daytona gauge replacing the original components.


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