Kawasaki GPZ1100B1/B2

Kawasaki GPZ1100B1/B2

Infobox Motorcycle
name = GPz1100 B1/B2

aka = Z1100B(GP)
manufacturer = Kawasaki
production = 1981–1985
predecessor = Kawasaki Z900
successor = none
parent_company = Kawasaki Heavy Industries
class = Sport bike
engine = 72.5 x 66.0 mm (2.9 x 2.6 inches), 4-stroke, transverse 4-cylinder, air-cooled, DOHC, 2 valve per cylinder
transmission = 5 speed
drive = Chain
ignition = Electronic
fuel control = Fuel Injection
frame = steel
power = 109.00 HP (79.6 kW)) @ 8500 RPM
torque = 95.19 Nm (9.7 kgf-m or 70.2 ft.lbs) @ 7000 RPM
suspension = Front - Telescoping fork
Rear - 81'-82' Dual shock, 83'on - Uni-Trac single shock suspension with aluminum swingarm
brakes =
Dual disc (front)
Single disc (rear)
tires = Tubeless
110/90-18 (front)
130/90-18 (rear)
rake = 28 degrees
trail = Unknown
wheelbase = 1,540 mm (60.6 inches)
length = 2,265 mm (89.2 inches)
width = 785 mm (30.9 inches)
ground clearance = 145 mm (5.7 inches)
seat_height = 30.708" (780mm)
wet_weight = 236.0 kg (520.3 pounds)
dry_weight = Unknown
fuel_economy = Unknown
fuel_capacity = 21.57 litres (5.70 gallons)
related = Unknown
similar = Unknown

In 1981, Kawasaki released the GPz1100B1 followed by the GPz1100B2 in 1982. Both models featured a 4 cylinder, 2 valve air-cooled engine design with a capacity of 1089cc. The design was similar to previous engines used on the popular z1000 series, in particular the z1000-A4 MkII engine design. In 1983 the GPz1100 was completely revamped in both cosmetic styling, suspension and engine design. The model number changed to zx1100A1 and the engine featured a four valve design.

Cosmetically, both the B1 and B2 were released in a bright red paint called "Firecracker Red", the B2 was also available in a gold colour called "Sonic Gold". The red colour theme was a departure from early colour schemes and started the marketing campaign called the "Red Revolution" featuring the 1100, 900 and 750 models.

Model Differences

Handle Bars

The B1 had conventional handle bars as found on all earlier Kawasaki "Z" series bikes, the B2 had bars that resembled clip on handlebars, but mounted on top of the forks, this style was to continue to be the norm for most sports bikes, especially the Kawasaki GPZ900R series released in 1984. As a result of the handle bar mounting, the top triple clamp is different between the two models.


The Instruments on the B1 used bulbs for all warning lights and featured a Speedometer, Tachometer, Fuel Gauge and Voltage Meter. The B2 instrument panel feature the Speedometer and Tachometer but the fuel gauge and most of the warning indicators were replaced with an LCD assembly. The design change also changed the wiring harness and a number of electrical connectors in the front of the motorcycle changed,


The front disks of the B1 are 10mm smaller in diameter and 1mm thinner than the B2, the front
callipers are also different but the disk brake pads are the same. The rear disks are identical in both models.

The front forks are slightly different between the two models. Both models feature air assistance, but the B1 model uses an air valve located at the top of the fork leg while the B2 uses an equaliser tube linking the two tube with a single air valve. By using an equaliser tube, each inner fork tube requires a small hole to allow the air in. The lower legs are different as the different callipers used on the two models require the mounting points to be different.

Fuel Injection System

Both the B1 and B2 featured Digital Fuel Injection (DFI). The B1 model featured a DFI system that was modelled on the 1980 z1000H and (also used in the 1980 z1000G model) This version of the DFI system was a hybrid car design that had many reliability issues causing most owners to end up removing it and replace it with z1000J carburettors. The key problem was the use of an air-flap design rather than a MAP sensor used in modern systems and the Early TPS design registered only open or closed (idle) throttle positions. Later models (B2 onwards) used a variable TPS that accurately represented the throttle position and hence a better Electronic Control Unit (ECU) algorithm called "Alpha-N".

On the B1 model, the four fuel injectors are mounted directly into the cylinder head above the inlet ports (hence the DFI/EFI system was referred to as port injection), while the B2 model had the more common Throttle body injection (TBI) where the injectors are mounted into the throttle bodies. With different throttle bodies comes a very slight difference in the air box mounting.

Fuel System

The fuel level sender units are different between the two models, this could be due to the different methods used to report the fuel level (B1 – gauge, B2 – LCD). The B1 model has a fuel sender with a round tank mounting, the B2 has a rectangular mounting plate, therefore the tanks are different also. The DFI fuel delivery hardware appears to be the same. The 1983 model also uses the same fuel pump and TBI setup as the B2.

Body Parts

The B2 model featured a Bikini fairing, this resulted in a change in a number of cosmetic covers and the addition of extra mounting brackets. Because of the bikini fairing, the headlight assembly is slightly different between the two models. The frames are basically the same with a few subtle differences in the fasteners used.

The tail light of the B2 features a reflector on each side of the rear lens. The internals of the lens are also different between the two models. The tail light lens feature identical mounting, so they can be interchanged.

Common Problems

According to first hand accounts from owners and dealers, the B1 and B2 models had a number of issues that were addressed by Kawasaki in and out of warranty periods.

* Front Disk warp on B1 models, rectified by Kawasaki in the B2 with larger (and thicker) disks.
* Injector failure on B1 models, Port injection replaced with TBI in B2 model.
* EFI failures (numerous) The common failure observed by many was theThrottle position sensor (TPS) electrical connector failing. This fault typically occurred several years out of warranty. For most owners common solution was to replace the TBI with carburettors!
* Engine paint flaking in both models, paint evolution continued into GPz900R range, no real cure applied.
* Side stand mounting point breakage.
* Seizing disk brake calliper piston.
* Rear disk cracking.
* Seizing bottom headstock bearing (lack of grease).
* Uneven disk pad wear.
* Rear shock absorber failure.
* Poor finish on black chrome exhaust system.
* Cracking plastic switchgear in B1 model. New design in B2 models onwards.
* Fork oil seals failing and leaking oil.
* Excessive oil consumption. The piston sleeves were bored external to the barrels and then distorted when in use. Solution was to rebore the barrels.
* Twisted crankshaft caused by missed gears at high RPM causing alternator flywheel to over spin.

The main failure of the B1 and B2 models and subsequent models was Kawasaki's EFI/DFI system. The failure of any component in the system caused reliability issues which caused owners to change over to trusted technology.

Model Identification


* Kawasaki Motorcycle Parts Catalog - Z1100B(GP) For Export Market December 11 1981

External Links

* [http://z900.piczo.com/gpz1100b2/ Classic Japanese Motorcycle Restoration Web Site]
* [http://www.mekki.be/model%20history%20Z1-Z1000.htm Kawasaki Model History]
* [https://www.z-power.co.uk/merchantmanager/view_information.php?pId=35 GPz1100 Model History from z-power]
* [http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-injection.htm How Fuel Injection Systems Work]

Content Declaration: Content derived from author's ownership of both models and references back to the original parts manual. No copied content but some statistics derived from referenced web sites.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • List of Kawasaki motorcycles — List of Kawasaki motorcyclespecial purpose* Kawasaki Police SpecialCruiser* Vulcan 2000 * Vulcan 1600 Nomad * Vulcan 1600 Classic * Vulcan 1600 Mean Streak * Vulcan 1500 Drifter * Vulcan 900 Classic * Vulcan 800 Classic * Vulcan 800 Drifter *… …   Wikipedia