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model designations



2B OR NOT 2B ???


GPZ? GPz? Z1100B2????


It was much easier in the old days wasn’t it?. Kawasaki only had a few models to worry about.

The A-SERIES were two stroke twins, the W-SERIES were four stroke twins, the F-SERIES were two stroke single trail bikes, the H-SERIES were 500/750 two stroke triples, the S-SERIES were 250/350/400 two stroke triples and so on.

Then it got worse, much worse. When they introduced the Z1 in 1972 it was originally known as the Kawasaki super four, model Z1. Quite a mouth full don’t you think?. It was soon shortened to just Z1 of course. Each model afterwards was called A and then B. this made a lot of sense but then in 1976 things changed big style.

Kawasaki decided to re-designate their entire model range with new prefixes.

All two stroke road bikes were now called KH models (Kawasaki highway)

All trail bikes were now KE (Kawasaki enduro)

All trials bike were now KT (Kawasaki trials)

All motocross were now KX (Kawasaki MX)

All mini bikes were now KM (Kawasaki mini)

The problems arose when they came to the four stroke road bikes, they theoretically should have been called KFSRB (Kawasaki four stroke road bikes) but this was obviously too much. Instead they simply called them `Z` or KZ in the states. What did the Z stand for? Nobody it would seem knows. I remember asking a visiting Kawasaki official in the late seventies and he shrugged his shoulders and muttered something about the sound the bike makes!. ZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!. Not sure about that one !!!.

So in 1976 we had the KH250/KH400/KH500, KE125/KE175, KM90, Z900/Z400/Z750 and KT250.

In order to date the models a letter and number was also added to the designation. Thus the KH500-A8 was the eighth model in the line up of 500 triples and the Z900-A4 was the fourth model in the 900 range. Are you following this?. Think about it, we had the H1,H1A,HIB,H1D,H1D,H1E,H1F which makes seven and then the KH500-A8 which makes eight. Yes I know there was an H1C somewhere out there in Kawasaki land but they never counted that one.

So everything is hunk dory for years and years, well up to 1983 actually when Kawasaki introduced the UNITRACK GPZ models. These were known as ZX models but NOT KZX models in the states!.

So the GPZ1100 was really a ZX1100-A1. the GPZ750 was really a ZX750-A1. Is this making sense?

Previously the GPZ1100 was known as the Z1100-B1 or B2, so this is why when you ring up for spares the dealer always asks you which model you have. GPZ whatever will not suffice.

In 1984 Kawasaki introduced the water-cooled 900R, which was really called the ZX900-A1. They also did a 750 version of this the GPZ750R, which was really called the ZX750-G1. However the air cooled GPZ was still a current model so it could be very confusing for dealers and customers when trying to identify their bike. Kawasaki America had a really good idea, they called all the water-cooled models by a new showroom name, the NINJA. Good eh!.

Kawasaki UK were perhaps not as forward thinking and decided in their infinite wisdom to differentiate between the two models by calling the air cooled models GPZ with a big Z and water cooled models GPz with a small Z. Brilliant thinking or what!!!!!

Confused, you will be! A few years later they introduced a model so good they had to give it a new name, the GPX750. Actually it was really called a ZX750-F1 but never mind about that for now.

The GPZ900R matured into the GPZ1000RX (ZX1000-A1) and then into the ZX10 (ZX1000-B1),

and then into the mighty ZZR1100. This was actually called the ZX1100-C1, but then you knew that did`nt you!!. The ZZR-C model became the D model up to and including the current D9 model.

The shaft driven tourer of 1986, based on the RX100 was the GTR1000, which was really the ZG1000-A1 which shared its ZG name with the fuel injected 1300, the ZG1300A. At the same time Kawasaki released the ELIMANTOR 1000 which was just one of the large range of ZL models, which included a 250, 400, 600, 750 and 900.

In 1982 Kawasaki brought out an economical version of the GPZ550 without the fairing and LCD type clocks called the ZR550 and also a smaller 400 version called the ZR400. This ZR designation was kept in mind when they introduced a new range of retro styles bikes in 1991, namely the ZR1100A, ZR750C and ZR550B and Japan only ZR400. These were of course known by their new name ZEPHYR. When they introduced the water cooled range of retros, based on the ZZR1100 motor they came up with the designation ZRX, which should not be confused with the race replica range of models, the ZXR series. The first model in 1989 was the ZXR750, which was actually called the ZX750-H1.

I know nothing about the other three Japanese manufacturers but I am sure they did not make things this hard to follow. In 1990 if an owner rang his dealer and asked for parts for his 750 H2 then he would have to be asked which of the following three models he had:

1972-1975 H2 750 TRIPLE

1981 (K)Z750-H2  LTD

1990 ZX750-H2  (ZXR750)

This is why the parts guy always asks you daft questions when you ring them. Imagine the scene:

CUSTOMER: Have you got a cable for my H2?

DEALER: Which model?

CUSTOMER: Kawasaki H2

DEALER: Yes, but which model?

CUSTOMER: Kawasaki 750 H2 model (now getting irate)

DEALER: Which Kawasaki 750 H2 model? (also now getting irate)

CUSTOMER: Four cylinder  (good, were down to two models now!)

DEALER: What year is it?


DEALER: AH, it’s a ZXR750 (ZX750-H2)

Get the message?, five minutes spent quizzing the owner just to find out which bike he has! This is probably why parts dealers don’t offer a free phone 0800 number; it would cost them a fortune.

Just bear in mind that Kawasaki do parts for over 55 different 750cc UK models alone. It is even worse now with all these imports as well.


Anyway, here is the idiots guide to the models:


A-SERIES: 250 and 350 two stroke twins. 

B-SERIES: 125 two stroke singles. 

C-SERIES: 120 two stroke singles.

F-SERIES:  175/250/350 Two stroke singles.

G-SERIES: 90/100 two stroke singles.

H-SERIES: 500/750 two stroke triples.

J-SERIES: 85 two stroke singles.

KS-SERIES: 125 two stroke singles

M-SERIES: 50 two stroke single.

S-SERIES: 250/350/400 two stroke triples.

W-SERIES: 650 four stroke twins.

Z-SERIES: 900 four stroke fours.



250 LTD     (SINGLE)                              Z250C

Z250T (SCORPION)                                ER250B (BELT DRIVE)

GPX250                                                     EX250F 

ZZR250                                                     EX250H

KLR250                                                     KL250D

KR250 (TANDEM TWIN)                     KR250A

KR250                                                       KR250B

KRIS                                                          KR250C

250 ELIMINATOR                                   EL250E

GPZ305                                                     EX305A (CHAIN)  EX305B (BELT)

GPZ400                                                     1982 ZX400C

ZXR400                                                     ZX400H (IMPORT)  ZXR400L

440 LTD                                                    Z440A (CHAIN) Z440D (BELT)

GPZ500S                                                   EX500A AND THEN EX500D

ER5                                                           ER500A   2001 MODEL ER250C

GPZ550                                     1981 Z550D1  1982 Z550H   1983 ZX550A

GT550                                                        Z550G

550 ZEPHYR                                            ZR550B

550 LTD                                                    Z550C

GPZ600R                                                  ZX600A

GPX600R                                                  ZX600C

600 ELIMINATOR                                   ZL600A (US IMPORT)    ZL600B UK

KLR600                          KL600A (KICKSTART)  KL600B (ELECTRIC START)

ZZR600                                                     ZX600D AND THEN ZX600E

ZX6R                                       ZX600F 95-97 ZX600G 98-99 ZX600J 00-01

KLR650                                                     KL650A

KLR650 TENGAI                                     KL650B

KLX650                                                     KLX650C

650 CUSTOM                                           Z650C

650 SR                                                       Z650D

650 CSR                                                    Z650H

750 LTD TWIN                                    1977-1979 Z750G  1981 Z750Y1

750 LTD TWIN CSR                            Z750S1 (US IMPORT) 

GT750                                                    Z750P

750 LTD  (FOUR)                                 Z750H

GPZ750 (TWIN SHOCK)                   1981 Z750R1

GPZ750 UNITRACK                           ZX750A  

GPZ750 TURBO                                 ZX750E

GPZ750R (WATER COOLED)        ZX750G

750 VULCAN                                     VN750A

750 ZEPHYR                                       ZR750C

ZR7                                                      ZR750F

ZXR750                                              ZX750H 89-90 ZX750J 91-92 ZX750L 93-94

ZX7R                                                  ZX750P

ZX7RR                                               ZX750K 91  ZX750M 93 ZX750N 96

900 LTD                                             1976 KZ900B

GPZ900R                                            ZX900A

900 ELIMINATOR                           ZL900A

ZX9R                                                 ZX900B 94-97 ZX900C 98-99 ZX900E 00-01

Z1000 LTD   1015cc                        1977-1980  KZ1000B

Z1000 CSR                                        KZ1000M

Z1000 LTD  998cc                           KZ1000K

Z1000 ST                                          Z1000E

Z1000 MK11                                    Z1000A3/A4

Z1000 CLASSIC   EFI                     KZ1000G

Z1000 EFI                                          Z1000H

Z1000 LAWSON                  Z1000R (THE REAL REPLICA WAS A S-MODEL)

GPZ1000RX                                      ZX1000A

GTR1000                                           ZG1000A

ZX10                                                 ZX1000B

1000 ELIMINATOR                        ZL1000A

GPZ1100 (TWIN SHOCK)             1981 Z1100B1 1982 Z1100B2

Z1100 LAWSON                             Z1100R

GPZ1100 UNITRACK                    ZX1100A

ZZR1100                                          ZX1100C  AND THEN ZX1100D

GPZ1100 WATER COOLED         ZX1100E    (ABS) ZX1100D

1100 ZEPHYR                        ZR1100A MAG WHEELS/ ZR1100B SPOKE WHEELS

ZRX1100                                ZR1100C WITH FAIRING  ZR1100D W/OUT FAIRING

ZX12R                                    ZX1200A

Z1300 DFI                              ZG1300A

Z1300 VOYAGER                 ZN1300A




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