Of course we love old bikes here at Classic-Motorbikes.Net – but we have to draw the line somewhere and this is ‘somewhere.’
Let’s address the ‘elephant in the room,’ that belt drive…
This system supposedly offers many advantages over chain. Apparently there’s little or no adjustment needed and you don’t have to oil it every now and again. But, there seemed to be plenty of cases of belts snapping (akin to those on Buells) and the owners being left with a bill for a new belt (around £200.) Others owners say that when it looks like the belt is drying out, it will make a squeaking sound and then it’s best to apply some form of vegetable oil! Eh? But they said it doesn’t need oil… It comes as no surprise to us then that some owners looked to doing a chain-swap…
OK, now those aesthetics. Some may argue that Kawasaki’s GPz305 didn’t look too bad. And (digging back through the family tree) the motor came from the handsome Z250T Scorpion but that’s about all that’s good we can say about it. From the basic good-looks of the 250T, Kawasaki saw fit to plonk a bikini fairing and bodywork from its big supersport GPz range on it. To add insult to aesthetic injury, it even came in the bold ‘firecracker red’ colour scheme, offering more than this limp bit of lettuce could really deliver.
So, the GPz305 had a big-bike look and it had some big-capacity machine features such as a centre-stand, twin front discs and a fuel gauge. Riding the thing you had to really rev its tits off and when you didn’t, you’d see a good return in miles on the full (16.5litre) tank of fuel. If we’re starting to see its good side, let’s stop you there…
Then things started to go wrong with it. Some say it was because the Z250T’s 248cc lump was bored out to 306cc. It was thought that not much oil got up to the head, which meant that camshafts often seized. A similar fate was known to befall the earlier Scorpion, too.
From the time the bike came out – 1983 – many a breaker was stocked to the rafters with GPz305 lumps with shot top-ends. Other problems centred around the cam-chain, as it seemed the automatic tensioners never really did their job. Build quality also wasn’t too hot: the black paint on the engine flaked off for a start. Paint on the wheels would often be pitted, forks too and bolts would corrode before your very autumn. This would be acceptable when you think of other 1980s bikes of the time – but this thing hung around until the mid-1990s in Kawasaki’s range…
Kawasaki GPz305 Belt-Drive 1983-1996
Price new: £3150 (1994)
Price now: £0-£500
Engine: 306cc, air-cooled parallel-twin, SOHC.
Power: 27bhp @ 10,000rpm