The first Kawasaki model to be sold in the North American market under the Ninja name, the GPz900R was a cutting-edge sportbike that, upon its release, represented the world’s fastest production motorcycle. And while the GPz’s straight-line speed made it a popular bike, it was the Ninja’s appearance in 1986’s Top Gun that cemented its status as a bonafide cultural icon. With the newly-released Top Gun: Maverick flick also featuring one of Team Green’s latest superbikes — a Ninja H2 Carbon — Italy’s FTG Moto has opted to pay homage to Tom Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s two-wheelers of choice by creating a GPz-H2 mashup dubbed “ProjectZ.”
Starting with a GPz donor, the Kawasaki has been stripped down and built back up using a myriad of items plucked from the Japanese moto brand’s supercharged H2 model, including its single-sided swing-arm and its entire carbon fiber tail section and seat — the former of which has been grafted to the GPz’s chassis and now supports a star-style five-arm wheel (also from the H2) while the latter has been mated to the bike via a bespoke subframe. In addition to being fitted with an HP Corse exhaust, the 108-hp, liquid-cooled 908cc inline-four at the heart of the GPz has also been bestowed with a Rotrex centrifugal supercharger — modifications that hugely bolster its power output.
To compensate for the increased horsepower and torque numbers and help keep everything in check, the Ninja has also been given radial-mount Brembo brakes, a Bitubo shock, and an inverted fork. The bike has also been gifted a 3D-printed carbon fiber intake, top-shelf Accossato lines and levers, Motogadget bar-end LED indicators, and custom aftermarket red-anodized switchgear. The build’s final touch came in the form of a new red and black factory livery for the GPz before being decorated in screen-accurate stickers that appeared on Maverick’s GPz bike in the 1986 movie.
While ProjectZ boasts the top-notch fit and finish that’s shared by all of FTG Moto’s builds, the beautifully cobbled-together Kawasaki undeniably demonstrates the Milan shop’s impressive range better than any of its prior works. And, based on the overall execution of the GPz, we seriously can’t wait to see what the shop whips up next.
HiConsumption is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more