Practical Sportsbikes (UK) : 2021-02-01

PS SELECTOR : 46 : 46


46 Practical Sportsbike­s GPX simply brims with attitude, VFR not so much Jim thinks this is a bit ugly. Pot, kettle, black GPX: clean, aggressive lines – and the engine delivers ll three of these 750s have a lot going for them, but if it were my cash the FZ would be bottom of my list. It’s a head-heart thing. If I was going to buy the Yam it’d have to be an early 1FN model because the styling of the later 2MG has always left me cold. It doesn’t stir my soul, not to look at, and I need a bike to do that when I open up the garage. It’s an important part of the package. But if, like MG, you lost all sense of good taste decades ago and can look beyond the FZ’S uninspirin­g lines and focus soley on the riding experience, a 750 Genesis still has a lot to offer, especially for the money. Just not for me. A A VFR, on the other hand, is a bike I would like to own again. I have fond memories of the two I owned, not to mention the modded RC24 that we – The PS – took to third place at the Snetterton 4-Hour back in 2015. I like the Honda’s ability to do almost everything with a level of aplomb and consistenc­y that defines it as one of the great all-rounders. I’m drawn to the quality too, and the knowledge that even a high mileage VFR will keep on rolling just as long as the service items are kept in check. My pick would be an ’88-’89 J-K model with the 17-inch front wheel, and the additional creature comforts of fuel gauge and adjustable screen. That said, if I were on the hunt for one these three right now, the Kawasaki would be right at the top of my list. I’ve ridden this trio back-to-back and the GPX still brings back the most vivid memories. I was the most surprised and impressed by the 750R because it so deftly blended sportsbike sensibilit­y with real world equipment. The GPX’S rarity is a bonus; it’s not just another VFR, FZ or even GSX-R. It’s status has now been reduced to that of a largely forgotten machine that deserved to be a much bigger hit. Had Honda not got the VFR so right, and the ZXR hadn’t broken cover in ’89, a second generation GPX could have stayed in the game. Even so, neither of those things stop the Kawasaki from being a smart buy, then or now. Get one, you won’t regret it.