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This could be the start of something...


This could be the start of something...

Nik Ellwood

This stunning GPZ900 was waiting for us on our first morning at this year’s Classic TT, sitting in the exit to pit lane well before the day had kicked into gear. We were on the island at the invite of a good friend and in a sort-of work guise. A colleague and I had staggered up from our Douglas prom guesthouse. “It’s only five minutes’ walk mate, just up there”. If anyone tells you that be prepared for at least twenty minutes of a decent climb/hike/expedition.

Having made it to the paddock, and now desperate for a cup of tea, we were met with this stunning example, left casually propped on the side stand with no owner nearby. Other than the usual “that’s the Top Gun bike” I’ve never given the GPZ a second glance. This time however I couldn’t stop staring. 34 years after launch the godfather of superbikes just looked so right in the early morning Manx sun. The long wheelbase, aggressive nose fairing and 16-inch front wheel all looked perfectly proportioned. The whole package looked purposeful, and right at home in the Classic TT paddock. At this point in time Retro-RR was just an idea, a concept I was kicking around, otherwise I’d now be able to tell you what year it was, what the mileage was, if it was a Manx resident etc. etc.


But instead I just looked it at a lot, drooled a bit, and took a picture.