A Look at the Motorcycles in ‘Top Gun: Maverick (2022)’

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Who wears aviators, races fighter jets on a carbon piece of bonkers, and is partially responsible for banking an eye-popping $124 million in ticket sales this past weekend?

If you guessed an adrenaline-charged US navy pilot named Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (played by Tom Cruise) from the recent blockbuster banger ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ you’d be right on the money. 

The movie is spiking theatre attendance across the country – and given the $11,374/hour cost to fly the iconic handful of aggressor aircraft, we’re thinking stratospheric success balances the whole checkbook out…more or less. 

Tom Cruise trying out the handling of an H2 Carbon. Photo Courtesy of Bike Bound.

Purring in wait next to the lineup of snappy jets (and gulping down significantly less fossil fuel) are the ‘Top Gun’ franchise’s supersport scoots of choice; the indomitable carbon-clad 2022 Kawasaki H2 and original household name, the Ninja GPZ 900R. 

A view of the machines and characters used for TopGun's recent flick, Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun lookalike scenes from the original flick and the new ‘Top Gun: Maverick.” Photos courtesy of Cinema Blend and Bike Bound.

“A total of four supercharged Ninja H2 Carbon machines and two restored Ninja GPZ 900R motorcycles were provided to the Top Gun: Maverick production team,” states a report in AutoWeek

Hot Cars tells us that the 900R logged 115 hp @ 9800 rpm and boasted “a steel frame, 16-inch front, and 18-inch rear wheels, air suspension, and an anti-dive fork as part of its chassis along with using the engine as a stressed member.” 

This added to the fact that the Ninja 900R uses the engine as a stressed member (rare for the time), with the neat addition of an aircraft-style fuel cap to replace the usual twisting unit.

A view of the machines and characters used for TopGun's recent flick, Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun character Maverick’s scoot of choice. Photo courtesy of Hot Cars.

Other cool facts include the reality that the Ninja GPZ 900R was the first Ninja of its time – certainly the first ever used on a major film – and took the podium as 1986’s fastest motorcycle in the world.

(We should clarify that first place was NOT given to the 900R for the entirety of 1986; with the Ninja boasting a top speed record of 151–158 mph (243–254 km/h) as of 1984 and the Suzuki GSX-R 1100 clocking in 160 mph (257 km/h) as of 1986 itself, Wikipedia states the gixxer wins out, though it’s likely the Ninja held the crown for at least the beginning portion of 1986). 

So how badass is the Ninja GPZ 900R?

A view of the machines and characters used for TopGun's recent flick, Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun character Maverick’s scoot of choice. Photo courtesy of Motor Biscuit.

As stated by WinnipegSun, the first Ninja GPZ 900R was “developed over six years in secret, became an instantaneous race-winning success (Isle of Man TT), and put down numbers that would shame most modern performance cars even today.”

A view of the machines and characters used for TopGun's recent flick, Top Gun: Maverick
Tom Cruise, or Maverick, taking his machine of choice out for a spin in the original flick ‘Top Gun.’ Photo courtesy of Fox News.

Kawi’s OG Ninja, brought back for another round of our fangirling – and who better to be lounging next to the 900R in all her lean, muscled hyper-glory than the present-day queen of the supercharged screamers (and the replacement for the iconic jet-racing scene), the 2022 Ninja H2 Carbon. 

A view of the machines and characters used for TopGun's recent flick, Top Gun: Maverick
Cruise and Connelly aboard the Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon. Photo courtesy of People.

Sporting an ultra-lightweight carbon fairing set, the $32,500 H2 holds a 228hp inline-four package galloping to the record tune of 226.9mph, according to CycleWorld

She’s equal parts beast and beauty, with TopSpeed noting that our most recent national landspeed record of 226.5mph (362.5kmph) – with a two-way average speed of 222mph (358.4km/h) – is all thanks to H2’s sibling, the supersonic H2R.

A view of the machines and characters used for TopGun's recent flick, Top Gun: Maverick
Kawasaki’s H2 Carbon. Photo courtesy of RideApart.

In short, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ doesn’t just sport the dynamic duo of the decade. As a film, it’s a show-stopping homage to our childhood, with the more left-brained results turning in a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and an “A+” CinemaScore.

“[It was] fantastic to see Tom Cruise back in the skies again after 36 years,” said Becca Monahan, commercial director of the Official Charts Company in a report from BBC.

“That the original Top Gun has made history by getting to number one on the Official Film Chart and that many of those sales were digital downloads is a great achievement.”

As for a behind-the-scenes tidbit….we got our hands on a good one just for you. 

A view of the machines and characters used for TopGun's recent flick, Top Gun: Maverick
Maverick in the revised race against an F18 superjet. Photo courtesy of Drive Mag.

“Usually, the Navy forbids pilots from flying below 200 feet during training,” states the NY Times.

“One of the film’s most staggering images is of Cruise in an F-18 whooshing just 50 feet above the ground, a height roughly equal to its wingspan.”

“The plane flew so close to the earth that it kicked up dust and made the ground cameras shake. The pilot landed, turned to Cruise, and told the superstar that he’d never do that again.”

A view of the machines and characters used for TopGun's recent flick, Top Gun: Maverick
Cruise and Connelly on a Kawasaki H2 Carbon. Photo courtesy of CinemaBlend.

If you’re in the area, yoink up and let us know what you thought of the new film. Be sure to also check back at our shiny new webpage for updates on the best of the latest puttering around our industry, and as ever  – stay safe on the twisties. 

*Media sourced from Fox News, Drive Mag, Bike Bound, People, RRW, Hot Cars, RideApart, CinemaBlend, and Motorbiscuit*

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