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Kawasaki To Reprise One of Its Finest Roles in Top Gun: Maverick

Maverick’s original 1986 Kawasaki GPZ900R.

Maverick’s original 1986 Kawasaki GPZ900R. (Kawasaki/)

After a long day of cheating death in the skies, what motorcycle does Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell use to cheat death on the road? A Kawasaki, of course.

In the spirit of the legendary 1986 GPZ900R Maverick rode in the original Top Gun, he’ll swing a leg over a Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick. According to Kawasaki, four supercharged Ninja H2 Carbon machines and two restored Ninja GPZ900R motorcycles were provided to the production team, along with additional surprise models that may appear in Maverick’s personal hangar as featured in the film. Personal hangar? Apparently, time has been kind to Maverick.

Cruise, who is said to be an avid rider, manned the GPZ900R himself in the original movie, including the iconic scene where he “races” the F-14 fighter jet taking off from Naval Air Station Miramar (now known as Marine Corps Air Station Miramar). Film stills and sneak previews seem to have Cruise assuming moto duties this time too. If he recreates the Miramar scene, he’ll have a fighting chance of keeping up on the H2.

As with the original movie, Maverick will be taking on Russia’s finest, this time in the form of the Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet. As the production was filmed some four years ago, recent developments in Ukraine had no bearing on the film’s plot. But hey, Russia’s still Russia.

Regardless, limited-edition T-shirts featuring the GPZ900R and the Ninja H2 Carbon will be sold at participating Kawasaki dealers. Feel free to pick up a Ninja H2, Ninja H2 Carbon, or Ninja H2R while you’re there.

Related: Allegedly, Kawasaki wasn’t the first choice of Cruise and the original Top Gun producers. According to a veteran Honda marketing rep, Honda was set to provide an unnamed sportbike for use in the movie, but balked at Tom Cruise riding sans helmet. Kawasaki, being Kawasaki, had no such qualms, and the rest is movie history. Now you know-ish.

Top Gun: Maverick will premiere in theaters nationwide on May 27, 2022.

Marketing and ’Merica: Limited-edition T-shirt, only available at participating dealerships. And online too.

Marketing and ’Merica: Limited-edition T-shirt, only available at participating dealerships. And online too. (Kawasaki/)

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