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Kawasaki ER-5 Naked Motorbike Review

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Kawasaki ER-5 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

The Kawasaki ER-5 has a straightforward parallel-twin middleweight commuter that’s as easy to use as a pair of pants. As a cheap workhorse you won’t find much wrong with the Kawasaki ER-5 - providing your expectations don’t go beyond simply getting from A to B.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3

The Kawasaki ER-5's DOHC parallel-twin doesn’t want for pluck, and around town it makes the most of what power it has. However, raise your ambitions even slightly and the Kawasaki ER-5's motor feels ever so wheezy. Motorways are not it’s forte and the ER-5 struggles to cope two-up without a fairing.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3

The Kawasaki ER-5 is better than most of its rivals. But that’s not saying much and Honda’s CB500 beats it hollow in most respects. The Kawasaki ER-5 brakes are particularly woeful and pillions only make matters worse. Rider comfort is good on the ER-5 and the gearbox is fine for the first few winters.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 1
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Kawasaki's ER-5 is about as basic as you can get, though some aftermarket crash bars is a common addition. The only bolt-on that’s worth it’s salt for the Kawasaki ER-5 is a Scottoiler, to help eke out chain life and reduce maintenance.

Kawasaki ER-5 (1996-current)

Detail Value
New price £3,345
Used price range View Kawasaki ER-5 bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 498 cc
Power 48 bhp
Top speed 110 mph
Insurance group 8 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Engine rating is 3 rating is 3
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 3
Equipment rating is 1 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 2 rating is 3.5
Value rating is 3 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

‘Poor’ is the best way to describe the build qualityo f the Kawasaki ER-5  To stay on top of the corrosion you’ll need to wash the Kawasaki regularly and spray with a water-dispersing spray religiously, especially if used over winter. Electrical problems are another bugbear with the ER-5.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Despite its shortcomings the Kawasaki ER-5 is frugal on fuel, cheap to insure and its tyres last for ages. Secondhand prices are low, making the ER-5 perfectly viable as a winter hack and a more than satisfactory commuter. Find a Kawasaki ER-5 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 8 of 17

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Model History

1996: Kawasaki ER-5 introduced.
2001: Kawasaki ER-5 re-styled.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 110 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 14.9 secs
Max power 48 bhp
Max torque 33 ft-lb
Weight 179 kg
Seat height 800 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption 46 mpg
Tank range 170 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 8 of 17
Engine size 498 cc
Engine specification 4v, parallel-twin, 6 gears
Frame Steel tube double cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Single 280mm disc
Rear brake 240mm drum
Front tyre size 110/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 140/70 x 17

See all Kawasaki ER-5 motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
ER-5

31488 miles

£1,300

Kawasaki
ER-5

15400 miles

£795

Kawasaki
ER-5

16632 miles

£1,595

Kawasaki
ER-5

27515 miles

£700

Kawasaki
ER-5

16000 miles

£975

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(30 reviews)

  • My Review

    FelixM

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Lovely handling, really reliable and used all year. Sat in the shed once for four months and started first time. Little small for me at six foot one but comfy seat has meant three or four hour rides. Engine has plenty of poke at high revs for commuting fun, though you will grow out of it after a year or two - and brakes maybe aren't up to hooligan riding styles. Trade-in price for 2000 ER-5 in June 2002 (7000 on clock) was 1600 pounds. One warning: down pipes corrode real quick. No holes, but the rust comes and when it does the whole thing goes ... dealers are accepting of this, just part of the low cost. Keep it clean! Also, rust crept in where the seat rubs the tank and boots rubbed the colour off the plastics side protector thingies. Chain and sprockets fine after 7000 miles. Can't say anything positive about my dealer, though. Have moved on to a Suzuki Bandit 12 and a new dealer.

    27 June 2002

  • My Review

    ahhjenko

    Average rating rating is 2.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    A good first bike, but after 5 years ownership I'm ready for something better. Good at the traffic light grand prix (beaten every car so far). Naff exhaust noise, and poor finish - I have had to hammerite the swingarm due to corrosion. Exhaust pipes rust at the sight of salted roads as does the rear shocks and rear part of the frame. camchain tensioner needs frequent overhaul as it makes a clattering noise after approx 1.5 years use. Easy to work on and a good bike to learn home maintenance on. Engine takes all the abuse you can give it! and begs for more. I have fitted a full acerbis fairing which improves looks and gives twin headlights and good wind protection. on the whole a good first bike to learn the rpoes on, but you will be ready for a bigger one after a couple of years.

    09 April 2002

  • My Review

    mcnsugar

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Like: easy to ride, cheap, fast enough Dislike: build quality, rear brake.

    09 January 2002

  • My Review

    uuuu

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Generally excellent machine as far as handling and reliability. Engine needs more power (GPZ 60 Bhp!) plus it sounds naff. Top speed 115 mph (flat road/no wind) rock solid stability.

    Strengths



    Weaknesses

    07 January 2002

  • My Review

    geoffer500

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Is ideal commuting bike with low running costs. Can keep up with traffic on motorway and the is very manouverable in heavy conjestion.

    07 January 2002

  • My Review

    geriatric

    Average rating rating is 2.5

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Commuter and second bike for bad weather. Solid, reliable but rides like a pogo stick.

    04 January 2002

  • My Review

    dixbish

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    My commuter. Very average bike really but love it for its wet weather handling and the fact that I don't care what happens to it. Cheap insurance via NU multi-bike policy ( £700 for 996,er5 and 100cc scooter!). Does 40miles commuting every day with no problems at all. Very comfy but crap front brake (may need braided hose ). Hanging on @ 110mph makes me giggle out loud.

    03 January 2002

  • My Review

    broughtygary

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Great first bike, reasonable insurance, reliable (should be; it's pampered). Best looking 500. Build quality is good if looked after although I've seen some real basket cases. It's a good steady performer, but beware you'll want something better before long if you want it for more than the dailly commute.

    28 August 2001

  • My Review

    rosean

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Commute to London daily. Perfect bike for this. Quick enough to leave traffic behind, fair handing, brakes ok if you use both! Good upright riding position with good balance for low speed traffic carving. Cheap to insure. Have looked around for 'next' bike but will probably keep an ER-5 for commuting and get something totally different as well as.

    27 August 2001

  • My Review

    Emca

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Overall an excellent allrounder. Obviously not lightning-quick, but no slow-coach either; Fuel tank could be larger (16 litres = 180-190 before refill); Exhaust has gone "rust-coloured" - allegedly made from stainless steel - no holes yet though; Brakes are adequate; Bike is very easy to work on, only needs to be returned to dealer for major jobs (headstock bearings @ 25,000, new tyres every 10,000, fork seals @ 40,000; Will cruise at 70-80mph all day long. Overall, an excellent bike for those new to bikes, or those returning to biking after a forced interlude (e.g. marriage and kids!).

    01 July 2001

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stitchwort

stitchwortsays

 My wife had one of these and it did everything she wanted it to including touring...(France and spain )

and lots of local trips with camping gear and or shopping...rectifier packed up and cooked the battery, and black box ....but replacement parts were cheap tp get on e-bay...she's also owned a cb500  which she loved and has now got a cbf 500 which she keeps dropping because it's to heavy at low speed so i'm going to try a gs 500...i would be happy to take any of these bikes touring, back roading or shopping ..but if speed is your thing go buy a sports bike

01 October 2013 12:40

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