Despite a dry weight of 195kg, the Kawasaki W650's small size makes it feel far lighter and more controllable. Suspension’s not sophisticated, ground clearance is far from limitless but this is no sports bike – compared to a cruiser it’s nimble and capable. The Kawasaki can feel bouncy if you press on or take a pillion.
The Kawasaki W650's parallel twin is a real softy, borderline weakling. Claimed 49bhp is barely enough anywhere other than in town or bopping gently down those sunny memory-lanes – the firms own budget, 500cc twin, the ER-5 manages more. Fine if you’re not after life in the fast (or even middle) lane.
Most examples of the Kawasaki W650 get a relatively easy life and few problems are reported. Engine is in such a low state of tune it should last well. If a bike is neglected, the lashings of chrome will tell the tale. The centre stand decks out with enthusiastic cornering so check if buying used.
Before Triumph released their Bonneville the Kawasaki W650 was a great buy for someone looking for a bike like this. The British bike is a little heavier but has a smidge more power – and has the right name on the tank. Unfortunately the W650’s only a bargain when discounted. At least insurance and running costs are low. Find a Kawasaki W650 for sale.
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The Kawasaki W650's standard kit is fairly limited but you don’t expect an on board computer on a bike like this. A kit was available in 2002 to turn the bike into a café racer. Soft and hard panniers plus rails are available from Kawasaki as are engine bars.