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Editor's picks: Kawasaki W650

Published: 16 September 2011

Updated: 20 November 2014

Yearning for a slice of retro style after feasting your eyes on the classic metal in MCN Retro? Then, like us, you might be considering your options. If you love the aesthetics but want to combine classic lines with modern handling and reliability then a Kawasaki W650 could be ideal.

The W650's parallel twin is soft and easy-going – with just 49bhp it’s great in town or for rolling gently down those sunny memory and sufficient if you’re not after life in the fast (or even middle) lane.

Despite a dry weight of 195kg, the Kawasaki W650's small size belies the stats, feeling light and controllable.

The suspension is not particularly sophisticated and ground clearance is far from limitless but this is no sports bike – compared to a cruiser it’s nimble and capable.

The widely-loved retro styling means there is an abundance of aftermarket parts available, including the Clubman kit from German firm LSL which MCN reviewed back in 2008:



Most examples of the Kawasaki W650 get a relatively easy life and few problems are reported. The engine is in such a low state of tune it should last well. If a bike is neglected, which is unusual for these oft-polished and cherished bikes, the lashings of chrome will suffer.

Our pick of the W650s on offer at is this “very clean” 2000-registered, two-tone silver and blue example, available at Suffolk-based Village Motorcycles for £3295. Having covered just 5,200 miles with three owners it has service history and is fitted with high-rise handlebars and engine bars. View the advert here.


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