Could Kawasaki be bringing a W175 to the UK after it lands in India?

With Kawasaki preparing to launch its W175 in India, we wonder whether a similar motorcycle might work here in the UK and Europe?

Kawasaki W175

Kawasaki is preparing to launch its single-cylinder W175 in India later this year, with the Akashi brand looking to take on the likes of Yamaha and native Bajaj. 

Bajaj is a name we are becoming more familiar with in the West, thanks to their collaboration with KTM, among others. Their Pulsar range is a hit in India, and that, along with the FZs of Yamaha, is the target for Kawasaki with their W175. 

The bike produces a peak power of 13 horsepower, and peak torque 13.2Nm from its 177cc single-cylinder engine. Despite using 12cc more than Yamaha’s FZ X, the W175 (135kg) is four kilograms lighter.

Its retro looks - which are somewhat shared with the larger W800 - are only semi-deceptive, though, since at the rear the braking is done by a drum brake. At the front there is a disc. 

Rush Lane reports that Kawasaki is likely to ask for 150,000 Rs for the W175, which equates at the time of writing to around £1,650. 

And that provides an interesting question. Specifically, would such a motorcycle, or one similar, work in the UK? 

£1,650 is certainly an attractive price point, but part of the reason it is so low is because Kawasaki is having the Indian-marketed W175s built domestically in India. That is obviously not an option in the UK, so the price would be slightly more if a W175 was to come here. 

In any case, for Europe and/or the UK, a 125cc would likely be better-suited, for emissions purposes. Most 125s in Europe produce around the same horsepower as the W175, so Kawasaki should not face too much trouble in that regard. But, one thing which would almost certainly need to be changed would be to swap that rear drum for a disc. 

There would be some competition for a ‘W125’ to measure itself against in the UK. Yamaha makes the XSR125, as well as the ‘Legacy’ edition, and then there are the electric 125-equivalent neo-retros like the Maeving RM1. Okay, a Kawasaki W does not make the same kind of sporty gestures as an XSR, but a comparison is still possible.

The standard XSR125 sells for £4,550, and the Maeving for £4,995, so there would even be scope for Kawasaki to increase the price slightly to account for the additional cost of importing to the UK, and upgrading to disc brakes at the back. 

Certainly, there is an appetite in the UK and Europe at the minute for ‘modern classic’ bikes. The success of brands like Triumph is testament to that, as well as the design direction many small electric manufacturers have taken, and are taking. 

Will we see a W175 adapted for Europe and shipped over here? Well, it has been around for quite a while now in Asia, with little sign of a European excursion. But, it would certainly not be a bad thing, especially with rising living costs making economical, small-capacity motorcycles increasingly attractive.

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Review | Much Faster Sons!

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Review | Much Faster Sons!