Kawasaki W650 (1999 - 2005)

Manufacturer
Price
£5145
Available from
1999 to 2005
Looks the part and feels it
It has Kawasaki not Triumph on the tank
A good retro if the name doesn’t bother you

User Reviews

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Overall Review

the bike I always wanted.

Strengths

light weight, easy handling, comfort, reliability, rarity; at least in this part of the world.

Weaknesses

a slight lack of power

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Submitted by Metho on Tue, 25/01/2011 - 06:11

Overall Review

For the type of riding I do I would be better off with a sport-tourer, but they don't look as good to me as the W650. I have been asked if I would upgrade to a new Bonneville, I feel the Kwaka is a better quality of bike, sure the Bonneville has more power, but if I wanted a more powerful bike there are a lot of bikes that I would consider before the Bonneville. I love my W650, it is far from perfect, there are a lot of bikes that go harder, handle better etc but that isn't really the point.

Strengths

Goes well, can sit on 140kph all day at around 5000rpm. Ultra reliable, all I have done is regular servicing. Key is in between the speedo and tacho where God intended. I like the security of a kickstart. Shaft drive OHC is truly unique, never have to worry about replacing cam chain. Centre stand and tacho are standard. Seat removeable with the key. Quality, mine is a 1999 model and the pipes are still not blued unlike almost new Bonnevilles.

Weaknesses

Would be better if it was a 750, I did a trip heavily loaded with a pillion over about 2000 kms. On a few of the long steep hills at 120 kph I was looking for another 10HP. Brakes could be a lot better, it stops but you have to really yank on the brakes.

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Submitted by griffinater on Wed, 20/07/2011 - 21:30

Overall Review

nothing i dont like great bike i would like a bigger machine now like a 1500

Strengths

reliable good ride powerful smooth no vibrations at motorway speeds yes you read right no vibration on a v twin

Weaknesses

bubbling paintwork on rear fender thats it

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Submitted by anonv7 on Thu, 08/09/2011 - 08:56

Overall Review

A good reliable, all round bike that has a dedicated following and should be acknowledged as a great Kawasaki motorcycle. It's not a Triumph copy, it's much better than that.

Strengths

Handles well with the UK handlebars fitted. Good strong engine with a very pleasing exhaust note which just gets better as the revs rise. Comfortable seat hight would suit most riders and pillions. Starts, stops and doesn't leak oil. Far more reliable than the old Triumph Bonneville and has much more character than the rather bland new one. Has been replaced by the 800 version now.

Weaknesses

People think it's a Triumph! Accessories are not cheap and hard to find. Some parts could be better finished and the clutch cable is a bugger to replace. Handling can suffer if the high US handlebars are fitted. Easily cured by lower UK ones.

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Overall Review

A really likeable bike. I have much more expensive and powerful and capable machinery in my garage but this ten year old bike is the keeper.

Strengths

Loveable engine, can use all of the 50-odd horsepower. Great styling with excellent proportions. Sit it next to a bonneville and admire the difference. Well finished, for example the exhausts are sleeved and keep their chrome finish.

Weaknesses

Stock suspension is very soft. You need to get used to the brakes!

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Overall Review

I ride it daily 8 mile round-trip commute and also the odd blast down country lanes at the weekend. Ridden over to France and back, very reliable. Loads of character. It is an old bike, so not quite as easy as say a Hornet to pick up as a first bike, but much much more fun.

Strengths

I bought a 2001 W650 about 4 years ago after passing my test and moving up from a 125cc. It is a great bike for general all-round use. It's not going to win any races, but certainly turns heads. Pretty bulletproof and simple to maintain. Everytime I park up I get people coming up to talk to me about it as they love the looks of it. Loads of low down power and sounds amazing.

Weaknesses

There is a reasonable amount of chrome on the bike that needs keeping on top of or will eventually rust. But a bit of a wipe down and some autogym and its all fine. Not the powerful of bikes and can ground the pegs around the corners if you lean too far. It is a naked bike, so motorway speeds need a strong neck, but that is the same with all naked bikes.

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Submitted by User 72865 on Tue, 11/03/2014 - 22:29

Overall Review

charming retro that out bonnies the bonny becoming quite sort after especaly with customisers

Strengths

has the looks and charm of a old british bike with out the reliability issures handle better than it looks it should

Weaknesses

not the best finish needs looking after bevell drive to the cam needs expertise

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