Friday, November 4, 2011

My new bike: Kawasaki W650

Today I picked up my new motorcycle.

The XV535 was just an interim.  I had been approved by the bank for a loan, and hummed and harred for a few weeks on what I really wanted.  Time to get something I have lusted after, which is reliable, rather than something that is merely cheap and reliable.  My three 'best' bikes were the Kawasaki W650, Harley Sportster, and (modern) Triumph Bonneville.  

The W650 is, in my opinion, better than the Bonneville in every way except for the brand, and the brand is not enough to win the day, especially when the Bonnies are not actually made in England(so the badge really is nothing more than a badge).

I tried four times to take a test ride on a Sportster but luck conspired against me every time. Not that it mattered. The more I considered it, the more I could see that the W650 is the bike for me.  And so I purchases a 2005 model with 23,000km.  It's a machine which I've wanted for years, and hopefully I will own it for years, just like my SR500.

I will write a review of the bike after my first ride. I've done too little riding for too long. The bike has a 5000km/3 month warranty, and I am determined to ride those 5000km in that time.


  1. For me it was the Bonnie or the Sportster, as the Kawi W650 is not available in this part of the world a.k.a. Canada, a.k.a. great white tundra. But I would have certainly considered this one, too, if the price was right. Well, I ended up with a Sportster 883, and I am happy now. Nice bike!!!

  2. Thanks Sonja. I was actually considering messaging you when I was making my decision, but I figured I knew your answer - "all great bikes, and you love the Sportster"! :-) The good thing about this decision-dilemma was that no matter which one I bought, it'd be the right choice, as they are all do good and closely tied in my mind. Is the W800 being exported to Canada? I know it's not in America. We've had it for almost a year now, and it's selling very well.

  3. Hi Matt, the W800 unfortunately never made it to Canada either. A pity really, because that would have been the only model of that specific brand that I had liked.

  4. So how was the drive? Its 675cc and 110mph top speed is something to look at. It's pretty safe to say that it has a good handling because it's lighter and more controllable. I hope you're having long road trips with your new bike!

    [Hannah Parkin]

    1. Hi Hannah. I'm sorry, I never saw your question (I cannot work this IT stuff - how to get advised when somebody posts a comment, or when somebody puts a post on their blog). I love the way the W handles. It is balanced but light at the same time. A modern Bonneville, at least the cast wheel model, is much more stable and makes the W feel a little like a dirt bike by comparison, but in its own right I have no complaints about the bike - it is a pleasure to ride, whether on the straights or in the twisties, and it overtakes with punctual ease while not accelerating so quickly that you lose your license or get bored - you perceive the acceleration as a feeling. It's great!