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With the recent debut of the Kawasaki W650 traditional-style motorcycle, entry-level and veteran riders alike were provided with a stylish streetbike endowed with both performance characteristics and an affordable price. Last year, Kawasaki made the W650 even more attractive by adding a versatile, attractive front fairing, replete with new gauge cluster and multi-reflector headlight. The bottom line, then, is that the W650 offers sport-touring-like comfort in a spirited, middleweight package.
The W650 gets its power from an air-cooled inline-four-cylinder engine that has stood the test of time, and is tuned to deliver plenty of mid-range power, similar to its bigger cousin in the Kawasaki line-up, the ZRX1200R. Based on an evolution of a reliable and performance-oriented design, this engine is also equipped with modern features such as the Kawasaki Throttle Responsive Ignition Control (K-TRIC). By utilizing the Digital Ignition system and a throttle-position sensor on the carburetors, K-TRIC varies timing according to throttle position and engine rpm so that the ignition compensates for differing engine loads. The result is crisp throttle response and optimum fuel efficiency.
The double-cradle tubular-steel frame provides neutral handling over a wide range of riding situations. Integrated tabs on the rear sub-frame provide a mounting system for optional Kawasaki accessory hard bags. The rigid, box-section swingarm actuates the Kawasaki UNI-TRAK® rear suspension system, which progressively increases the damping and spring rates on the single rear shock as the suspension is compressed for a smoother, more controlled ride.
Upright seating and narrow handlebars with a low rise provide a roomy and comfortable riding position. Rider’s point of view is enhanced by the addition of instrumentation from the NINJA® ZX-7R sportbike. Finally, a sleek tailpiece, an oversize 5.8-gallon fuel tank, a four-into-one stainless-steel exhaust system and lightweight cast alloy wheels give the W650 an extra touch of pizzazz.
Naked With Kawasaki
Kawasaki’s Traditional category represents the group of bikes that are often referred to as “retro,” “neo” or “standards.” But those monikers simply don’t do justice to the Kawasaki models that fall into this class, which is why Kawasaki created its own label.
For example, no one could possibly describe the ZRX1200R as merely “standard.” Not only has this award-winning bike proven itself in magazine shootouts, it’s a success on the sales floor as well. Credit goes to the torquey, user-friendly engine, the easy-handling chassis, and the striking Eddie Lawson-era paint scheme.
Also available is the W650, a “naked-style” motorcycle with a mini fairing for wind protection. The beauty of the W650 is that it’s friendly enough for beginners to ride, but still invigorating enough for enthusiasts to enjoy. Additionally, Kawasaki offers accessory saddlebags for the bike, which add to its versatility as a high-mileage mount.
4-Stroke, air-cooled In-Line Four
Bore x Stroke
66 x 54 mm.
DOHC, 8 valves
Keihin CVK32 x 4
Kawasaki Throttle Responsive Ignition (K-Tric)
Double cradle, high-tensile steel
41 mm. conventional fork
Dual 300 mm. disc with two-piston calipers
240 mm. disc with two-piston caliper
Metallic Blue Violet
Specifications are subject to change without notice, in accordance with national regulation and legislations.