2002 Kawasaki ER-5 from United Kingdom
Honest, modest... well, it's all right, really
Normal wear and tear. It's well-reported that the finish on the ER-5 isn't brilliant - and that's true - but not to the extent that it spontaneously falls apart.
Effortless to ride at motorway speeds when equipped with a Puig Touring Screen and handguards. Benefits from a radiator protector, and I think a rear carrier is a must. It'll get a fair lick on, but takes its time getting there. Touring ability is under-rated; conversely, its qualities as a short-distance town/city commuter are slightly exaggerated. It lived most of its production life in the shadow of the 1993-2003 Honda CB 500 twin, which in all honesty was probably the better machine, but not vastly so. IMHO the ER-5 represents better value these days - a genuine "bargain basement" purchase. Better described as "dated" rather than "retro", its appearance conceals a certain ruggedness.
The ER-5 was widely used in rider training schools, which can be looked at in two ways - the bikes could've been badly (if inadvertently) ill-treated, but would also have been regularly serviced and given frequent maintenance checks.
I love mine. I've bought other, more exotic motorcycles with the intent of downgrading the ER-5 to my "second-choice", but that doesn't work - the Kawa always remains my favourite and has been dubbed "Old Faithful" by my friends. It may be a banger, but it's MY banger.
I'm surprised no-one has yet mentioned the trade-mark brown downpipes, though...
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th March, 2022