2001 Kawasaki W650 from United States of America
It's an adequate rider with attractive features, but nothing special
I enjoy riding the bike, but it's not all I hoped for. It's heavy, though acceleration is adequate for my needs. It does not handle well at low speeds, with excessive steering 'flop' when maneuvering in tight spaces. I swapped out the US high and wide handlebars for a 'Euro' style bend and mounted a custom seat. Those help.
The suspension is indifferent, even with progressive front springs and aftermarket rear shocks. Brakes are not adequate for high speed riding. The rear drum is sub-par, as is the single disc front. If there was an easy fix for the brakes, that is the next place I would invest in the bike. Stainless steel hydraulic brake line?
I enjoy the power curve and rarely exceed 4,500rpm since vibration increases above that point. I put on some weighted bar end/sliders, but if they made a difference it's negligible. I get some hand tingling and fatigue. But I rarely ride for more than 2 hours at a stretch so, with a custom seat with gel insert, it's just mildly annoying. I would like to use the bike for some longer rides, but I wonder if it's in the cards. I sometimes reach for another gear and may replace the drive cog with a tooth up when the original starts to show signs of wear.
Stock mirrors gave me a great view of my elbows, and not much else, so I replaced them with long stem circular units, which are smaller, but still a big improvement. The side stand has a too small 'footprint' and invites disaster when parking on a loose surface.
If I keep the bike, I may try different tires without such a big difference in cross section between front and rear. I may also try a fork brace to see if that results in more confidence inspiring handling.
All that said, I do like the bike and mainly wish it was lighter weight and had better sorted steering.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 25th October, 2018