An English-Style Kawasaki W650 Sighted

On April 23, 2015 I posted a story about the Kawasaki W1, a 650cc motorcycle that was styled after the British motorcycles of the day.  In that post I said that I had never seen one of these motorcycles in person.  That sort of changed yesterday.  I attended the 2015 Spring Motorcycle Show put on by my motorcycle club, the British Iron Association of Massachusetts at the Singletery Road & Gun Club in Oxford, Massachusetts.  In the parking area, one of the other spectators had parked his Kawasaki W650.  While the W650 is not a W1, it is a direct descendent.  I have included some pictures of that Kawasaki W650 motorcycle in this post.

Kawasaki W650 (2)

Kawasaki W650

The Kawasaki W650 was made by Kawasaki from 1999 to 2007, but it was only imported into the USA in 2000 and 2001.  Like the W1, it is hard to distinguish the W650 from a Triumph or BSA.

Kawasaki W650 (3)

The Front Disc Brake Is A Clue To It’s More Modern Date

This bike drew a lot of interest with the attendees at the motorcycle show.  I was not parked to far away and almost everyone who saw this motorcycle came over to the Kawasaki W650 and took a close look.  All of the comments that I overheard were very positive.

Kawasaki W650 (4)

 Unlike the Older British Bikes The Kawasaki W650 Has The Transmission Shifter On The Left Side

While the Kawasaki W650 was made from 1999 to 2007 it was only imported into the USA in 2000 and 2001.  It was during this period that the revived Triumph motorcycle company was selling the older style Bonneville models, so potential customers went to Triumph rather than the Kawasaki W650.  The result was that Kawasaki concentrated their marketing effort in Europe and Japan.

Kawasaki W650 (5)

The Kawasaki W650 Has The Same “Pea-Shooter” Exhaust As The Bonnevilles

I don’t see very many of these motorcycles, so I was very pleased to be able to see and photograph this motorcycle yesterday.

Kawasaki W650 (6)

I Do Like The Style Of The Kawasaki W650

Kawasaki has stayed with the British motorcycle theme and has replaced the W650 with the newer Kawasaki W800 with its larger engine.  Somehow the designers are winning over the accountants.

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