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Kawasaki W650 reviews

4.7
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Reliability
4.7
Overall quality
4.6
Performance
4.5
Comfort
4.6

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43 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

John Morris

Nehalem

Reviewed on 2018-11-05

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Kawasaki W650

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4.0
I read a lot of reviews praising the 'retro' Kawasaki W650, but not much critical analysis of the bike. It's performs adequately, but could have been much better. With more attention to weight saving, braking and suspension, I believe Kawasaki would have had much greater sales success in this country. Partly due to low sales there aren't a lot of accessories or upgrades available, so there are limits to improving the performance of this enjoyable and reliable 'standard' motorcycle.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
3.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Ron

bristol, Tennessee

Reviewed on 2009-01-23

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Kawasaki W650

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5.0
Let me say first and foremost that I've had them all. Being a teen in the 60s and 70s I've owned a plethora of great bikes. But the W650 just takes me back to a place I want to be. You remember... a slower pace with, can you believe it, no cell phones. Back when it took almost an hour just to cruise through town on a Saturday night. Remember? If you're looking for speed then this one is not it. don't get me wrong, it's quick for a 650 and it's always looking for a back country road. that's where this bike shines. A lazy Sunday afternoon on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Man, now that's living. One of the best things about the W650 is its reliability. It starts the first time every time. And never leaks oil. As I see it, it is the best of both worlds. The look of my old bikes without all the problems.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

skantyska

houston, Texas

Reviewed on 2004-12-04

Motorcycle reviewed2001 Kawasaki W650

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5.0
What a great bike. I am a racer, riding since 1971 at the ripe age of 8. My background was flattrack but over the years have done it all and still take my CBR for some knee draggin at the track. This scooter is the coolest thing out there. It hits the twisties hard enough to scrape pegs and cruises the cities with confidence. I have to disagree with the guy who gets no attention from the ladies. I'm in my 40s and had a car full of ladies' complete attention after a couple of sportbike style lane flics. They were stoked. I ride this thing just because every wannabe on the planet has a Harley. (boring) I had one in the late seventies. Been there. Step out and above the crowd with this scooter. Mine is heading for the cafe look. Take care!
Reliability
4.0
Quality
3.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

J. L. Hall

Outside Liberty, Missouri

Reviewed on 2004-11-17

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Kawasaki W650

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4.0
60 Era Triumphs were my first love. Guess I've never gotten over them. I had stopped riding for several years before I bought a W650 with 8000 miles for $3600. I think this bike is GREAT! The bike and I both enjoy curvy back roads where the line counts for more than the speed. It's a shame American riders didn't take to it. It does just about everything I want a motorcycle to do. I'm already thinking of getting a backup to set up as a high-piped scrambler for fire roads.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
3.0
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Voted most helpful review

Golem0311

Westport, Connecticut

Reviewed on 2004-10-24

Motorcycle reviewed2001 Kawasaki W650

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5.0
As you might have guessed from the title, this is my first bike. I ran out of the normal magazines that kept me awake during the long weekend nightshift and had to buy a pair of Motorcycle Mags to stay awake. The W650 was in both and I was smitten from the first. Two weeks later I found, and bought, a used one. I have a really bad impulse control problem! Anyway, this bike is a perfect beginner's bike. It is forgiving, controlable, it sounds beautiful, and it looks great. That is what makes it a good first bike. What makes it the perfect first bike is that power. There is just enough. The engine will give you a great learning tool as you find out how much skill is involved with riding but it will not overpower you so that it is very easy to get yourself killed. Please note my language, on any bike at any level it is easy to get yourself killed, but on this bike it is NOT "very easy", it is only "easy". Some of the things I have done on this beauty could be seen as acting on a deathwish, but she has carried me through. She will do the ton, but I almost never push her that hard. She can keep up with highway trafic at or around 80 mph, but she doesn't have the deep well of power needed to get out of trouble through speeding up. Earlier I said that there was just enough, but what I didn't say was that there is STILL enough. After the first year I felt very confident that I could handle more bike. As a student on a limited budget, that "more bike" concept must remain only a concept. I drool over the new bikes in magazines and dream of my next bike and the one after that, but every time I throw a leg over my W650 and hit the kick starter (you gotta love the kickstarter) the idea of trading her in for another bike becomes absurd. I don't have the power I would like, but that is probably a good thing, and I still have plenty of power to get me from A to B with a smile on my face. This beginner's power is why she gets only a four star rating on performance. Reliability gets five stars because she is a tank. I have had to learn all I know about bikes on her and she has suffered for it, but she is still here and staying strong. Comfort is another four stars because the seat is great, but it is not somewhere you want to have to stay all day. There is plenty of space for a passenger, but I am not brave enough to have anyone ride with me yet so I can't pass on any secondhand info on that. The only after market seat I know of is the Corbin. It looks comfortable, but I like the classic look of the stock seat. Quality is four stars simply because I have obnoxiously high standards, and while this bike is put together very well and I have not had a problem with the workmanship, nothing trys to convince you that it is anything but factory made. It is just not overly fancy, but that helps to control costs. I love this bike and I am so glad I found it. It has treated me very well and I cannot recommend it enough. That being said, guys should note that they will become invisable to women on this bike. I have been complimented on this bike countless times (because face it, the thing looks great) but never by a woman my own age (20s). 80% of the time it is older guys who, "had one just like it, I loved my Triumph!" They still think it is cool after they learn that it actually works, I mean is from Japan. The other 20% is made up of children who recognize a motorcycle that looks like what a motorcycle should look like. Despite this fact, I still love this bike, and would recommend anyone who is thinking about getting into motorcycles to consider it.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

G.P.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Reviewed on 2004-10-21

Motorcycle reviewed2001 Kawasaki W650

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5.0
In this day and age of hyper-performance and ultra specialized motorcycles, the W650 is a welcome throwback to those earlier days when one bike could be used successfully for several purposes. It's stone-reliable, looks and sounds terrific, gets great gas mileage, and is a snap to work on (though not much work is necessary. It's very comfortable too for short-to-medium distance rides, although the lack of wind protection can become bothersome at higher speeds. This bike's forte' is cruising around twisty, scenic two-lane secondary roads, where the broad power band and upright seating position really enhance the fun. My advice - pick up a decent used one (the only option now), enjoy the heck out of it, and maintain it in good condition. The W650 is a keeper!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Peter RT

Cork, Ireland

Reviewed on 2004-03-14

Motorcycle reviewed2001 Kawasaki W650

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5.0
Now 66 and a born again biker for the last 15 years I have at last discovered the perfect bike. I got to the W650 via a Fazer, a Zephyr, a Yamaha XJR and a Honda Deauville. The W650 is light and beautifully balanced. Maintenance is very easy and comfort good. The paint and chrome finish is really good and looks like it'll last well.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

cb

maitland nsw, Australia

Reviewed on 2003-10-02

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Kawasaki W650

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5.0
IT HAD BEEN 25 YEARS SINCE I HAD OWNED A ROAD BIKE. ONE ACCIDENTAL SIGHTING OF A W650 IS ALL IT TOOK TO CHANGE THAT. 5 STARS FOR LOOKS, SOUND, TORQUE, & EVERYTHING ELSE EXCEPT THE SEAT.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

J Bostwick

Russiaville, Indiana

Reviewed on 2003-09-13

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Kawasaki W650

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5.0
Turns heads everywhere I go. Could do without the chain but hey it goes with the classic look. Love this bike. Looks cool and has the kick starter too. Talk about a conversation starter. Added a Corbin seat and small windscreen and haven't looked back. If you can find one, buy it, you won't be sorry. Got mine for $3500 and it only had 1100 miles on it and it was still under Warranty. You can't go wrong. Nothing but smiles for miles.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

pollywog

Toronto, Ontario

Reviewed on 2003-08-06

Motorcycle reviewed2001 Kawasaki W650

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4.0
It backfires like an old geezer on prunes, your butt is numb after a couple of hours, the bars are too high, there are no accessories for it from Kawasaki and it's overpriced. But when I ride the thing, I can't wipe the stupid grin off my face! It's not a crotch rocket or a lay-z-boy, it's a real motorcycle - it handles great, has enough horse to have some serious fun and the looks... a cross between the old Bonnie and the '74 Kawasaki W1. Did you get a load of the kick start? What a riot! (Not to worry, it has electrics too). Great weekender. Super city bike. Kawi stopped making them after '02. Try to get a '01 or '02 as there are some improvements over the 2000 model.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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