For 20 years or more motorcycle manufacturers have been trying to recreate the magic of old classic motorcycles and with it a hopeful market for the rider who is perhaps seeking the classic look and riding experience, but without the notorious mechanical failures that often beset the real old bikes and somewhat tainted many a riders’ enjoyment of two wheels.
Triumph first started this trend by rebuilding their Bonneville and Trident range from the 1960’s. They had some success with this venture with worldwide sales outselling many modern models from the biggest bike builders. However the Japanese big four jumped of the retro bandwagon and started making their own takes on the classics, together with developing the more custom looking bikes. During the last 7 years most manufacturers have been building a wide cross section of bikes styles including many British styles classics.
Kawasaki developed the W series in 1969 at a time when the original classics were being built the first time round. It was closely modeled on the BSA A7 500cc and the engine and frame configuration clearly showed. They later developed the machine during the 1980’s into the W650 to compete with the Yamaha XS650 another British twin clone bike. In the end it was excess emissions that killed this classic bike which was well loved within the classic bike circles. In 2010 Kawasaki revealed the bike was back with an 800 fuel injection engine, but most other aspects of this latest bike is almost identical to the 650 older brother. Read More »