Kawasaki w650 vs triumph bonneville

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  • Kawasaki's W and Triumph's Bonneville rewrite history. From the June issuwe of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine.

    Triumph Bonneville vs Kawasaki W If you're talking about modern classically -styled twins, then which is actually better, T or W?.

    The W is closer to an old Triumph than a new Triumph - it's I had a Thruxton and liked it a lot, I have ridden a W at a Kawasaki test day.

    The powerplant looks chronologically correct, and the oil drain tube at the front of the engine is made to resemble a pushrod tube from the old unit. We were idling the Kawasaki at a stoplight when a hirsute gent of suspicious means approached us, grunting, "I'll be a sumbitch No other reproduction, re-publication, re-transmission or other re-distribution of any part of this site in any medium is permitted except with the written consent of the copyright owner or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act Its relatively short inch wheelbase and smaller displacement engine put it at a disadvantage.

    Comparo: Triumph Bonneville vs. Kawasaki W | Canada Moto Guide

    Mining the past is big money these days, and products from Chrysler's PT Cruiser to Levi's bell-bottom jeans are geared toward serving Baby Boomers an updated slice of their fondest memories. Motorcycle manufacturers are no exception. Both manufacturers have churned out new bikes based on the retro-style of the same era -- the late s, specifically the British vertical twins that dominated the streets in those days.

    But these twin-cylindere motorbikes, parallel though they may be, weren't exactly separated at birth -- each has a personality all its own. We were idling the Kawasaki at a stoplight when a hirsute gent of suspicious means approached us, grunting, "I'll be a sumbitch That mother looks just like my old Triumph That kind of reaction followed us everywhere we went whilst astride the W, even in the seen-it-all attitude of the Los Angeles basin.

    And while Kawasaki's market studies for the probably didn't include our hairy alcoholic pal, they surely determined that boomers who had seen it all were primed for remembrances. Kawasaki beat Triumph at its own game when it released the W last year, prior to the launch of the new Bonneville.

    But Kawasaki is no stranger to the retro game, as witnessed by its release of the pre-war styled Drifter a couple of years back.

    Kawasaki is also no stranger to the British-style vertical twin. The design of the W faintly recalls the lines of Kawasaki's W1 and W2 parallel twins from the late '60s, but that's really nothing to crow about; those models were never considered belles of the ball.

    The W designation and its something horsepower is one of the few aspects this carries over from its forebears -- it's really a recreation of the Triumph T idiom, even more than the current Triumph is. The W is pleasant enough around town and its twin cylinder air-cooled cc powerplant churns out a fair amount of midrange power, due partly to a long-stroke degree crank that has both pistons rising and falling together.

    The modern four-valve cylinder heads offer better breathing for admirable torque, and the single overhead cam layout is simple and lightweight. Don't look for a pushrod though -- a neat design twist locates a vertical tube containing the cam drive outside the right cylinder for an exotic look.

    A pair of 34mm CV carbs deliver the goods efficiently, and the engine's broad powerband pulls from rpm on up, with a party-pooping flat spot just off idle to spoil your grins. You'll have to venture into higher revs for real motivation, and there'll be plenty wringing of hands and throttles on the W to squeeze out a response.

    This means plenty of trips to the gearbox, but that's no worry for the smooth-shifting five-speed tranny. Kawasaki's Positive Neutral Finder feature usually scores big points, but we found it getting in the way of rhythmic upshifts this time.

    An Honest Review of the Kawasaki W800

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