Finally, the KTM 390 Duke gets the time and coverage it deserves as it becomes the subject of our first video review in a long time.
With the popularity of the 250cc powered bike across the globe, and particularly in the Asian market, Kawasaki have some catching up to do. [Read more…]
The infamous Dakar Rally is just days away from being flagged off, and KTM, who have come out at the top of the pile every year since 2001 are gearing up to do it all over again. [Read more…]
Piaggio’s Vespa has taken the Indian scooter market by storm since it’s arrival in the country. Currently, two variants of the Vespa are available on these shores – the Vespa LX 125 and the Vespa VX. [Read more…]
We savour the revamped Kawasaki Z1000SX (Ninja 1000 in India) in the Alpine foothills of southern Austria.
Like many successful formats, the Z1000SX’s seems obvious with hindsight. Of course, not all the riders abandoning sports bikes would defect to adventure bikes. Plenty were bound to prefer a sharp looking, sporty, 240 km/h fully-faired four with a more upright riding position, some all-round ability and a sensible price.
A bike, in other words, like the SX — although even Kawasaki didn’t expect the relatively simple Z1000-With-A-Fairing to be one of their top-selling models in many markets for the last three years (their absolute best-seller in the UK), as well as one of the most popular sports-tourers of any make.
That’s what has happened, though, and even before that third year is out they’ve revamped the SX to make it sharper, more responsive and better equipped. This makes plenty of sense as I throw the updated green bike down a spectacularly twisty road in the Alpine foothills of southern Austria.
Its 142-PS motor is hurling the bike forward at an entertainingly rapid rate with a fruity howl from the re-tuned airbox. The screen is keeping the wind and most of the fat late-summer bugs off my chest. The tweaked and firmed-up suspension is giving a reasonably comfortable yet impressively taut and well-controlled ride — even under severe provocation from the powerful new Tokico monobloc front callipers. And the sleek new panniers are keeping my waterproofs and other junk neatly out of mind.
In short, the revamped Z1000SX is proving a blast to ride. And equally importantly, it’s giving every indication of being well up to the job if I had to strap on a bit more luggage and ride it 1,000 kilometres home rather than back to the relatively nearby launch hotel.
That’s hardly surprising because the original SX was a good place to start and this update is fairly thorough. The 1,043cc, 16-valve engine gets new cams with shorter duration and revised air intake trumpets of the same length. (Different length intakes are so last year…) Kawasaki claim an extra 4 PS, with that 142 PS maximum arriving at 10,000 RPM and say the motor has more low-rev and mid-range performance.
Should the Kawasaki W800 become a part of their India line-up? The company has recently announced the independent coming and it is indeed good news. With the Ninja 300, 650R, 1000, ZX-10R and ZX-14 with another one stuck in traffic, as well as the mean streeter, the Z1000, already on the list, is it time for something a little different?
The W800 is a machine you would never identify as a Kawasaki at first, if you didn’t already know about it. Its retro styling with essential modern touches make it an attractive alternative to some of the modern iterations of classic bikes available on sale in the country. The W800 packs some seriously delectable elements like the muffler exhaust, ribbed padded seat, and classic analogue dials for the speedo and tacho complete with retro white on black lettering. The wire-spoke wheels with tubeless rubber with a single disc front brake and a drum brake at the rear couldn’t take you further back in time.
The W800 Special Edition, takes the darker path, and brings a load of matte black styling, with even the exhaust pipes not getting spared. The added graphics also distinguish the models apart.
On to the numbers, the bike weighs a hefty 217 kg and getting it to move is a 773cc parallel twin motor, making 48 PS at 6,500 RPM and 60 Nm at a lowly 2,500 RPM, paired, fittingly, to a 5-speed transmission. Another key feature are the dual throttle valves with an ECU-controlled second set, allowing for a better flow of power.
The Kawasaki W800 is priced at £ 6,899 (Rs 7 lakh) in the UK, with the W800 Special Edition costing £ 200 more, at £ 7,099 (Rs 7.2 lakh), again, in the UK. With those sort of price tags, each of them sure seems to be quite the desirable package. Give India Kawasaki Motor a shoutout if you want one!
Story: Jim Gorde
Images: Kawasaki Motors Europe
“The last half hour of the launch ride highlighted the best and worst of this tweaked and toughened Z1000. [Read more…]