Kawasaki in India is well known for offering performance motorcycles at a reasonable cost, as compared to some rivals. The motorcycle that catapulted Kawasaki towards success in India, is Ninja 300. It offers decent performance for the money with twin-cylinder smoothness and a rev-happy character.
But Kawasaki has many more motorcycles in international markets. Some of the models have single-cylinder engines and are targeted toward the premium commuter category. Best example of such a motorcycle is Kawasaki's W175 which is available in a few south-east Asian countries like Indonesia.
Kawasaki recently launched 2023 version of the W175 in Indonesia. It is Kawasaki's smallest capacity retro-themed motorcycle. The updated motorcycle remains visually true to the model it replaces. With its round headlamp, single cradle chassis, and retro-looking ribbed seat cover, it screams retro and classic.
W175 comes in three avatars namely TR, TRSE and Cafe Racer. TR is a scrambler variant, TRSE is a roadster variant and Cafe Racer is, well, a Cafe Racer. These variants make sure that customers get a desired package from Kawasaki's entry-level retro motorcycle. Kawasaki has also introduced new colours with the W175.
TR gets a ribbed seat cover, raised fenders at the front and rear and a bash plate. It is finished in the traditional Kawasaki green paint scheme which we have come to like. TRSE gets similar styling but it gets two special edition paint schemes that are inspired by the 1950s. Cafe Racer gets a headlight cowl matching the body colour and special graphics on fuel tank and side covers which gives it a sporty appearance.
Specs and Pricing
Kawasaki W175 has retained the engine and its tuning from the model it replaces. It is an air-cooled, 177 cc single-cylinder motor churning out 13 PS and 13.3 Nm. Numbers from this engine make it feel rather uninspiring but there's another number that will help compensate, weight. At just 126 kg, it is significantly lighter than other retro-themed motorcycles in its class. Due to its weight advantage, W175 has a better power:weight ratio than its rivals.
W175 also gets traditional front telescopic suspension and twin shocks at the rear. It also gets traditional braking hardware in the form of a disc at front and a drum unit at the back. Also, a single-cradle chassis. The motorcycle also gets halogen bulbs throughout. Even though the design seems to be inspired by the bigger W800 street, it comes off as low-rent.
Kawasaki has priced W175 in Indonesia starting from 33.4 million Rupiah for TR (around Rs. 1.77 lakh), 34.4 million Rupiah for TRSE (around Rs. 1.82 lakh) and 35.6 million Rupiah for Cafe Racer (around Rs. 1.89 lakh). W175 has been spotted multiple times testing in India. Even though the launch was imminent, Kawasaki never did it. For its 175 cc capacity, it seems a logical competitor to Yamaha's FZ-X. But it would be priced around the well-established 350 cc motorcycles from Royal Enfield, Honda, Jawa and even Yezdi.
Given Kawasaki's premium image in India and looking at the prices of W175 in Indonesia, we can speculate that the pricing of W175 retro motorcycle will be on the higher side. But Kawasaki brand value and low kerb weight could be deciding factors in W175's success in a market like India where the craze for retro-themed motorcycles is rising by the day.
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