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I love my TW! It is exactly what I wanted for what I wanted it for. But I keep thinking about my next "dream" bike. I keep thinking I want a twin cylinder classic Japanese bike. Like the old Honda 350 I rode when I was in between high school and college.



So what about the Kawasaki W650?



Newer production than the old Honda, but still a classic motorcycle looking motorcycle. Anyone ever ride or have one?
 

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I;ve never ridden one, but I would love to try one out. They only made them for the US market for 2 years I believe so there aren't too many of them. They make a w800 which apparently is a better bike but it has never been sold in North America The few used w650s I've seen on CL are too high, usually north of 4K. One can usually get a decent Triumph Bonneville for less than 5K, and from what I can tell it seems like a superior Bike. If you look at w650 owners clubs on the net they have a devoted following. If you can try one out, let us know.





dan
 

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They're hard to come by here, but a guy I know seems to like his. I think the cam is a little odd on them, but I'd imagine they're generally easy to work on.



For the money, though, you can find an old Honda twin a lot easier. They're not nearly as desirable as the /4's to most folks, so they go cheaper.
 

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I love my TW! It is exactly what I wanted for what I wanted it for. But I keep thinking about my next "dream" bike. I keep thinking I want a twin cylinder classic Japanese bike. Like the old Honda 350 I rode when I was in between high school and college.



So what about the Kawasaki W650?



Newer production than the old Honda, but still a classic motorcycle looking motorcycle. Anyone ever ride or have one?
Too bad they sell the W800 which is 2011 and newer now
 

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I have had a W 650 for about 2 years now. I started riding in 1964 so I have owned and riden lots of the old Triumph 650s. My W650 has all of the classic looks, with none of the classic problems. Yes they are hard to find and I feel lucky to have found one at a reasonable price. I beleive that another TW rider, barnone, also has one. I did drive over 1000 miles round trip to get it, but it was worth it. I believe the reason they only brought them here for 2 years is that at that time the big sales were crotch rockets and cruizers.
 

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The W650 is a great bike.

If you can find one you can afford, buy it.



That said, they are very rare and always on the high side compared with other bikes.

In other words they hold their value.



A good alternative is the Yamaha XS650 twin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_XS_650



They built a bunch of them so there are many for sale in various states of neglect or resto.

The W650 is a much newer design and it benefits from the advances in engine design.
 

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The W800 that's currently in Europe is what I am hoping for here...though it's unlikely. I was riding a VFR back when the W650 came out and wasn't really looking back then. I've only seen one used and it was priced too high for the mileage.
 

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I've had my W650 since 2001. I bought it when I was 23 years old.







They're great in that they don't break down and the only service you need to do is change the oil and check valve lash about once every 15,000 miles.



That said, if you want my opinion as someone that has had one for years and years, it's a Japanese bike. It's a really cool one and it's an oddity. Metal side covers, chrome fenders, center stand, kick starter... It's in a few ways better than a Triumph Bonneville.



That said, a 270 degree Triumph scrambler is a more fun (and powerful) bike to ride. If I was buying a 4500-5000 dollar bike, it'd be a Triumph Scrambler. I paid 4500 dollars for my W650 in 2001 with 1500 miles on the clock. That's about what I could sell it for (easily) today after putting another 15000 miles on it.



I'm still in search of my ultimate vintage bike. I have no idea if I'll ever find anything that truly clicks with what I have going on in my head. I'm working on restoring a Benelli 650 Tornado that I bought in 2011. Maybe it'll tickle my fancy more.



Anyway, I wanted to chime in about the W650 since I've owned mine for more than a decade now. Great bikes. Relible, well worth the money if it's the sort of thing you want. But I think with depreciation, the Bonnevilles are also reliable and fun bikes. I like the 270 degree engines better though. The W650 is where it's at for 360 degree engine. I had a Yamaha XS650 and I prefer the W650.



The XS650s are going up up up in price just like the CB750.



If you like parallel twins, try to find a used Triumph Scrambler. Especially if you like the TW200.
 

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We have the new CB1100 at the store and that is certainly an nice looking bike. I like the looks better than a bonnie. That gets the $ up as they are only new for now.
 

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The CB1100 is another bike you had better buy if you want it, otherwise it'll go away quickly most likely. Much like the GB500. The American public is obsessed with retro, but rarely ever ponies up the money to support the efforts of Japan. Our culture is such that the only big spenders on new motorcycles want Harleys, no-name big twin choppers, BMWs, or whatever happens to be the fastest, most dangerous bike made. I'm surprised as many Triumph Bonnevilles have sold as what have. The good news is that modern Triumphs are right up there with Japanese reliability.



The 1100 looks like a cool bike. Its probably physically big for me and I'm personally against owning anything with four cylinders for some reason. I've never been hot on CB750 bikes like most people are. Although I have considered buying used Kawasaki ZRX1100s from time to time when I see them up for sale.



Another bike I have my eye on in terms of value for the money and 'cool factor' are early 70s BMW R60, R75, R90 bikes. You can still pick up a running R75 for about 2500 dollars which I think presents as a great deal for a bike that is reliable and cool. And now that kids are cutting up anything Japanese to turn into a 'cafe racer' or 'bratstyle bobber' I think the BMWs are next on the chopping block, given the price of Japanese stuff has risen. It's only a matter of time before the R series airheads become targeted victims.
 

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My other bike is a ZRX1200 which is my baby. I have checked out the CB1100 and I really like it but the ZRX satisfies me in many ways and along with the TW. Owned a couple of KZ's in the past and regretted selling them - the ZRX is a keeper.

I do like the Scambler but I figured I'd have to put a good bit of money into it to get it the way I want it. Still will keep an eye out for the W650.
 

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My friend in Austin, TX JUST bought a 2001 W650 with 1100 original miles for 2400 dollars. So, apparently miracles happen every once in a while. I saw a 2001 W650 at a motorcycle show in Iowa in 2011 for 3300 dollars, which was also a great deal.
 
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