We’re starting a new series on our favorite custom bike platforms. To kick it off we’ve chosen Kawasaki’s W650, a popular choice among builders since it launched in 1999. Inspired by Kawasaki’s own W1, W2 and W3 models of the 60s and 70s, the W650 could easily be mistaken for a British motorcycle of the same era.
At its heart is an air-cooled, 676cc parallel twin, with a distinctive bevel gear driven overhead cam shaft. It might not be the punchiest motor around, but it delivers ample usable power and is a blast to ride. I know this, because I am fortunate enough to own one. Other, considerably more famous, W650 owners include Billy Joel and Charley Boorman. Read more