News/ Launches/ Kawasaki W230: Retro Ride To Debut In Japan

Kawasaki W230: Retro Ride To Debut In Japan

Kawasaki's new retro motorcycle, the W230, was first unveiled at the 2023 Japanese Mobility Show. The classic-styled bike is set for launch in its home market, Japan. Since the brand introduced the W175 and W800 in India, Kawasaki fans there are hoping the W230 will also make its way to their streets. If it does, the W230 will compete against established players like the Royal Enfield Classic 350, Honda Highness 350, and Jawa Jawa.

Design 

The W230 embodies the "W" Series' signature old-school design. The relaxed riding position caters to riders of all ages. Chrome accents gleam throughout, adorning the handlebars, headlight bezels, wire-spoke wheels, and circular headlamps. The twin analogue instrument cluster with a small digital display complements the classic look, as do the single two-tone seat, teardrop fuel tank with black stripe, and round turn indicators. Kawasaki even throws in a USB charging port for rider convenience.

The timeless design of retro bikes is a proven seller in India, evidenced by the Royal Enfield Classic's success. The Kawasaki, however, is expected to have a less bulky look compared to the Classic 350.

Engine and Performance (Specs to be Confirmed)

Kawasaki remains tight-lipped about the engine details ahead of the Japanese launch. Rumours suggest it might share a powerplant with the thoroughbred dirt bike, the KLX230, albeit with a unique engine casing designed to match the W230's aesthetics. While the KLX230 produces 20 hp at 8000 rpm and 20 Nm of torque at 6000 rpm, the W230's engine will likely be tuned differently to suit its purpose.

The W230 features a telescopic fork suspension in the front and twin rear springs. Thankfully, the motorcycle comes equipped with front and rear disc brakes, along with dual-channel ABS for added safety, keeping pace with its competitors. The classic and elegant 18-inch front and 17-inch rear wire-spoke wheels, while aesthetically pleasing, can be a pain to repair if needed.

Launch Prospects

Currently, Kawasaki seems focused on launching the W230 in Japan, followed by Europe. However, considering the W Series' presence in India, the brand might benefit from introducing a strong performer to solidify the series' popularity here. To compete effectively against the well-established Royal Enfield Classic 350, Kawasaki will need to get the pricing right. Ideally, local manufacturing would help achieve that goal. In the recent turn of events, we have even seen the manufacturer discounting the price of W175 due to the higher initial price, resulting in poor sales. 

TopGear Magazine July 2024