Forgive me if this has already been discussed but I ve been wondering how W650s


Forgive me if this has already been discussed, but I've been wondering how W650s (and now the 800s) are generally received by owners/groups of classic British motorcycles - in England, in particular?

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  • my only (ONLY) gripe is explaining what it is to non initiated people that like bikes but dont really ride, its much more convoluted than youd think sometimes, especially in the states where theyre far more rare.

  • I've liked the John Bloor triples (sorry, "Triumph") since their inception. I've long thought that it was wise of Bloor to seek Kawasaki's tutelage when designing the motorcycles and new "Triumph" manufacturing plant. The Bloor Triumph triples have always seems like nice Kawasaki Ninjas with one cylinder lopped off - cool bikes! But the modern Triumph twins, for me, lack the grace and character that the Ws have in spades. But, I'm highjacking my own thread, LOL! Thanks for your comments!

  • Classic Bike Mag has an article comparing the old and new Bonnevilles. Wouldn't a comparison of the old Bonny and a W650 be more interesting? But, oh, that might unleash a wave of that envy and grudging respect that Jonathan and Josh noted!

  • I must say that the Brit owners are far more affable about Japanese bikes, often admitting that the British motorcycle industry caused its own collapse by ignoring the 'cheap' Japanese imports that began to eat away at their sales in the late 60's and early 70's, whereas the Japanese have recognised the upsurge in Chinese machines and have granted copy licences for many of their 'old' bikes to live on with puzzling new Chinese names (Dhyongshu Long Trek etc.)

    The story was different in America with the blanket 55mph limit where Hardleys could get to 55 a bit behind the Japanese bikes and no-one cared that the Japanese bike would be nudging 100 before the Hardley Abelson had made 65, given the chance.

    Which may explain why even the British Hardley owners view Japanese bike owners as being somehow linked with the attack on Pearl Harbour!

  • Thanks for that link, Richard!

    I'm going blind attempting to read the review on my iphone, so I'll check it out tomorrow with my laptop.

  • Yup, my aforementioned 86cc bike is a Honda-licenced Chinese version, Robert Roch. :)

    Between 2003-2005, I was very close to the country's sole dealer and naturally, the H-D community, where I rode with them around my country, to & around Thailand (amazing!), Singapore (not much riding on that little island) and Indonesia (awesome!). I was free to use their media test bikes - Sportster 1200, Dyna Low Rider 1450 & the first model 1,130cc V-Rod.

    While I have no problems with that dealer whatsoever, the parties were superb and the machines were so-so.... most of the owners somehow have conditioned themselves to believe that their H-Ds are the pinnacle of bike engineering!

    Such (dis)illusion, coupled with pop culture, could be the reason many H-D owners do a Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok or Jakarta-Bali ride wearing Converse shoes, 3/4 denim pants, t-shirts (no jackets, of course) and skullcap helmets... :)

    And one more thing - Harley owners party hard at their destinations... to celebrate the achievement of reaching those destinations! ;)

    Just my 3 cents...

  • Enjoyed the roadtest comparo that Richard Trevor-Roper linked (above). Thanks Richard! Seems a very fair assessment that the W650 won the aidition against both the vintage and modern Triumph twins. Required reading for W650 "101."

  • I hear the 'fake Triumph' moniker thrown around every so often, but the vast majority seems to dig the W. It certainly commands respect here in the States.

  • When the W first came on the market I took mine to Box Hill a very popular bike meeting place just outside London. I was approached by a rather large tattooed 7 bearded biker who's jacket was covered in Triumph Owners Club badges. He said nothing but just walked around the bike. He then snorted and muttered " Looks more like a bonnie than the new Bonnie" and walked off. I took this as a compliment