The Kawasaki W175 small capacity retro motorcycle has been spotted testing in India for the first time and is expected to launch in India sometime in 2021 but it could be on the pricier side. The W175 is primarily sold in Southeast Asian countries and could come to India as a CKD.
We had previously reported to you that Kawasaki is planning to bring the W175 retro motorcycle to India and that has now been spied testing in Pune for the first time. The small capacity retro motorcycle segment is again on the rise as we rightly saw with the Honda H’ness CB350. In Kawasaki’s own stable in India, they already have the W800 and Z900RS retro motorcycles, with the former being a properly retro bike. They however do not have any small capacity motorcycle in this segment but that could soon change with W175 which is expected to launch in India sometime in 2021.
The W175 is actually the smallest motorcycle in Kawasaki’s W series of motorcycles but the styling is very much inspired by the larger W800. This small capacity roadster motorcycle is powered by a 177cc single-cylinder air-cooled undersquare carbureted engine that produces 13PS of power and 13.2Nm of peak torque. It will of course have to fuel injected to meet the BS6 emission norms when it is launched in the Indian market and you could expect a little boost in performance. It however is still a sub-200cc motorcycle and it will not have the numbers to take the competition up the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 or the Honda CB350.
Although it does not quite have the performance from its engine, the Kawasaki W175 is a very light motorcycle with a kerb weight of just 126kg. To put it into perspective, it is a whole 65kg and 55kg lighter than the Meteor 350 and the CB350 respectively. In fact, it is even 46kg lighter than the Jawa, the lightest motorcycle in this segment. The weight of the India-spec W175 could however go up by a kilo or two due to updates required to meet the emission norms, but it will still be the one of the lightest classic motorcycles around.
The W175 is primarily sold in Southeast Asian countries, where ABS isn’t a mandate. It will however have to be equipped with a single-channel ABS unit in India and that should serve the intent of the motorcycle just fine. Couple a light weight motorcycle with a very accessible seat height of 780mm and this motorcycle should be accessible to a wide range of riders, particularly commuters who always for an easy-to-live-with motorcycle. However, if it really appeals to a wide range of riders will ultimately depend on its pricing. And that is something that can be quite steep.
Kawasaki does not have manufacturing facilities here in India. That means the motorcycle will have to come as a CKD unit from Southeast Asia and that will inevitably take up the price of the motorcycle. Of course Kawasaki will be looking at greater levels of localization to get the pricing right but even if it is priced around Rs 1.5-1.6 lakh, there will be inevitable comparisons drawn with the Meteor 350 and the Honda CB350. If Kawasaki does manage to get the pricing right, it could be a very nice motorcycle for people looking for a light weight and easy-to-live-with motorcycle and still have those retro looks. We are looking forward to it Kawasaki.