Kawasaki W175: 5 Things You Should Know About The Retro Bike

Kawasaki W175: 5 Things You Should Know About The Retro Bike

Featured Stories by Team Drivio | 12 Dec 2023

The W175’s 177cc engine makes a measly 13PS and 13.2Nm

  • Both figures are rather underwhelming and we found its performance to be very unexciting
  • Primarily, the rival the W175 is the Yamaha FZ-X
  • Underpinnings include a telescopic fork along with twin shock absorbers

Kawasaki has finally updated the W175, giving it a new Street variant. And while it’s not the perfect update we wanted, it is something, something in the right direction, maybe. So if you’re curious about this small retro bike, here are five things you seriously need to know about it: 

Kawasaki W175 Design

In terms of design, the W175 takes inspiration from its bigger sibling, the W800 Street. There’s halogen lighting all around including the headlight and the indicators. Most importantly though, the W175’s design doesn’t really stand out among a list of many retro roadsters in this segment, including something like the Royal Enfield Hunter 350, which is actually a good looking bike. 

Unfortunately, the W175 doesn’t look old school, it just looks outright old. It looks like a bike that belongs to the year 2003 instead of 2023. So that is something that stood out in a negative manner, for the bike looks rather skinny and ungainly. So even in terms of retro bikes, we’re not sure how many retro enthusiasts would like it. 

Kawasaki W175 Engine

With a modest output of 13PS and 13.2Nm from its 177cc air-cooled engine, the W175 might seem like a commuter's choice. And indeed, it is. When you hit the starter, the W175 embodies a laid-back, carefree vibe—perfect for cruising at 60-70kmph, not so much for slower speeds like 25-30kmph. It's undeniably a slow motorcycle, trailing behind even some 125cc bikes, including the Hunter.

If you push the W175 for more speed, the taller gearing makes hitting triple-digit speeds a challenge. And even if you manage it, the noise becomes excessive, particularly beyond 65-70kmph, urging you to decelerate and embrace the unhurried pace.

Kawasaki W175 Underpinnings

Suspension on the W175 includes a telescopic fork along with a mono-shock. During our road test review, we found the mono-shock to be on the softer side, a bit too much maybe. What that does is bottom out the shock over really deep potholes, something that is unfortunately quite common on our city roads. 

What is an even bigger issue is that even the front feels a bit too stiff for our broken roads. Now if you’re dealing with speed breakers at slow speeds, it’s alright because the bike can absorb them well. But the moment the speeds go up, the bike struggles to absorb the speed breakers. And the bigger issue is the quick rebound rate. That means the bike gives a hard bounce back to the rider and lighter riders will especially be tossed around a fair bit. 

Kawasaki W175 Features

The W175 has a semi-digital instrument console that again, in line with its retro looks, looks a bit too retro and looks dated in today’s modern day and age. It gets an analogue speedometer along with a small LCD digital inset below that. That said, the inset is a bit too small and has major readability issues. And especially with the sun right above our head, it was really hard to read the contents of the console and the rider had to squint. 

It is again something we would like Kawasaki to work on. Maybe giving the bike a twin pod console would work a lot better, with one pod showing the speedometer and one pod showing the tachometer. Both would not only keep the overall theme retro but also make it a lot more readable, something similar to what we’ve seen on bikes like the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650. 

Kawasaki W175 Price

Kawasaki has slashed the prices of the Ebony and Candy Persimmon Red colour schemes by a solid Rs 25,000. As a result of that, the W175 Ebony costs Rs 1,22,000. The Red colour scheme, meanwhile, costs Rs 1,24,000. The other two colour schemes (the new ones), on the other hand, cost Rs 1.29 lakh and Rs 1.31 lakh (all prices ex-showroom India). Now while the updated price definitely makes it a lot better, the bike is still the same mechanically. 

It’s still powered by the same rather underwhelming bike and hence it’s not that we’d recommend it to anyone else. If you’re still looking for a retro roadster in this segment, we’d advise you to spend that little bit more and get the Royal Enfield Hunter 350. Or if budget is key, we’d advise you to save some money and get the TVS Raider, which is a lot more exciting and feature-packed. 

All in all, we’d even advise you to get the Yamaha FZ-X instead of this bike.