2024 Kawasaki W175 vs 2024 Yamaha FZ-X: Retro Roadsters Battle It Out!
Reviews by Team Drivio | 30th Dec 23
Kawasaki has tuned the W175 to make 13PS and an underwhelming 13.2Nm
- Underpinnings for both include an inverted fork along with dual shocks
- In terms of looks, both are retro and quite a lot polarising
- While the W175 takes inspiration from its older siblings in terms of design, the FZ-X just looks very weird
Retro motorcycles have become a sensation, especially in the Indian market, where enthusiasts are increasingly drawn to this timeless style. Affordability is a key factor in our price-sensitive market, driving the demand for retro bikes.
Two major Japanese manufacturers, Yamaha and Kawasaki, have joined the fray with their offerings: the FZ-X and the W175. In this comparison, we'll help you decide which one deserves your attention.
2024 Kawasaki W175 vs 2024 Yamaha FZ-X: Designs
The W175 draws inspiration from its larger counterpart, the W800 Street. However, its design, featuring halogen lighting and a slender profile, fails to stand out in a segment crowded with attractive retro roadsters. Unlike the aesthetically pleasing Royal Enfield Hunter 350, the W175 doesn't exude a classic charm; instead, it appears outdated, reminiscent of bikes from 2003 rather than 2023.
The semi-digital instrument console, with an analogue speedometer and a small LCD digital inset, adds to the retro feel but suffers from readability issues, particularly in bright sunlight. Addressing this concern, a twin-pod console akin to the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 might enhance both retro aesthetics and functionality.
The Yamaha FZ-X boasts a retro aesthetic with its rounded headlight, sizable teardrop fuel tank, clean side panels, and prominent exhaust. Matte black extensions on the fuel tank flow seamlessly into a contoured tuck-and-roll seat, complemented by a straightforward pillion grab grip. Noteworthy additions include a metal engine cowl and golden alloy wheels adorned with fork gaiters.
The instrument console features a negative LCD display presenting essential data like speed, tachometer, tripmeter, odometer, fuel level, clock, Eco prompt, TCS (Traction Control System) alert, and various warning lights. Moreover, the console integrates smartphone notifications, battery life, and call alerts via Yamaha's Y-Connect app. Running on E20 gasoline for reduced emissions, the FZ-X is equipped with TCS to prevent tyre slippage.
2024 Kawasaki W175 vs 2024 Yamaha FZ-X: Engines
|2024 Kawasaki W175
|2024 Yamaha FZ-X
|177cc air-cooled engine
|149cc air-cooled engine
Powered by a 177cc air-cooled engine, the W175 delivers a modest output of 13PS and 13.2Nm, positioning it as a commuter's choice. The motorcycle embodies a laid-back, carefree vibe, ideal for cruising at moderate speeds but less suited for slower city traffic. Despite its sluggish performance at lower speeds, attempting higher speeds becomes a challenge due to taller gearing and excessive noise beyond 65-70kmph. The W175 embraces an unhurried pace, urging riders to decelerate.
The FZ-X houses a well-tuned 149cc engine, delivering a tractable performance with a robust mid-range and sharp throttle response, ideal for urban commuting. While the motorcycle excels in city rides, it may not be the best choice for performance enthusiasts or extended highway trips, with a top speed of just over 100 kph and a comfortable cruising speed around 80 kph. The engine's comfort is highlighted by its roomy and comfortable seat.
Despite its capable performance, the FZ-X may seem slow for a 150cc motorcycle, reaching a maximum of 105 kph. Overtaking requires encouragement and a downshift, showcasing its limitations in top-end performance.
2024 Kawasaki W175 vs 2024 Yamaha FZ-X: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes
|2024 Kawasaki W175
|2024 Yamaha FZ-X
|Dual Shock Absorbers
|Dual Shock Absorbers
The W175's suspension system comprises a telescopic fork and a mono-shock, with the latter leaning towards the softer side during road tests. This softness, however, leads to bottoming out over deep potholes, a common woe on Indian roads. The front suspension, on the other hand, feels stiff, struggling to absorb speed breakers at higher speeds. Quick rebound rates pose a challenge, causing a hard bounce back for the rider, especially lighter ones who may experience significant tossing.
The FZ-X handles adeptly with a sure-footed and predictable demeanour. The chassis effectively manages the engine's performance, offering a comfortable ride that aligns with the bike's laid-back personality. While the rear monoshock exhibits a slight stiffness, overall comfort prevails.
2024 Kawasaki W175 vs 2024 Yamaha FZ-X: Dimensions
The traction control system, though beneficial in challenging conditions like the monsoon or reduced grip, may find limited use on a 12.4 hp motorcycle. The absence of dual-channel ABS is noted, considering its relevance in typical riding scenarios. The FZ-X features a single-channel ABS system, contrasting with the more affordable and powerful Bajaj Pulsar N160. Additional drawbacks include the lack of a gear position indication and a hinged fuel filler.
2024 Kawasaki W175 vs 2024 Yamaha FZ-X: Price
|Price (Ex-showroom Delhi)
|Rs 1.22 lakh onwards
|Rs 1.36 lakh onwards
Kawasaki has recently slashed the prices of the W175 in the Ebony and Candy Persimmon Red colour schemes by Rs 25,000, making the Ebony variant priced at Rs 1,22,000 and the Red variant at Rs 1,24,000 (ex-showroom India).
The two new colour schemes come at Rs 1.29 lakh and Rs 1.31 lakh, respectively. While the price reduction enhances the bike's attractiveness, it's essential to note that the mechanical aspects remain unchanged. Potential buyers should consider whether the revised pricing aligns with their expectations and requirements.
Available in three paint options, the FZ-X offers comparable specifications across variants. Matte Black and Matte Copper versions come with standard black alloy wheels, while the Dark Matte Blue model features golden alloy wheels. Priced at Rs 1,36,900 ex-showroom in Delhi, the FZ-X offers distinctive styling in three colour choices—Matte Copper, Matte Black, and Metallic Blue.
Choosing the W175 is an emotional decision, driven by passion rather than practicality. While there are motorcycles in the market offering superior performance and features at a comparable price, that's not the essence of the W175. Priced between Rs 1.47 lakh-1.49 lakh, it sits at a Rs 13,000 premium compared to the Yamaha FZ-X, and just Rs 1,000 less than the Retro variant of the Royal Enfield Hunter.
The W175 caters to those seeking a straightforward, laid-back, and genuinely authentic retro motorcycle experience. Although it comes at a premium and lacks certain modern conveniences, the unique riding encounter it provides makes the investment worthwhile. And now with its big price cut, it might come off as even more value for money for those considering buying it. That said, if you want even a little bit of speed and excitement, it’s not the bike to consider or even think about.
The 2023 Yamaha FZ-X is a compelling choice for riders seeking a comfortable commuter with standout aesthetics. While the bike excels in appearance and urban commuting, alternatives like the FZ-S or FZ25, though slightly pricier, offer superior comfort and touring capabilities. Despite some drawbacks, the FZ-X's advantages make it a viable option in its segment. All in all, we’d definitely recommend it over the W175 any day.