Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Finding a happy medium...

Trobairitz and I have been debating, discussing and deciding which is the right bike for her. She started out on the Nighthawk 250 and it was too small. She stepped up to the Ninja 650R and it was too...(this is starting to sound like the story of Goldilocks). We thought about the new Suzuki TU250X but are afraid she will out grow it quickly and we'll be in the same predicament we are in now. We test rode the Triumph Bonneville SE last summer and of course she fell in love with it, but learning on an $8000 bike is a little steep for our budget.

One day I just happened to be checking out bikes on Craigslist, looking for a Yamaha Mountain Trail 225 for my mom when I came across this little gem:

2000 Kawasaki W650 - Mint, Low Mile Retro Look - $3500 (Palm Springs)
Date: 2009-11-18, 7:06PM PST

Selling my 2000 Kawasaki W650. This was Kawasaki's retro-look bike only imported in 2000 and 2001. Considered by most bike magazines to be much more faithful to the classic Triumph Bonnevilles they were paying homage to. (Search for articles in Google) They featured a bevel-gear drive, electric and kick start (easy one-kick) front disc brake and a center stand. This one is in absolutely mint condition with no dents, scratches, and perfect paint, chrome and metal, with just over 4000 miles on the clock. Actually looks better than my crummy camera shows (usually not the case, eh?). If you want a rare, Brittish look bike with modern Japanese reliability, this is the bike for you. You will get stopped everywhere you go and asked about it. Parts are available from any Kawasaki dealer. This one currently has a new Corbin Gunfighter seat ($329), but I have the perfect original seat. (See photo in the advertisiement pic) Great vintage look for the collector, or make it your daily rider. These bikes are selling nationally for between $4500 and $6000 in this condition with this mileage. I will take $3500 firm (as in F - I - R - M ). I keep it at my place in Palm Springs and come there once a month. I will be available to show it only Friday, Saturday and Sunday (11/20, 11/21, 11/22) and won't be back until mid-December. Bring cash and ride it home. Again, I am not taking "offers." Do your research and see what a bargain this bike is. No test rides without cash in hand. Clear Oregon title in my name, in my hand.

After working out the logistics in my mind, do I send a check to my parents who snowbird in Palm Springs, have them look it over and store (ride) it at their place until Spring? I could fly down there and ride it back. I could drive down and trailer it back. They could trailer it on there way back North. Do I buy a bike sight unseen? What about the Ninja, we promised ourselves to sell it first before adding another bike to the stable. But it is so pretty, and it'd be a perfect little bike to learn on, don't drop it babe they don't make 'em anymore. (Wait, it was me that dropped her bike, never mind).
After an hour of chatting with mom online, trying not to let her talk me into it, fiscal responsibility prevailed and I decided to let this one go...at least until mid December. I haven't called the seller yet to find out if he sold it that weekend or not, I don't know if I could make that phone call. If he sold it I'd be upset I missed out on a great bike. If he didn't sell it, I'll have to ride that emotional roller coaster again.

A friend at bike night told us he has never regretted buying a bike on emotion. That is what motorcycles are about.

So a week or so had passed, the Thanksgiving holiday came and went and I found myself on Craigslist again like it was online porn.

I found this one, a little closer to home:

2000 Kawasaki W650 - $3600 (Camas, Wa)
Date: 2009-11-29, 2:17PM PST

2000 Kawasaki W650, great condition, Corbin Seat , Low miles
Comes with magnetic tak bag, Extra Oil Filter, Oil Filter Wrench,Bike Cover
Chain Lube, Manual
3600.00 OBO

Not to wish either seller ill-will, but what's a guy to do but resist temptation, sell the Ninja and hope that one of these bikes is still available or another comes along.



  1. Buy it - you can always sell it again if it doesn't fit! I bought and sold 4 bikes in a year until I found one that was right for me, and I always got my money back.

  2. They still make them but don't sell them here. I resisted the temptation thanks to lack of parts and support. Try talking to your Kawasaki dealer about ordering say new levers or turn signals, the bits that break when one falls. Want a windshield? I'm betting only National Cycle will sell something that sort of fits and ruins the bike's inestimable beauty.
    A Moto Guzzi Breva 750 might work if you have a decent Moto Guzzi dealer nearby.

  3. Oh to be rich, eh? Buy first and sell later.

    Don't know about parts and stuff like Conch mentions. I did read in a recent magazine article that Kawasaki did a better job of imitating the original Triumph than later Triumph companies did.

  4. Bradley:

    Mr Conch is wise beyond his years, Oh wait, he is up to those years.

    I think I would find a machine with more parts availability, something more current. It would be alright as a backup machine.

    Maybe there will be something at the motorcycle show

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  5. Bradley:

    M/C show a week from tomorrow. You are at the Doubletree, Artic club: 700 - 3rd, Seattle, Right ? and is Irondad coming ? Are we going to be setting up a Sat night dinner somewhere for all of us ?
    If you want anything from up here, send an email.
    Didn't want to book without refund until closer to the date

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  6. Email sent to bobskoot and irondad.

  7. THe W650 is one of the few nice bikes that Kawasaki had made in years. Since I am a Bonnie Fan myself I would still consider a used Triumph over the Kawi. Good luck with the shopping!

  8. Bradley:

    Actic Club booked, Saturday December 12th. See you at the Hotel. If you get there first, leave your itineray (plans) at the desk for us so we can find you. I'll send more info in an email

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin


Comments are more than welcome, however, thanks to an increase in anonymous spammers of late, you now must be a registered user to comment.

Thank you spammers!