W175TR Test Ride Review [Webike Motoreport]

Motorcycle Reviews
4/5 (2)

Photo by: Atsushi Sekino

Indonesia, KAWASAKI W175TR

Details and Test Ride Review
The W175TR, imported from KAWASAKI INDONESIA, is a sibling model of the W175 SE and has been given a "TR" specification with vintage off-road styling. Here is the test ride report from Hiroaki Yatagai, former editor-in-chief of a motorcycle magazine for beginners.

Tracker styling

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[Overall Dimension L x W x H] 1,950mm x 805mm x 1,085mm
[Curb Weight] 121kg
[Wheelbase] 121kg
[Minimum Ground Clearance] 195mm

It is given vintage off-road styling with Up fenders, round-eyed headlight, wide handlebar with brace, long seat, keeping the good old off-road motorcycle of the Twin Shock era than the Scramblers that are so popular these days. On the other hand, the 17-inch wheels are used for the suspension, rather than the 19/18-inch front and rear wheels that reinforce the off-road character of the motorcycle, which makes it more of a road-oriented motorcycle. The model seems to have been designed with "vintage off-road" styling persistently.

[MSRP]
STD: (White) around 2500 USD
SE: (Green) around 2600 USD

Compact and flexible position

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[Seat Height] N/A (Not yet announced)
The seat height has not been announced yet, but thanks to the compact and slim body with an overall length of less than 2,000mm, it has excellent foot grounding. With my height of 172cm and weight of 75kg, it can be secured smoothly up to the heel, and there is plenty of room for bending of the knee. The upper body position seems compact and cohesive, but it doesn't feel cramped. More importantly, the chassis feels lighter.

Compact machine just right for commuting to work and school [Actual Test Ride]

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I can drive this machine on the highway!
The W175 series bears the "W" in its name, the same as the W800 sold in Japan. The "TR" introduced here is a model given the vintage off-road/scrambler styling that's so popular these days. However, for a rider who has been riding motorcycles for 10 or 20 years, the W175TR's styling image is more akin to the 250TR (a discontinued model) that was introduced in the early 2000s rather than the W series. In fact, the Up fenders, long seats, and wide handlebar with braces are very similar to the TR's equipment. The Estrella, which shared an engine with the 250TR at the time, is now being sold together with the W800 as the W250 in Japan. This W175TR is the 175cc version of the 250TR and can be considered a younger sibling.

What is surprising is its compactness when straddling. Not exactly a Honda Ape 100, but it feels quite compact even in the under 200cc class. In fact, if you look at the specs, the overall length is less than 2,000mm and the wheelbase is 1,285mm. Weighing in at 121kg, it looks more like a 125cc class when pushed around, making it easy to maneuver.

Is it safe to drive on the highway with this compact size? I was a bit worried, but when I got on the motorcycle, I was amazed at how well it could manage at high speeds without a hitch. It is true that the engine displacement is 177cc, air-cooled 5-speed, and the power is 13ps, so the maximum speed is only 110km/h. Although I have the opinion that the normal range for spontaneous acceleration is up to about 100km/h, it can still cruise along the highway as long as it's in the far left lane. I was worried about the lack of rigidity of the W175TR, but at speeds up to 110km/h, I felt that the capacity was almost used up in that speed range. Especially, the load on the mainframe seems to be heavy, and at that speed range, it's a little bit uncomfortable. I'm always on the lookout for strange behavior, and my hands naturally start to get tighter and tighter on the grip. I'm a little nervous even if I were able to go faster from an engine standpoint. The limiter would have been turned on to limit the speed to 100km/h, making the balance of the engine and the chassis matched perfectly.

On ordinary roads, there are times when you might want to push down a few gears on a long uphill or steep hill, and you might want to say to go for it, but there's plenty of acceleration in the signal dash. This compact size motorcycle makes it easy to navigate crowded roads. It will play an active role in commuting to work or school.

What is the advantage of vintage offroad style riding?

It's hard to get a sense of fun out of it if the motorcycle is a bit more compact than this, lol. It's not something I'd be inclined to deliberately lean on for a 400cc road model, but if I'm a little off-balance with this motorcycle, I have a great feeling that I could make it somehow. Since it is easy to turn, I tried to do a full lock turn needlessly, or let the front tires hop with my arm strength.

I drove it on the off-road because it is easy to handle. Well, the 17-inch tires and the vintage off-road style tires are not a true off-road character, but the OEM tires are wearing IRC tires for on-road/off-road. I thought it would be a courtesy to give it a ride on the off-road, so I rushed in timidly. It went well surprisingly. This is perfectly suitable for playing on flat off roads. The minimum ground clearance is 195mm, so unless you're in a bad situation, you won't hit any bumps and hallows. Most importantly, the ease of handling of this motorcycle is a plus in the off-road. If you swap out the tires for a more grippy tire with more of an off-road aspect, I think you'd rather be able to play it pretty well.

Meter & Lights

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[Display Data]
Speedometer, Odometer and Tripmeter x 1

The analog instrumentation is classic with no liquid crystal elements. The speedometer is hand-held, and the odometer and trip meter are mechanical counters, a rarity nowadays. The trip meter is reset by pressing the bottom left button.

Riding Performance

  • Engine
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[Engine type / displacement] Air-cooled 4-stroke OHC single cylinder / 177cc
[Maximum output] 9.6kW / 7,500rpm
[Maximum torque] 13.6Nm / 6,000rpm

The OHC 2-valve air-cooled engine, with a displacement of 177cc, is legally allowed to ride on highways. However, this is air-cooled with this engine displacement, so it seems to be on the edge of the limit. If you're going to be on the highway for a long period of time, it's best to slow down and take breaks from time to time to let the engine cool down. The compression ratio is 9.1:1 and the bore & stroke is 65.5 x 52.4mm, which is a short stroke. It's not a sporty high-output, high-revving engine, but it's practical and easy to handle.

  • Handlebar

With the 805mm overall width of the handlebar, the compact size of the motorcycle makes it difficult to understand, so it doesn't feel that wide when you actually straddle it. The handlebar is welded to the steering wheel brace, a must-have item on vintage off-road models.

  • Suspension
    [Tire size] Front: 80 / 100-17 / Rear: 100 / 90-17
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The parts like wire-spoke wheels, Up fenders, and bellows fork boots enhance the W175TR a vintage off-road look. The front tires are 17-inch size wheels front and rear, although a larger front tire would have been more off-road style. The tires are IRC's Trail Winner GP-210 road-section oriented on-road/off-road tires.

  • Brakes
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[Front] One-sided push 2 pot / φ220mm disc
[Rear] Drum brake

As for the brake system, the front is a disc and the rear is a drum, which is a common configuration for a business motorcycle in this engine displacement range. The absolute performance is inferior to the front and rear disc brakes, but there is no inconvenience. ABS and combined brakes are not available.

  • Under guard

The under guard is made of a single aluminum plate. This is more of a decorative factor for the off-road look than fully practical parts, but it may have a flying stone guard effect.

  • Exhaust System

Instead of turning the exhaust pipe to the side like an off-road motorcycle, the exhaust pipe is turned down like a road motorcycle, but the silencer is turned up to give it a scrambler feel.

  • Carburetor & Fuel Cock
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The fuel supply system uses a compulsion opening/closing mechanism of carburetor according to an accelerator wire. The choke knob is used for cold engine start-up to make the fuel thicker for better performance. Since there is no fuel gauge, the ON/OFF/reserve fuel tank (reserve fuel) switcher is a nostalgic feature.

  • Tuck roll seat

    The classic one-piece long seat is adopted. The long seat is finished with a bumpy, stitched, tuck-and-roll type seat. With an engine displacement of just 177cc, pillion riding is possible.

Utility

  • Fuel tank
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[Fuel capacity] 7.5L
The teardrop-shaped tank has a slightly low capacity of 7.5 liters, so you'll have to worry about the timing of refueling. But there is an ON/reserve tank switcher, so if you turn it on, you can continue riding on fuel from the reserve tank for a while, even if you run out of gas. The fuel cap is hinged for easy refueling, and the fuel is designated as regular.

  • Side cover

When the side cover with the key cylinder is removed, the electrical system that needs to be inspected, such as fuses and batteries, is exposed. The in-vehicle tool was plugged into the side of the battery.

  • Footpegs

The rugged design of the brake pedal is similar to the drum-type. The footpegs are retractable, with long banked sensors and rubber pads.

  • Around the rear

The suspension has a preload adjustment mechanism that can be rigid when pillion riding or carrying a load. The chain size is 428 with a non-seal chain. There are 15 sprockets in the front and 35 in the rear.

  • Loading hook & seat rail

Loadability is also a key feature of the KAWASAKI. In addition to the 2 left and right hook points, the pipe type seat frame could also be used as a hook point.

  • Switch box
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[Left] Headlight switching/Blinkers/Horn
[Right] Starter switch/Kill switch

It is a simple switch box with the bare minimum of functions, but the blinker adopts a push-canceled.

Summary

The least common factor for commuting to work, highway, off-road, or anything else.
There's a trend on the street for 150cc class scooters that can be driven on the highway as a daily commuter, but this is recommended for riders who rather ride to work and school while changing gears than on a scooter anyway! Moreover, it can be ridden at high-speed, so you can drive on the highway for a bit on weekends to visit nearby prefectures. After all, there is a big difference in the range of activity between being able or unable to ride on the highway.

See KAWASAKI Moto Index Page
See Accessories for KAWASAKI W175
See Accessories for KAWASAKI 250TR (TR250)

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