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★★★★☆

“The Kawasaki EN 500 first bike after passing DAS. I...”

Written on: 25/07/2008 by Dru Baker (3 reviews written)

Good Points
Punchy little 500cc engine. Cheap to buy and insure. Comfy seating. Beginning to look good with age as they become a bit lesser spotted. Good bike for the shorter gent or most biker chicks.

Bad Points
Not sure a side by side twin is the right engine for a cruiser. Poor availability of after market products.

General Comments
The Kawasaki EN 500 first bike after passing DAS. I wanted a custom cruiser for years and saw mine (a 1996 P plate with 23000 miles) on eBay and won for £1150 and it was in great condition thanks to the previous owners efforts.

Loved the punchy little 500 engine which delivered nice smooth power, if not exactly earth shatteringly fast (it's only putting out about 50bhp after all) and I'm 6'3" and 14 stone. Felt stabble on the road at all speeds and boy was that seat comfy! It's true what they say - Kawasaki make the best seats on the market. The bike was just too small for me.

The only dissapointment for me was, alas, the sound of that para twin. If you want a custom you probably want that V twin sound and this doesn't have it I'm afraid.

And it's not like it's that easy to get after market exhausts to change the sound and get it anywhere near the V burble.

Don't get me wrong, it's a brilliant 500cc engine from a proven race bike heritage - but that's where it belongs! and kicking out alot more oomph than the watered down version in the EN to boot!

If all that sound thing doesn't matter to you then the EN is good value for money, cheap to insure, cheap to run (my 1996 was fitted with a belt drive as standard for instance) and although I only had it for a few months it never gave me any reliability problems other than refusing to start when warm sometimes, but I think this was a specific and very minor problem with my bike which, if investigated, could have been easily remidied.

The looks have been debated many times with the most common view describing the EN as 'a bit odd looking'. Personally I loved the looks, especially now they're lesser spotted they seem to catch the eye on every outing. Other bikers would always apporach and say 'Oh, an EN500, I remember those - looks pretty good actually!'

So, to sum up, if you want the looks, comfort and style of a custom cruiser for very little lolly and are less than 6' tall - and don't give a damn about the sound - consider the EN500. It'll make you smile!

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