The last review I had on a D-Tracker was back in 2007 when Kawasaki Malaysia announced the birth of a new breed of 250cc motard. It was a fun bike to ride on and with prices of superbikes spiralling upwards, the D-Tracker provided an affordable starter for newbies as well as an alternative town bike for seasoned bikers.
The 2nd generation D-Tracker comes with single barrel Keihin digital fuel injection replacing the CVK 34 Keihin Carburettor found in the previous model. Attractive facial and tail end design, which at a glance looks like the Ducati Hypermotord. A bright blue illuminated digital instrument panel that is cool, different and soft to the eyes and with the new rev bar at the top. A more refined and better rear visibility side mirrors. Slightly bigger, oval shape transparent cover indicators. A new colour scheme and a black engine block are some of the differences or improvements one can find on this new model.
Handling on this bike is good both for town riding and on weekend twisties up-hill thanks to the tubular, semi-double cradle frame, front telescopic upside down fork and rear Uni-trak swing arm with 16 adjustable compression and rebound damping. The bike at a dry weight of 138kg is light and manoeuvres easily. Tank capacity is 7.7 litres, 0.2 litres bigger than the previous model and fuel consumption remains fantastically low. Kawasaki maintains the liquid-cooled, single cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves engine on this model due to its proven reliability and durability although they have slightly de-tuned it. It delivers max torque at 21.0 NW @ 7,000rpm and is sufficient for both low and high end, given that you are not a power crazy biker. Power delivery is good on this 6-speed motard although insufficient if you plan to take it down to a track and do some drifting. The wet multi disc clutch is soft and braking power provided by single disc on both front and rear wheels has a good feel and grip.
Seat height at 860mm is generally good for riders whose height ranges between 168cm to 175cm. However, comfort of the seat is still an issue even with the previous model. The narrow seat coupled with the hard cushion does not go well especially with people with small bottom and added with a pillion, you had better not travel too far or else you will definitely get an earful from the pillion who is either suffering from a butt or leg cramp.
Front wheel remains at 110/70/17 and rear is at 130/70/17. I was hoping that Kawasaki would have improved on this model by going tubeless but alas, it is still on tube with reasons best known to them. Besides that, I was also disappointed that fuel gauge is still not available in the instrument panel.
Overall, this CDI, electric starter bike can be summed up as a “gentlemen” motard. Great for daily commuting to and from work or for a fun relaxing ride anywhere your imagination takes you.
Text & Pictures by: Justin Hong
@2011 Justin Hong. All Rights Reserved.