Kawasaki Super Sherpa 2007 Review
Triple Deal – 2007 Kawasaki Super Sherpa
I have to confess to have been slightly taken aback when our esteemed editor suggested a review of the Sherpa as a commuter bike.
On those knobbly tires?
But the more I rode it, the more the idea made sense. It’s a bike that offers a lot more options than the standard learner (road) bikes or scooters. And the tyres were a set of crossovers, not full dirt models, so they were fine in the urban jungle.
Moreover, such tires are essential if you do fancy a bit of beach riding over the weekend. Best of all – because you can ride it to that playground, you don’t need a trailer. A major plus!
Many of its vital statistics make it an attractive proposition for the newbie rider, or those wanting to join the two-wheeled commuting fraternity. It’s light (113kg) and easy to maneuver, with nice, wide handlebars for extra control. It has a super-light clutch action, and with disc brakes front and rear, it stops sharply.
The seat height is relatively low (830mm) and fairly narrow, so shorter riders shouldn’t have too much difficulty keeping their soles on terra firma at traffic lights. The semi dirt-bike suspension (lots of travel on front and rear shocks) makes pavement mounting a breeze for easy parking.
And for those who associate dirt bikes with fruitless attempts at kick-starting and skinned shins – no worries: the Sherpa has an electric start. The engine does, however, need plenty of choke in the morning to get into the spirit of the rush-hour commute. That said, the bike only had 30km on the clock, so perhaps cold-starting would ease up with more use.
The Sherpa’s powered by an air-cooled, 249cc, single cylinder, four-stroke engine with four valves. And while it isn’t super powerful (15kW at 8000rpm), it’s a free-revving plant and with the revs up, it’s fairly responsive. Peak torque (20.6Nm) arrives at 6000 rpm.
It might not win you any traffic light drag races, but its performance is sufficiently spirited to get you around the city with zip. Bear in mind, with the bike weighing only 113kg, the engine doesn’t need to be very powerful, and the upside is good fuel economy. The six-speed gearbox allows for easy cruising at 100km/h on the motorway.
In traditional dirt bike styling, the Sherpa has a minimalist look about it (well, compared with the more conventional 250cc road bikes and scooters). The aesthetics might not be your bag, but consider the advantages: no expensive fairings and chrome work to repair in the event of a fall. And, if you do take it to the bush, the chances of a tumble are perhaps a little higher than average.
Still, this is not to say the Sherpa is unattractive. Standout features are its digital instrument panel (the LCD screen includes a clock and a dual trip meter), and a stainless steel exhaust to inhibit corrosion. Very cool.
Controls on those wide handlebars are standard and fall easily to hand.
So, if you’re torn between buying a commuter and a dirt bike (and definitely can’t afford both), you could do worse than consider the Super Sherpa. It’s an all-round, versatile bike, and when you leave the office on a Friday afternoon, foaming at the mouth, it will happily whisk you through the traffic to a forest – and help you find your soul again.
Specifications Kawasaki Super Sherpa RRP: $6990
Engine 249cc single, four-stroke, air-cooled
Bore x Stroke 72 x 61.2mm
Compression Ratio 9.3:1
Starting System Electric
Frame Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
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