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Bernie puts on his Akubra, Drizabone and RM Williams gear for a full on ag test in his second instalment on his Kawasaki Stockman long term test bike.

The Kawasaki Stockman, a modern interpretation of the Ag bike, is one of the few on the market with up to date styling and a fuel injection system with an old school air cooled motor.

Why would you want fuel injection? Because it does away with the choke lever. No more fiddling with choke on or off, simply press the starter and it fires into life instantly, ready for action. Air cooling means the bike has less complexity or pipework and is lighter for it.

The Kawasaki Stockman is based around a KLX230, as mentioned in our original test, with added racks and various farm related niceties. Solid barkbuster like handlebar guards, front rack, digital gauges and the clutch locking lever which is unreal, simply pull the clutch in and the lever at the same time and the bike remains in gear with the clutch pulled in. It’s a real time saver against trying to find neutral when stopping to open a gate for example. These are common on ag bikes, but Kawasaki’s implementation is very well executed.

Our Kawasaki Stockman long term test bike comes with two side stands, one to the left and one on the right. This is great when on uneven terrain, simply park the bike on the side that works best. The side stands have big “feet” so they don’t sink into the soft soil.

The rear rack on the Kawasaki Stockman long term test bike has a class leading capacity of 20kg which is terrific for lugging any heavier items around, but comes at the expense of losing some of the seat length. The rack supports are welded and sit closer to rider versus allowing two up seating but there are no pillion pegs so this is not such a big deal.

Stock gearing on our Kawasaki Stockman long term test bike is 14t front and 45t rear. Coupled with a tall primary ratio and six speed gearbox it’s very much over geared allowing for a top speed well over 120km/h but the bike does not have enough power to get there. Hence one of the first modifications we made was to slip on a 13t front sprocket and 51t rear to lower the gearing, making it easier to climb steeper hills. We would recommend this become standard gearing, as his simple upgrade made a huge difference.

The seat is firm but comfortable for the long day hauls. The bars are low and the built in handguards means the bars are very rigid. Suspension is very soft which makes it’s compliant in the small bumps and fine for application at low speeds around the farm. The bike has a reasonably low seat height too which means it’s easy to throw a leg over, especially useful when you have gear on the rear rack, meaning you can’t swing a leg over a seat, rather have to climb over the seat.

The digital speedo is terrific, backlit and informative displaying a fuel gauge, time and speed. The headlight is good, and it stays on if you flick the killswitch, but turns off with the key but if you need it to stay on there is an option without keeping the bike running. We have forgotten to turn off the key and the inevitable flat battery happened. Fortunately it’s a lead /acid battery so it charged back to full capacity with no issues.

We have let the bike idle for hours with no signs of ill effect or overheating. Admittedly it’s not summer yet, but the air cooled motor does a commendable job of keeping cool.

We’re having a great time with it, and I’m working on some home-made panniers next to carry some gear around. Stay tuned next month for updates.

Kawasaki Stockman




Six months


Kawasaki Motors Australia






Trailer hitch



Bernie Den Hertog