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Mad scientist Bernie den Hertog puts the Kawasaki Stockman to the farmer test and continues to bolt more random gear on his farmhand.

The little ag bike that could has been given a hard workout this month. While the Kawasaki Stockman is still charging along very well, the long term aspect has been coming to the fore.

There have been a few minor issues such as when the missus managed to drop it while trying to put the sidestand down. While there was no external damage thanks to the great barkbusters, it was not happy about restarting. After a minute of cranking and turning it on and off again, she fired back into life eventually (the bike not the missus).

For some reason the gear selector on the dash no longer works (showing what gear it’s in) and engine light stays on. The bike runs fine otherwise. I managed to hit a stump mid-corner and bent the engine bar in front, and hit the shifter bending it. Both are made from steel so easy enough to bend back to working condition, unlike an aluminium shifter which would have likely snapped off.

I also lost the sidestand spring in long grass, and fortunately found it again. Nothing to lose any sleep over, and expected when racking up the hours, we are impressed that it’s still charging well.

These ag bikes are all about utility and the Kawasaki Stockman comes with some class leading carrying capacity, hence we at ADB thought it prudent to really push the envelope. Throwing caution to the wind, we have made chainsaw holders for the front rack and tested it with saws up to 90cc. It does not handle well with such a mass up front, but it still rides OK.

We have constructed some wooden panniers for the rear rack out of plywood. These have been invaluable for carting all manner of agricultural kit. From 20l jerry cans of diesel in each side to hessian rolls, wood, saws etc.

Using some sturdy canvas bags, I’ve managed to haul bags of mulch, dirt, smaller rocks and firewood. The panniers are brilliant the only caveat is to watch the extra width hence I had a non-permanent fixing to the racks in case I smacked into a tree at speed. Touch wood there’s been no such issues thus far.

Bikes have an advantage over farm quads and SXS in terms of their small nimble size to access areas inaccessible otherwise like single track, boggy areas or through tight bushland. Having the ability to haul gear into these areas adds to the utility of the bikes greatly. One such tool I found missing was a hoe for hacking the thistles out, a shovel for digging or a mulch rake for picking up chippings. With a simple 50mm PVC tube cable tied on an angle to the front engine guard and rear rack, I can simply slot the handle of said tool in and reach said inaccessible areas.

If this was not enough, with the bike performing so well, we lowered the gearing and welded up a custom tow ball rig that bolts into some nutserts on the rear rack! Voila! An instant tow rig. Using an ATV (small tipper) trailer, she hooks up easily and tows it around the paddocks with ease. The little 230cc motor is surprisingly capable at pulling a load, albeit not going crazy with weight.

Typical loads are mulch and chippings from our bush block. Hauling these back to the compost pile or sourcing it to put on the gardens as mulch. It’s not something you’re hitting top gear with, but in the first few gears on the smooth access roads it was fine. The trickiest aspect of having the trailer hooked up was parking. Any sort of slope made it difficult, and throwing wood into the trailer could unbalance the bike.

Despite all the punishment, heavy loads and hauling the bike is still going strong and showing no signs of slowing! We are very impressed.

Bernie Den Hertog

Kawasaki Stockman




Six months


Kawasaki Motors Australia






Tow ball


Shovel holder