Skip to content


Farmer bernie goes track marking with the long term test bike Kawasaki Stockman and loves how versatile it is.

Designed for life on a farm, ag bikes are simple, utilitarian like tractors. They are not designed for ripping up single, so have softer suspension, bulletproof motors and plenty of racks to cart gear around a farm. They have small motors, are heavy, handle like boats and have ugly looking mudflaps hanging off them. The long term test Kawasaki Stockman is exactly this and we love it.

Our long term test Kawasaki Stockman is a modern interpretation of the Ag bike, it’s one of the few on the market with up to date styling and a fuel injection system with an old school air cooled motor. No more fiddling with choke, simply press the starter and it fires into life, ready for action.

The Stockman is based around a KLX230, with added racks and various farm niceties like handlebar guards, front rack, digital gauges and a clutch locking lever. Simply pull the clutch and lever at the same time and the bike remains in gear with the clutch pulled in. A real time saver when stopping to open gates. These are common on ag bikes, but Kawasaki’s implementation is very well executed.

The bike comes with two side stands, so on uneven terrain, simply park on the side that works best. The sidestands have big “feet” so don’t sink into soft soil. The rear rack has a class leading capacity of 20kg at the expense of losing some of the seat length. There are no pillion pegs so no big deal.

Stock gearing is 14t front and 45t rear. Coupled with a tall primary ratio and six speed gearbox it’s over geared allowing for a top speed well over 120km/h but doesn’t have enough power to get there. We slipped on a 13t front sprocket, making it easier to climb steeper hills. We will try a larger rear sprocket as well in due course.

The seat is firm but comfortable for long hauls. Suspension is very soft and compliant in small bumps and at low speeds around the farm. The bike has a reasonably low seat height which means it’s easy to throw a leg over.

The digital speedo is backlit and informative with fuel gauge, time and speed. The headlight stays on if you flick the kill switch, but turns off with the key. We have let the bike idle for hours with no signs of ill effect or overheating and the air cooled motor does a commendable job of keeping cool.

The motor punches out reasonable bottom end, but better power higher in the midrange, giving it some revs on steep climbs is best. Shorter gearing helps if you need more zip. The exhaust is quiet and the bike hums along without too much fanfare.

The bike is narrow through the middle, easy to grip with your legs and comes standard with Dunlop knobbies on 21” and 18” rims offering great off road grip in all terrain. Disc brakes offer huge stopping power, even when loaded up. The fuel tank is steel but protected by the shrouds. Its only 7.5l capacity, so depending on how long you ride, it will need regular fill ups.

The Good

  • Love the lack of a choke – easy starting is a boon for us as the bike rarely goes far hence its always cold
  • Easy to ride, nimble and narrow.
  • Clutch lockout is simple to activate and very useful.
  • Ample racks for a multitude of carrying options
  • Great to see stock enduro 21 and 18” rims for a broad tyre choice

The Bad

  • The wrap around aluminium handguards are sturdy, however the mounting points to the bar ends comprise two Allen head bolts. These can interfere with a riders’ handgrip and are uncomfortable to those with big hands which rub on the bolts.
  • The stock gearing is simply too tall, on steep terrain the bike quickly finds its limits. It’s best to change this out for shorter gearing.
  • Lack of a compliance plate, this would make a great adventure mount!


Another great application for the long term test Kawasaki Stockman is the creation of single track and this bike is terrific for that. With the various storage racks we can transport tools and equipment around the property. This adds an additional dynamic to making trail versus walking great distances and carrying these in.

When riding up to each tree and stapling arrows on, it’s a simple case of pulling in the clutch locking lever, grabbing an arrow and stapler from the milk crate on the front rack, stapling and moving on. No fiddling for neutral or turning bike on/off hundreds of times required. The headlight also helps when working after sundown.

Bernie Den Hertog

Kawasaki Stockman




Six months


Kawasaki Motors Australia




MODS THIS MONTH 13T front sprocket