Before you buy a 2018 - 2021 Kawasaki Stockman, check out what our Tech Ed mat Boyd says to look out for when doing your inspection.
The Kawasaki Stockman was made to be a rugged machine capable of enduring the tough farm life. Modern day four strokes just weren’t cut out for life on the farm, they are too high maintenance, too easy to break and unless you swing the bale of hay over your shoulder they have no room for racks or carrying equipment. The Stockman’s are a hardy machine designed with the intent of being worked hard. Most farmers I speak to comment on how well the 2018 – 2021 Kawasaki Stockman motors perform.
The 2018 – 2021 Kawasaki Stockman has a strong little motor that has no problem carting around gear for several hours on end. The biggest complaints I get from guys is that the low gears are too tall and they don’t like slower walking pace speeds as much as some of the smaller engine competitors. The other complaint is that there is no back up kick starter. Let’s face it, anything that is electric start will encounter a flat battery one day and when you are in the middle of a job on a farm hours from a new battery that can be a pain. Even tough country farmers can get sick of bump starting a bike all day.
The motors are strong and deal with abuse quite well. I’m not telling you to never worry about servicing them but I can tell you that I have seen them suck a decayed airfilter through the engine and run on oil that looks like moly grease and keep running fine. If you are looking to buy one second hand then have a look and see if the bike has a regular service history. It’s always best to buy a bike that has been serviced regularly over one that hasn’t.
Check out the racks. The rear rack is load-rated to about 20kg, and are quite often overloaded. This can lead to the racks breaking or at worst the frame cracking. I have had to weld a few frames due to overloading in the past.
Make sure the brakes are working correctly as bikes sitting around on farms often find the brakes seizing up. The lever and pedal will be solid but no pressure will actually be applied to the disc and you will have no stopping power. One thing to be sure on is that the starter clutch works perfectly and doesn’t slip. Often these become worn if old dirty oil is left in the engine too long, this causes them to slip and costs upwards of a few hundred dollars to repair.
If the bike you are interested in doesn’t have a service history then take a look at the air cleaner. This is usually a good indictor on how well serviced the bike has been. If it is rotted away or caked in dirt then I would bet my money that the bike has barely been serviced. Another common issue I see with bikes that spend their time stored in barns is rats eating out the electrical wires. Take a good look around the wiring harness and make sure there are no chew marks in it.