While variants of the W1 and W2 were sold in North America, the final W model (the W3) never officially made it across the Pacific. It was also known as the RS650, and it featured upgraded suspension, minor cosmetic tweaks, and standard dual disc front brakes during its ’73-’74 production run. In fact, it was the first Kawasaki to feature dual front disc brakes.
Per Kawasaki’s official site, “When the Z2 (750RS), a downsized version of the Z1 (900 Super Four), was released for the Japanese market, it launched a 750 boom. But the characteristic engine feeling offered by W Series models ensured that their popularity continued, especially among Japanese fans of traditional models. Production of the 650RS ended in 1974, but when it became known that sales were going to end, new model prices received a premium mark-up – an extremely rare phenomenon for the time.” W production ended after 26,289 bikes and almost a decade-long run.
This example has 11,580 and the seller says that everything works as it was brought back to life this year after a 30 year slumber. Confusingly, he says that “this could be the only 1976 W3 in the country,” though all my research suggests that production ended in 1974. He adds that “this machine was purchased in Japan by a member of the USN and brought back to the US.” Cosmetically, it will need paint and some chrome work.
Find this W3 for sale outside of Tallahassee, Florida for $5,000 here on Craigslist.