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Old 09-18-2012, 05:51 PM   #1
Loop OP
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Kawasaki W800 - Fresh From The Box

Well I recently traded in my tired old Bandit for a lovely new Kawasaki W800 and what a fantastic bike it is. Picked it up Friday but was working over the weekend so no chance to use it other than for commuting but I now have a week off so I took it out today and yesterday to play a little. Took it down my favourite back-water roads and along some light trails and had a whale of a time. Here are some pictures:

Through the woods:



Further through the woods:



Along some broken up back-roads:



And again:



And by some waste ground:



Hardly high adventure I know but it's my new bike, humour me. :P
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:00 PM   #2
dave6253
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Lovely bike.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:03 PM   #3
ScottRS
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Wow! She's a real beauty. Wonder if the W800 will make it to the US market.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:06 PM   #4
jrunberg
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US bound?

Doubt it, unfortunately...
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:50 PM   #5
gumshoe4
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What a beautiful machine...

Wish they'd bring it here...

Glad you have it and are having such a great time on it...
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:17 AM   #6
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My God that is one gorgeous motorcycle!! Wonder if we could get Kawasaki to introduce it to North America if we started an email campaign?
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:52 AM   #7
Scrivens
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One of the nicest bikes I've owned out of 60-odd, and just about the perfect big twin if you grew up riding British iron. I put over 6000km on mine in the first 7 weeks I owned it - then slowed down a bit while recovering from a minor accident on my Sportster. I'm currently rolling up about 1200km a month, but it has been a very wet winter. Fantastic economy, handles nicely and it is small and light with a lot of torque. I look forward to getting on mine every day - even riding to work is a blast.

I run Dunlop K70s on mine now as I do a lot of gravel roads and they work far better than the TT100s. K70s handle well if you are used to them too.

The one thing they do need is a decent sound - easily got by taking a hole saw to the muffler tail-pipe and cutting out the band around the inner pipe. (If you don't have a high quality hole saw you can use a small drill bit and simply make a lot of holes in the band and the cut it out with a small punch.) Once that is cut through the baffle simply wiggles out. Remove the remains of the band from the end of the baffle - and inside the tailpipe if you didn't cut it right to the metal - drill a small hole about 1 1/2" in from the end, and a corresponding hole in the underside of the tailpipe, slide the baffle back in and use a short self-tapping roofing screw to hold the baffle in place. Takes a bit of fiddling to get the inner pipe central in the tailpipe as the self tapper bites and screws fully in, but only a couple of minutes. That gives a low burble at idle and a deep burble underway. If you want to go for a slightly louder, deeper sound drill 8 x 1/4" holes about 2" apart in 4 equidistant (ie, quadrant) rows down the baffle. Neither of these make the noise level obnoxious - it is about on par with a standard BSA or Triumph system, and sounds very similar. Leaving the baffle out entirely doesn't make it overly loud, but the sound is a bit harsher. You might also want to stick a marble in the air injection hose between the cylinders as it causes a lot of popping on the overrun as the air goes into the exhaust. (Sounds similar to a badly leaking exhaust gasket.) Not worth removing all the bits and using block plates, and the EFI requires the air-injection electronic unit under the tank to be connected anyway or the error light will come on.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrivens View Post
One of the nicest bikes I've owned out of 60-odd, and just about the perfect big twin if you grew up riding British iron. I put over 6000km on mine in the first 7 weeks I owned it - then slowed down a bit while recovering from a minor accident on my Sportster. I'm currently rolling up about 1200km a month, but it has been a very wet winter. Fantastic economy, handles nicely and it is small and light with a lot of torque. I look forward to getting on mine every day - even riding to work is a blast.

I run Dunlop K70s on mine now as I do a lot of gravel roads and they work far better than the TT100s. K70s handle well if you are used to them too.

The one thing they do need is a decent sound - easily got by taking a hole saw to the muffler tail-pipe and cutting out the band around the inner pipe. (If you don't have a high quality hole saw you can use a small drill bit and simply make a lot of holes in the band and the cut it out with a small punch.) Once that is cut through the baffle simply wiggles out. Remove the remains of the band from the end of the baffle - and inside the tailpipe if you didn't cut it right to the metal - drill a small hole about 1 1/2" in from the end, and a corresponding hole in the underside of the tailpipe, slide the baffle back in and use a short self-tapping roofing screw to hold the baffle in place. Takes a bit of fiddling to get the inner pipe central in the tailpipe as the self tapper bites and screws fully in, but only a couple of minutes. That gives a low burble at idle and a deep burble underway. If you want to go for a slightly louder, deeper sound drill 8 x 1/4" holes about 2" apart in 4 equidistant (ie, quadrant) rows down the baffle. Neither of these make the noise level obnoxious - it is about on par with a standard BSA or Triumph system, and sounds very similar. Leaving the baffle out entirely doesn't make it overly loud, but the sound is a bit harsher. You might also want to stick a marble in the air injection hose between the cylinders as it causes a lot of popping on the overrun as the air goes into the exhaust. (Sounds similar to a badly leaking exhaust gasket.) Not worth removing all the bits and using block plates, and the EFI requires the air-injection electronic unit under the tank to be connected anyway or the error light will come on.
No need to do a bafflectomy on these. There are scads of aftermarket 60's style pipes available ranging from $80 bucks apiece (Burtons Bike Bits) on up to $250 apiece. All will improve the sound immensely.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BigTed View Post
No need to do a bafflectomy on these. There are scads of aftermarket 60's style pipes available ranging from $80 bucks apiece (Burtons Bike Bits) on up to $250 apiece. All will improve the sound immensely.
There are cheap alternatives around, (especially if you have a garage full of old Brit bits) but it takes about 10 minutes to do the baffles, costs nothing and maintains the internal structure of the exhaust that was tuned for it. Underway the sound reminds me of the RE Interceptor (minus the thrashing tappets), especially when opened up in 4th up a steep hill. Part of the problem with fitting mufflers is the crossover pipe; it really needs another section welded in past the crossover to take the new mufflers and that means some chroming if you want it to look neat. I had a look at putting some late 60's Triumph mufflers on, but in the end the baffle job sounds good and doesn't take any messing about to do. Apart from the effect on torque from removing the crossover, we have an O2 sensor on the crossovers here and disconnecting it throws up an EFI error. A full system like the Staintune is around $AUS1800 but to my ear they sound awful; very blatty and harsh. There's a very good sounding Japanese stainless set for the 650 which fits - cant remember the name but I think it starts with a "D"; it is also pretty pricey. A set of standard 90's-current Sportster mufflers could be fitted easily enough after the crossover, and they sound nice too.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:47 AM   #10
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Question For attention of Scrivens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrivens View Post
You might also want to stick a marble in the air injection hose between the cylinders as it causes a lot of popping on the overrun as the air goes into the exhaust. (Sounds similar to a badly leaking exhaust gasket.) Not worth removing all the bits and using block plates, and the EFI requires the air-injection electronic unit under the tank to be connected anyway or the error light will come on.
Hi Scrivens. Have a W650 currently and looking to upgrade to the 800. I did the air-injection immobilisation job on the current bike but would be nervous doing the same on the W800 because of the fuel injection. But you have done this. Can you allay my fears? I was thinking it may have adverse effects on the air-fuel ratio.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:50 AM   #11
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Nothing wrong with the W60.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:21 PM   #12
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Can you allay my fears? I was thinking it may have adverse effects on the air-fuel ratio.
No problems there - the air-injection has nothing to do with the EFI performance itself and has no effect on the AFR. The only thing is that unlike the 650 where all the plumbing can be removed, on the 800 you need to leave the electronic 'switch' plugged into the loom, as it is part of the EFI system's initial check and the warning light will stay on if it is removed. The 'switch' is just an electronically operated tap which opens the passage from the airbox to the ports on throttle roll-off. (It's in the middle of the plumbing above the heads, and attached to a horizontal wire retaining piece - it slides off to the right from memory.) I initially removed all the hoses then plugged the inlet/outlet sides of the 'switch' and used thin alloy blocking plates under the 2 exhaust port covers and a rubber plug on the inlet on the joining T-piece.

At some stage I have to take the bike back to the dealer to get the first model's well-known EFI warning light problem fixed, so a few months back I removed all the plugs, replaced and hooked up all the plumbing back to factory operational spec, then used a marble in the hose where it joins the T-piece and put some substantial steel blocking plates in. The thin alloy ones were showing signs of cracking from the heat.

If you are still running the standard unmodified exhausts there's probably not a lot of point in disabling it as it really only helps with modified or after market exhausts where the loud popping on over-run gets a bit annoying. I doubt there's much risk of burnt out valves or blued pipes from leaving it in place as mine had about 10,000km put on it with the system fully working and riding the bike hard and the pipes didn't discolour at all. More's the pity - I like blued headers on a twin.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:10 AM   #13
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..... and the pipes didn't discolour at all. More's the pity - I like blued headers on a twin.
Trying for that authentic Triumph look?
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ZZ-R Rider View Post
My God that is one gorgeous motorcycle!! Wonder if we could get Kawasaki to introduce it to North America if we started an email campaign?
My understanding is the W800 was offered in the US but due to slow sales it was discontinued. I didn't know they were still making them for overseas sales.

Edit: offered as the W650

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Old 10-14-2012, 12:50 PM   #15
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The W650 was offered in some markets until 2009 from what I've read. I believe they also had a 450cc version in certain markets.
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