Kawasaki W800 - Fresh From The Box

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Loop, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. Scrivens

    Scrivens Been here awhile

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    The brake shoes/pads probably just needed bedding in. They are certainly powerful enough for the bike and both are very progressive with excellent feel. You don't use the brakes much anyway as the engine braking is very effective, especially when playing in the twisties.
    #21
  2. sargev55

    sargev55 Been here awhile

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    more than likely someone comparing the brakes of the w800 to their r1, v-strom, 1200gs etc.

    ever tried to use the front brake of a 79 guzzi v35? death grip the thing and it will work :)
    #22
  3. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    A very nice looking bike.
    I would not mind an older 650.
    We need more choices in the US.
    All we get is 600+ pound sportsters, the little TU250 and the rare V7 classic.

    I would even take a w500, it would be better (lighter) on dirt roads.

    I used to run the K70's on my Daytona, not bad in the dirt really, but the tall soft sidewalls suck if you get a flat.
    And the old bikes also came with rim locks...
    #23
  4. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    I've got a similar brake setup on my W650. I admit they were pretty weak when I first got it. I changed the pads immediately to EBC HH pads, and after they bedded in, the change was dramatic. The rear is still a little weak, but that's OK, not looking to lock it up back there anyway.

    I saw the W800 when I was in Sweden a month or so ago, and it's a pretty bike. There is also a "limited edition" with a black and silver tank, and gold anodized wheels.

    See this post for photos http://advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=19316213&postcount=1147
    #24
  5. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    Loop,
    Very nice W800. I have the W650 here in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Just about the perfect bike for around here like you pictures of your W800 suggest for your area. I have the Avon Distanzias on my W and they are decent in the gravel.
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/fVZ4tWtUGptvHxxBddUNVNMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-MWt5N3O1qjw/UB2HcSHRNJI/AAAAAAAAA9M/OZTnHC52fWE/s800/IMG_1152.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/109138762249766144711/Motors?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Motors</a></td></tr></table>
    That's my 2001 W650 in the center. Kawasaki imported the W650 in the USA for 2000 and 2001 after a lot of people requested them but they did not sell in sufficient quantity.
    #25
  6. RickS

    RickS Been here awhile

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    Nice bike!
    #26
  7. argentcorvid

    argentcorvid Some Guy

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    The W series,would make a beautiful scrambler. (probably because of the whole Triumph knock-off thing they have going on)
    #27
  8. sargev55

    sargev55 Been here awhile

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    lets hope we see one. obviously, it would be fairly easy to do aftermarket, but it would be very cool as a factory option.
    #28
  9. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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    That is what's wrong with it. Drums had a few problems, but the biggest is poor modulation. Yeah as you pointed out most of the braking is in front, who really cares about the drum in back? I do a little. It's not like having a drum in front though.

    One of the biggest turn-off for me in custom bikes is when someone converts a disc in front bike to drum.
    #29
  10. Loop

    Loop Mechanicess from Mar

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    I'm guessing it was a low mileage one so, as someone has said, it'll take time to bed in as there's only a single front disk. I don't have a problem with the brakes personally, still running it in but it seems fine. I have always used the rear brake along with the front and in wet and/or icy conditions I use the rear a lot more, I suppose it depends on your riding. It's not a sportsbike. Glad you liked it otherwise though, the bike suits me perfectly.

    All part of the appeal to me. A properly set up drum rear is fine, and you can even adjust how strong or weak it is just by twiddling the adjuster with your fingers. My other bike that I use for trail riding has drums front and rear and I've never had any trouble not being able to stop. As for the tubes, well I'll be taking it off-road, as shown in the photos, so tubes are a good thing. I use to worry about taking my Bandit off-road as the tyres were hugely expensive. If I can just change an inner tube, I'll be more willing to ride the places I like to. I know tubed tyres deflate quicker and so on but like I've said, never had any problems when that has happened in the past either with my current trail bike or any of the dirt bikes I've owned which have all had tubes.

    Surely you mean "continuation of their (Kawasaki/Meguro) own bikes that date back to the original K1 which they made under licence from BSA in the 60s as a close copy of the BSA A7"? The W650 was out a couple of years before the current Hinckley Bonneville was.

    And anyway who cares about any of that "they copied them" stuff? I bought it because I liked it as soon as I got on it, everything else is a moot point. I can't stand bike snobbery, or any kind of snobbery actually.
    #30
  11. Loop

    Loop Mechanicess from Mar

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    Very nice it is too, I'm considering tracking down a W650 myself, the 800 is so perfect for me. Be nice to have one as a more off-road oriented bike.
    #31
  12. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I like rear drum brakes, I never had a bike I could not lock the back wheel on, and since I am ham fisted and unskilled, I like needing a bit of force needed on the brakes, otherwise I would have something bad happen in the rain.
    And drum brakes never seem to wear out, at least I don't remember ever wearing one out.
    The drum brakes on my old Daytona also worked very well, TLS setup with an air scoop, I could also lock up the front wheel on that bike.
    Only if racing would the brakes be a limitation due to over heating, but that would never happen street riding this kind of bike.

    Tubes on street bikes do suck.
    In the old days you could pop a tire off and patch one in 15 minutes, new bikes seem to suck that way with the modern rim locks and no center stand.

    Funny, I had a 1979 Triumph Bonneville special which had mag wheels and tubes!
    #32
  13. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    Luckily, the W's do come with a center stand.
    #33
  14. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    No luck about it - for a road bike to have tubes and a chain, it is a properly designed bike (albeit it a design that is easily 40 years old - just think where we'd be today if the makers actually continued to improve on what makes a proper bike... proper ... for another 40 years!).

    I just came off of a modern chain-driven road bike I put ton of miles on, and realized that they had bike design down-pat back in the 1970's with center stands, neutral comfort, etc.

    The reason why the W is designed right and not sold in the US is because the US market, by and large, does not understand what makes a good bike good. Instead we're too worried about ego-trips and looking cool on a bike that looks cool.

    I'm pretty willing to bet that if I had a W800 shipped over and just threw the plates of a similar sized / color Kawasaki on one, I'd never be questioned for riding it here in Florida. Really, how often do police check the VIN of a bike and compare it to the plates at a traffic stop, anyway? Police, at least in this state, have far more crime to worry about than a bike that was never reported stolen in the first place.
    #34
  15. Loop

    Loop Mechanicess from Mar

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    I agree totally. First day I went out on it after I rode it home I was out for four and a half hours and not even the slightest hint of an achey bottock troubled me in all that time. There's nothing on it that doesn't need to be there, its shiny where it can be and painted where it needs to be. The best thing about it is the ride quality. The engine is a peach and the suspension, although nothing special, never seems to be fussed about anything on even the most bumpy, broken country roads.
    #35
  16. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    So true. I take my W650 down into NYC, which probably has the worst roads in the US, and it just handles them beautifully. Hard to figure out why, since it doesn't have a tremendous amount of travel, but whatever it is, it just works. Same for the seat.
    #36
  17. Scrivens

    Scrivens Been here awhile

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    I found the 800 just OK as far as the rear goes. The front is fine. The roads here are pretty bad and the rear was quite underdamped and undersprung. Unless it was up on the highest preload it wallowed badly in sporty riding - like a BSA with sacked-out dampers. I weigh around 75kg and my daughter is about 45kg - and two-up on the highest preload it bottomed out on the slightest bumps. I put a set of YSS shocks on it and they are much better; bit firmer but no wallowing and pillioning takes the 2nd preload out of four. I'm used to the basic suspension on Brit twins so I wasn't expecting anything particularly supple but the rears were a disappointment.

    Mine has the EFI bug (light comes on when you start it and it has to be reset by turning the bike off again and restarting, occasionally several times in a row) but I haven't taken it in for the fix as yet. There hasn't been a reliable cause discovered yet - O2 sensor on the crossover pipe or a sticking pressure activated lever on the left of the throttle body seem to be the most common. The only other problem my local dealer has had out of 30 or more bikes sold was a chipped bevel gear which was replaced under warranty. Quite a few of the Australian bikes have had the EFI glitch, but bikes built from Feb 2012 have a few minor changes and it appears to have been fixed.

    The other thing I did to mine was cut off those wire safety loops on the side-stand and the rear brake. I couldn't get my toe or heel on the stand tab easily and the brake one just looked silly. BTW, if you want to adjust the height of the rear brake lever there is a metal tang it rests on near the footrest which you can bend to give the desired placement.
    #37
  18. BigTed

    BigTed Adventurer

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    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.
    #38
  19. BigTed

    BigTed Adventurer

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    Not to mention the very sizeable insurance cost difference between the W800 and sport bikes.
    #39
  20. Scrivens

    Scrivens Been here awhile

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    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.
    #40