The Kawasaki W800 line has another addition to the existing Street and Cafe models. It’s called … the W800.
The name may be plain Jane, but the W800 is a pretty-looking bike, aimed at recreating the vibe of the Kawasaki W1, the company’s first great four-stroke from the mid-’60s. It has the same basic air-cooled parallel twin engine as the Street and Cafe, but it’s got a new frame, with larger tubes. Kawasaki also put a new set of 41 mm forks on the bike, and wider wheels. The Street and Cafe models have 18-inch rims, but the new W800 gets a 19-inch rim. Reviewers consistently mention wobbly handling when talking about the Street and Cafe, so it’s a safe bet the changes to the W800 are intended to address that issue.
The front forks are non-adjustable, and the rear shocks are only adjustable for preload.
While the motor is mostly unchanged, Kawasaki put an anti-hop slip/assist clutch on the W800. Output should remain the same at 47 hp, with 46.4 lb-ft of torque. The W800 has a five-speed gearbox.
The Street was the standard retro W800 model when it debuted, but the new W800 looks even more like an old-school all-rounder, patterned after the W1, which itself was patterned after the era’s Brit bikes. The W800 gets chrome fenders and tank badges; a tuck-and-roll seat, a set of fork gaiters and green or red paint complete the vintage made-in-England look.
Braking comes from a 320 mm disc up front, with two-piston caliper; there’s a 270 mm disc in rear. ABS is available, but may not be standard in all markets.
We can expect the W800 to come to the US for 2020; Kawasaki lists its US MSRP at $9,199.