If you couldn’t tell, Kawasaki is on a retro new motorcycle kick. Case in point, its new W800 Café. The 2019 Kawasaki W800 ($9,799) is an ode to the Green Team’s first big-displacement four-stroke streetbike, the W1.
Released for the 1966 model year, the W1 was coined after popular British bikes at the time, i.e., England’s BSA. Fast-forward to today, and the W800 is the third retro-inspired ride in Kawasaki’s 2019 streetbike lineup following the 2018 release of the Z900RS and Z900RS Café machines.
Over the years Kawasaki offered a remake version with its W650 in Europe and other parts of the world. It also offered a punched-out W800 in Europe. However, for 2019, engineers gave this retro ride a full mechanical makeover while retaining signature pieces and the silhouette that made this bike a knockout in rider’s eyes and on the showroom floor. And the best part? It’s now available in the US.
Its aesthetically pleasing parallel twin engine, with its delicious-looking bevel valvetrain gear, not only sounds the part, but pumps out a steady stream of torque with upwards of 40 pound-feet available from 2,500 rpm. This allows the W800 to squirt off from a stop delivering real acceleration force that you’d expect from a modern bike. From the brakes to the drivetrain, suspension, and LED lighting, it has all been recalibrated to give a truly nostalgic experience, without any of the hassle of maintenance of an old bike.
Tag along for a ride on the W800 Café in this episode of MC Commute and sound off in the comment section below and share with us what you think of this old-school remake.