Retro Kawasaki W800 makes surprise return

Many thought the retro-styled Kawasaki W800 would be killed off by the tougher European emissions regulations, but the bike has made a surprise return at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.

Fans of the bike will be glad to see it has managed to clean up its act without having to resort to liquid-cooling like its nearest competitors, the Triumph Bonneville range.

Surprise returnKawasaki W800 in surprise return

There was wide speculation that Kawasaki would scrap the W800 or bring out a water-cooled W900 model.

But somehow the engineers have managed to lean down the air-cooled 773cc engine to meet the Euro4 emissions regulations.

Kawasaki says the engine is 90% new, yet it retains the bevel-drive camshaft.

No more technical details or how this has been achieved are yet available, but the bike will arrive next year.

Modern techKawasaki W800 in surprise return

And for the first time it gets a disc brake on the rear and modern LED lighting, yet it manages to retain its beautiful heritage looks.

It will be available in a range of colours and Street and Cafe (pictured top) models.

Kawasaki W800 in surprise return
Street model

The Street is the traditional naked model with straight bars and a sit-up-and-beg riding position.

Like the Z900RS and Cafe version, the W800 comes in a second Cafe version that brings back memories of the Ace Cafe in London.

It features a bubble fairing, a hump-backed seat and clip-on bars.Kawasaki W800 in surprise return

W800 revival

In recent years the W800 and the former W650 has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence among younger costumers wanting to modify it into a cafe racer, scrambler, street tracker or bobber.Kawasaki W1-1965

The original W1 was first Kawasaki’s first four-stroke sports model and the largest capacity Japanese motorcycle at the time.

Kawasaki revived the W series with the W650 in 1999, well before the 2001 retro Triumph Bonneville was reborn and Ducati introduced the SportClassic series (2003-2010).


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