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Kawasaki Debuts Retro-Inspired W800 Café at EICMA

Cycle World logo Cycle World 11/7/2018 Michael Gilbert

a motorcycle parked on the side of a road: 2019 Kawasaki W800 Café

2019 Kawasaki W800 Café
© Courtesy of Kawasaki

Team Green pays homage to the Kawasaki W1

Kawasaki announced today at EICMA that it is set to add the all-new W800 Café to its retro lineup in the US. Team Green has dubbed the new model a true throwback to the W1 offered in the 1960s, with a nice blend of modern-day performance and timeless styling in a single package. Much to Kawasaki’s credit, considering that the sport-heritage market in the United States continues to grow each year.

The heart of the W800 Café comes in the form of a 773cc air-cooled vertical-twin engine, which has a bore and stroke of 77.0mm x 83.0mm. Like the W650 of recent years, the Café’s engine comes equipped with a bevel gear cam drive and SOHC four-valve-per-head design, adding a unique personality to the engine’s styling with a silver bevel-gear cover on otherwise blacked-out casing. To supply the Café with a strong low-to-midrange character, Team Green gifted it with a heavy flywheel and long intake funnels. A pair of 34mm throttle bodies provide smooth fueling and a five-speed transmission is said to provide smooth shifting.

Team Green designers added to the W800’s retro design with a pair of exhaust pipes boasting peashooter-style silencers and long tail pipes. It’s said the Café’s twin mufflers have been precisely tuned to bring out the throaty pitch of the vertical twin.

A brief look at the W800’s double-cradle steel frame suggests it’s highly reminiscent of the W1, but Kawasaki employed its advanced dynamic analysis software to determine the exact rigidity for each piece of tubing used. Kawasaki claims this technology contributes to a well-balanced ride, which is complemented by a 41mm telescopic fork and dual shock absorbers.

Additional modern-day performance is added to the W800 through a 320mm front brake disc system up front and a 270mm brake disc out back, with ABS coming as standard equipment. Maintaining true to the W1 styling, however, is a set of 18-inch spoked wheels.

At the front end of the W800 is a cowling that’s reminiscent of the café racer era, housing a large 170mm LED headlight. Kawasaki dove into the details, surrounding it with a chrome headlamp ring for a true classic appearance. Likewise, the fork uses rubber gaiters and a dashboard with individual speedometer and tachometer gauges completes the period-correct appearance.

Kawasaki has not announced an availability date for the W800 Café, but has confirmed that it will be offered at $9,799. Only one color—Metallic Magnesium Gray/Galaxy Silver—will be available.

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