2019 Kawasaki W800 Cafe: Retro with Modern Tech
Last year Kawasaki launched two retro-styled motorcycles – the Z900RS and the Z900RS Cafe. Both struck some emotions across the Kawasaki fan base, especially the latter, which arrived with a throwback front cowl stuffed with a classic single-round headlight.
The popularity prompted the folks in green to bring back the W800 model, which was a throwback to the original 1966 W1 and produced from 2011 to 2016; in 2016, Kawasaki released the W800 “Final Edition”.
Both it was not so final; for 2019, Kawasaki returns the W800 to showroom floors, this time in the flavor of the W800 Cafe.
Following are the fast facts about Kawasaki’s new returning retro motorcycle.
1. The W800 Cafe arrives with Kawasaki’s air-cooled 773cc vertical-twin engine. The engine uses a heavy flywheel to create stronger low- to mid-range torque, and is paired with a five-speed transmission. Kawasaki didn’t release the latest numbers, but the older W800’s engine produced 47 horsepower at 6500 rpm, and 44 ft/lbs of torque at 2500 rpm.
2. An Assist and Slipper Clutch eases the feel at the clutch lever and to reduce wheel hop under down shifting.
3. The double-cradle frame may look like a direct copy of its predecessor, but it’s an entirely new design. The frame features a 50mm square-section backbone and attaches to a rigid swingarm for more stability while riding.
4. The suspension may also look vintage, but its designed for modern handling. The W800 Cafe uses a 41mm from fork and dual-rear shock absorbers with adjustable preload for a smooth ride and clean look.
5. Braking duties are handled by a single 3200 front disc and a rear 270mm rear disc out back. Modern ABS is standard.
6. The W800 Cafe rolls on 18-inch spoked aluminum rims that use classic tube-type tires.
7. The ergonomics are set for a sporty cafe look. This is achieved with a M-shaped clubman-style handlebar that is coupled with adjustable clutch and brake levers, and slightly rearward footpegs.
8. The Kawasaki W800 Cafe’s instrumentation is also classic, and includes an individual speedometer and tachometer. The compact LCD screen provides an odometer, trip meter and clock. There are also a full range of indicator lamps, including FI warning lamp; low fuel light; neutral light; and oil pressure warning.
9. The 2019 Kawasaki W800 Cafe is available in one color: Metallic Magnesium Gray / Galaxy Silver. Stateside pricing begins at $9,799 (MSRP).
Full specs and availability will be announced shortly.