The Kawasaki W800 is one of those bikes that doesn’t get nearly the same amount of love as most other retro-style bikes in the market today. First introduce in 2011, the W800 is considered the successor to the W650, a similarly constructed model that Kawasaki built from 1999 to 2007.

This year, Kawasaki is once again rolling out the W800. Sadly, we’re not going to see it anytime soon. That’s because the company is only releasing the retro-styled machine in Japan. Weep with me now, fellas, because unless we go buy this model in Japan, it’s unlikely that any of them will head to the US anytime soon.

Should somebody think of doing just that, now’s the best time to remind everyone that Kawasaki isn’t just keeping the W800 Special Edition in Japan, it’s also only producing 300 units of the bike.

Hard enough as it is to spot a Kawasaki W800 in the US, the sheer number of units Kawasaki is making available will also make it a difficult “spot” over there in Japan.

Click “continue reading” to read more about the Kawasaki W800.

Design

Kawasaki W800 Special Edition Exterior
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The Kawasaki W800 Special Edition retains its overall looks, but seeing as the model is limited to just 300 units, Kawasaki did some work on the bike to differentiate it and make it stand out from the pack. Doing so involved a lot of visual upgrades, which includes a unique metallic beige paint finish mixed in with splashes of chrome and black paint. The result is pretty impressive and quite different from what we’re used to seeing from Kawasaki. So yeah, give the company props for turning the W800 Special Edition into a bike that deserves limited billing.

The body work isn’t the only thing Kawasaki worked on. The ribbed black seat also received the same two-tone treatment. Likewise, Kawasaki also did some fine work on the wheels, eschewing the standard chrome finish in favor of gold.

Special badges placed throughout the bike cap off the special aesthetic look of the W800, you know, just in case people need to be shown that this bike truly is as limited as Kawasaki says it is.

Design Specifications

Dimensions (L x W x H) 2,190 x 790 x 1,075 mm
Wheelbase 1,465 mm
Ground Clearance 125 mm
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Seat height 790 mm
Curb Mass 217 kg

Frame

Kawasaki didn’t disclose a whole lot about the W800 Special Edition’s frame. But based on previous interactions with past W800 models, I do believe that the bike’s suspension is comprised of 39 mm telescopic forks at the front and dual shock absorbers at the back. 19- and 18-inch wheels were likely used on the bike, complemented by a single 300 mm disc and a twin-piston calliper at the front and a 160 mm drum at the back.

Frame Specifications

Frame type Double-cradle, high-tensile steel
Rake/Trail 27° / 108 mm
Wheel travel, front 130 mm
Wheel travel, rear 106 mm
Tyre, front 100/90-19M/C 57H
Tyre, rear 130/80-18M/C 66H
Steering angle, left / right 37° / 37°
Brakes, front Type: Single 300 mm disc Caliper: Twin-piston
Brakes, rear Type: Drum, 160 mm
Suspension, front 39 mm telescopic fork
Suspension, rear Twin shocks Spring preload: 5-way

Drivetrain

Powering the Kawasaki W800 Special Edition is a 773 cc fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine that can pump out a steady 47 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 44 pound-feet of torque. Power from that engine is sent to the rear wheels courtesy of a five-speed gearbox.

The output of the engine isn’t going to make your goosebumps have goosebumps, but it is more than enough to generate a clean and enjoyable riding experience. Besides, when you’re riding the W800 Special Edition, you wouldn’t want to go too fast for your own good. Part of the special edition bike’s appeal is the visual upgrades Kawasaki gave it. That’s what’s going to make heads turn so if you’re riding the W800 Special Edition, going slow isn’t really a bad thing.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine type Air-cooled, 4-stroke Vertical Twin
Displacement 773 cm³
Bore x stroke 77.0 x 83.0 mm
Compression ratio 8.4:1
Valve/Induction system SOHC, 8 valves
Fuel system Fuel injection:φ34 mm x 2 with sub-throttles
Maximum power 35 KW (48 PS) / 6,500 rpm
Maximum torque 60 Nm (6.1 kgf-m) / 2,500 rpm
Ignition Digital
Starting Electric
Lubrication Forced lubrication, wet sump
Transmission 5-speed, return
Final Drive Chain
Primary reduction ratio 2.095 (88/42)
Gear ratios: 1st 2.353 (40/17)
Gear ratios: 2nd 1.591 (35/22)
Gear ratios: 3rd 1.240 (31/25)
Gear ratios: 4th 1.000 (28/28)
Gear ratios: 5th 0.852 (23/27)
Final reduction ratio 2.467 (37/15)
Clutch Wet multi-disc, manual

Pricing

Kawasaki has yet to announce how much the W800 Special Edition is going to cost. But based on experience, the most likely scenario would be for the bike to carry a little premium over the standard W800. Since the latter costs just under $100,000, it’s reasonable to expect that the W800 Special Edition will fetch slightly more than that.

Again, Kawasaki only plans to release 300 units of this special edition bike. Unfortunately, all 300 models will be sold exclusively in Japan. You can hope and pray that Kawasaki decides to bring some models into our shores. But I’m not banking on that happening, and unfortunately, neither should you.

What do you think?
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