2011 Kawasaki W800 – The latest installment in the iconic retro W series
The 2011 Kawasaki W800 is the result of a thorough pursuit of the beauty and ride feel possessed by classic motorcycles. Full details, specifications and Hi Res photo’s
It offers a rare beauty care of components meticulously crafted down to the smallest detail, as well as a feeling of authentic quality that can only come from using genuine metal parts. The throb of the air-cooled Vertical Twin engine, and the distinct handling character that comes with large-diameter wheels recalls the ride feel of machines from an older generation, gone but not forgotten.
The W800, in both looks and feel, pays homage to Kawasaki’s legendary W1, the model that started a brand that spans 45 years.
Visual impact from the striking Vertical Twin engine, classic proportions from a compact frame with large-diameter wheels and a meticulous attention to detail give the W800 an authentic quality and classic beauty difficult to find on modern motorcycles.
Painstakingly sculpted forms, an abundance of steel and metal parts, and a liberal use of chrome result in a high quality machine – a worthy successor to a brand that spans over four decades.
The engine details
- Building a beautiful engine” was a key concept when designing the new air-cooled Vertical Twin. The classic-styled engine is lightweight, simple and a joy to behold.
- Iconic bevel-gear-driven cam adds beauty to the cylinder head while contributing to the engine’s classical appearance.
- The entire engine is a lustrous silver (either polished aluminium, with a clear coat finish, or chromed), adding to the engine’s presence and giving it a high-quality look.
- Chromed covers conceal the FI components, keeping the engine’s appearance tidy.
- Drive sprocket cover with holes helps reduce mechanical noise and while adding to the engine’s appearance.
- Simple, elegant muffler design comprises smooth curves and long, straight lines. “Peashooter” style silencers with slim chambers and long tailpipes add a vintage touch.
- With a bore and stroke of 77.0 mm x 83.0 mm, the air-cooled 4-stroke Vertical Twin displaces 773 cm³.
- Tuned for strong low-mid range torque, the max torque arrives at 2,000 rpm.
- The rich engine character and strong low-end response enhance the unhurried pleasure derived from riding a classic motorcycle.
- Fuel injection offers precise fuel metering, clean emissions and easy starting.
- World’s first use of a compact external in-line high-pressure fuel pump enables the design of the elegant fuel tank to remain the same.
- ø34 mm throttle bodies are arranged to ensure a straight line from the airbox to the cylinders.
- Sub-throttles are used to ensure ideal engine response as well as reduce noise emissions.
- Compact 12-hole injectors save both weight and space.
- Long-stroke 360° crankshaft gives the W800 its signature pulse.
- Heavy flywheel contributes to the strong low-mid range torque feel.
- Bevel gear cam drive and SOHC 4-valve heads give the W800 a wide spread of responsive power.
- Lightweight pistons are the same weight as those of the W650 – despite having a 5 mm larger bore.
- While cam timing and lift are unchanged from the W650, fat cam profiles (quick to open, slow to close) contribute to greater overall performance.
- Long, slim intake funnels deliver enhanced low-mid range performance.
- Slick-shifting 5-speed transmission has a gear for every occasion.
- Fine-tuned 1st gear ratio offers strong launches from standstill.
- Traditional mufflers emit the throaty exhaust note for which parallel twin engines are famous.
- Muffler internals (chamber arrangement, diameter/length of baffle pipe and trans-chamber pipe, and large honeycomb catalyser) and were designed to deliver low-mid range performance while ensuring strict exhaust and noise emissions regulations are met. Increased silencer volume, care of a straight pipe design (compared to the tapered silencer of the W650), also contributes to improved performance.
- Chassis concept follows the overall design criteria for simplicity,functionality and elegance.
- Large diameter wheels and a compact overall design create a well-balanced package with classic proportions.
- Voluptuous fuel tank finished in high-quality paint contributes to the W800’s aura of functional elegance.
- Using immersion graphics technology, a very delicate colour gradation was added to the sides of the tank while maintaining a seamless surface finish.
- Newly designed tank emblems, finished in chrome, contribute to the high quality appearance.
- Side covers formed from steel contribute W800’s high quality styling.
- Front and rear fenders are also formed from steel and are chrome-plated for long life and great looks, in the traditional style.
- Large headlamp is offset wonderfully by the speedometer and tachometer and simple console.
- Complementing its deeply chromed rim, the steel headlamp body is finished in paint matching the tank and side covers. Cut-glass lens adds to the classic image.
- Traditionally styled front fork uses rubber gaitors to protect the fork tubes and ensure long fork seal life. Outer tubes have a buffed finish, which contributes to the light looking front end.
- Rear shock absorbers forego covers, allowing their simple design to contribute to the bike’s styling.
- Lightweight spoked wheels with aluminium rims contribute a look that never goes out of style.
- Single 300 mm front disc brake offers sure stopping power.
- 160 mm rear drum brake complements the simple, uncluttered design of the W800’s rear end.
- Front wheel hub and rear drum brake side panel have a buffed finish, giving them a lightweight appearance.
- Large round turn signals add to the classic styling.
- Traditional instrumentation includes individual speedometer and tachometer with classic display.
- A multi-function LCD screen incorporates an odometer, tripmeter, and clock.
- A full range of indicator lamps includes an FI warning lamp, dual turn signal indicators, low fuel level indicator, high beam indicator, neutral indicator, and oil pressure warning lamp.
- Compact switchgear gives the handlebars a light, uncluttered look, and enhances the classic look.
- As much as possible, plastic was eschewed in favour of metal. The result is a feeling of authentic quality that can only be obtained from the solid feel of metal parts.
- Use of many polished components gives the W800 a very high-quality look and feel.
- High-quality paint and chrome, together with corrosion-resistant fasteners, ensure that the W800 will retain its good looks for years to come.
- Lightweight aluminium rims are highly resistant to corrosion. The spokes and nipples are treated with a Cosmer NC finish that allows dirt to be simply wiped off.
- While the frame uses a square-section backbone, round pipe downtubes contribute to the classic look. Gussets and brackets were kept to a minimum for improved aesthetics and reduced weight.
- Headlamp stays are chromed.
- Elliptical mirrors have a nice chrome finish.
- Shift lever and rear brake pedal are finished in chrome.
- Chromed chain guard like that on the W1 contributes to the W800’s high quality finish.
- Brake master cylinder and switch housings are formed from blacked-out aluminium. Chromed throttle cable guides further contribute to the classic beauty of the W800.
W800 -Classic ride and feel
The throb of the Vertical Twin engine pumping out loads of torquey feel-good power, the characteristic handling of that comes from a sturdy frame with large-diameter wheels, and the throaty roar from twin exhausts were all carefully cultivated to recall the bikes of yesteryear.
Modern concessions include fuel injection for clean emissions and enhanced fuel efficiency, a balancer shaft to dampen vibration and hassle-free push-button starting.
A lightweight double-cradle frame uses a sturdy, 50 mm square-section backbone to give the W800 a very stable ride quality and compact overall design. A stiff swingarm further enhances handling qualities while minimising weight. The telescopic front forks features stiff, 39 mm tubes and easily soaks up bumps on well-travelled city streets. Dual rear shock absorbers, adjustable for spring preload, offer a smooth ride and clean looks.
Large-diameter 19” front and 18” rear wheels give the W800 its classic handling: a fine balance of relaxed, light turning and straight-line stability. The large front wheel especially contributes a characteristic unhurried steering feeling.
The natural riding position is very comfortable and makes the W800 ideal for a wide range of riding applications. Handlebar position is the same as that of the low-handle position of the W650. A 22.2 mm bar is used (rather than an inch-bar), facilitating customisation with aftermarket parts.
A long, comfortable seat with thick, ribbed padding has plenty of room for rider and passenger. Urethane at the front of the seat was shaped to facilitate the reach to the ground. Piping around the edge of the seat follows the line between the rider and passenger’s legs to ensure it does not cut into the rider’s thighs when stopped. Rubber knee pads make it easy to grip the slim, classic tank.
The W800′s Historic Roots
The W800 has a rich history. Its roots go back almost half a century to the W1, the model that started the W brand. The W1, Kawasaki’s original W, debuted in 1966. It was the largest displacement model of its time, and marked Kawasaki’s first step in becoming a manufacturer of large-displacement motorcycles. Numerous updates and versions followed over the years, building a brand that spans 45 years.
2011 Kawasaki W800 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:?34 mm x 2 with sub-throttles
- 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 1.590 (35/22)
- Gear ratios: 3rd 1.240 (31/25)
- Gear ratios: 4th 1.000 (28/28)
- Gear ratios: 5th 0.851 (23/27)
- Final reduction ratio 2.467 (37/15)
- Clutch Wet multi-disc, manual
- Frame type Double-cradle, high-tensile steel
- Wheel travel, front 130 mm
- Wheel travel, rear 105 mm
- Tyre, front 100/90-19M/C 57H
- Tyre, rear 130/80-18M/C 66H
- Rake/Trail 27° / 108 mm
- Steering angle, left / right 37° / 37°
- Suspension, front 39 mm telescopic fork
- Suspension, rear Twin shocks
- Type: Twin shocks
- Spring preload: 5-way
- Brakes, front Type: Single 300 mm disc
- Caliper: Twin-piston
- Brakes, rear Type: Drum, 160 mm
- Dimensions (L x W x H) 2,180 x 790 x 1,075 mm
- Wheelbase 1,465 mm
- Ground Clearance 125 mm
- Seat height 790 mm
- Curb Mass 216 kg
- Fuel capacity 14 litres
The specifications mentioned here apply to and have been achieved by production models under standard operating conditions. We intend only to give a fair description of the vehicle and its performance capabilities but these specifications may not apply to every machine supplied for sale. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. reserves the right to alter specifications without prior notice. Equipment illustrated and specifications may vary to meet individual markets. Available colours may vary by market.