The W800 Street becomes the second retro-styled Kawasaki motorcycle in India, after the Z900RS.
India Kawasaki Motors (IKM) has expanded its product portfolio with the launch of another retro-classic offering, the W800 Street, priced at ₹ 7.99 lakh (ex-showroom). The bike will only be available in one colour combination (Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Matte Graphite Grey) and bookings are open across the country at all authorised IKM dealerships. However, expect the W800 Street to fly off the shelves as the first lot contains limited units. Therefore, IKM will stop taking bookings as soon as the target figure is reached. Those who book their bike in the next few days can expect deliveries to begin by mid-August 2019.
Coming to the bike itself, the 2019 iteration of the W800 was first shown in Europe at Motorcycle Live in Birmingham, United Kingdom in November last year. While it is available in two versions abroad (Street and Cafe Racer), India will only receive the former. The W800 first arrived on the global scene in 2011 as a replacement for the W650. However, the bike plays an important role in Kawasaki's 'W Series' history as it pays homage to the original W1 of 1966. At the time of its North American launch, the Kawasaki W1 had the largest engine displacement of any model manufactured in Japan. Thus, Indian buyers will not only get the joy of riding a retro-classic with the W800 Street but will also own an important piece of the W Series legacy.
The W800 Street uses an old-school, 773cc air-cooled vertical-twin motor with a bevel-drive overhead camshaft. The bevel drive setup uses a vertical shaft to operate the overhead camshaft, which is seen as an elegant replacement to the regular cam drive (prone to have reliability issues). The fuel-injected SOHC motor produces 46.5bhp and 62.9Nm of torque.
Built on a double-cradle steel frame (reminiscent of the W1), the W800 Street maintains the styling cues of its retro predecessors, courtesy of 18-inch aluminium spoke wheels, dual shock absorbers at the rear and a minimalist analogue instrument cluster. The fact that despite having a small LCD Multi-Function Display (MFD) in the analogue dials, the W800 Street misses out on a fuel gauge and just offers a reserve-fuel light, further reiterates its 'true classic' appeal. However, bits like an LED headlamp give the W800 Street the essential modern edge.
To make the W800 Street rideable in modern-day conditions, Kawasaki has given it a healthy dose modern-day mechanicals to make sure it handles like a bike of the modern era. For good handling, the W800 gets 41mm telescopic front forks and some serious stopping power, courtesy of a 320mm disc at the front and a 270mm unit at the rear. The W800 Street also gets a 5-speed gearbox with an Assist & Slipper clutch, which works via a 5-way adjustable clutch lever. The W800 Street also gets a 4-way adjustable brake lever for enhanced riding comfort.