Kawasaki W800 Road Test Retro Write Up

10 Янв 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Kawasaki W800 Road Test Retro Write Up отключены
Kawasaki W800

Kawasaki W800 Road

Why do a road test of a stock motorcycle on a blog which in featuring mainly old school custom motorcycles and restored Why bother testing a motorcycle was launched in South Africa a year ago; with print articles appearing in the magazines? There are several which we feel we must so that you may possibly better Marnitz, myself and Retro Up; which in turn will why we feel the success of the beautifully Kawasaki W800 is important in the African marketplace

The main for us asking KMSA, the importers of the to allow us to test this is because of another 1960′s styled parallel twin model. This motorcycle is the XS650. I bet you thought I was going to say

Please be patient, the Bonnie still have its turn to later in this article. the Yamaha XS650 was available from 1968, It was only locally in SA in the latter part of the until its discontinuation in its original in 1979. The importance of the XS650 in context is its underwhelming success in our A power hungry South motorcycling fraternity did not see the understated, quality and appeal of the XS650.

five years later and the is one of the most sought after by international custom builders and Whilst standing looking at the black and chrome, all steel of the W800 on the Kawasaki display at the AMID Motorcycle Show, I got a of déjà vu. Is history repeating After ten months of availability, and I were ogling the first living and breathing example of a we had ever seen.

When we tested the newly launched and welcome Royal Enfield GT cafe racer, we honestly had no having avoided reading any tests. With the W800, we had expectations. Both of us had enjoyed the of the previous, almost identical W650 and I had even considered one from Australia, but costs prohibitive.

We had hoped that would import the upgraded after its launch and we were excited to hear that the had at last been made at the beginning of the year. Standing looking at a bike that I had ridden but knowing that I eventually own, I realised we owed it to the W800 to use our blog to awareness and arouse interest in motorcycle before it became unobtainable future classic the XS650. We needed to ride it!

The second reason for testing the is you, our faithful reader, who the simpler, more tangible, and classics that we feature on our Chris Hunter, founder of the Bike exif web site and of the new “the Ride” coffee quality book of modern (order a copy today), the following in his introduction to the book. ” has hit the reset button and that’s news.

The focus is back on the trinity of engine, frame and – and providing a raw and exhilerating experience for the If you are nodding your head in as you read these words, you need to know more the W800 and possibly own one. You to ride it!

The final reason is Marnitz and I, without seeming feel that our opinion, motorcycles of this type, is sharing. Marnitz does thousands of kilometers annually on his Bonneville and is probably Triumph’s successful, unofficial, unpaid Off hand, I can think of at least happy Bonneville owners bought their motorcycles on his enthusiasm. One of those Bonnevilles in our photos.

Thanks Hein! you did not have to paint it black for the shoot!  I ride my torque Harley almost daily, but I an upbringing filled with the of Brit singles and twins.

I also been fortunate to have ridden many of the motorcycles from the 1970s and Because we both get our kicks at 180km/h, does not mean we ride slowly. It only that we prefer riding technology motorcycles inappropriately rather than high superbikes at 50% of their capability.

we had great expectations from the we knew that it was not going to be a Super Bike championship ZX10, which for us is a good

I will leave my customary history lesson until and move on to telling you about the I fetched the brand new W800 KMSA head Office in and we were given a week of to do our assessment. We would like to Chris and Kibble for allowing us to their motorcycle and it is important to that at no point did KMSA any demands as to what we wrote the motorcycle.

They were obviously as about the W800 as we were

The W800 is a true retro Kawasaki have gone to lengths to not only make motorcycle look like a model, but have avoided cheaper plastic moulds replicating the cosmetic parts. The front mudguard and side are all metal.

The petrol tank is a of art. The 2013 model in an ebony and silver combination combined with all the chrome and detail, including an awesome badge, create a glistening gem of a Anyone who cares to sit and study the from front to rear, see that no short cuts been taken in the materials or of this motorcycle.

From its cut headlamp lens, to the chromed petrol filler cap, to the tail light on the period chromed steel rear this is not a cheap motorcycle to We are great fans of Australian Deus Ex Machina, who use W650 and extensively as the donor bikes for creations.  Marnitz, who modified his own into a cafe racer, with me that we would not the heart to chop or change an expensively finished motorcycle.

The chassis is where Kawasaki turn up the retro heat. The item that gives the away as a modern motorcycle is the machined and essential 300mm disc brake which more than adequate power for the type of riding the will be used. Everything looks like it would in a sales catologue.

We really the 18 inch diameter rear which is probably one of the main which make this made motorcycle look British than its British The Dunlop 130/80 R18 Roadmaster handled well enough for my and has the correct looking tread for this type of motorcycle. The wheel is 19 inches in diameter and has a Dunlop Roadmaster 100/90 R19 tyre.

The rims are made aluminium and the nipples and spokes are with something called a NC finish which enables to simply be wiped off. A issue for many of the scribes and is the use of a highly polished 160mm drum brake. Nobody can that it lightens up the rear end and obviously makes the W800 more true to its 1960′s

The question is if Kawasaki, in their to produce the ultimate classic have sacrificed safety for It obviously depends on your style. Crappy rear brakes on every Harley I ever ridden, which do when you push them and then lock up the back means that I very in dry, good conditions use the brake.

Marnitz also said he not recall using the rear so being aware of this I made a point of using the brake on its own and in combination with the brake on my return trip to A rear disc brake probably have more bite and be more effective in up the back wheel but I still the drum brake to be adequate in combination with the effective disc. The jury will be out on this important point.

The word to describe the W800′s quality is plush. The polished front forks have travel and stiffness to absorb of what it has to deal with, a corrugated section of tarred north of Pretoria which me at 130km/h was no problem. I personally probably use a slightly thicker oil to sacrifice a little comfort for diving under hard

This again does not on the motorcycle, only on my riding The rear suspension is an exposed 5 way preload adjustable twin system. At no stage did the double frame give any hint of Marnitz and I agreed that is an extremely comfortable motorcycle to

The sculpted seat looks and very comfortable. However we felt that after for more than an hour, the of the seat could be felt. No it was just less comfortable we expected.

The handlebar’s risers the handlebars back closer to the which means the W800 smaller than it actually is. We the handling to be light and accurate at all and we felt completely at home in the within a few kilometers of riding.

And there is the engine! It is an absolute of art. The overall finishes are up to standard. The chrome covers on the hand side of the engine the shaft and bevel gear of the sohc 4 valve heads. I leave these covers on if they housed nothing!

The less attractive left side of the engine is highlighted the most stunning drive cover I have ever on any motorcycle. Its practical purpose is to mechanical noise, but who cares. It is beautiful. The whole engine is or chromed.

It is no wonder these engines are used in world class

Before we discuss on road there are a few issues to discuss. One of issues is the hp rating. Kawasaki quote a very conservative on their website whilst regions make no mention of a at all.

Although the maximum figure of  60Nm at a very low rpm is totally believable,  the hp rating, riding the W800, seems unless the Japanese market is restricted. Some unofficial like road tests a more plausible 70hp but need to release the correct for a fair comparison to be made the Bonneville’s 67hp. The W800 has a long … motor a 360 degree crank and a heavy

I can only imagine the deep sound it would make if you actually hear the engine. silence is my only real of the W800. We understand the restrictions controls place on manufacturers, but on Kawasaki, how can you build a brilliant retro classic which like a sewing machine – an sewing machine?

I know a set of trumpets will work magic, but a little more note will sell bikes and save many owners the cost of having to the exhausts and retuning their If I was a dealer, these exhausts not make it onto the showroom

Motorcycles are for riding and so how does the perform? Marnitz road it to work one early morning and not wait to phone and tell me I had already experienced for 300km. He the way the W800 performed. The W800 is off the mark when required with all that low down you can also hit 5th gear at 80km/h if you are not in a At just over 4000 you are doing an indicated 120 km/h.

is 7500 rpm. Did I mention the The easy to read traditional speedo and rev counter are classic but have all the modern features and lights you could ever We did not want to overstress the new engine but Marnitz and my wife Lara saw 160 on the speedo, with a bit more in reserve.

The power delivery is so and  so silent that the is deceptively quick, yet always to ride. It reminds me of the way an original Triumph Bonneville delivers its overall fuel consumption was 5l/100km, a very respectable Whilst I was running her in, my consumption for 270km was 4,2l/100km. Kawasaki have the fuel injection sorted.These engines have a for being bullet proof and to maintain.

The service interval is 12000km.

So if this W800 is so good, are we not more of them on our roads? We see main reasons. The first is that it lacks history and in South Africa.

The original W1 were launched towards the end of They were basically a and all copy of an early 1960′s BSA A7 twin. Although almost  when it was launched and never the anticipated popularity outside the W series ran until 1973.

The W history is unknown to South motorcyclists. In 1999 the W650 was two years before the new Bonneville. similar looking to the original W1, the was completely new and had the new bevel gear cam. This model never reached our shores.

In emission control eventually up with the carb fed W650 and were discontinued. In 2011 the friendly W800 was launched and we had it available to us for about a year. The locally is that, even if we the original heritage of the early W the W650, which had developed its own and history since 1999 never was available in SA.

This that to most SA motorcyclists, the is a completely unknown, new motorcycle a W badge on the tank. The only way you can that this is a Kawasaki is by the name printed across the of the saddle. This leads us to our reason for the lack of sales, the Bonneville.

I recall that the new Bonnevilles also sat on the showroom after their launch in Our memories are short and we forget this now popular model a lot of resistance locally because it was not a Bonneville. The criticism was well

The original Triumph had gone in 1983. This new Bonneville was a pretender. It looked vaguely a Bonneville and had a Triumph badge.

it did have in its favour was that without any real heritage, it was a fine motorcycle which has earned the respect and sales it This is a major problem for the which is at least as good and in areas better than the If the W650 had paved the way in 1999 in SA, we are that the Bonnie and the W800 both be selling in larger now.

Remember, both motorcycles are by the same distributor, KMSA.

The reason is price. The W800, all its classy finishes and steel was going to be cheap. At R110 it was considerably more pricey a Bonneville T100. Presently are selling the last of their model W800s for R96000, is a price we will never see Next year the prices, on our weakening currency, will be R120 000,00.

The T100 price is increasing to R105

Our intended goal with feature is to see more W800s on our not less Bonnevilles. So who would buy a I would. The power delivery is revvy than the Bonneville and the right pipes, it will fantastic. I also like the of the W800, for the moment any way and I don’t having to explain to every person what sort of a W is!

Marnitz loves the W800 and enjoy having a standard one of his but not at the cost of losing his cafe Bonnie. If you are in the market for a retro styled bike, you have to the Japanese version in your making process. Perhaps the word should go, as it often to my wife Lara, who has owned motorcycles, including a Honda and a Harley Nightster.

She says, to her needs, it is the best motorcycle she has ever had the pleasure of riding and she will buy one. Organise a ride with Kawasaki. Let the times roll!

Kawasaki W800
Kawasaki W800
Kawasaki W800


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