Posted: 31 Jan 2014
This week's Pick of the Ads is this 2012 Kawasaki W800, you can view the full ad here, but here are our thoughts:
As far as retro styling goes, it doesn’t get any closer to the original real deal than Kawasaki’s W800 – yes, it even out-retro’s Triumph’s super cool classic Bonneville range. Take one look at the W800’s peashooter-style exhausts, solid aluminium switchgear and dated ‘round’ front brake master-cylinder… all these details underline the fact W800 has only really been updated to comply with rules and regs (clean air system), and obviously built with modern materials and running gear. Apart from this the W800 is faithful to the W650 it replaced, which itself mimicked British bikes of the 60s but was an acknowledgement to the W1, a bike Kawasaki built in 1966. Powered by an air-cooled parallel twin engine 773cc, it is beautifully smooth engine made better with the addition of fuel-injection. Without the damping properties of water-cooling, the engine feels alive; alive in the sense you can feel the pistons travelling up and down the 77mm cylinder bores, hear the mechanical rustle of spinning metals. The claimed output of 47bhp is enough for a W800 rider to tick along without a care in the world at 70mph no problem and is a brilliant tool for taking in the roads and scenery at a relaxed pace. With peak torque appearing 2,500rpm, the W800 is surprisingly nippy from the lights. The chassis is also perfect for the claimed power output. Kawasaki did a good job of kitting the bike with suspension that is adequate for the decrepit state of the UK’s roads and good everywhere else. But everyone likes to have fun on any bike. Work the W800 hard in spirited fashion highlights the plush action of the suspension by getting a little floaty over bumps and loose feeling through sweeping bends. If speed and corner action is your preference then look at Moto Guzzi’s retro V7 Racer as an alternative. Otherwise, if you want nostalgia by the barrow load from a pleasurable, dependable and good looking bike with charm then Kawasaki’s W800 is the only bike that matters.
THE AD SAYS:
2012 (62 reg), 773cc, 5,100 miles, green
Kawasaki W800; model EJ800ACF with remaining manufacturer warranty (2 months). British Racing Metallic Green. FSH. Engine Bars. Leather Panniers. Chrome rack. Full Screen. Fender Extender. Well cared for by mature owner and never ridden above 3,500rpm. Easy fun to ride ‘Retro Bonnie’ bike for fans and novices alike. 47bhp with plenty of ‘grunt’ but also suitable for new regulation A2 provisional licence holders. A beautiful bike in good condition. Contact: 01594 564810 or 07425 156866. Price: £5,100