Kawasaki W800 Scrambler - a closer look

Author: Iggy Grainger Posted: 03 Apr 2014

Kawasaki Scrambler – dealer special

The beautiful Kawasaki W800 scrambler

Kawasaki dealer, Earnshaws Motorcycles in Huddersfield, have created a new dealer-special range of the W800 including a Scrambler, Cafe Racer and Flat Tracker. We took a closer look at the Scrambler.

It was a machine like the Scrambler that was responsible for getting me into bikes, that was back in 1976. An older lad two doors down used to ride around on a big noisy green Kawasaki. Seeing, hearing and smelling that bike up close was a defining moment for me. 38 years on and many bikes later, this version still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

The less astute amongst you might well be left wondering what this ‘new’ Kawasaki is and why has it slipped through your biking radar? Don’t beat yourself up though because this is actually an existing model, with some added custom bling. It’s fair to say the W800 in standard trim isn’t a bike to get too excited about; it looks retro enough but needs something extra to bring it to life a bit. Enter Earnshaws.

Earnshaws certainly aren’t the first shop to offer dealer specials, good condition specials from the 1960’s command good prices today. That added exclusivity adds value, so they can become an appreciating future classic. The list of modifications is quite subtle but includes a set of hand built chrome silencers, wider bars, alloy mudguards, a single seat and knobbly tyres. Let’s not forget the de-badged and resprayed tank; there’s no new fangled vinyl lettering on there, the Kawasaki logo and pinstriping are all sprayed on - there’s no less than 15 coats of paint and lacquer on there. Suffice to say the quality and depth of the paintwork is fantastic. There are other colours and options available to suit the customer’s requirements (and budget).

W800 Scrambler strikes a pose

Those high level single sided exhausts (we won’t call them silencers) set the tone of the bike, if you’ll pardon the pun. They’re straight through pipes and sound beautiful, if not a little loud. A set of baffles will be available soon though, so if you like your neighbours it’s best to order some, the standard exhaust comes with the bike as well for MoT time. Earnshaws don’t claim any power increase from the exhausts but it feels much more rewarding to ride than a standard W800, the bike has loads of torque and can help you join the ton up club fairly easily. It’s also got plenty of grunt for exiting slower corners and those Continental knobblies work surprisingly well. I’m not usually a fan of chunky tyres on the road but these are predictable, even in the wet. The engine isn’t overly powerful but produces 46bhp in a linear fashion. It’s a fuel injected 773cc vertical twin with a bit of added style. The engine is air cooled but looks the part with its alloy casings and chrome bevel driven cam proudly on show. All the exposed alloy, chrome and spoked wheels means you’ll need to enjoy a ritualistic bike cleaning process if you get it mucky though, there are plenty of nooks and crannies to polish.

Left-side zoom Super clean W800 Scrambler

The bike may be named ‘Scrambler’ but it wasn’t really designed for any serious off road abuse, this is a bike for posing on rather than ripping up the dirt. On the road it performs and handles very well, it makes you want to start it up just to hear the sound of those lovely pipes and it’s an easy bike to just jump on and ride, making it a useful every day tool. Riding is what it’s all about, we’ve forgotten just how much more fun can be had on two wheels. It’s so easy to just jump in a car and drive to work like a mindless robot but you can quickly get used to riding again, like people did back in the day. You’ll arrive on time and with a spring in your step. Ride there on something like this Scrambler and you’ll enjoy that early morning stress busting blast even more, and look like the king of cool whilst you’re at it. The question is, is the Earnshaws Scrambler worth £1600 more than the standard model? Hell yeah.

+ points: Stunning looks, sounds gorgeous, exclusivity

- points: That exhaust will get you pulled, if you pull there’s nowhere to put your pillion

Kawasaki W800 Scrambler

 Engine:     773cc, air-cooled, vertical twin 
 Max power:     46bhp @ 6500rpm
 Max torque:   44.25lb-ft @ 2500rpm
 Top speed:   100mph
 Weight:   217kg
 Seat height:   790mm
 Price:

  £8499 (OTR), cafe racer £7999 OTR  

  (standard W800 £6899) 

 Contact:   www.earnshaws.net
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