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Kawasaki announced the end of the W800 with a “Final Edition” production run for Europe as the retro-styled Twin gets phased out by the new Euro4 emissions standard.
“It’s never easy to say good bye to an old friend, especially one as iconic as the W800,” says Morihiro Ikoma, corporate planning director for Kawasaki Motors Europe. “Paying homage to the W series with this Final Edition is therefore a truly fitting end to a long and successful line of machines.”
The 2017 Kawasaki W800 Final Edition will available in limited numbers for European consumers with a Candy Brown and Candy Sunset Orange paint scheme.
The W800 was only introduced in 2011 and never made it to North America, but its predecessor, the W650 was briefly available in the U.S. and Canada. Both models trace a lineage that goes back to 1966 with the Kawasaki W1 (pictured below). At the time, the 624cc W1 had the largest engine of any Japanese-produced motorcycle, and its design was heavily influenced by the BSA A7.
The W650 was introduced in 1998 and imported to the U.S. in 2000 and 2001. Unfortunately, that was when its most direct competitor, Triumph’s modern Bonnevilles, debuted, and American consumers likely saw more authenticity with a British-style classic that was actually British and not a Japanese interpretation of one. The W650 continued on in Europe and Japan, eventually replaced in 2011 by the W800 which increased the parallel-Twin’s 676cc displacement to 773cc and introduced fuel injection (yes, the W800 was both created, and phased out, to meet emission standards).
The final W800 maintains the same air-cooled 773cc Twin with a 360-degree crankshaft and bevel gear-driven camshaft, paired with a five-speed transmission. Kawasaki claims a peak output of 47 hp at 6500 rpm and 44 lb-ft. at 2500 rpm. The lines remain true to its classic British influences with a sculpted 3.7-gallon fuel tank, peashooter exhausts, wire spoke wheels, ribbed seat and chromed steel fenders.
The 39mm telescopic front fork sports gaiters while twin shocks with five-way preload adjustment suspends the rear wheel. A twin-piston caliper grips the 300mm front disc brake while the rear wheel is stopped by a 160mm drum brake.
The W800 will leave a hole in Kawasaki’s lineup, though as we were first to report, Kawasaki has filed a trademark application for “Z900RS” which may be a new retro-styled standard model.