In fact, 2021 will mark exactly fifty-five years since the original W1 650 was available as Kawasaki’s first foray in the “big bike” market of the USA. At the time, the largest capacity machine available in Japan – and accruing cult status in subsequent years – the W family of machines has found a place in the hearts of discerning connoisseurs the world over.
Displacing 773cm3, the traditional parallel twin engine configuration and high precision bevel gear drive camshaft arrangement promise much… and they certainly deliver. The responsive twin with its relaxed riding position, tuck and roll upholstered seat and traditional styled meters produces compliant power from tick-over making getaways stylish and smooth.
In the mid-range, the substantial torque and responsiveness makes long country rides a joy with little or no need to constantly change gear and, coupled with the 19 inch (48.26cm) front wheel size, cornering and handling are sweet and predictable.
From its LED equipped round headlamp and traditional round indicators to the chrome mudguards, silencers and tank badges plus a myriad polished surface, this bike is authentic and a machine of substance – evoking biking from an almost forgotten “golden age”.
And practically speaking, the 2021 W800 features a centre stand, front and rear disc brakes with advanced ABS and large, well placed mirrors.
After fifty-five years of the W heritage, the 2021 Metallic Ocean Blue W800 is ready to welcome a new wave of discerning riders ready to experience the legend.