2019 Kawasaki W800 Café Retro Bike Debuts EICMA And It's Coming To America

Kawasaki pays homage to its past parallel-twin, the 1960s W1.

2019 Kawasaki W800 Café
2019 Kawasaki W800 CaféCourtesy of Kawasaki

Kawasaki announced at EICMA that it will add the all-new 2019 Kawasaki W800 Café to its retro lineup in the US. Kawasaki has dubbed the new model a true throwback to the W1 offered in the 1960s, with a nice blend of modern-day performance and timeless styling. To Kawasaki's credit, the sport-heritage market in the United States continues to grow and the W800 is an excellent fit. Of course, this isn't the first time a neo-retro "W" was offered in the States: Kawasaki first imported this bike's forebear, the W650, way back in 2000 but stopped selling it here after the 2001 model year.

2019 Kawasaki W800 Café
The W800 Café is powered by a 773cc air-cooled parallel-twin, which is unique for its bevel gear cam drive (hidden behind the silver external cover).Courtesy of Kawasaki

The heart of the W800 Café is a 773cc air-cooled parallel-twin with bore-and-stroke dimensions of 77.0 x 83.0mm. Those undersquare numbers (stroke longer than the bore is wide are generally associated with torquey engines. Further emphasizing strong low-to-midrange character, the design has lots of flywheel inertia, and long intake funnels work with a pair of 34mm throttle bodies. Like the W650 of recent years, the Café’s engine comes equipped with a bevel gear cam drive and SOHC four-valve-per-head design, the cylinder-head bevel cover accentuated with shiny aluminum versus the rest of the blacked-out engine package. Given the emphasis on torque, a five-speed transmission is considered sufficient.

The 2019 Kawasaki W800’s retro design is completed with a pair of chrome exhausts boasting peashooter-style silencers and long tail pipes. It’s said the Café’s twin mufflers have been precisely tuned to bring out the throaty pitch of the vertical twin.

2019 Kawasaki W800 Café double-cradle steel frame
Kawasaki used its advanced dynamic analysis software when developing the W800’s double-cradle steel frame. The technology determines the exact rigidity needed of each piece of tubing for optimized ride quality.Courtesy of Kawasaki

A brief look at the W800's double-cradle steel frame suggests it's highly reminiscent of the W1, but Kawasaki employed its advanced dynamic analysis software to determine the exact rigidity for each piece of tubing used. Kawasaki claims this technology contributes to a well-balanced ride, which is complemented by a 41mm telescopic fork and dual shocks.

2019 Kawasaki W800 Café brakes
The Kawasaki W800 is brought to a halt by a 320mm disc brake with standard ABS. Wire-spoke 18-inch wheels add to the Cafe's retro persona.Courtesy of Kawasaki

Modern braking performance is provided by a single 320mm front disc and a 270mm rear disc with standard ABS. The modern brakes are contrasted by 18-inch wire-spoke wheels meant to evoke the original 1965 W1.

2019 Kawasaki W800 Café dashboard
In true retro fashion, analog speedometer and tachometer are mounted side by side with chrome bezels. Classic and easily readable? We think yes.Courtesy of Kawasaki

The 2019 Kawasaki W800 feating a front cowling that’s reminiscent of those used in the café racer era, though it houses a large 170mm LED headlight. Kawasaki dove into the details, surrounding the light with a chrome ring for a true classic appearance. In a similar vein, rubber gaiters are fitted to the fork, and individual analog speedometer and tachometer complete the period-correct appearance.

2019 Kawasaki W800 Café LED headlight
The W800 Café is equipped with a 170mm LED headlight with chrome ring and a front cowling design reminiscent of café racers.Courtesy of Kawasaki

Kawasaki has not announced an availability date for the W800 Café, but has confirmed the $9,799 price. Only one color—Metallic Magnesium Gray/Galaxy Silver—will be available.