The two biggest updates to the Kawasaki W800 are the growth in capacity and switch to fuel injection. The Kawasaki W800’s five-mill overbore takes it up from 676cc to 773cc, and is thrummingly pleasant: brisk enough for this kind of bike and happy to cruise along at 80-90.
Think ‘middling car performance’ but with a bit of extra pep away from the lights and you won’t be far wrong. The Kawasaki W800’s new fuel-injection helps in this and is faultless: crisp, instant throttle response with nary a glitch or hiccup anywhere in its revs. There’s not much point wringing its neck, mind, as things start to tail off and get a bit breathless above 5000rpm or so.
The only other slight criticisms are that, if anything, it’s a little bit TOO civilised: a touch too soft, smooth and quiet. It really is crying out for a set of rortier pipes with which to bounce decibels off some village cottages. Overall, though, the new W800’s performance is not just adequate, it’s amazingly user-friendly both for retro fans and novices alike.