Kawasaki W800 is top retro

By Phil West -

First rides & tests

 16 March 2011 15:42

The new Kawasaki W800 has come out on top in MCN’s world first group test of the latest retro roadsters.

The new Kawasaki is essentially a revival of the old W650 which was dropped from Kawasaki’s line-up in  2006. The revived version not only boasts a larger capacity but also fuel injection for the first time and a host of cosmetic updates.

To find out how good these updates have made the new Kawasaki we pitted it against its closest rivals – Triumph’s Bonneville T100 and the Moto Guzzi V7 Classic – and it was the W800 which proved the favourite of two of our three testers.

At the end of the test MCN Chief Road Tester Trevor Franklin concluded: “Two of the three test riders placed Kawasaki’s W800 ahead of Triumph’s T100 Bonneville.

"Both gave the same reasons: a lovely bike to ride because of its comfort, styling and easy-going engine with performance to suit its style.”

For Trevor’s full test see this week’s Motorcycle News, out Wednesday March 16