Some people know Kawasaki for their absolutely insane, track-destroying sportbikes, while others know them for relatively affordable, reliable road cruisers like the Vulcan series. But this legendary Japanese bike-maker also caters to the retro segment, and the W800 is a fine example of how they’ve kept the gorgeous old school styling of classic cafe racers intact for a new generation.
A 773cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHC 8-valve vertical twin engine produces just over 51 hp @ 6,500 rpm and 46.4 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm. There’s nothing new in this year’s model except for the paint job—but what a paint job. The 2022 W800 comes in a stunning Candy Fire Red / Metallic Diablo Black that will surely turn heads no matter where you ride.
You won’t find many rider aides on the W800, because that’s not the point here. This isn’t a bike designed to soften the motorcycling experience—Kawasaki wants you to feel the road flying by underneath you as you blast down each straightaway and round each corner. You’ll get ABS, an assist & slipper clutch, and sound tuning, but that’s about it for bells and whistles.
We’re not complaining. Kawasaki’s lineup of 2022 bikes might not have much that’s simpler or more straightforward than this one—or more beautiful. Rivals like the Triumph Bonneville T100 and Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 should watch their backs.
The 2022 Kawasaki W800 starts at $9,199 USD / $11,499 CAD.
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new 2022 Kawasaki W800 in one place.
Twin shocks with spring preload adjustability/4.2 in
Single 320mm petal-style disc with 2-piston calipers
Single 270mm petal-style disc with 2-piston caliper
Fuel Tank Capacity
Candy Fire Red/Metallic Diablo Black
TCBI w/digital advance
Kawasaki Protection Plus
12, 24, or 36 months
2022 Kawasaki W800 Features
Assist & Slipper Clutch
Based on feedback from racing activities, the Assist & Slipper Clutch uses two types of cams (an assist cam and a slipper cam) to either drive the clutch hub and operating plate together or apart.
Under normal operation, the assist cam functions as a self-servo mechanism, pulling the clutch hub and operating plate together to compress the clutch plates. This allows the total clutch spring load to be reduced, resulting in a lighter clutch lever feel when operating the clutch.
When excessive engine braking occurs – as a result of quick downshifts (or an accidental downshift) – the slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart. This relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and helps prevent the rear tire from hopping and skidding. This race-style function is particularly useful when sport or track riding.
Kawasaki has long had a reputation for building great-sounding bikes – a characteristic inherent in the Kawasaki engine architecture – but it is only recently that effort has been put into crafting a specific auditory experience through careful sound tuning of either the intake or exhaust system.
Designed specifically to allow riders to enjoy their motorcycles aurally as well as physically, the carefully crafted auditory notes can be the key components of the street riding exhilaration offered by models that have benefitted from sound tuning. Sound tuning can include conducting sound research, designing intake and exhaust system components based on an acoustic test carried out in a sound room, and careful consideration of every detail of a system’s components to ensure a balance of performance and the desired sound.
ABS (Anti-lock Brake System)
Kawasaki ABS systems use front and rear wheel sensors to constantly monitor wheel speed. Should information from either of the sensors indicate that wheel lock has occurred, the ABS ECU directs the pump in the ABS unit to modulate brake fluid pressure (releasing and reapplying pressure so that traction can be regained) until normal operation resumes. ABS offers rider reassurance that contributes to greater riding enjoyment.