If you were growing up in India and claim to be a motorcycle enthusiast, you must have witnessed the wonderful era of 2-stroke motorcycles from Yamaha, Kawasaki and the Suzuki. However, undoubtedly, the most popular 2-stroke motorcycle that India has ever seen is the Yamaha RD 350 for its sheer performance and the amazing twin-cylinder engine note that was good enough for everyone to come running to the window to just get a glance of it. With emissions getting stricter and the more emphasis on a cleaner world took centre stage, the Yamaha RD 350 and others went extinct.
Don’t get me wrong as I have got nothing against the modern day motorcycles but the joy and pleasure of the old school machines seem to have been lost somewhere. For the kinds who share a similar opinion and want a classic in their garage, the only option is to get a reworked, pre-owned Yamaha RD 350. The prices for which can easily range from Rs 1.5 lakh to anything ridiculously expensive. And in turn they get a motorcycle that has to spend more time with the mechanic and less on the street.
And this shall end soon i.e. if the Kawasaki W800 arrives in the next couples of weeks to India. Kawasaki has already imported one unit of the W800 and has kept it at one of its dealerships to get a public reaction and feedback on the estimated price at which this retro styled machine should be sold.
The 2017 Kawasaki W800 gets a retro styling which can be seen with the dozens of chrome layered everywhere. Rough headlight, conventional turn indicators, telescopic forks and a steel fender makes it cliched classic. The tank design pays a homage to the original motorcycle that debuted in the 60s. The 2017 Kawasaki W800 will be available only in one shade that is metallic ocean blue with pearl white.
The 2017 Kawasaki W800 engine features an aluminium finish while the twin tail pipes are neatly done in chrome. It gets 100/90 R19 tyre in the front while the rear uses a 130/80 R18. It gets a twin-piston single 300mm disc while the rear comes with a 160 mm drum brake. Yes, drum brakes in the rear!. It is not the styling that is old school as the Kawasaki W800 also misses on important safety bits like ABS and traction control.
Under the tank is a 4-stroke vertical twin 773cc motor that puts out 48PS at 6,500rpm and generates 60Nm at 2,500rpm. This motor is meshed with a 5-speed transmission. The 2017 Kawasaki W800 is a fairly modern motor and will not be bogged down by the green crusaders as it is a fuel-injected unit complying with the emission norms. But then if you want a modern machine with true blue heritage, there is the Triumph Bonneville T100. This one gets all the goodies of ABS, traction control and also ride by wire, all of which make the Kawasaki W800 look obsolete.
Now comes the most interesting bit. The Triumph Bonneville T100 is priced at Rs 7.78 lakh, ex-Delhi while the prices of the Kawasaki W800 are still not out. It has been placed at this only dealership in India to get a public reaction as well as a rough idea of the price. Our take on the 2017 Kawasaki W800 is that is an interesting machine and can be a collector’s delight but since it misses on a host of new-age features in terms of safety as well as tech, the price of the Kawasaki 800 should be well below Rs 6 lakh.