W800 FINAL EDITION – THE END OF AN ERA
Some fifty years since its launch, Kawasaki has announced the end of the iconic W series of four-stroke vertical twin motorcycles; the W800 ‘Final Edition’ marks the end of an era.
With a limited number available for the 2017 season, fans and enthusiasts across Europe have a last chance to experience the contemporary descendant of the famous W series that first emerged from the Kawasaki factory in Akashi, Japan, in the mid 1960’s. Suitably christened the W800 ‘Final Edition’, the last model in the line is resplendent in its remarkable Candy Brown and Candy Sunset Orange paint scheme.
The W800 with its authentic retro look and feel is considered by many to be a modern day classic. The clean and simple lines of the beautifully sculpted air-cooled 4-stroke vertical twin air-cooled motor displaces 773 cm3 complete with a bevel gear driven camshaft contributing to the carefully considered heritage engineering approach and stunning visual appearance. Attention to detail abounds and gives the W800 an exquisite quality and nostalgic beauty complete with its distinctive tank badge resembling that of the original W series highlighting the long-lasting heritage of the W800.
The family tree of the W800 and the W series itself can be traced back to 1966 when Kawasaki introduced its ‘great grandfather’; the W1. Equipped with a robust and reliable 650cc engine and 50hp, the W1 was the very first large capacity high performance four-stroke under the Kawasaki banner and turned out to be a true manufacturing milestone – especially in the American market where it helped set the foundations for the brand in a huge motorcycle hungry market.
Echoing the lines and the engineering essence of the original W1, Kawasaki later introduced the W650 in 1998 which was enthusiastically embraced by a new legion of fans both young and old, proving that true style never really goes out of fashion.
Selecting retro overdrive, the Japanese manufacturer then introduced the W800 in 2011, extending the W family line further still. All the generations of the W series possess authentic quality and classic beauty and Kawasaki has concentrated on delivering a mixture of high tech with heritage in a seductive retro package throughout the modern W series. Now, sadly, the line must end as the current machine will not meet future European motorcycle regulations.
Celebrating over 50 years of the W-family, Kawasaki hopes this last-in-line ‘Final Edition’ will highlight the heritage of the W800 once more and prove a fitting end to the W series, according to the Corporate Planning Director for Kawasaki Motors Europe, Mr. Morihiro Ikoma: “It’s never easy to say good bye to an old friend, especially one as iconic as the W800. Paying homage to the W series with this Final Edition is therefore a truly fitting end to a long and successful line of machines.”