Will Kawasaki introduce a water-cooled W900 now that tougher new European emissions laws have killed off the retro air-cooled W800?
Kawasaki Motors Europe has announced that 2016 will be the final year for W800 and they are releasing a “Final Edition” model.
The limited edition W800 will come in a Candy Brown/Sunset Orange paint scheme that is reminiscent of the original 1966 Kawasaki 650cc W1.
Kawasaki Motors Australia Marketing Assistant Milo Dokmanovic could not confirm the future for the W800 in our market.
“The recent W800 announcement from Kawasaki Motors Europe is not related to our market and I have been advised that we will not introduce the ‘Final Edition’ into our market at this stage,” he says.
But does that mean this is the last year for the model here?
“The current model will continue to be available however I cannot comment on the prospect of new models at this stage,” he says.
It seems the Finale Edition is just for Europe and also won’t be going to the USA or Asian markets.
Whether this is the final year or not, surely there isn’t much of a future for the beautiful air-cooled bike.
It would be sad to say goodbye to the classic-styled motorcycle but it may ensure prices for used W650 and W800 remain high.
In recent years the bike has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence among younger costumers wanting to modify it into a cafe racer, scrambler, street tracker or bobber.
The original W1 was first Kawasaki’s first four-stroke sports model and the largest capacity Japanese motorcycle at the time.
Kawasaki revived the W series with the W650 in 1999, well before the 2001 retro Triumph Bonneville was reborn and Ducati introduced the SportClassic series (2003-2010).
The W650 was dropped in 2006 and it was another five years before the W800 emerged just as the retro craze was emerging.
Perhaps Kawasaki will follow the trend of its lookalike British counterpart, the Triumph Bonneville, and continue the W series as a water-cooled motorcycle, perhaps a W900!
Let’s hope so, but let’s also pray there isn’t a five-year gap like last time.