The W800 is a versatile bike that satisfies the sense of ownership!

Kaoru Sugiura

I purchased a 2020 W800 that was finally resold a few years after it was discontinued.

It has traveled about 8,000 km and I would like to review it in my own way.

This W800 bike is an interesting bike that can be described in one word: it is fun just to ride down the road.

It is one of those rare vehicles that make you feel peaceful just by riding it.

The W800 is ideal for women and small people making their debut on a large scale, and for veteran riders who have lost their physical strength.

I am convinced that this is a bike that I can recommend to anyone who rides on public roads.

It just looks cool! That’s the only word we can use to describe it.

The W800 is the latest model in the double series that began with the W1.

It has a classic look and a very “motorcycle” design.

Since riding this bike, people have been talking to me all the time.

At roadside stations, convenience stores, and gas stations.

Elderly people ask me, “Meglo?” I am asked.

PS: Meglo K3 is out now!

I have ridden more than 9 motorcycles, but this is the first time I have been talked to this many times except on my touring cello loaded with camping gear.

I thought it was a cool bike, even from a non-bike rider’s point of view.

The footprint is worse than the numbers, so if you’re worried, get a low seat.

Even at 165cm, one foot is sticking out on the low seat.

The seat height of the W800 is 790mm, which is quite low for a modern large bike.

However, since I am short, I opted for the low seat, which is a factory-installed option.

This seat is for the W800 Street and lowers the seat height to 770mm, or -20mm from stock.

The photo above shows me actually sitting on the bike in this condition.

Even I, who am 165cm and have very short legs, can put on my riding boots and have one foot on the bike.

However, compared to the figures, the bike did not seem to have a good footing.

The cause of this is the overhang of the side cover.

You can see yourself in the reflection…

Because of the bulge on the left and right side, I could not put my feet straight down.

I think it is a little better than my previous MT-07 (seat height: 805mm).

If you are under 160cm tall, it would be safer to install the low seat option.

However, the legs are firm, the center of gravity is low, and the engine has a lot of torque, so I don’t think there is any need to worry too much about the possibility of running off the bike.

Easy to handle for its weight

It looks like an SR400 when ridden by a 180cm man (senior rider).

The W800 weighs over 200 kg, which is heavy for a large motorcycle, but the body itself is quite compact, so it is not as difficult to handle as the weight.

I have the impression that it is much easier to handle than the NC750, which was my learner’s car.

On flat surfaces, even a female rider should be able to maneuver it well.

The LED headlight is no problem at night!

The position lights up when the key is turned on.

The new W800’s headlight is an LED one that seems to be the same as the Z900RS.

The position lights come on when the key is turned on, and the low beam lights up when the engine is started.

During the breaking-in process, we rode on a harbor road in the middle of the night with no street lights at all, and were surprised at how bright the headlight was.

The headlights are bright enough on low beam, but on high beam, the LEDs shine additionally and the light passes through to far places as if a spotlight had been added.

There is nothing scary about having no street lights at all.

The headlight is by far the brightest of any bike I have ever ridden.

With the W800, you could ride through the wilds of Hokkaido at night and not complain about the brightness of the headlight.

To be honest, when the new W800 was released, I was dissatisfied with the old halogen lens cut as I thought it was cooler in styling than the LED headlight.

However, I changed my mind when I saw the overwhelming practicality of the car.

Driving performance is no problem on public roads.

This W800 is a bike that feels great at speeds between 40 and 60 kilometers per hour.

I never thought I would enjoy the speed limit on a big bike.

The feeling of a national road flowing at 2000 rpm.

This bike is very comfortable to ride at 2000 RPM.

I ride with the flow on the two-lane road on one side of Route 1.

Shift up early while keeping 2000 rpm.

In doing so, the low engine noise and weak vibration are linked to the Ebisu face while riding.

I lent the W800 to my senior to ride and he had the exact same impression.

It is a torquey yet calm engine.

I don’t mind the ghost tops at traffic lights at all. It’s fun.

The engine has gentle acceleration and full torque and doesn’t stall.

I think there are many bikes like the Address V125 that are “good” at ghostopping.

However, it is rare to find a bike that is “fun” to go-stop at a traffic light.

That is the W800.

Surprisingly comfortable on highways

ETC makes me nervous.

I immediately tried using the expressway to visit other prefectures.

Then, surprisingly, the expressway is also quite good.

Vibrations start to appear when the speed exceeds 80 km/h, but you will soon get used to it.

Acceleration at high speeds is also gentle, but there are no practical problems at all in merging.

When the engine is pulled and the rpm exceeds 5,000, it accelerates with a sense of security that is typical of a large vehicle.

Also, perhaps due to the 19-inch front wheels, or perhaps due to the weight of the vehicle, straight line stability is quite high, and in this respect I felt it was superior to the MT-07 I had previously ridden.

But then, the W800’s riding position is also quite upright, although not as upright as the W800 Street’s lordly style (I test rode the W800 and thought it was too upright, and that’s how I ended up with the W800), so wind pressure is not an issue.

Without a screen like the Asahi windshield, long-distance high-speed cruising would be very difficult.

If you are going to ride the W800 on the highway, I think it would be fun to cruise along the left lane at a leisurely 90 km/h.

For more details, please read the article below.

Self-steering is also fine on winding roads, which is the origin of the bike.

I get the impression that it turns when leaned in.

The front of the W800 is 19 inches, but when entering a curve, just by directing your gaze toward the exit of the curve, the body naturally collapses and the bike turns naturally.

Perhaps it is because I am used to the hawkish handling of 21-inch wheels after years of riding the Cerro, but the 17-inch front wheels on modern sport bikes are a little too sharp and scary.

I love the slightly classic turn that 19-inch wheels bring.

However, the chassis is soft but does not make me feel insecure, and combined with the compactness of the chassis, it gives me an honest feeling like the CB400SF of a learner’s car.

Although it is still under breaking-in and has only been run over long distances, the fuel consumption is 28km/L. It is quite high.

It is quite fuel-efficient. And it is on regular gasoline.

The tank is 15 liters, which is 1 liter more than the old model, so if it is in good shape, it may be possible to run 400 km on one tank.

It boasts a cruising range equivalent to that of a small adventure, making it a good touring machine.

However, it may need to be adjusted for preload, as it may understeer when loaded with luggage.

It can also carry luggage, so it’s good for camping trips.

It can carry so much without a rear carrier.

The majority of bikes these days are designed with the butt cut off and a smaller tandem seat.

That looks cool, but it is not suitable for carrying luggage.

I own a bike that carries luggage like a touring cello or Cub, and I think it is fun to go camping touring with luggage on the bike.

The W800 has a traditional integrated seat that makes it easy to carry luggage on the rear.

And there is no shortage of items to carry luggage, such as the optional factory rear carrier and leather or canvas side bags.

But the main thing we want to say is, wouldn’t it be cool to tour with a full load of luggage on the W800? I mean, it would be cool to tour around with a full load of luggage on the W800, right?

You can even go off-road!

I accidentally went into the woods on a touring trip during the break-in period.

As I followed my friend’s DR650SE who was leading the way, the road got rougher and rougher until we ended up on a wet, mossy dirt road.

However, thanks to the 19-inch front wheels and the torquey engine, I managed to get through.

Thank goodness for the grip heater as standard equipment!

In the age of 2025, it is no exaggeration to say that grip heaters are now a necessity for winter touring.

The W800 comes with grip heaters as standard equipment.

It would cost at least 8,000 yen to install it later, and the wiring is also very difficult.

I think it is a big advantage that it is installed in the factory.

When I drive on the bypass with the mode set to the highest, my hands feel warm as if I am holding a warm canned coffee through my winter gloves.

Since my hands do not get cold, this equipment also contributes to safety when touring in winter, such as when operating the clutch.

ETC is common sense nowadays.

As mentioned earlier, the W800, which is also good at highway touring, is equipped with ETC2.0 as a factory-installed feature.

When mass touring, it is inconvenient to drive on expressways without ETC, for example, waiting next to a toll booth for a car without ETC or taking time to pay the toll.

It is not an inconvenience to have it, and it is nice that it is a genuine equipment because you can see the ETC indicator on the meter with a lamp.

The center stand is an advantage of the W800 that is not found on streets or in cafes.

I’m not a fan of putting up a center stand.

The W800 is equipped with a center stand, which is not found on street bikes or in cafes.

It is nice to have a side stand, which is useful for lubricating the chain, parking on rough terrain, and so on.

A little disappointing part

The side stand is difficult to pull out.

The side stand is a little difficult to pull out while the rider is straddling the bike.

Because the heel guard is larger than on the previous W800, the guard overlaps the part where the side stand is pulled out, making it a little difficult to pull the stand out with the toe of the boot.

However, it is only a matter of taking it out with care, but I wonder if something more could have been done.

The side stand surface is small.

The side stand has a small surface, and when I parked the car on gravel, I thought the car would fall over.

Since there is no side stand extension for the W800 on the market, I am hoping that an external product with a larger side stand surface will be released.

Blinkers are hard to put out.

According to the person at Kawasaki Plaza, the switch box is a reproduction of the W1 switch box, and the switch area on the handlebars is classic.

Because of this, the placement of the switches is ergonomically outdated in some areas when viewed from a modern motorcycle.

Like the hazard switch, the indicator switch sticks out so far that it is difficult to operate it while gripping the clutch lever.

I have never seen such a condition on any other bike I have ridden.

This is due to the priority given to the design, and we will have to get used to it.

Kaoru Sugiura
A man who was president of a motorcycle circle when he was a student
・Motorcycle history 10 years
・Mileage over 100,000 km
・Achieved around Japan
Hobbies include long-distance camping touring and playing with motorcycles
Currently riding TRX850, W650, PCX, Mark X

I am creating articles with the aim of creating a blog that can be useful to those who read it.

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I'm still learning English, so please point out any mistakes