The Kawasaki W800 Street was a long rumoured motorcycle that finally arrived in India recently. The bike belongs the modern-classic segment, a space that has picked up in popularity and volumes in recent years as more and more manufacturers are churning out offerings globally. In India, Triumph found its Bonneville series to gain most popularity in this space while traditional players like Harley-Davidson is now present here. With the W800 finally on sale, it's time to see how does the model stack against its direct rivals - the Triumph Street Twin and the Harley-Davidson Street Rod in the segment. Here's a quick comparison on paper.
Also Read: Kawasaki W800 Street Launched In India
The Kawasaki W800 Street is powered by a 773 cc vertical twin-cylinder engine with fuel-injection that belts out 51 bhp at 6500 rpm and 62.9 Nm of peak torque at 4800 rpm. The engine though is air-cooled on the Japanese motorcycle and only one in this comparison. In contrast, the British classic gets a liquid-cooled unit. That's not the only benefit on the Street Twin, the bike uses a larger displacement 900 cc parallel-twin motor that belts out a higher 64 bhp at 7500 rpm and 80 Nm of torque at 3800 rpm. The Street-Rod gets the smallest engine here with the 749 cc liquid-cooled V-Twin motor belts out 62 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. All three engines are paired with a 6-speed gearbox.
The W800 Street keeps things classic with the use of 18-inch spoked wheels, fork gaiters and dual chrome exhausts that add to the old school look of the offering. The Street Twin balances between the old and new with the 18-inch (front) and 17-inch (rear) alloy wheels, which is something the Street Rod replicates as well using 17-inch alloy wheels at either end.
Suspension duties remain identical coming from telescopic forks at the front on all three bikes. The Kawasaki W800 Street and the Triumph Street Twin use 41 mm units, while the Street Rod uses beefier 43 mm forks up front. At the rear, all the bikes use dual shock absorbers. The W800 Street gets the largest brakes between the three motorcycles with a 310 mm disc up front and a 270 mm disc at the rear, while the Street Twin makes do with a slightly smaller 310 mm disc up front and a 220 mm disc at the rear. The Street Rod uses a 300 mm floating disc up front, while the rear sports a 260 mm disc. Dual-channel ABS if offered as standard kit on all three motorcycles.
Also Read: 2019 Triumph Street Twin Review
The Kawasaki W800 Street is quite the straight-forward no-nonsense motorcycle that will certainly appeal to those looking at something old-school, both in aesthetics and in running. Unlike the Street Twin that gets two riding modes, the Japanese bike misses out on the riding modes. The Street Rod too keeps things authentic with a very simple appeal that allows you to just swing your leg over and ride. The three bikes do get an LCD display with more information complementing the analogue instrument cluster, giving mix of the old and new.
That being said, the W800 and the Street Twin are inclined for easy ride-ability and also come with an assist and slipper clutch, while the Street Twin also offers switchable traction control and an optional Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Also Read: Harley-Davidson Street Rod First Ride Review
The Harley-Davidson Street Rod may not be as loaded as its rivals but the offering does beat its rivals in pricing by a good margin. Starting from ₹ 6.53 lakh in India, the motorcycle substantially cheaper than the Kawasaki W800 Street that has been introduced at ₹ 7.99 lakh. The Triumph Street Twin is sits right in the middle of the two with a starting price of ₹ 7.45 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom).
The arrival of the Kawasaki W800 does spice up this segment further, with a number of players already present. For the price, the W800 does offer value but on paper, its rivals do have a slight edge as the more affordable modern-classics. Then, there are the Royal Enfield 650 Twins - the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650 that provide a value proposition that's hard to match. For those looking at a modern classic on a budget, the RE 650s are an ideal package with the 649 cc fuel-injected twin-cylinder motor that develops 47 bhp and 52 Nm of peak torque, and classic styling that comes close to the original motorcycles. However, the W800, Street Twin and the Street Rod do step up the game in quality, performance and ride-ability. Here is one comparison that we look forward to as much you do.