2019 Kawasaki W800 Street Gets CARB Certification, May Join W800 Cafe in US Market

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Last month, during EICMA, Kawasaki announced a pair of new retro bikes in the W800 Cafe and W800 Street. At the time, Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. announced the Cafe version would be coming to the States, leaving people to assume the Street version would not be making its way to these shores.

That assumption now looks to be premature, as both the 2019 Kawasaki W800 Street and W800 Cafe have been certified by the California Air Resources Board. Approved on Nov. 19 but only published today, the CARB executive order certifies two motorcycles for the 2019 model year, bearing the model codes EJ800BK and EJ800CK. We can confirm that Kawasaki uses EJ800 as its internal model code for the W800, with B standing for the Street version and C for the Cafe model (the K at the end is the industry-standard letter representing the 2019 model year.)

The CARB certification doesn’t guarantee that the W800 Street will join the Cafe model in the U.S., but it does indicate that it was being considered. Having said that, it’s highly likely that both versions will be offered in the U.S. market and it’s just a matter of time before the Street is announced. Kawasaki did something similar last year, announcing the 2018 Z900RS in December and waiting until May to announce the Z900 RS Cafe.

Both versions of the W800 are powered by the same fuel-injected 773cc SOHC parallel Twin, paired with a five-speed manual transmission and twin peashooter-style exhaust. They also share the same frame, suspension and brakes.

Where they differ is in the Cafe’s fairing and the riding position, plus some minor styling changes. The image overlay below illustrates the differences.

The W800 Cafe uses clubman-style bars and a taller, flatter seat, for a more forward-leaning riding posture. The W800 Street requires a more upright riding position, with the grips higher and further back. The saddle on the Street has a lower profile and a ribbed surface. According to Kawasaki, the W800 Street has a 30.3-inch seat height, compared to the W800 Cafe’s height of 31.1 inches. Sans fairing, the W800 Street claims a dry weight of 485 pounds, down from the Cafe model’s claimed dry weight of 489.4 pounds.

Apart from the differences in ergonomics and weight, the Cafe and Street vary slightly in styling. The Cafe model having a blacked out engine and wheels plus knee pads on the tank while the Street has silver-colored wheels and more chrome touches on the engine. The 2019 Kawasaki W800 Street is only produced in a Metallic Flat Spark Black with Metallic Matte Graphite Gray color while the 2019 W800 Cafe comes in Metalic Magnesium Gray with Galaxy Silver.

Obviously, since the W800 Street hasn’t been confirmed yet for the U.S., we don’t have any pricing information. In Canada, where both models have been confirmed, the W800 Street is priced at CA$9,999 and the W800 Cafe at $11,499. For the U.S., we expect a much smaller price difference, with the W800 Street coming in just a bit under the W800 Cafe’s US$9,799 MSRP.

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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4 of 29 comments
  • Martin collins Martin collins on Dec 23, 2018

    Well that headlight has to go doesn't it? And it looks as though the old girl still retains the 1 piece exhausts. Come on Kawasaki, you can do better for this beloved bike.

  • Tony Tony on Jan 05, 2019

    To the execs at Kawasaki, PLEASE bring the Street model to the US!!!!

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    • Tony Tony on Feb 13, 2019

      I was talking to one of the manufacturer's reps in Washington this past weekend at the bike show there and he said to me that one thing he was uncomfortable with was the seat position; and he was not all that big of a guy. Hopefully before they can bring that model to America, that matter can be dealt with.