Kawasaki W800 Problems and Their Solutions for a Better Riding Experience 

The Kawasaki W800 is a motorcycle known for its classic design and reliable performance since its release in 2011. Mostly, it is widely accepted for its low seat height with classic teardrop tank.

The spoked wheels for a classic look and feel intensify its appeal further.  Its modern electronic fuel injection system offers improved fuel efficiency. Also, the 5-speed transmission is there for smooth gear changes. Overall, W800 is the perfect bike to experience the thrill of classic motorcycle riding.

However, unfortunately, some owners reported Kawasaki W800 problems that can be frustrating. In this article, I will look closely at them and discuss potential solutions. In some cases, these issues may be due to a manufacturing defect. They may be covered under the motorcycle’s warranty.

Kawasaki W800 Problems

List of Kawasaki W800 Problems:

List of Kawasaki W800 Problems

This retro-inspired motorcycle has a 4-stroke, parallel-twin 773cc engine offering a smooth and responsive ride. This powerful engine combines with the low-seat design for unique riding experience. However, over the last few years, this motorcycle has faced a few serious problems. 

Problem Name What Happens Possible Solution
Inaccurate harness for the horn  Engine starts vibrating too much at specific RPM and affects the horn harness. Kawasaki recalled 1600 motorbikes since it was a design fault
Improper Muffler Installation Nuts loosened that hold exhaust pipe. Tighten the nuts or change the muffler and install it correctly
Flawed Intake Manifold Assembly Engine heat gradually spreads throughout the throttle body holder. Upgrade the throttle body holder
Electrical Faults Improper installation of electrical wiring harness Upgrade the wiring harness
Accelerator Issue Mean throttle response  Replace dirty spark plugs, clogged air filter, and TPS

As you see Kawasaki W800 has seen five problems. Its electrical faults and problematic acceleration are common to many Kawasaki motorbikes. Also, the inaccurate muffler causes extra vibration. Finally, the horn stops operating at a certain speed. 

Problem 1: Faulty Horn Harness

Faulty Horn Harness

Kawasaki recalled almost 1600 units of Kawasaki W800 and W800 Café models in the USA. These models were from 2019 to 2022. According to the report, all these motorcycles had defective horn harnesses. The motorcycle started vibrating too harshly at a specific RPM. It affected the horn harness, and it would come out loose. 

So, riders failed to create sound even after pressing the horn harness. It was a mssive design failure that compromised the rider’s security on traffic. 


It was mainly a design fault. So, riders can hardly get a solution. Mechanics have said that tightening the horn harness might solve the problem. Since Kawasaki has recalled more than 1600 units, you better contact their dealer. Most probably, they will replace your W800, or, refund you. 

If you encounter a problem, don’t ride a motorcycle in heavy traffics. It can potentially cause accidents due to the inability to create sound and warn others. 

Problem 2: Improper Muffler Installation

Improper Muffler Installation

Think about the nuts and collars comings off the exhaust pipe. Isn’t that too risky to take your bike for revving? Yes, that’s a significant flaw in the design of the W800. Especially the W800 and W800 Café models of 2020 and 2021 had this severe issue. It is definitely a manufacturing defect that starts from loosening the nuts that hold the exhaust in its place. 

Kawasaki Motors Corporation U.S.A. had to recall those models in October 2021. Around 5% of motorbikes (574 bikes) released in those years were affected by incorrect muffler installation. (Source: Rideapart) Among them, 97 units were 2020 Kawasaki W800 Café, and 477 units were 2020/2021 Kawasaki W800.

Possible Solutions:

If you have any affected W800, you can contact the dealer from where you have bought it since its a manufacturing defect. Kawasaki has already replaced the gaskets and collars of those affected bikes I mentioned. Also, you can get free installation of new mufflers without any questions. 

For buying a used or new W800, I suggest avoiding bikes of those model years. Still, if you want to change the muffler, you can do it yourself. 

Here is a sample video of how to change mufflers in Kawasaki bikes:  

Problem 3: Flawed Intake Manifold Assembly

Flawed Intake Manifold Assembly

As I have collected data for this content from different forums, I have found this one too. In fact, lots of owners have reported cracks in the bike’s intake manifold assembly. Another manufacturing defect led the manufacturer Kawasaki to recall the models. Around 5,973 bikes were recalled due to this problem. 

Mainly, the issue remains in the throttle body holder of the manifold system. The owners discussed that the engine’s heat gradually spreads throughout the holder, which causes deterioration rapidly. The result of repeated exposure to that heat makes the holder very hard. As a result, the bike’s vibration causes the hardened part to be prone to cracks. 

When the manifold gets any crack on it, air passes into the engine. Thus, you will not get the same performing engine anymore. Even you will need more investment in fuel as the bike will reduce, giving the expected mileage. 

Possible Symptoms:

You can learn if your Kawasaki W800 has a problem by identifying these symptoms:

  • When you idle the bike, its engine will rev more quickly and shake overly.
  • Low mileage or unusual air-fuel ratio will impact the usual speed of the bike. 
  • Reduced RPM will cause your bike’s engine to settle down longer. 


After finding the issue, you should upgrade the throttle body holder. The throttle body costs around $100, and you must also pay the labor cost. So, it can be a mid-range replacement for the bike. However, the recall has already solved the issue. Thus, you can claim your warranty by calling the dealer to save money and time. 

Problem 4: Electrical Faults

Electrical Faults

Yes, Kawasaki recalled few of the W800s released in 2011-2016 due to versatile electrical problems. The improper installation of an electrical wiring harness is a problem that often makes the harness susceptible to damage. Precisely, the damage happens in the below fuel tank area. 

Harness trapped between the tank and frame’s edge led the several wires exposure and contact with the motorbike. It often causes a short circuit with the possibility of dissatisfying engine function. Sometimes, the engine stalled and left the rider in an accident. (Source: Autoevolution.com)

Possible Solutions

If your bike has this problem, you may contact Kawasaki to solve the issue. They will handle the problem for free as it is another production defect. You can also add some protective covering to your W800. Then, re-route the updated wiring harness. 

Moreover, bikes with VINs between JKBEJ800AAA015861 and JKBEJ800AAA026549 are already recalled and exchanged after upgrading the wiring harness. The dealer will upgrade the harness without charging if you have the bike with these VINs. 

Problem 5: Accelerator Issue

Accelerator Issue

A quick throttle response means you have a vehicle that accelerates accurately within expected time. If the response is irregular, then the acceleration will be hampered. As a result, you may not get the right bike experience. That’s what happens in several Kawasaki W800s. 

Many owners have complained about the bike stuttering issue on acceleration when they try to throttle it. Often, they have felt their bike is dead at the beginning of turning the engine on. But a few moments later, the bike starts and runs usually. 

Possible Solutions:

If your favorite bike is stuttering, then your bike may be affected with the acceleration problem. Here are the symptoms that may target the issue:

  • You will see carbon and oil buildups on the spark plugs that gradually lead to improper acceleration and ignition. As the problem persists, the sprak plug fails to ignite the engine. 
  • Throttle response may get affected by a clogged air filter. It prevents the air intake to the combustion chamber, which causes more air-fuel mixture. 
  • If your Kawasaki has a defective throttle position sensor (TPS), it may impact the usual acceleration of the bike. You need to buy the TPS and install it separately. It can cost you around $100. 
  • A cracked manifold is another reason your bike is stuttering when you turn it on. It puts immense pressure on the manifold, and it will need a quick replacement. 

Once you have identified the reasons, you may move to the next step. Firstly, you should replace the dirty spark plugs and clogged air filters. Then, depending on its condition, you may repair or replace the throttle position sensor. Finally, cover all the cracks in the intake manifold assembly. 

The key is to maintain the air filter and spark plugs of your Kawasaki W800 timely. Like all motorcycles, its spark plugs are prone to easy damage. So, you must fix the spark plug damaged issues timely. It solves the throttling problem quickly. 


Although the Kawasaki W800 is reliable and robust, it is imperfect. However, with some simple solutions I have discussed, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable ride. Regular maintenance and proper care of your W800 are essential.

You should always be aware of the Kawasaki W800 problems and symptoms I have explained in this guide.  Following the above solutions may bring back the utmost performance from your bike. Also, you can ensure a safe, reliable, and enjoyable ride.

1 thought on “Kawasaki W800 Problems and Their Solutions for a Better Riding Experience ”

  1. Dear sir,
    hopefully you will be fine and have a good time. I am saddam hussain from Pakistan.
    Dear sir i have kawasaki vulcan 400 classic 2000, i have a problem with my bike A spark plug malfunctions frequently. After each ride. I think carburettor was not working properly. I tried so many time to search and buy new/used carburettor to replacement but all my efforts was vain.
    Now i am requesting what shall i do to resolve this issue. I shall be every greatfull to you to give me advice please.


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