his article was originally published in the December 2002 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser. It's a well-known fact that Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine is fond of Kawasaki's Vulcan line. The Vulcan line, especially the large- displacement cruisers, has an air of quality that's rarely matched by its competition. Its fit-and-finish, attention to detail and overall balance of function and refinement keep us cheering. For 2003, all but one of the the 2002 Vulcans will stay in the line and accept new color options. However, the deeply popular 1500 Classic FI will be replaced entirely by this new machine. And this new machine, the Vulcan 1600 Classic FI, is quite different. We'd seen an earlier rolling prototype (silver bike in photos) and were allowed to shoot it in our studio. That bike wasn't a runner, however, so short of pushing each other around the parking lot, it appeared we wouldn't be able to ride the new Vulcan until late winter at the actual press introduction. But then again, when something is meant to be, you can't really stop it from happening, can you?