New 1600 Kawasaki Mean Streak Motorcycle for 2004

Kawasaki will upsize its performance cruiser motorcycle for 2004. By Art Friedman.

Kawasaki Motors Corporation, the Kawasaki motorcycle distributor for the United States, has confirmed that the Mean Streak will get the "1600" (actually 1552cc) engine for 2004. The photo shown here is from the European press kit.

The 2004 Kawasaki motorcycle models. headlined by the new 2053cc Vulcan 2000 V-twin were unveiled unexpectedly early in Europe, which caught the U.S. distributor by surprise. The folks in the U.S. expected the new models to be unveiled at the first major show of the season in mid-September, and were not ready with press info. As a result, aside from confirming that it's coming, they have little else to offer regarding the U.S. 2004 Mean Streak model at this point.

It appears to us, however, that the 2004 Meanie mates the familiar 1500 Mean Streak with the 1552cc engine. The engine has revised cylinder heads, hotter cams and bigger valves than the 1600 Classic motor. In addition, the swingarm has been stiffened to handle additional power that the 1552cc enghine brings for 2004. This is apparently the same basic motorcycle that Suzuki will sell, as disclosed in this press release from Kawasaki's PR agency.

The fact that no 1600 versions of the Vulcan Nomad and Drifter models have been announced leaves us to wonder what is in store for those bikes. Kawasaki's American dealer meeting on September 15 will presumably answer all those questions.

_If you have questions or comments about this article, email the author at _ Art.Friedman@primedia.com _or at _ ArtoftheMotorcycle@hotmail.com.

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