Kawasaki Launches the 'Goldilocks' Vulcan S

Kawasaki Vulcan

Team Green has built its first new, pure and un-bagged cruiser since the release of the 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic.

The 2015 Vulcan S is a handsome 649cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin that comes with Kawasaki’s “Ergo-Fit” seat, handlebar and foot-peg placement options. The motor is a re-tuned version of the proven 650cc Ninja and Versys powerplants, with more power directed to the cruiser low and mid-range sweet spot.

Brushed aluminum accents give the bike an old school touch while the flat ebony, candy lime green and pearl crystal white colors add contemporary dash.

The bike is expected to go on sale in January, starting at $6,999 for the standard model; $7,399 for ABS.

The fuel-injected Vulcan S has been designed to accommodate a wide range of riders. Kawasaki’s Ergo-Fit options adjust for riders 5’6” and under; 5’7” to 6’0” and 6’1 and over.

Attracting New Cruisers

This Goldilocks approach is a clever way to attract a cruiser market of all shapes, sizes and both genders. The bike’s light weight and slim chassis, low seat height (with hip support) and variable seating/reach options gives it high cruiser appeal, as does its appealing profile, fit and finish.

The new Vulcan’s narrow parallel-twin engine has it engine cylinders positioned further forward than a conventional V-twin. The parallel twin configuration enabled engineers use the narrower frame and route the exhaust under the engine and away from the rider’s legs. The slimmer chassis also offers a better lean angle when cornering.

Solo Option Available

The Vulcan S comes as a solo ride, but options include a passenger set-up, including pillion, pegs and short sissy bar. Saddlebags can be attached to the rear fender struts and shut with perhaps a clever, almost idiot-proof magnetic/snap magnetic and snap closure. Even if you somehow forgot to close your bag, it would close shut upon movement. Brilliant.

Continuing the Goldilocks theme, the 2015 Vulcan’s clutch and brake levers are adjustable to suit a range of hand sizes. The rider will also appreciate the Positive Neutral Finder, which makes it easier to find neutral when stopped.

The handlebar has a wide diameter for a positive feel and is rubber-mounted to reduce vibration and increase overall comfort. Instrumentation consists of a compact analog tachometer with a multifunction dual-window.

The digital display offers speed, fuel level, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, range, average and instant fuel economy data as well as an Economical Riding Indicator to show when fuel economy is being optimized.

A six-speed tranny and 3.7-gallon fuel tank and estimated 40 to 45 mpg make the Vulcan S an worthy long-haul machine when dressed out. Final drive is O-ring chain.


For more information, visit www.kawasaki.com.