Kawasaki’s Vulcan S is a definite outlier in the cruiser world, given its blend of sporty and classic styling, along with a unique adjustability that aims to accommodate riders of different sizes. That’s enhanced by the fact that it comes in three versions too. All three—the base S, the S ABS, and the S Cafe—are powered by the same 649cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin engine, and each one also offers the trick Ergo-Fit system, which allows for up to 18 adjustments just by moving the seat, footpegs, and handlebar into different positions. Choose from the base model Vulcan S, the better-equipped Vulcan S ABS, or the more stylish Vulcan S ABS Cafe, which gets three-tone paint, special badging and striping, and a dark-tinted windshield deflector.
Regardless of which trim you choose, the Vulcan S delivers a thoroughly modern ride that works better than the throwback styling would suggest.
Thanks to its retuned Ninja 650R powerplant, we found the Vulcan S motor was “super peppy” and retains much of its sporty character, with smooth operation and few vibrations. The ABS feature is available as standard on the S ABS and Cafe models and we’d recommend it. Although the light-handling Vulcan S is cut from a different cloth, you could say it plays in the same arena as Honda’s CTX700N and the Harley-Davidson Street 750.
For 2020, all Kawasaki Vulcan S models remain mechanically unchanged, but all three trims get new paint options. All prices are unchanged from 2019, starting at a user-friendly $7,099 for the base model.