A Vulcan Classic Never Looked So Ripe

Mandarin squeeze

2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500
Denny Berg was a huge influence on Jeff Simerson's 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500. Can you tell?Mark Langello

This article was originally published in the August 2002 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser.

It’s never an easy proposition to open a new business in a narrow, temperamental market—just ask Juscruisers, a one-man motor-cycle design shack out of Hendersonville, North Carolina. Jeff Simerson was smart enough to hedge his bets early on—while the fledgling shop was still taking formative steps in the motorcycle world, he asked industry insiders for effective strategies in decision-making. Sage advice resulted in a smoother transition for this newcomer—but Juscruisers found the best way to get the Industry’s attention was simply to build customs. Simerson’s training in the Navy exposed him to nuts-and-bolts aspects of design applicable to motorcycles, such as welding and metalwork, and for his creative juices, he readily credits Denny Berg as a “huge influence.”

This 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500, fabricated for an overseas investor, gave Simerson a canvas to apply those skills—and the citrus-y Tangerine Dream slowly took shape last year. Its theme? Simerson explains; "...we just wanted to make it hard as possible." The bike's uncluttered lines reflected this minimum-modification theme.

2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500
From the tangerine paint to the burly Custom Chrome headlight, the look of the is clean and reflects the minimum-modification theme.Mark Langello

To alter the bike’s altitude, the front tire was re-shod with 130/70-18 Dunlop rubber and the rear received a 170/60-18 donut—dropping the tire series size this way lowered the bike quite a bit. Both tires were wrapped around a set of gleaming RC Components Wicked wheels. Out back, the orange custom squatted even lower on a pair of Progressive Suspension 11-inch shocks, covered in chrome sleeves for a sleek look. The rear stock fender was subtly straightened to better match the line of the custom stretched tank, and a Custom Chrome taillight and Juscruisers license relocator flowed off the shock strut for an uncluttered rear.

The front tire was covered with a brief, seven-inch wide Jammers fender, and the stock front end dipped in a chromium bath at Chrome Masters. The shimmering front was capped with a burly Custom Chrome headlight, a Flanders Drag bar and a pair of Chrome Specialties ribbed grips. The low profile mirrors kept the silhouette tidy.

Simerson kept mods in the engine to a minimum too, replacing the stock air system only with a Thunder Mfg. Air Kit with fluted cleaner cover. A pair of Cobra two-inch drag pipes was chopped for an abrupt effect and to usher spent gases out. Lastly, Juscruisers slathered the bodywork in a moody PPG Tangerine paint, for a solid, but brilliant aura.

With Juscruisers determined to build everyday cruiser riders top-quality customs for a fair price, we’d say Simerson’s on to something appealing. The fact that this little shop does all its own CNC fabrication and provides full motorcycle design services makes us feel a bit warm and fuzzy too. It’s too soon to say how far Juscruisers will progress in today’s tightly-knit custom bike circles, but the passion is there—this bike is a juicy, orange example of it. And if you can believe Simerson, there are many more to come. We’ll be watching.