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Kawasaki Announces New Vulcan S at AIMExpo (with video, including Gabe’s walk-around)

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MD has Gabe Ets-Hokin covering the AIMExpo in Florida (see his video below), and he reports that Kawasaki has just unveiled a new model. The 2015 Vulcan S (and Vulcan S ABS) is powered by a version of the 649 cc parallel twin found in the Ninja 650. Priced at just $6,999 ($7,399 for the ABS model), the Vulcan S promises the lightest weight in its class, adjustable ergonomics, easy, confident handling and plenty of engine performance. Three color options will be available, including Candy Lime Green, Pearl Crystal White and Flat Ebony. Both models will be available in U.S. dealers in late January, 2015.

Here is the full press release from Kawasaki, along with several photos:

The 2015 Vulcan® S is a unique motorcycle that could only be a Kawasaki. It combines the low silhouette of a Vulcan cruiser and mixes it with Kawasaki sportbike-derived power and handling, as well as a custom fit concept, designed to comfortably fit a wide range of riders. The result is a package that offers comfort, confidence and adjustability, which combine to provide a very special riding experience.

The 2015 Vulcan S is the only motorcycle in its class with standard adjustable, forward-positioned footpegs, allowing a range of riders to get comfortable. It also has a low seat height, as well as optional seats and handlebar for the same reason. Furthermore, it boasts the lowest weight of any motorcycle in the category, and we all know what that means – easier to maneuver, quicker acceleration, easier to stop, quicker to turn and smooth suspension action.

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2015 KAWASAKI VULCAN S:

  • Low cruiser design, narrow chassis and comfortable, tapered seat make it easy to reach the ground in stop-and-go city traffic
  • Full tailored fit concept allows the motorcycle to fit a range of riders
  • Lightest motorcycle in its class, smooth suspension
  • Standard ABS brakes (ABS model only) for greater confidence
  • Cruiser appeal with modern Kawasaki power and handling
  • Proven 649cc, parallel twin engine provides smooth power delivery
  • Standard adjustable footpegs to suit a range of riders, with Kawasaki Genuine Accessories seats and handlebar options to further tailor the fit
  • Full range of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories to customize the motorcycle

Another stand out element of the 2015 Vulcan S is its 649cc liquid-cooled parallel twin engine. Derived from the Kawasaki Ninja® 650 and tuned for more low- and mid-range torque, the engine is very smooth when pulling away from a traffic light and responsive when the rider wants to accelerate. This makes it suitable for novice riders, while its top-end power and nimble handling will keep more experienced riders entertained all day.

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COMFORT & CONFIDENCE

There are many aspects that can influence the comfort and confidence of a motorcycle rider, and one of the most obvious is the fit. So, first and foremost, the 2015 Vulcan S has been designed to accommodate a wide range of riders.

Being a cruiser-style motorcycle, the seat has a low height and is conveniently tapered at the front for greater comfort. This means most riders will be able to place their feet firmly on the ground, keeping them stable when stopped, and helping to increase confidence in stop-and-go city traffic. What’s more, there is significant hip support at the rear of the seat to increase the level of comfort. And there are tailored fit options with different seats and handlebar to ensure a comfortable fit for a range of riders.

The 2015 Vulcan S has a slim chassis thanks to the narrow parallel twin engine, which has it engine cylinders positioned further forward than a conventional V-twin engine. The parallel twin configuration also enabled engineers to route the exhaust under the engine and away from the rider’s legs. A further benefit of the slim chassis is an increased lean angle when cornering.

The 2015 Vulcan S suspension has been designed to absorb the bumps and give the rider feedback.

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TAILORED FIT

Kawasaki Genuine Accessories has several options to tailor the motorcycle to fit individual riders. The optional Ergo-Fit™ reduced reach seat, for example, moves the hip support further forward, making it easier for riders with a shorter inseam to reach the adjustable footpegs and handlebar. There is also a second optional Ergo-Fit extended reach seat with firmer foam that moves the hip support further back to accommodate taller riders.

For the rider who wants to take a friend along, the Vulcan S is even more customizable thanks to the optional Kawasaki Genuine Accessories passenger seat, backrest and passenger footpeg setup that will accommodate a second person.

The rider’s forward-positioned footpegs are mounted in a relaxed position that is typical of the cruiser riding experience. As an industry first for this class of motorcycle, these footpegs have three positions to accommodate a variety of different-sized riders. With an adjustment range of 1” forward and 1” backwards from the mid mounting points, the footpegs will be able to suit shorter or taller riders for maximum confidence and comfort. Please note that Kawasaki Genuine Accessory Ergo-Fit shift rods are required when the footpegs are repositioned.

It doesn’t stop there. Kawasaki Genuine Accessories also offers an Ergo-Fit reduced reach handlebar to help riders with shorter arms to comfortably reach the bar, which is brought 1” closer to the rider.

When combined with the low seat height, adjustable footpegs and range of accessory options, the 2015 Vulcan S ABS has been designed to instill confidence and increase the overall riding enjoyment, making it a good choice for novice and experienced riders alike.

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CONTROLS

Continuing with the tailored fit theme of the 2015 Vulcan S, both the clutch and brake levers are adjustable for easy reach 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.

The instrumentation consists of a compact analog tachometer with a multifunction dual-window. The digital display features speed, fuel level, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, range, average and instant fuel economy as well as an Economical Riding Indicator to show when the rider is optimizing fuel economy.

ENGINE

The liquid-cooled 649cc parallel twin engine is another important aspect of the 2015 Vulcan S. It brings many distinct advantages, which includes its Kawasaki sportbike DNA that enables superb flexibility at all engine speeds, a healthy power band and legendary dependability. It is also considerably smoother than the traditional V-twin engines used in most cruisers.

For the 2015 Vulcan S, the engine has been engineered specifically to make it cruiser-friendly and to inspire confidence in new riders, while still being fun and agile for experienced riders. There has been specific tuning to the camshaft profiles, intake funnel length, throttle body spacer and air intake to provide exceptional low- and mid-range power delivery. The aim was to create an engine with user-friendly characteristics that ensure the motorcycle is easy to ride, with a smooth power delivery that is responsive to rider inputs at low speed. It also has enough grunt at higher RPM to keep it entertaining, being considerably more powerful than most cruisers, without becoming intimidating.

Thanks to its use of Digital Fuel Injection (DFI®) to carefully meter the fuel used by the 649cc engine, the 2015 Vulcan S will sip fuel, providing more miles and smiles between fuel stops while also being kinder to your wallet. The motorcycle boasts a 3.7-gallon fuel tank to give plenty of range between stops.

The exhaust system has been routed under the engine to keep the motorcycle narrow for easy reach to the ground. It uses dual-wall pipe with a large diameter that is designed to look good and sound even better, having a distinctive growl that separates it from the typical cruiser.

The six-speed transmission drives an O-ring chain to efficiently transfer engine power to the road. It also has a Kawasaki Positive Neutral Finder, that allows you to simply upshift from first when stopped to select neutral every time.

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CHASSIS

With its cruiser appeal, the 2015 Vulcan S is long and low, with a wheelbase designed for increased stability at typical highway cruising speeds. And Kawasaki brought its sportbike expertise to create the slim, lightweight chassis that has a low center of gravity and centralized mass for even greater stability as well as nimble handling. These benefits will be felt as soon as you maneuver it out of the garage or in a tight space, but will be most appreciated on a Sunday morning ride.

The new perimeter frame adds to the unique styling of the 2015 Vulcan S and incorporates a rear subframe with slim backbone that eliminates seat rails. By keeping the motorcycle narrow, it helps the rider’s feet reach the ground more easily. There is also a “D” section steel swingarm that provides both style and strength.

The 31-degree rake and 7.1” trail of the front fork contribute to the light handling and easy control of the motorcycle, with the fork prioritized towards comfort and control. Similarly, the laydown, offset rear shock uses a back-link to provide a longer stroke for increased comfort. This setup also creates more space for the exhaust muffler.

The suspension was designed to absorb bumps and provide plenty of feedback. In fact, it has 3.15” of rear wheel travel, which is more than most of its competitors and this contributes to the greater comfort.

The rear shock also includes a seven-position, cam-style preload adjuster. It can be easily adjusted to suit the rider or when carrying a passenger and luggage, such as when the Kawasaki Genuine Accessories passenger components and luggage rack are fitted. This means the 2105 Vulcan S rider will enjoy confidence thanks to its suspension technology that is neither rough nor fatiguing, as it can sometimes be on motorcycles with short-travel suspension.

The 2015 Vulcan S is fitted with stylish cast wheels that feature a five-spoke design with twin spokes. These measure 18” front, 17” rear and exemplify cruiser style. The wheels are fitted with modern, high-performance radial tires to provide responsive handling.

The brakes comprise a single 300mm rotor and twin-piston caliper up front, with a 250mm rotor mated to a single-piston rear caliper. The Vulcan S ABS model also adds anti-lock braking (ABS) technology, which adds to the rider confidence in the motorcycle’s stopping ability because it assists braking under certain conditions.

STYLING

As with any cruiser, style is very important, and the 2015 Vulcan S doesn’t disappoint. It incorporates elements such as the teardrop-shaped, 3.7-gallon fuel tank, inverted triangular headlight and black mirrors to match the black frame and exhaust muffler.

The distinctive front headlight design works in conjunction with a bright and compact LED tail light. The rear light is incorporated into the rear fender, which is supported by the separate rear subframe.

The 2015 Vulcan S will be available in three distinctive colors, including Candy Lime Green as well as Pearl Crystal White and Flat Ebony.

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ACCESSORIES

Kawasaki Genuine Accessories has developed a host of options to maximize the ownership experience of the 2015 Vulcan S. Owners can customize the fit, comfort and style of their motorcycle to meet their needs. Some of the standout items include Ergo-Fit™ seats and the Ergo-Fit reduced reach handlebar to tailor-fit the rider fit. Additionally, KQR™ (Kawasaki Quick Release) large and medium windshields, saddlebags and passenger backrest options allow for tool-less installation and removal of these classic cruiser accessories.

Other notable accessories include a DC power outlet, gear position indicator, LED light bar and helmet lock.

Kawasaki Genuine Accessories will have more than 25 parts available for purchase at your Kawasaki dealerships in early 2015.

TIME TO RIDE

With its unique blend of cruiser style and sportbike performance, as well as its customizable fit that instills greater confidence in the rider, there is only one thing left to do: Ride!

With its affordable purchase price, low running costs and easy parking, the 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S is the perfect motorcycle for any rider to get across the city to meet friends. And while it has plenty of practical uses, the 2015 Vulcan S is fun, above anything else. It allows you to drop everything at a moment’s notice and take-off with a smile. So whether you’re a new rider looking to buy a first motorcycle, or an experienced rider looking to rekindle the reason you started riding in the first place, the 2015 Vulcan S is the perfect reason to visit your local Kawasaki dealer.

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2015 Kawasaki Vulcan® S ABS

Features and Benefits

Key Features

  • Comfortable, cruiser riding position with forward-positioned footpegs
  • Adjustable footpegs to suit a range of riders are unique in this class
  • Low seat height increases rider confidence
  • Optional Ergo-Fit™ reduced reach seat and handlebar as well as extended reach seat
  • Narrow perimeter frame and engine
  • ABS braking system as standard (ABS model only)
  • Proven 649cc parallel twin engine tuned for torque and responsiveness, with Ninja® 650 DNA for smooth power delivery and high-RPM grunt
  • Adjustable rear suspension to increase comfort or compensate for a passenger and/or luggage
  • Large number of optional Kawasaki Genuine Accessories available including Ergo-Fit™ seats and handlebar, leather saddlebags with KQR™ (Kawasaki Quick Release) mounting system, larger windshields, helmet lock, passenger seat, DC power socket for mobile devices, gear position indicator, etc

Smooth, Torquey, 649cc Parallel Twin Engine

  • Liquid-cooled, DOHC, eight-valve fuel-injected twin cylinder engine derived from the Kawasaki Ninja® 650 sportbike
  • Engine delivers smooth, responsive performance, especially in the low- to medium-RPM range thanks to Vulcan S-specific tuning of the camshaft profiles, intake funnels, air intake, throttle body, exhaust and ECU
  • Increased flywheel mass makes the Vulcan S easier to pull away from a stop
  • Strong mid-range power produces exceptional roll-on response and impressive passing performance
  • A 180-degree crankshaft-driven balancer shaft minimizes vibration and pulls double-duty as the water pump drive
  • Oil jets on the connecting rod big-ends spray oil on the underside of the pistons to aid cooling
  • Lightweight plug-mounted ignition coils deliver a hot spark and save space
  • High-capacity radiator for optimum cooling efficiency
  • Engine coolant travels directly to the engine cases, then follows internal passages to the cylinder and head for minimum external plumbing and a simplified cooling system

Digital Fuel Injection

  • Digital Fuel Injection (DFI®) settings boost the engine’s bottom-end power while still letting it rev freely
  • Sub-throttle valve-equipped 38mm Keihin throttle bodies offer optimum performance and smooth throttle response
  • Lightweight fuel pump is mounted inside the fuel tank

Six-speed Transmission / Final Drive

  • 6-speed transmission with chain drive
  • Positive Neutral Finder allows the rider to easily find neutral when stopped

Clutch

  • 5-position clutch and brake lever adjustment to tailor lever reach

Braking System

  • Single 300mm front rotor with twin-piston caliper
  • Single 250mm rear rotor with single-piston caliper
  • ABS fitted as standard (Vulcan S ABS model only)

Frame

  • High-tensile steel perimeter frame with slim rear subframe backbone, no seat rails
  • “D” section steel swingarm
  • Long wheelbase to increase stability at freeway speeds
  • Separate subframe supports rear fender
  • Narrow frame allows generous lean angles
  • 31-degree rake, 7.1” trail

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Suspension

  • 41mm telescopic front fork contributes to the comfort, light handling and easy control
  • Laydown, offset rear shock with back-link to provide longer stroke for increased comfort, with 15” of travel
  • Rear shock has seven-position, cam-style preload adjuster to compensate for a passenger, luggage or to suit the riding style

Wheels and Tires

  • Cruiser-style 5” front, 17×5.5” rear cast alloy wheels with twin-5-spoke design
  • 120/70 R18 front, 160/60 R17 rear tires

Styling and Bodywork

  • Teardrop-shaped, 3.7-gallon fuel tank
  • Inverted triangular headlight, rounded turn signals
  • Compact LED tail light
  • Black mirrors, frame and muffler
  • Available in Candy Lime Green, Pearl Crystal White or Flat Ebony

Comfort

  • Comfortable cruiser-style riding position with forward-positioned footpegs
  • Low seat height
  • Seat is tapered at the front to help rider’s feet reach the ground
  • Seat is sculpted at the rear for increase comfort
  • Slim chassis and narrow parallel twin engine
  • Standard adjustable footpegs are unique in this class
  • Adjustable footpegs can be mounted 1” forward or 1” backwards from the standard mounting point to suit a wide range of riders
  • Optional Kawasaki Genuine Accessories “Ergo-Fit” seats and handlebar for a range of riders

Warranty / Kawasaki Protection Plus

  • Standard 12 month warranty
  • Optional 12, 24, 36 or 48 month KPP available

Accessories

  • Kawasaki Genuine Accessories are available through your local authorized Kawasaki dealer. They include the following:
  • Ergo-Fit™ reduced reach seat and handlebar for shorter riders
  • Ergo-Fit extended reach seat for taller riders
  • KQR(Kawasaki Quick Release) large and medium windshields for improved wind protection
  • Passenger seat, KQR passenger backrest and footpegs to accommodate a rear passenger
  • Ergo-Fit extended reach passenger seat for taller passengers
  • KQR leather saddlebags and brackets
  • luggage racks
  • clutch cover plate, clutch cover mark and tank decal for added style
  • helmet lock
  • DC power outlet to power personal devices
  • LED light bar for extra illumination
  • gear position indicator

2015 Kawasaki Vulcan® S Specifications*

Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, parallel twin
Displacement: 649cc
Bore x stroke: 83 x 60mm
Compression ratio: 10.8:1
Maximum torque: N/A
Cooling system: Liquid
Fuel system: DFI® with two 38mm throttle bodies, with sub-throttles
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
Transmission: Six-speed with positive neutral finder
Final drive: Sealed chain
Frame: High-tensile steel double pipe perimeter frame
Front suspension / wheel travel: 41mm telescopic fork / 5.1”
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Lay-down offset rear shock with linkage and adjustable preload / 3.2”
Front tire: 120/70 R18
Rear tire: 160/60 R17
Front brakes: Single 300mm disc with twin-piston caliper, ABS
Rear brakes: Single 250mm disc with single-piston caliper, ABS
Overall length: 91”
Overall width: 34.7”
Overall height: 43.3”
Ground clearance: 5.1”
Seat height: 27.8”
Wheelbase: 62”
Curb weight:** 491.7 lb
Fuel capacity: 3.7 gallons
Colors: Candy Lime Green, Pearl Crystal White or Flat Ebony
MSRP Standard: $6,999
Warranty: 12 month Limited Warranty
Kawasaki Protection Plus (optional): 12, 24, 36 or 48 months
Wholesale distributor: Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.9950 Jeronimo Road, Irvine, California 92618

949-770-0400 www.kawasaki.com

*Specifications are subject to change. 

**Curb weight includes all necessary materials and fluids to operate correctly, full tank of fuel (more than 90 percent capacity) and tool kit (if supplied).

2015 Kawasaki Vulcan® S ABS Specifications*

Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, parallel twin
Displacement: 649cc
Bore x stroke: 83 x 60mm
Compression ratio: 10.8:1
Maximum torque: N/A
Cooling system: Liquid
Fuel system: DFI® with two 38mm throttle bodies, with sub-throttles
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
Transmission: Six-speed with positive neutral finder
Final drive: Sealed chain
Frame: High-tensile steel double pipe perimeter frame
Front suspension / wheel travel: 41mm telescopic fork / 5.1”
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Lay-down offset rear shock with linkage and adjustable preload / 3.2”
Front tire: 120/70 R18
Rear tire: 160/60 R17
Front brakes: Single 300mm disc with twin-piston caliper, ABS
Rear brakes: Single 250mm disc with single-piston caliper, ABS
Overall length: 91”
Overall width: 34.7”
Overall height: 43.3”
Ground clearance: 5.1”
Seat height: 27.8”
Wheelbase: 62”
Curb weight:** 498.3 lb
Fuel capacity: 3.7 gallons
Colors: Candy Lime Green, Pearl Crystal White or Flat Ebony
MSRP Standard: $7,399
Warranty: 12 month Limited Warranty
Kawasaki Protection Plus (optional): 12, 24, 36 or 48 months
Wholesale distributor: Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.9950 Jeronimo Road, Irvine, California 92618

949-770-0400 www.kawasaki.com

*Specifications are subject to change.

**Curb weight includes all necessary materials and fluids to operate correctly, full tank of fuel (more than 90 percent capacity) and tool kit (if supplied).

60 Comments

  1. Tozé says:

    Be daring and put there a 300 hp engine!

  2. Wimmo says:

    Kind of looks like the new Indian Scout to me.

  3. Norm G. says:

    HONDA CTX.

  4. Mr.Mike says:

    My first impression was that it was a particularly unpleasant looking bike but then it started to grow in me – especially in green. Hoping it is has good handling and braking for the money. Nice to see a reversal of the bigger is better trend.

  5. HS1-RD-CX100-VFR says:

    When a new bike or car strikes me as really odd, I like to go back a day or so later and take a second, past the shock now, look. Usually more original things look better with a little visual acclimation.

    I like this even less with a second look. The back half of the bike looks too small for the front half. The tank shape is awkward even without the really strange plastic trim. The engine looks like it is in a cage like on an old riding lawn mower I use to have. There is no attempt to visually reduce the radiator as is fairly standard. It is instead finished with a big piece of bright work. A couple of more large pieces of black plastic are tacked on like guards on a lawnmower. Overall, the fit and finish does seem more in the league of lawn equipment than in cruiser territory. Even the “Kawasaki” graphics on the tank looks too cheaply done to be meant for a motorcycle. I like Kawasakis, this seems to be far below their standards.

  6. Paul Warrick says:

    I don’t care how much more comfortable it may be than the Bolt, it’s ugly by comparison. But you need ugly bikes for guys like one above who said “handsome bike!”. Don’t get mad friend, just having a little fun with you.

  7. Tom says:

    Why does the gas tank remind me of Shamu?

  8. Gil says:

    Nice looking bike. I like it in black. Should sell well. But like a previous poster said, ” …for a few hundred dollars more I’ll take the Bolt.” Still, good job, kaw.

  9. Scottie says:

    Not bad, but for a few hundred bucks more I’d go with Bolt.

  10. Glen says:

    Remember the “Eliminator”?

  11. Tom Shields says:

    That’s a nice looking lil’ cruiser.

    • Tom Shields says:

      …and Kawa must have had some paint left over from 2000, because that Candy Lime Green looks exactly like the tone of what’s on my 2000 ZX-12R.

  12. Nobade says:

    I could really see this as a touring bike, it should be very comfortable for riding all day. I like everything about it except chain drive and no centerstand? Put a belt drive on this thing and it would be very appealing to me.

  13. Eric says:

    Not my cup of tea but it looks to be a good effort by Kawasaki and I suspect it will sell well. As others have mentioned, it looks more similar to the Indian Scout which is less traditional cruiser and more industrial / bobber vibe.

  14. Pat says:

    I like the bike. IMHO, there are some styling flaws that take away from the looks, the exhaust being one of them. But there will be different ones on the market I’m sure, once it hits the streets. Not sure about that “cover” that is on both sides, right below the lower frame rail that cuts across the cylinder. I wonder what is under them? Partially blocks the view of the cylinders, which I generally like to see. And finally, the tail end. Just looks, I don’t know, TOO much in my eyes. But overall, I think Kawasaki is on to something.

  15. John says:

    Be daring and put a 1000cc engine in it with 150 hp.

  16. jimmihaffa says:

    Fortunately, Kawasaki is collectively more creative and daring in their designs than to heed the viewpoints of naysayers amongst us who would complain about a piece of plastic here or there or how they can’t rationalize or embrace novel motorcycle design elements. I’d agree with some that the Indian Scout has a more attractive traditional style. It’s clear from the video though that Kawasaki is aiming for a younger demographic for whom versatility and price allows them to enjoy the motorcycle experience on their terms.

  17. EZ Mark says:

    Nothing’s more fun than smoking Harley’s on a bike with less than 1/2 the displacement.

    • WSHart says:

      Are you really this ignorant and patently sophomoric? What a pathetic imitation of life you must live. Let me guess…You’re one of those kids that think the bike makes the manlet? Thought so. Its a bike ace, not a d**k measuring device. For the record you are the biggest d**k here. Grow up juvenile and for the record, I ride a Honda and have owned several other makes including Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki.

      As for this new Kawasaki, well done. As already pointed out by other adults here it could’ve used another brake up front as well as more fuel on board but at least its not a knock off of a Harley. It’s a Kawasaki and there’s nothing to be ashamed about that as well as more than enough to be excited for.

      I am mulling over (that means thinking about) buying a new Ducati Scrambler but can easily see why anyone interested in having fun riding would give this new Kawi a looksee. It looks to be an excellent ride for beginner and seasoned riders alike.

      Manlets need not apply. “Smoking Harleys”…What a pussy.

      • Matric says:

        I see the point of EZ MARK. I had a lot of fun ”pushing” some big expensive cruisers with a little supermoto WR250X. I guess that pointing in particular Harley riders is because some of them are just posers, not riders. You know the saying: Image is everything. It was an ad for Nike. Some people believe that.

    • HS1-RD-CX100-VFR says:

      I’m fatigued with all of the people who act out what they believe to be the attitude of the motorycling niche that they choose to “join”. I recently had a Harley Guy take me to task at church, of all places, for not realizing that only one brand of motorcycles existed. He’s been riding for two years. Adventure riders frequent the area In Montana where I live. Many do their best passive-aggressive, “I am so enlightened that I anoint myself as an honorary European” act. It seems that a majority of motorcyclists are now role playing just as much as the people who wear medieval costumes or old west clothing and replica revolvers. Whatever happend to riding for the pure fun of it, and being at least polite to others who do the same?

      I’m pretty sure that Harley guys are completely unconcerned about the displacement of any non-Harley’s that blast past. I’m also sure they don’t consider themselves as having just been smoked.

  18. Alvin says:

    Why is it that every time a cruiser article is posted, most of the posters have to point out that they are “not cruiser people”, and then proceed to offer their opinion? If you are not into cruisers, who should value your opinion (aside from other not-cruiser-people)? I seldom see anyone posting on sport, sport-tourer, dirt bike or other types of bikes by stating they aren’t into whatever bike they are giving their opinion on. Are cruisers really that hated? I’m surprised they sell any of them. Someone said cruiser riders don’t take trips. I guess all the cruisers I see on the highways loaded with luggage and camping items are really just posing.

    As far as this bike is concerned, i think it is just different enough to find a niche in the market. It’s not a V-twin, and with more HP than other mid-size cruisers and more cornering clearance, it should be more engaging to ride. I own an ER6N and I don’t find the engine buzzy until the upper RPM that probably wouldnt be seen very often in this application.

    Hating cruisers doesn’t make you a better, smarter, or cooler rider, it just means you prefer a different style of bike. I think I’ll go find a sport bike article and point out how bad a bike it is since its not a cruiser, dirt bike or adventure bike….

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Did someone say they hated cruisers?

      I am one of those non-cruiser guys that stated my opinion that I like the bike. I qualified my opinion with that statement because the bike, in both design and concept, is refreshing to me despite the fact that the vast majority of cruisers have zero appeal. That may or may not be relevant since it isn’t a bike I would buy, but the bike is clearly aimed at potential riders who don’t necessarily embrace the “traditional” cruiser design. And if it works for me, it may work for them.

  19. relic says:

    For that much effort they could have put a 21 inch front wheel on the 650 versys.

  20. HS1-RD-CX100-VFR says:

    I once saw something just a little bit stranger than this whatever it is, but it was behind a carnival tent and I can’t really talk about it here.

  21. Gary says:

    Uggghhhh ….

  22. MGNorge says:

    Looks are subjective but to add my 2 cents, this does little for me. I’m also tall enough where a seat height as low as this would be like straddling a child’s bicycle.

    But enough of that, it’s not aimed at me so we’re even. There are still cruiser riders out there and as long as there are this will be of some interest. How much, only time will tell.

  23. Tank says:

    Good thing Harley makes cruisers with mid-mount controls.

  24. ABQ says:

    I can’t say that this bike is pretty, but I don’t care about that. I care about the fit. I care about the engine. Both of those good.
    What annoys me is the usual small fuel tank. It tells me that they neither want, or expect riders to do any serious riding on their bike. Honda made the same mistake on their similar sized CTX700. Harley did the same on the 750. Yamaha has a weeny tank on the Bolt. And Indian did the same on the Scout. If they put a small fuel tank on a bike it tells me that it is not meant to be ridden, and I will not buy any of those.
    On the other hand the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 has a 5 gallon fuel tank. There are lots of used ones for sale at half the price. Put one of those gas tanks on this new bike if you are serious about your customers taking to the road.

    • Kirk R says:

      My first gen versys gets about 50mpg with a pair of 42L hard bags on it. I’m betting this thing, with a lower riding position, no bags and a ‘detuned’ motor (hey, I thought the versys was detuned from the ninja 650…) will approach or possibly even exceed 200 miles on a tank.

      This looks like a bike I could buy for my 5′ tall wife and enjoy myself from time to time…

  25. david says:

    Handsome bike! This is another great value bike for new or old riders. Last and this year we’ve seen more and more great bikes with affordable price from Europe to Japan. This is a golden age for bikers! I probably won’t come back to cruiser but this motorcycle really refreshes cruiser crowd. Parallel twin should give more sporty ride and fun than traditional v-twin. Under 500lbs is light in the cruiser world where the lightest should weight around 650lbs, ie. Kawasaki Vulcan 900cc. $7k with ABS, wow, that’s value right there. Great job, ma Kaw!

  26. Dave says:

    I am not a cruiser guy but I like the fact that it’s not a copycat V twin and the adjustable riding position is a great option

  27. Don Fraser says:

    They could spend a couple more dollars and finish the tank, get rid of the stupid plastic covers, look at the tank on the Scout.

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      Yeah, that was one of the first things that jumped out at me. I don’t know why the tank needs those plastic covers in the front – and I don’t even think they look so bad, except where the exposed tank seams appear from under them. Kawi should have gone for a seamless tank, or at least kept the seams a little smaller (or hidden them better). That stuff is important to cruiser riders.

  28. MG3 says:

    Overall a nice bike from Kawasaki. Not sure if this really fills a big need out there, the Yamaha 650 v-twin has been around for years and has that v-twin configuration going for it too, but as usual Kawasaki has made a really beautiful bike and will sell many here in the USA. Hey K-men, where’s my 900 cc Concourse? (for under $10K)

  29. Provologna says:

    White, yes. Other colors, not so much. Like it.

    I don’t care if it’s not my favorite bike. This bike looks fantastic for the industry, and what’s good the industry is good for all motorcyclists.

    Re. adjustable for different physiques: very welcome, even if it’s only about 60 years behind the automotive industry.

  30. Mike says:

    Shades of the Kawasaki Eliminator!

    • Matric says:

      In a sportier version. Better looking than the Eliminator that tried too much to be muscular (definitely not a V-Max). I would opt for this over the Bolt. And i’m a Yamaha fan. But wait, if Kawa didn’t remove the buziness of his twin (hated the Versys and ER6N), Kawa will stay on my black list.

  31. Brah says:

    Why does it weigh so much? Same everything, more or less, as a Ninja 650 but one less brake disc, less fuel, less plastics and still 50 lbs more. Looks good though.

  32. Martin B says:

    Look back to the “old” Vulcan 500 for this bike’s ancestry. That was a nice looking bike, and went well. This looks fine, and should go even better. A good counter argument to all the “naked’ and “sports” mid range bikes. Are cruisers all that bad? Only confusion is rear wheel travel given both as 3.15″ (too little) and 15″ (too much).

  33. frank says:

    And this can’t have a belt final drive because…
    All in all, nice looking and probably a good everyday ride for the cruiser crowd.

  34. red says:

    It’s a modern Magna.. Like it!

  35. James Huggins says:

    Hmmm, they only used the word “Comfort” 23 times, I wonder what they are trying to emphasize?

  36. mickey says:

    Well, the video clearly shows who is the target audience for this bike and none of those people resemble me lol

    • Provologna says:

      Good point, and well taken.

      Take a look at income levels for US males since the orchestrated ’08 depression. You’ll notice that income levels for males dropped off a cliff with every reason to expect more of the same as far as the eye can see. Hence marketing departments’ only recourse is to target women, the fastest growing demographic for disposable income.

      Expect only more of this type of bike and similar marketing campaigns, the result of simple and accurate mathematical equation.

  37. xlayn says:

    meanwhile in Kawasaki headquarters two months ago:
    what??? who meesed up with ninja650 frame dimmensions? now we have 1000 lowered frames…. guess we will put them with the 1000 chopper fenders we didn’t use…. wait a sec….

  38. Kevin says:

    It will be interesting to see the Vulcan S in a shootout against the Harley Street 750. That would be the obvious target. More adjustability, more cornering clearance, pipe away from the rider’s legs, and a parallel twin — sounds like a good combination of features.

    • david says:

      Definitely outperforms Harley 750 with parallel twin proven on its sibling sport bike.

    • MG3 says:

      The Street 750 will sell better, though the Kawi is a nice looking, small cruiser. The HD has a more flexible ergonomic configuration. It could even be used for long trips, but the 650 is going to be a real pain in the butt after two hours, or so. I know, most cruiser buyers are not planning long trips on their bikes, but I still think the Harley is a winner, the Kawasaki, second place here.

  39. Jeremy in TX says:

    I am not a cruiser guy at all, but I think this is an attractive bike. I am glad to see Kawasaki deviate from the Harley-imitation mold and put their own touch on the bike.

  40. iliketoeat says:

    Oh man, Kawasaki REALLY needs to hire some designers. All of their recent bikes look like they were designed by a random guy they grabbed from the mail room. While blind drunk. With broken crayons on a wet napkin.

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      Yeah, that about covers my feelings on this one. Not as good looking as Harley’s new small displacement cruisers. Actually, some of Kawi’s updated designs for this year are a significant improvement over previous years (Versys 650, 1000), other are OK as is, but others are just hideous, IMO. I sort of feel that way about the H2, too.

      But I’m not the audience really for this sort of thing, so my opinion on its looks don’t matter so much. Some may really like it.

      Man, that’s a huge ass tank seam, though.

  41. YellowDuck says:

    Gross. Not as silly as the cruiser-styled 2-stroke bikes I sometimes see in Europe, but still really weird. Wasn’t the idea of the parallel twin “cruiser” put to bed back in the 80s? I guess we could blame Triumph for the revival of non-V-twin cruisers, but at least the Thunderbird has massive displacement going for it, and the Rocket III can hark back to the old longitudinal-engined Indians. And the cruiser-y variants of the Bonneville are at least air cooled.

    This thing is tasteless.