With the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic motorcycle (model VN900B), Kawasaki is clearly looking to appeal to lovers of post WWII iconic American motorcycles. Designed with obvious influence from the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy, the Vulcan 900 offers much of the handling and appeal of the Harley, as long as you are not looking for the sound. For those who understand true classic American motorcycles, there is also a taste of the Indian motorcycle in its styling.
This boulevard cruiser features a 55.1 cubic inch engine ( 903cc), V-twin liquid cooled four-stroke SOHC with four valves per cylinder and a 9.5:1 compression ratio. The engine produces 58.2 foot-pounds @ 3,500 rpm. With a curb weight of 619.6 lb the low seat height (26.8 inches) makes for easy handling at low speeds or when resting, except for people under about 5’6″. At east one female reviewer complains, but said that the narrowness and seat shape made it possible for her to “find the ground” at her 5’2″” size.
One of the first things many people notice about this bike is its 5.3 gallon fuel tank, the largest in its class. This gives it a long range, so be sure that you are comfortable with the seat (some people love it, but a few people find it uncomfortable). Unless you are familiar with the bike, try one out before you mail-order one.
Do you own a Vulcan? See this then: Clymer Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic, Classic LT & Custom (2006-2013)
Other features include belt-drive and a five speed transmission with a positive neutral finder, a real positive for newer riders and those wearing heavy leather boots (which most experienced motorcycle riders usually do for safety’s sake). The crankshaft and balancer design reduces vibration, making for a considerably more comfortable ride, especially on longer runs.
Another notable feature is the front fork with 5.9 inch travel, which is the most in its class. Riders report that the fork is stiff enough to prevent excessive dip. The offset and rake of the fork make for good maneuverability when parking or maneuvering at slow speed.
Check this luggage rack for the Vulcan out: Cobra Tubed Luggage Rack for Kawasaki Vulcan 900/Vulcan 1700 VN Model O.E.M. Backrests
This bike is available in one color scheme, a two-tone Metallic Matte Carbon Gray and Pearl Flat Crystal White and lists at a MSRP of $7,999. This is considerably less that the comparable American made icons this motorcycle brings to mind, but the look and feel make the Vulcan 900 a good entry-level bike. Called a baby bagger without bags, you can add accessories or purchase other models of the Vulcan 900 (such as the Vulcan 900 Classic LT) with added features such as windshield, bags, and passenger backrest.