Email Print Kawasaki Vulcan

A steadfast Kawasaki model, the Vulcan series has been a part of Kawasaki’s model line-up since the introduction of the Kawasaki Vulcan 750 in 1985. Vulcans represent Kawasaki’s cruiser line of motorcycles and have come in a variety of sizes from as small as 500cc to as large as 2053cc.

Due to a U.S. tariff on imported motorcycles larger than 700 cc’s, Kawasaki limited the original Kawasaki Vulcan to 699cc until the tariff was lifted in 1986. The Kawasaki Vulcan 750 was powered by a liquid-cooled, DOHC, V-Twin engine producing 60 horsepower. The Kawasaki Vulcan’s five-speed gearbox sent power to the rear wheel via a shaft drive. The Vulcan 750 stayed in Kawasaki’s model line-up for 23 years, finally ceasing production after the 2006 model year.

In 1990 Kawasaki introduced the smallest of the Vulcan models, the VN500. Powered by an air-cooled 498cc parallel-Twin engine, the Kawasaki Vulcan 500 was an entry-level model that remained in Kawasaki’s model line-up until being dropped in 2010.

Kawasaki introduced two other Vulcan models in the 1990s, the Vulcan 800 and the Vulcan 1500. Launched in 1991 the Vulcan 1500 was the first heavyweight cruiser from Kawasaki. Powered by a liquid-cooled, SOHC, 1470cc, 50-degree V-Twin engine putting out a claimed 84.6 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,800 rpm, the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 was powerful enough to stay in Kawasaki’s model line until its final year in 2008.

In 1999, the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter became Kawasaki’s attempt at recreating the past. The Drifter was a modern interpretation of one of the most famous cruisers in American history, the Indian Chief. The large valanced fenders are an obvious clue of the Drifter’s design influence. The Kawasaki Vulcan Drifter was powered by a liquid-cooled, 1470cc V-Twin engine, and it was joined in 2000 by the 800 Drifter using an 805cc V-Twin engine. While they looked like authentic rigid frames, the Drifter hid a rear mono-shock suspension. The Kawasaki Vulcan Drifter was produced until 2006.

Kawasaki Vulcan models continued to flourish in the first decade of the new millennium and included the Vulcan 900, Vulcan 1600, Vulcan 1700 and Vulcan 2000.

The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 replaced the 800 model. All three 900 models, the Classic, Classic LT and Custom are powered by a 903cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC V-Twin engine with a belt final-drive.

The Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 was powered by a 1552cc liquid-cooled, SOHC, V-Twin engine and included three variations on the theme: the Classic, Nomad and Mean Streak. The Vulcan 1600 began life in 2002 and was replaced by the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 in 2009. The Vulcan 1700 featured a larger displacement engine, a ride-by-wire throttle and a six-speed transmission. The Vulcan 1700 came in four models: standard, Classic, Nomad and Voyager and presently continues in Kawasaki’s model line-up.

The Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 featured the largest displacement engine in Kawasaki history. The liquid-cooled, 2053cc V-Twin engine produced and amazing 141 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,800 rpm. The Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 came in standard, Classic and Classic LT models.

Kawasaki Vulcan Reviews

2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero Review

Team Green enters the bagger cruiser segment with the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero, filling the gap between small cruisers and large full touring models. It’s something of a transitional model for riders of smaller displacement or more basic cruisers.

2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager Review

If the idea of a luxurious V-Twin touring rig appeals to your wanderlust for the open road, Kawasaki’s Voyager delivers the segment’s best bang for the buck. Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide Ultra seems like the Voyager’s closest competition.

2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero Preview

For 2011 Kawasaki adds to the bagger segment growth trend with its Vulcan 1700-based Vaquero. A blacked-out color scheme distinguishes the Vaquero from its Vulcan brethren while creating a turnkey custom look.

2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Lineup

Filling a niche between high-dollar big Twins and underpowered ‘starter’ cruisers, Kawasaki has filled out its Vulcan cruiser line with a 900cc middleweight worth more than its low MRSP.

2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager/Nomad Review

If the slumping economy's got you down, maybe it's time to pack up a motorcycle and head out for a soul-satisfying road trip. Kawasaki has its new Voyager ready for your long-haul adventures.

2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700/LT Review

Kawasaki’s Vulcan cruiser is tired of residing in the shadows of the Big Twin market. Just introduced is a new-from-the-wheels-up 1700cc cruiser that includes a more powerful drivetrain and a nimbler, stronger chassis than the previous Vulcan 1600.

2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager

Cruisers make up 35% of the total street and dirt bikes sold in the U.S., and Kawasaki is addressing this market with a new cruiser, the Vulcan 1700. This new Vulcan line is in the final design stages and was presented at last weekend’s dealer meeting.

2005 Vulcan Nomad 1600

So when I was invited to the press intro for the new 1600 Nomad, I was interested to see how Kawasaki might have improved their product in this important market segment.

Progressive Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle Insurance Quote

Get A Motorcycle Quote
  • Insuring more motorcycles than anyone else
  • Customized Motorcycle Insurance
  • Coverage For Different Types Of Bikes

Kawasaki Vulcan Comparisons

2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic vs. 2010 Triumph Thunderbird

To get a sense of what bike makers—other than Harley—think America wants in its cruiser, we looked to Kawasaki’s Vulcan 1700 Classic and Triumph’s Thunderbird. Although similar, we found this pair differ enough to make for an interesting match up.

2007 Power Cruisers Shootout

MO assembled five prominent cruisers, the Victory Hammer, Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Mean Streak, Harley-Davidson’s Street Rod and Yamaha’s V-Star Warrior Midnight and the Star V-Max, to see which bike best defines the term “power cruiser”.

2001 Power Cruiser Comparo

We haven't picked a rational winner for a major shootout so far this year. What fun is that? If you just want to read the OEM's marketing hype, draw up a spreadsheet and pick a new bike without any real-world input -- for instance, actually riding and liv

2015 Kawasaki Vulcan

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan

2013 Kawasaki Vulcan

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan

find Kawasaki Vulcan Specs

Choose your Kawasaki Vulcan to build, configure or compare

Looking for a specific make, model or year of Kawasaki Vulcan, and how it compares to the competition? Looking to design your own Kawasaki Vulcan? Use our Motorcycle Finder, below, to get everything you need on 2004 to present Kawasaki Vulcans.
  • Manufacturer
  • Category
  • Year
  • Model