Kawasaki revealed a new cruiser model equipped with the 649cc parallel-Twin engine from the Ninja 650. The result is an entry-level cruiser with sportbike-derived power retailing for $6999 ($7399 with ABS).
The fuel-injected engine is tuned for smooth power delivery, with revised camshaft profiles, intake funnel length, throttle body spacer and air intake for better low- and mid-range power delivery. Using a parallel-Twin instead of a V-Twin allowed Kawasaki to route the exhaust under the engine and away from the rider’s legs. The engine is positioned further forward than a V-Twin’s placement, allowing for a slimmer chassis and increased lean angle.
The new pipe perimeter frame resembles that of the new Versys 650 and incorporates a rear subframe with a slim spine that eliminates the need for seat rails. The 31-degree rake and 7.1” trail positions the Vulcan S’s front wheel further ahead than on the Versys, lengthening the wheelbase to more cruiser-ish 62”.
Kawasaki offers a number of adjustability options to suit a wide range of riders including adjustable footpegs. Unique for this class of cruiser, the footpegs can be mounted an inch ahead or behind its standard “mid” position. Kawasaki also offers two optional Ergo-Fit seats. Smaller riders can benefit from the reduced reach seat that moves the hip support further forward for an easier reach to foot and hand controls. Taller riders can opt for the extended reach seat which offers firmer foam and moves the hip support further back. Regardless of seat choice, the Vulcan S offers a low 27.8” seat height.
Like its Ninja and Versys 650 cousins, the Vulcan S uses an offset laydown rear shock that follows the line of the frame towards the rear axle. The shock has a seven-position cam-style preload adjuster offering 3.15” of travel. Up front, the Vulcan S uses a 41mm telescopic fork with 5.1” of travel.
The braking system consists of a twin-piston caliper gripping a single 300mm disc up front and a single-piston caliper with 250mm disc at the rear. As we mentioned, ABS is available as an option.
Other features include a 3.7-gallon fuel tank, LED taillight, 18-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear wheel. Kawasaki claims a 498.3-pound curb weight with ABS, and 491.7 pounds without. The 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S will be offered in three color options in the U.S.: Candy Lime Green, Pearl Crystal White and Flat Ebony. European models will come standard with a passenger seat and a Metallic Royal Purple color option.
|2015 Kawasaki S Specifications|
|Engine||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, parallel twin|
|Bore x stroke||83 x 60mm|
|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|
|Curb weight||491.7 lb (498.3 lb with ABS)|
|Fuel capacity||3.7 gallons|
|Colors||Candy Lime Green, Pearl Crystal White or Flat Ebony|
|MSRP Standard||$6,999 ($7,399 w/ABS)|
|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 92618949-770-0400 www.kawasaki.com|