2007 Kawasaki Vulcan® 1600 Mean Streak
It's like "umami"... another Japanese idea for which there's no English translationBy (I am an Owner) on Oct 23, 2015
The relationship between a man and his dog is as uniquely individual as the diversity of the human species. Some prefer pit-bulls, some golden-retrievers, and some even prefer cats (I'm not a cat person).
The same is true with motorcycles: there are die-hard Harley people who enjoy ... the intimacy that maintaining a Harley requires. Others enjoy riding beyond their capacity to react, and love to fly inline-4 superbikes (I own a CBR 929, because extreme speed is therapeutic in certain situations). You have your cafe-racer hipsters who ride almost purely to be "cool" and different - more of a fashion statement than a true motorcyclist in my humble opinion, but there is plenty of parking available on campus and the trendy coffee shop (plus the mpgs they get is close to a scooter, without the stigma of actually being seen on a scooter). To each their own.
I am 40-years-young and my 2007 Meanie Special Edition is the perfect all-around bike for me. It looks like a custom, handles better than any big V-twin I've piloted.
-Slap on an aftermarket windshield and some bags on the side, adjust the suspension, pack some rain gear and you are ready for a coast-to-coast adventure with the power and comfort of a touring bagger.
-Remove the bags you're set for a Sunday afternoon cruise to nowhere.
-Reattach the aftermarket windshield and it becomes a great commuter bike.
-Attach the b!tch back behind the back seat and I've never had any hesitation from the opposite sex to hop and embark on a fun, cheap date riding out to a "nowhere" cafe.
With plentiful power and torque throughout the powerband, it's more than a fun ride for any purpose (except off-road adventures, obviously). I've added an aftermarket hypercharger, straight pipes and a power commander to calibrate the way it breathes better now. I've also added some footpeg/shifter/brake extensions as I'm 6'2" and it makes for a more comfortable riding position (although this is personal preference as some prefer to ride in a more upright position). I bought a windshield, b!tch back, custom grips, pegs, bags, moved the license plate to the side (instead of under the seat as per stock), replaced the headlight bulb to a halogen lamp, and replaced the horn to something deeper, louder and more obnoxious. Aftermarket parts are abundant for the Vulcan 1500/1600s.
Final disclaimer: this bike is not for beginners. I started riding dirtbikes in the Mojave Desert when I was 11, and started riding streetbikes in college. Started on a Honda Shadow 650cc, then a Vulcan 750, Suzuki 805, 1983 Magna V65 (v-4, now that's a rocket!), and my 2001 CBR 929 and finally a 2003 Mean Streak 1500. Lost my job a year ago and was forced to sell my 2003 Meanie. Now that I'm employed again, I'm buying another Mean Streak. How's that for an endorsement?
The Vulcan series have been perennial favorites with experts, riders and engineers since its inception in 1996. The addition of fuel-injection around 15 years ago has certainly helped the overall reputation of these bikes as a can't-miss staple of metric cruisers. Plus, they are priced lower than similar Hondas, Yamahas and domestics. Simply put, you will not be disappointed, especially if value is a consideration..
Turn heads for low bucksBy (I am an Owner) on Jan 16, 2013
I bought my Meanie used in 2008 with just 2000 miles on the clock. I bought it both for the look (special edition) and the price. I got a very cool bike with more power than I need for less than half the price of one of the American made bikes. I am tall(6ft. 3in.) and would like to have a little ... more length for my legs. I think a little more rake in the front would be nice too. My radiator cracked at a mount stud but my local radiator shop was able to fix it. Other than that, I have no complaints at all about my beautiful bike.
Fantastic BikeBy (I am an Owner) on Sep 02, 2011
I purchased this bike new and I cant say enough about it. It handles like a dream with power to spare, and the factory paint would cost you a couple of thousand to apply after market. I have people comment on my bike all the time and they cant believe its not a custom jop. I have had many bikes ... over the years but this one takes the cake.
Great overall cruiserBy (I am an Owner) on Jul 11, 2010
The mean streak is a overall great bike. It's simply the best handling cruiser that I've ever rode. It's not as powerful as some of the other cruisers out there but it's handling along with the power that it has makes it a blast to ride. It also sounds great with pipes! Some of the japanese cruisers ... sound cheesy with pipes but the streak has an awesome sound. Fuel mileage is also very good. I average 42 mpgs. On long rides where my speed doesnt vary greatly I've averaged over 50 mpgs! It's one of the most reliable bikes out there. Just perform regular services and ride! I'm very pleased with my bike!!
A lot of bike for not too much moneyBy (I am an Owner) on Sep 18, 2008
I've had this bike for almost six months now, and I still enjoy it as much as the first week. The braking is responsive and the handling is excellent. If you're not bashful in the twisties you will scrape pegs, exhaust cover and various bolts. Of course it'll never be a sport bike, if you want ... that level of cornering get a sport bike. But I do ride with some sporties and unless they're gunning for it I've been able to keep within visual range if not right with the group.
On the looks end it is a good looking bike with just enough to make it different. This is especially evident in the Special Edition models ('06-'08). Mine's an '07 SE and at bike nights around here it's gotten as much attention stock as the Harley full custom bikes have.
In the power department it has plenty to do what you want, but compared to other offerings out there for 'mid-level' power cruisers it is a bit underpowered. A fair amount of this can be remedied with some common modifications. Regardless you won't likely find yourself disappointed unless you're looking for speed and acceleration at the track level. Again if that's what you're after a cruiser probably isn't your thing.
When it comes to price these definitely do well. Used low mileage bikes aren't terribly difficult to find and can often be found at a good price. New models MSRP for $11,100 standard and $11,300 SE but this isn't written in stone. I've known a couple of dealerships to offer the SE's for $1,000 less if you do your homework in their model year. Mine I bought in '08 (as an '07) new for $9500. Keep in mind however that a lot of dealerships dont' keep these on the floor long, they sell pretty well. Mine was a walk-in request to find one, the one they had on the floor (standard black & chrome '08 I believe) was gone within a month and the '08 SE they received was gone less than a week after they put it on the floor. As such you may not be able to get as good a deal as a model that might sit for a couple of months.
At the time Yamaha didn't really have one I liked, Suzuki had one or two but a bit higher in price and Victory & Harley, although some of theirs coming out I'm starting to like again, are still just too high in price for me to seriously consider. The Mean Streak had a near-perfect combination of a alot of factors at a good price and I've been hard-pressed to talk to anyone who owns one who doesn't love it so far.
Granted as an owner this is probably a bit biased but hopefully it's helpful to those in the market.