Kawasaki is betting that a large number of cruiser enthusiasts are willing to do without the traditional looks of a V-twin-based machine in exchange for low cost, modern styling, adjustable ergonomics, a sporty parallel twin-cylinder engine and light weight. The new 2015 Vulcan S and Vulcan S ABS have all of those qualities, as well as a long list of accessories to custom-fit and personalize the motorcycles, and they’re priced at just $6,999 and $7,399.
Designed to accommodate a wide range of riders, the Vulcan S / ABS have standard seats that are tapered in front for an easier reach to the ground and are just 27.8 inches high. Standard adjustable forward-mounted footpegs can be moved forth or back 1-inch (optional Ergo-Fit shift rods required), and optional Ergo-Fit seats and handlebars are available to better-fit taller or shorter riders. Seats, handlebars and footpegs can be changed by the dealer at no additional cost to the customer. A passenger seat, backrest and footpegs are also optional for the solo-seat bikes. Claimed wet weights are 492 and 498 pounds.
The Vulcan S / ABS are powered by a liquid-cooled, 649cc parallel twin derived from the Ninja 650, which has been retuned for even more low- and mid-range power. Instrumentation consists of a compact analog tachometer with a multifunction dual-window. The digital display features speed, fuel level, clock, odometer, dual tripmeters, range, average and instant fuel economy as well as an Economical Riding Indicator to show when the rider is optimizing fuel economy.
Vulcan S / ABS styling 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 compact LED taillight. The rear light is incorporated into the rear fender, which is supported by the separate rear subframe.
KQR (Kawasaki Quick Release) accessories include large and medium windshields, saddlebags and passenger backrest options that allow for toolless installation and removal. Other notable accessories include a DC power outlet, gear position indicator, LED light bar and helmet lock.
The 2015 Vulcan S will be available in three distinctive colors, including Candy Lime Green as well as Pearl Crystal White and Flat Ebony. Bikes should be in Kawasaki dealerships in January 2015.