2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S / ABS – First Look Review

2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S ABS
A low seat height, adjustable footpegs and Ergo-Fit optional seats and handlebars will allow the Vulcan S / ABS to fit a wide range of riders.

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.

2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S ABS
The Vulcan S model’s 649cc parallel twin should offer good low- and mid-range power with enough top-end for highway riding.

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.

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2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S ABS
Instrumentation consists of a compact analog tachometer with a multifunction dual-window. The digital display features speed, fuel level, clock, odometer, dual tripmeters, range, and average and instant fuel economy

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.

9 COMMENTS

    • It’s not a one seater, it’s designed to sell optional parts!! Actually, I bought one, and ordered almost all the acessories. It’s got significantly more power and gas mileage than my wife’s 2009 Honda Shadow 750. I moved down from an ST1300, which is a monster with enormous power and weight. This thing will not kepep up with the ST in a straight line, but I can carve corners better. It’s low, light and very quick. It easily tops 100, easily faster, but I haven’t broken it in yet, so the most I’ve seen is 90 in 4th. It’s a 6 speed and I got 63 mpg on the first tank. It’s has the most amazing little motor, it just has low end grunt like you’d never expect from a 650, then it surpries you with snappy, arm stretching acceleration as you wind it, and it pulls hard to 9500 rpm through all six gears, I just didn’t wind it very hard after 4th. It’s weight probably has something to do with that, it’s 490 measured wet, not dry like everything else, so that’s what it weighs w/gas and oil etc. It’s defiinitely not for a big guy like Jim Dirkes noted, too bad Jim, Im’, a small guy and for a change somethng works for me. I am going to miss the ST1300, it was my dream bike, but I never got used to the heft or top heaviness, great bike though, sniff. I think it’s a winner, as long as there’s not some gremlins, or quality issues lurking. Sure hope not it’s a sweetie and it’s got the right looks. Of course this is mostly IMHO. Good luck to you other folks.

  1. I like it, but I wish that there was one for us larger riders. At 6’6″ and a tad over 300 lb. the 650cc just isn’t enough.

  2. I like the looks of it. Those are some sweet looking wheels. Would like to take it for a test ride. Look forward to some comparison reviews.

  3. I look at this as a competitor for the Harley 750. I actually saw a comparison between the Harley and the Ninja 650 in an Indian website. The Harley was praised for it’s low end torque and handling prowess and seat comfort. The Kawasaki had better highway power and less cramped ride position.

    This bike looks to have the best of both worlds – the low weight balance, a roomier ride position, and the gruntier engine. And it’s cheaper than the Harley and to my eye looks at least as good. Could be a winner.

  4. I’m Allan from Clearwater FL, I’m 47yo male with a bad back, I’m 5’8″ tall and my weight runs between 148lbs to 165lbs depending on my health. My wife came home one day and told me her good friend from work never showed up that day. She was on the back of her husbands Honda Goldwing when the rear tire went, unable to recove from the high-speed wobble, they crashed and she died and I’ve been grounded off the street for the past 12 years! My son just got an old KZ 750 and asked for my help getting it running. While picking up parts last week I went In the front door of my local Kawasaki dealer, this is something I never do because it kills me to see what I’m missing out on so I always use the parts door in the back. Anyway, walked in the door and there sat a Lime Greed Vulcan-S W/ABS
    $500 for ABS? I could take it or leave it. I don’t hit the brakes hard enough to activate the ABS so I would of rather saved my $500 or something cool. like the $700 saddlebags! Anyway, after 12 years of putting my wife’s anxiety at
    ease by giving up riding it took only one look at the new Vulcan S and it’s Retro look and I was hooked! When I went for my sons parts again on Friday I NEVER made it back to his house! I bought that new Vulcan-S and I’m riding it everywhere I go! For someone my size the bike is AWSOME! Back seat is on its way and the rest is history. And yes it could use a lot more top end, but for a local runabout cruiser? I’ve found nothing in the 650cc range that could even be compared to this thing. Power, Handling, good looks and an AWSOME, super comfortable ride, you will find NOTHING in its price range that you could even compare to it! My second choice was the FZ-07 or FZ-09 but with my back? I’m just super happy I hooked myself up with the Vulcan-S.

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