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2018 Vulcan S
Have had the bike for a couple of years now. It looks good (orange and black duco). Is reliable and a great transport for short distances. The only negatives are an uncomfortable seat and gearing is too low which means high revs at freeway speeds. On the whole, I am glad I bought it instead of the 883 Harley.
Late life crisis realised
Only got my licence when I was 74 and bought a Yamaha 950 Vstar. Have to admit it was a bit out of my ability to ride and enjoy. Sold it and bought a Piaggio Scooter BV 350. Lots of fun and able to keep up with friends on bigger bikes. But it didnt satisfy my need to have a motor bike. After much research I came across the Kawasaki Vulcan 650 S so at 77, much to the dismay of friends and family, I found a second hand one, 1916 model, with low kilometres with heaps of extras including Two Brothers full racing exhaust system. What a joy to ride. ...With low centre of gravity it is light and nimble and a delight to ride around town and cruise with friends on longer trips. Gear changes are smooth and effortless and taking twisties which were previously daunting are now a pleasure. The performance is brilliant especially for a LAMS approved bike. Looking forward to many adventures on this great bike and would recommend it to any novice riders.
I bought my Vulcan S from brand new this time last year and i can’t see myself ever letting it go. I had one minor problem with it cutting out back in January which was a burned out cable under the seat, it’s perfect since it was repaired under warranty. The bike is very torquey and smokes every cruiser I’ve put it against. Over long distances the seat could be more comfy and there’s no wind protection so I put on a puig windshield and it’s made a world of difference, also the rear suspension is shocking (i hurt my back going over a small bump in the road).I’d highly recommend it but not for first time riders as in low gears if you don’t have good throttle control the bike will be bunny hopping down the road.
Purchased in August 2018 at BikeWorld Dublin for $7,999.00.
An awesome motorcycle.
This motorcycle is a beast of a machine in every sense of the word.
With amazing torque power, how this is regarded as a LAMS approved bike is a mystery.
It has all the comfort of a cruiser but with a Badass 650 Ninja sports bike motor that smokes most Harley’s. Im not surprised it’s rated 14th fastest cruiser 0-100km in 4.2 secs.
I bought the 2018 model in matte black with gloss black highlights, had it factory fitted with the extended reach seat, bars and pegs a windscreen and vintage fog lights.
Rides awesome with matching killer looks. I will be buying a tourer but will NOT be selling this bike.
I believe it will be rated as a must have classic in the future.
perfect commuter and week end bike for this older guy
over 30000klm in my first year commuting 90klm a day.
very comfortable seating position.
cannot fault mechanics,very reliable and plenty of power, although i have de-restricted it.
You can blow away Harley's from the lights all day long...haha...they hate it.
handles great for what it is and keeps up to most everyone in the twisties.
with spirited riding ,mixed with the commute, i get over 25klm a litre.
on the down side....
i have the standard seat and start to get a sore back after an hour riding.
exhaust note is only good under acceleration . ...
Just a fantastic bike. Smooth and easy to ride. Looks great. Only thing I would make a negative comment about is the color range available in Australia. Black or white are the 2 options you have. Matt black looks good though and that’s what I purchased. If your looking for a lams approved cruiser then check out the Vulcan S
Want a LAMS cruiser? keep this one in mind
In my quest to find a new LAMS approved bike with a bit more power than my CBR300R, the Kawasaki Vulcan was definitely high up on my list of "have to try bikes". The local Kawasaki dealer had a 2015 copper Vulcan S and I jumped at the chance to take it for a spin. Having never ridden a fully forward pegged cruiser (only the Street 500 HD) I was keen to see how I would feel and how I would adapt to a different riding position. Yes it took a few kilometres to get the hang of things and for the first half hour I loved it, it was quick off the mark..., it sounded great, looked really good and I felt quite comfortable on it. Yet again, I took it through various speed zones to see whether it was suitable for all areas and it was very easy to control despite being a lot heavier than the CBR that I am used to. The issue I did encounter though was that the seat did feel like it was pushing me forward and for someone with back issues this did start to effect me after about half an hour. Up until that hit me, I was enjoying the bike so much, I still plan on trying out a newer model and to see if there are different seating options where I don't feel like I am being pushed forward. As I am looking for something heavier, this is a great option, comparing it to the Yamaha V Star XVS650 Custom/Classic and the Suzuki Boulevard S40 is something I plan on doing. From first impression at looking at all of those options, this Vulcan is more ideal to the learner market as its dash is head and shoulders above the others. If you are looking for something with a tacho, speedo, tank range, gear selector, fuel gauge and pretty much anything else than the Vulcan is streets ahead of the others listed. For beginners this would have to be a great option, I was put off originally by the seat but have convinced myself to take a swing at the newer model to see how that goes as it is too good a bike to ignore.
Great Lams cruiser
Got mine little over a week ago , so far i am loving it ...very easy and fun to ride and comfy as ..can ride for hours non stop ,runs very smooth around 4K rpm...I'm getting a lot of complements on the bike at the lights and servos .Highly recommended for anyone who is looking for a LAMS cruiser :)
Perfect all round bike
I bought my Vulcan S new from BikeBiz in December 2015. I fitted a 2 bros comp S exhaust (very loud & mean sounding pipe. The bike is a real head turner as EVERYONE heres you coming) & it is one hell of a machine! Very light & easy to ride. It is a sports bike that looks like a cruiser. Very comfertable ride. I have hammered it through the twisties & it leans in & corners beautifully. I have done plenty of long distance freeway rides too & it cruises along nicely. I have gotten her up to 170 kph pretty easily. I fitted a rear seat & pegs, i rid...e 2 up with my partner & the bike doesnt struggle at all. I recently de restricted the bike & wow you need to hold on when giving full throttle as she launches & handles like a sports bike. An absolute dream to ride!
Not quite what I expected ... but quite impressed
Let's start with the positives. Kawasaki is an established brand with a good reputation for builidng reliable motorcycles. With the Vulcan S it has also developed what is one of the best looking motorcycles ever made. The design is virtually flawless. It also feels very light. I ride a BMW R1200R which, on paper is some 20kgs lighter but feels much heavier because of the higher centre of gravity.
For a cruiser, the suspension is acceptable although the little travel range makes it rather unsuitable for uneven road surfaces. Many ride...rs speak of the Vulcan S as a comfortable bike to ride. I disagree but this is not necessarily a criticism. Riding motorcycles is not about comfort. If I want to get from A to B in comfort I use the car. My point is that compared to other bikes having a sit-up-and-beg riding position, it is not really all that comfortable. The instrumentation is also quite impressive. There is everything a rider needs and even more and the 2017 model even features a gear indicator. Consumption is impressive. I regularly get 260 kms between refuelling and I am pretty sure that it can run for up to 300kms before running dry. The ergo-fit system is obviously a good idea because the bike can be adjusted to suit a variety of riders. Because of my history with naked bikes I tend to prefer the shortest position even though I am 5' 11'' and the manual advises the regular or standard fit. Finishing is of a very good standard and the braking system is very good. Even the rear brake is effective and the rider rarely needs to resort to the front brake to bring the bike to a stop under normal conditions. For a new bike the Dunlop tyres are also of good quality so there is really no need to upgrade to better tyres immediately after purchase.
New Vulcan S 650 LAMS cruiser
Test rode a Kawasaki Vulcan S last weekend. Looks great, nothing else with quite the same looks. It has that same exposed monoshock spring as the Kawasaki Ninja 650L etc. Even though it is a LAMS cruiser it has ample torque-seems as good as 800's I've ridden. Slightly smaller than the others too. In spite of being marketed as a "full size" cruiser I'd say it's about 4/5 the size of your usual 800 cc "power" cruiser.
This is a good thing as far as I am concerned! I am just shy of 6ft but have a long body and short legs. I have a full licence...but I'm used to smaller bikes mainly. The one I test rode (as I found out after the ride) was absolutely brand new. I was apparently the first to take it out on the road as it turned out! It was the orange tank model which really hits the retinas but in a good way. There is that and Metallic Matte Carbon Grey in the non "cafe" models according to the Kawasaki Motors Australia site. Also the three tone "cafe" version. It has a black and silver colour scheme with green highlights such as the shock spring, wheels and tank pinstriping. It also has a small deflector type screen. Looks the business in the pics. Last year's (2015) models were white and also purple. I have only ridden a few cruisers (see my other tests) and so I tend to flail around looking for the footpegs in the "usual" position as I take off. This Kawasaki has them in a great position though and feels natural once you find them. The whole bike feels good and very confidence inspiring if you aren't used to cruisers. Just a nice reach to pegs and 'bars, brake and gears etc. The surge of power from the engine, at least in the lower gears, feels smooth and powerful, with ample torque as I mentioned. Also, unlike the larger V twins- (this is a 650 Parallel twin like the aforementioned Ninja)- the compression braking on throttle backoff is not as brutal. I'm told it has a slipper clutch like the cutting edge sports bikes to help with sudden downchanges . Brakes are ABS, a very useful feature, especially on a LAMS bike. Can't comment on hard applications at speed etc but didn't notice any problems. It has dual throttle valves which add to this smoothness on take off and 4 valves per cylinder. Added to all that is the fact that it has a modest curb weight (all fluids and fuel) of about 230 Kg and a low, nicely padded seat with only 705mm seat height and it is a winner for feeling at ease on from the get go.
Great sports cruiser
Great sports cruiser derived from Versys/Ninja 650 platform. Powerful. Reliable. Well balanced and easy handling. Modern styling with slammed rear end gives it that muscular cruiser shape. Recommend aftermarket exhaust for better road presence and performance, as factory exhaust is restricted and quiet. Lots of positive comments from those who see it. My daily commute, rain or shine. Fun to ride with heaps of low down torque, which makes it easy in stop start traffic, but also good on the open road. 8500km and faultless so far. Good value bike for the price. Vulcan S accessories finally coming onto the market now, so plenty of options to customize.
LAMS cruiser that handles and goes
Best lams cruiser I test road. Heaps of power and take off and it actually handles it's a perfect mix of fun and comfort. Highly recommended for any rider. I love mine. Had since new and now done 2000ks. It has a low centre of gravity and it does not feel as if you are riding a 230kg bike. I think this will take over as the.Best lams cruiser anyone who rides the xvs and the Vulcan will no what I'm talking about! Thanks Kawasaki I'm chuffed!
Good ride at a affordable price
Bought above mentioned bike about 3 months ago.Has just done 1000km on it. Good and comfortable ride. Perfect for ladies and those ones with short legs ! Enough power. Will definitely add the small visor (shield). Only regret - Kawazaki only import the white and purple. Bought a white one and had it resprayed in the original Candy Lime Green. Bit pricey but more than worth it.
Questions & Answers
What's it like loaded up at 110kph? Is there still plenty of power for a quick overtake of someone holding you up or is the speed ramp-up a bit gradual?
Also, how many km's can you get out of a full tank on country roads? What's the range of the bike on a tank?
My old CBR600F4i I had in my early 20's probably could have done Sydney to Canberra but the most I ever risked the tank was 320km with the last 30-40 in Sydney with plenty of servo's around. I'd like to be able to do that trip with no stopping as I do in a car (Google Maps lists door to door as 340km).
Yep still has plenty of power to overtake over 100km. I get around 370-380km to a tank on country roads.
Hi, am thinking of buying a 2015 Vulcan 650 taken one for a test ride 1,500km on it. Seems to be quite vibrational & rough in the grips is thus normal?
Sorry for the delay in responding but I found the Vulcan to be quite smooth and the only time it felt a bit rough was when the bike was sitting at about 3k on the tacho. Apart from that I believe it is easily the best option in the LAMS cruiser class
Does anyone know for a fact if the ego fit adjustments on the vulcan are done for free or if there is a cost?
It's a cost you pay at the dealer. I'm 5ft11 and standard fit is perfect for me.
Done for free they adjusted mind just to take it for a test ride. But seat you have to pay for.
Seems to be Free in the USA but in Australia you pay for a long or short reach seat same with the foot peg adjusting rod. But its not much and you keep the standard gear to sell with the bike.
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