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V is for Vulcan & (Usually) V Twin

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  • V is for Vulcan & (Usually) V Twin

    Good article I ran across on Clutch & Chrome motorcycle magazine



    Kawasaki History - V Is For Vulcan And V-Twin

    A sign of a motorcycle manufacturer’s impact on our two wheeled world is just how many well-known models are etched on the minds of riders. Boasting Ninja, Z1 and the Vulcan Kawasaki’s history is rich with such names.

    Celebrating fifty years in the US market, the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer has opened its corporate vaults allowing a peek at the historic advertising campaigns that drew American riders into Kawasaki’s saddles.
    Standing alongside names such as the Ninja sportbike and KX motocross lines, perhaps no motorcycle model name has become more important to Kawasaki in the United States than Vulcan. The first in a series of models extending over 32 years was the 1985 Vulcan.
    Launched in 1984, the Vulcan’s liquid-cooled V-twin engine design was a breakout for Kawasaki, representing the company’s first American-style cruiser. In fact, the Vulcan was the first Kawasaki model designed from the ground up as a cruiser, in contrast to the previous decade’s products, which were all developed from existing streetbike architecture.

    History has shown, this was an essential move as the cruiser category was clearly moving toward V-twins, with various Japanese competitors either there already, or on the way.
    “We were looking for a name with a ‘V’ in it that would indicate a V-twin engine, while also saying something about the motorcycle itself,” explains Mike Vaughan, Director of Marketing at Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) from 1979-90. “As the Roman god of fire, Vulcan seemed logical.” After Vaughan suggested the name, there was no dissention – it was absolutely the right call for Kawasaki’s new cruiser.
    Every incredible motorcycle story has its own notable twists and turns with the Vulcan being no exception. The model was originally known as the VN700A and designed specifically for the American market. However, the first model was produced when the U.S. had placed a tariff on 700cc and larger motorcycles with the goal of protecting American motorcycle manufacturing interests.
    To avoid this expense, the first Vulcan enjoyed a displacement of 699cc. The engine size would be increased in 1986 when the tariff ended, resulting in the Vulcan 750.

    Kawasaki's 2016 Vulcan S - Source Kawasaki
    Apart from simply being a V-twin, the Vulcan represented a new generation of V-twin motorcycles, with dual overhead camshafts, liquid cooling, and shaft drive. Kawasaki engineers obviously found the right gear with the Vulcan as the model lasted for more than twenty years, until 2006.
    Another indication designers were on the right road, in 1987 the Vulcan 750 was joined by the big Vulcan 1500, which would enjoy a 22-year production run of its own in various forms, including the retro style Drifter motorcycle. Then came the Vulcan 800, Vulcan 1600, Vulcan 2000, Vulcan 900, and the latest edition, the Vulcan 1700. All retained the original Vulcan’s mission of muscular V-twin performance, a refined and comfortable ride, and characteristic Vulcan styling and quality.
    Looking at the line-up today, the 2016 Vulcan lineup includes two 1700cc Vulcan 1700 models, Voyager tourer and Vaquero bagger, three 900cc Vulcan 900 models made up by 900 Classic cruiser, 900 Classic LT light tourer, and custom-look Vulcan 900 Custom as well as three 650cc Vulcan models, streetwise Vulcan S ABS, racy Vulcan S ABS Café and exclusive Vulcan S ABS SE.

    Kawasaki's 2016 Vaquero - Source Kawasaki




    • Voyager_PWS
      #1
      Voyager_PWS commented
      Editing a comment
      Cool story! Thanks for sharing Randy!!

    • DaBull
      #2
      DaBull commented
      Editing a comment
      Great read Randy.....
    Posting comments is disabled.

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  • V is for Vulcan & (Usually) V Twin
    Racinfan101
    Good article I ran across on Clutch & Chrome motorcycle magazine



    Kawasaki History - V Is For Vulcan And V-Twin

    A sign of a motorcycle manufacturer’s impact on our two wheeled world is just how many well-known models are etched on the minds of riders. Boasting Ninja, Z1 and the Vulcan Kawasaki’s history is rich with such names.

    Celebrating fifty years in the US market, the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer has opened its corporate vaults...
    12-20-2018, 12:47 PM
  • 25 Fastest Cruiser Motorcycles
    Racinfan101
    No surprise the V2k is on the list but how about number 17...the little Vulcan that could...or can. I imagine there are some other bikes outs there that could or should be included but never the less it was an interesting article. If you wish to see the pictures use this link - https://www.cheatsheet.com/automobiles/fastest-cruiser-motorcycles-from-0-60.html/

    25 Fastest Cruiser Motorcycles From 0-60
    Eric Schaal | More Articles

    April 24, 2018

    Big, brawny...
    08-27-2018, 08:24 PM
  • 2011 Vulcan Vaquero
    Racinfan101
    Since the first ride reports of the Vulcan Vaquero back in 2011, Vaquero owners have had plenty of time to enjoy and fine tune this great motorcycle. 2011 Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero First Ride

    A gaggle of V-Twins rumble through the Texas countryside along the farm to market roads north of Houston. The brown grass and pine trees don’t seem to mind the sound, nor do the grazing cattle. The Doors and Jimi Hendrix up the decibel disturbance further as music blasts out of the onboard...
    12-22-2016, 10:41 AM
  • 1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD
    Racinfan101
    Interesting article on the KZ900 which of course is pre-Vulcan age, but interesting none the less.
    1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD

    ROOTS – Kawasaki’s ’76 KZ900 LTD is Japan Inc.’s very first factory custom, and the bike that launched an industry.

    By Mitch Boehm Photos: Motorcyclist Archives November 23, 2016




    Julia LaPalme

    1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD




    Given the ubiquitous nature of the “factory custom”...
    12-15-2016, 09:26 PM
  • MotoUSA Article on 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic
    Racinfan101
    2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic






    Ken Hutchison | June 1, 2006

    2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic
    In the hotly contested entry-level cruiser market, the trick for manufacturers is to come up with a bike that is simultaneously aesthetically pleasing, inexpensive and entertaining to ride. This means that compromises must be made somewhere, so the company which cuts the least amount of corners is going to gain an advantage on the sales...
    12-13-2016, 05:14 PM
  • MotoUSA Article on 2002 Mean Streak
    Racinfan101
    2002 Kawasaki Mean Streak





    Ken Hutchison | November 27, 2002 MotoUSA.com


    2002 Kawasaki Mean Streak
    When Kawasaki fired the first salvo into the then-new performance-cruiser category late last year, pundits began rejoicing that a new era in cruisers had begun. A hot-rodded Vulcan engine was a good start, but even more impressive was the sportbike bits bolted to the more rigid chassis, such as the inverted fork and 6-piston caliper...
    12-13-2016, 05:10 PM
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