cruiser motorcycles

Kawasaki Vulcan S: Specs, Features Background, Performance & More

Kawasaki Vulcan S Specs, Features Background, Performance & More

Kawasaki has demonstrated its engineering prowess, advanced technology, and creativity through its Vulcan S motorcycles. True to its slogan, Kawasaki has ensured that you will have a good time riding this bike. They did so by introducing an ergo-fit configuration on a sporty chassis. With the Kawasaki Vulcan S, the riders can choose the position of the seat, handlebars, and foot-pegs that works best for them.

The aggressive cruiser styling is awe-inspiring and the powerful engine offers a fun-packed exhilarating ride. Be ready to turn heads as you zoom down the roads and highways on your motorcycle.

Read on for detailed specifications, features, price, color schemes, and information on aftermarket Kawasaki parts compatible with the Kawasaki Vulcan S.

1. A Brief Background of Kawasaki Vulcan S

Since 1984, Kawasaki has used the signature name “ Vulcan” for its multiple stylish cruiser lineups. After three decades, Kawasaki decided to launch a sports cruiser lineup under the “Vulcan” label and introduced the first motorcycle of the Vulcan S 650 lineup in 2015.

These bikes featured a Kawasaki-Ninja-inspired 649 cc engine, a new ergonomic concept called the ErgoFit technology, tall handlebars, and unorthodox cruiser looks. Kawasaki Vulcan S bikes were built with optimal engineering and performance in mind, explaining why no technical changes have been observed over the seven years this motorcycle was produced.

The only noticeable changes were in the paint job and the addition of gear indicators. All cruisers were reasonably priced, and even in this time of global inflation, the latest ABS variant is available at less than $10,000. So it wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that the most attractive feature of this bike is its price.

Here is a quick overview of the 2015-2022 Kawasaki Vulcan S models.

1.1 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S

The first bike of the lengthy Kawasaki Vulcan S lineup was available in three exciting colors. The bikes were competitively priced and also featured an optional ABS system that cost an extra $400.

Distinct Features 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S
Base Price $6,999
$7,399 (ABS)
Colors Purple

1.2 2016 Kawasaki Vulcan S

The 2016 models received no new mechanical changes, but the bikes featured different color schemes from last year’s cruisers. The 2016 Kawasaki Vulcan S models didn’t have their prices raised.

Distinct Features 2016 Kawasaki Vulcan S
Base Price $6,999
$7,399 (ABS)
Colors Urban City White
Candy Matte Orange

1.3 2017 Kawasaki Vulcan S

In 2017, the technical specs, colors, and price of the Kawasaki Vulcan S remained the same as last year. However, the 2017 Kawasaki Vulcan S model was launched with a new in-built gear indicator. Previously, the owners had to buy this component separately but not anymore.

Distinct Features 2017 Kawasaki Vulcan S
New Addition In-built gear indicator
Base Price $6,999
$7,399 ( ABS)
Colors Urban City White
Candy Matte Orange

1.4 2018 Kawasaki Vulcan S

For the 2018 Kawasaki Vulcan S bikes, only a single paint option was available.

Distinct Features 2018 Kawasaki Vulcan S
Base Price $7,099
$7,499 (ABS)
Colors Pearl Blizzard White

1.5 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan S

In 2019, Kawasaki revived the look of its Vulcan S cruisers by introducing a fresh color palette.

Distinct Features 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan S
Base Price $7,099
$7,499 (ABS)
Colors Metallic Matte Covert Green
Stormcloud Blue *The 2019 non-ABS variant was only available in metallic matte covert green.

1.6 2020 Kawasaki Vulcan S

In 2020, Kawasaki introduced two new metallic paint options that emphasized the understated elegance of the bike.

Distinct Features 2020 Kawasaki Vulcan S
Base Price $7,099
$7,499 (ABS)
Colors Metallic Spark Black
Metallic Matte Mysterious Gray

1.7 2021 Kawasaki Vulcan S

For the 2021 non-ABS variants of the Kawasaki Vulcan S, the same color schemes from 2018 were used again. However, the ABS variants featured a new metallic paint.

Distinct Features 2021 Kawasaki Vulcan S
Base Price $7,199
$7,599 (ABS)
Colors Pearl Blizzard White (Non-ABS Only) Metallic Flat Raw Graystone (ABS Only)

1.8 2022 Kawasaki Vulcan S

The latest 2022 models' new colors were launched for the ABS and non-ABS variants of the Kawasaki Vulcan S.

Distinct Features 2022 Kawasaki Vulcan S
Base Price $7,499
$7,899 (ABS)
Destination Charges $430
Freight & Materials Surcharge $300
Colors Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray/Metallic Matte Graphite Gray Pearl Robotic White

2. Kawasaki Vulcan S at First Glance

Kawasaki Vulcan S at First Glance

Kawasaki Vulcan S Styling

At first glance, the Kawasaki Vulcan S is a mid-range urban cruiser with the style of a sports bike. The Vulcan S has a lean, low profile and a tapered seat. The aesthetic mainly stems from the paint job. To bring out the classic cruiser styling, the bike was equipped with a tear-drop fuel tank, a distinct headlight, LED taillight, and gear indicators. The frame, muffler, and mirrors are blacked-out and give the bike a sophisticated and sleek look.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Front & Rear Suspension

The telescopic 41 mm wide front fork offers wheel travel of 5.1 inches and the rear shock offers 3.2 inches of wheel travel. The rear suspension of Kawasaki Vulcan S bikes features a seven-position preload-adjustment system. For better stability, the bikers can lower the preload at the back. For swift turns around corners, riders increasing the preload at the back will provide desired results.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Engine

The Vulcan S’s engine is derived from the Kawasaki Ninja 650 power plant. The Vulcan S’s engine was tuned to offer maximum torque at all rpm ranges. The engine is lightweight due to its compact, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine that offers a displacement of 649 cc, delivers smooth power, and produces low-end torque. It reaches its peak torque of 63 Nm at 6600 rpm.

The Kawasaki Vulcan S engine receives a constant fuel supply through a DFI fuel injection system thanks to the 38 mm throttle bodies and sub-throttle valves. The fuel injection system provides an excellent fuel economy of 53.7 mpg.

Moreover, the engine is a DOHC and produces a peak horsepower of 61.0 hp at 7500 rpm. With such immense power, the engine does not produce harsh vibrations at top speed, allowing a comfortable riding experience.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Handling

The lightweight engine is a major contribution to the effortless handling of the bike. The handlebars are also lightweight and offer excellent control over the bike. You can easily turn the steering even at a standstill.

The clutch efficiently supplies power to the six-speed gear transmission. The six-speed transmission provides greater acceleration, relaxed long-distance cruising, and better fuel economy. Plus, it reduces the load on the engine, reducing the need for engine repair.

The chain sealed final drive directs the engine power to the rear wheel for a comfortable riding experience.

Unfortunately, the front and rear suspensions are barely adequate even though they feature seven different settings. Even in a softer setting, the bike suspension fails to offer a plush feel and feels rigid. For this reason, many riders find this bike unsuited for a long motorcycle tour.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Wheels

The 120/70 x 18 front tire and the 160/60 x 17 rear tire improve the light-handling feel and provide ample traction.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Brakes

The Kawasaki Vulcan S motorcycles feature reliable brakes that respond to a single squeeze. The single 300 mm front disc brake comes with a twin-piston caliper, while the 250 mm rear disc has a single-piston caliper. Clearly, the brakes of the Kawasaki Vulcan S are nothing fancy, but they inspire confidence and offer adequate stopping power at all speeds, effectively balancing out the engine’s power. The anti-lock brake system is available but it is not a standard feature. Therefore, you would have to pay a bit extra to have the extra component installed.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Seat & Riding Comfort

For increased riding comfort, Kawasaki offers three different Ergo-Fit configurations to cater to the needs of tall, short, and average bikers. The seats are well-padded and offer a low seat. The handlebars are placed at just the right distance from the seat, creating a natural seating position for the rider. The footpegs are placed only slightly above the ground and can touch the ground while cornering.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Ergo-Fit Technology

In response to the complaints regarding comfort, Kawasaki has introduced an unparalleled Ergo-Fit system to allow riders to adjust their position so they can sit more comfortably. The handlebars, seats, and footpegs can be adjusted at the time of purchase, a good investment that guarantees comfort and control.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Economical Riding Indicator

The Kawasaki Vulcan S bikes utilize an electronic engine control system for better fuel economy. The indicators display exactly when the bike is consuming less fuel. The riders won’t see an ECO mark when fuel consumption is high. This way riders can figure out which riding conditions keep the ECO mark from disappearing and improve fuel economy.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Warranty

Kawasaki offers a 12-month limited warranty for all Vulcan S models. The Vulcan S bikes are quite reliable but for added peace of mind, buyers can also opt for an optional extended warranty for up to 48 months by purchasing the Kawasaki Protection Plan.

3. Kawasaki Vulcan S: A Buyer’s Guide

3.1 Is the Kawasaki Vulcan S a Good Bike?

The Kawasaki Vulcan S is a stylish urban cruiser with stylish looks, a powerful fuel-injected 649 cc engine, six-speed transmission, and strong brakes. The bike is quite comfortable as it has a low seat that allows a natural sitting position, even for short riders who have no trouble reaching the ground. The bike offers an excellent fuel economy that makes it a good bike for long tours. The clever weight distribution of the bike makes it easy to control. Suffice to say, the Kawasaki Vulcan S is a great bike for both beginners and experienced riders.

3.2 How Much Does the Kawasaki Vulcan S Cost?

The base price of the Kawasaki Vulcan S model has changed over the years, but it is still one of the most affordable cruisers on the market. In 2022, the non-ABS variant is available at a base price of $7,449 and the ABS variant is priced at $7,849. Based on your location, some destination, freight, and material charges may apply.

3.3 How Fast is the Kawasaki Vulcan S Motorcycle?

The Kawasaki Vulcan S bikes are reasonably fast. The bike can hit a top speed of 117 mph. The best part is that even at top speed, the bike does not produce unwanted vibrations.

3.4 How Many Miles Per Gallon Does the Kawasaki Vulcan S Get?

The Kawasaki Vulcan S cruisers are fuel-efficient. The bike gets an average mileage of 53.7 mpg. However, the mileage of the bike is subject to individual riding styles and the condition of the bike (especially if bought from a second-hand market).

3.5 How Much Horsepower Does the Kawasaki Vulcan S Have?

The engine of the Kawasaki Vulcan S motorcycle produces a peak torque of 61.0 hp at 7500 rpm.

4. Detailed Specification (Kawasaki Vulcan S)

4.1 Dimensions

Length 90.9 in
Width 34.6 in
Height 43.3 in
Wheelbase 62.0 in
Ground Clearance 5.1 in
Seat Height 27.8 in
Curb Weight 496.1 lb
Rake 31°
Trail 4.1 in
Fuel Capacity 3.7 gal
Fuel Economy 53.7 mpg

4.2 Chassis

Type High tensile steel diamond frame
Front Suspension, travel Telescopic fork, 41 mm, 5.1 in of wheel travel
Rear Suspension, travel Lay-down offset rear shock with linkage, adjustable preload, 3.2 in of wheel travel
Front Tire Size 120/70 x 18
Rear Tire Size 160/60 x 17
Front Brake Single disc, 300 mm, twin-piston caliper
Rear Brake Single disc, 250 mm, single-piston caliper
Anti-lock Brake System Available but optional

4.3 Engine

Type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled
Bore & Stroke 83.0 mm x 60.0 mm
Displacement 649 cc
Cylinder arrangement Two cylinders in line
Compression Ratio 10.8:1
Lubrication Wet sump
Valve Train Chain-driven DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Fuel System/ Induction Fuel injection, DFI with 38mm throttle bodies (2), with sub-throttle valves

4.4 Performance

Maximum Power 61.0 hp at 7500 rpm
Maximum Torque 63.0 Nm at 6600 rpm
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h (0-60 mph) 4.2 sec
Top Speed 117 mph

4.5 Drive Train

Clutch Wet, multi-plate, cable-operated
Transmission Six-speed constant mesh with positive neutral finder
Final Drive Sealed chain
Primary Reduction 2.095
Final Reduction 3.067
Gear Ratio 1st 2.438
Gear Ratio 2nd 1.714
Gear Ratio 3rd 1.333
Gear Ratio 4th 1.111
Gear Ratio 5th 0.966
Gear Ratio 6th 0.852

4.6 Electrical

Ignition TCBI with electronic advance (transistorized)
Alternator Three-phase A.C generator
Battery Capacity 12V-8.6Ah
Starter Electric
Lights LED

4.7 Others

Colors Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray/Metallic Matte Graphite Gray Pearl Robotic White
Base Price $7,449 for Non-ABS variant
$7,849 ABS variant
Warranty 12-month limited warranty
Optional Warranty Plan Kawasaki Protection Plus for 12, 24, 36, 48 months

5. Aftermarket Parts & Modification Options for Kawasaki Vulcan S

The Kawasaki Vulcan S motorcycle is not a tourer. But you can still drive it along the interstate now and then. To make your Kawasaki Vulcan S tour-ready, the first thing you need is a windshield. Just like most naked bikes, the Vulcan S cannot protect you from harsh wind and rain. Though experienced riders tend to manage, beginners may have more difficulty dealing with the elements.

The next thing in line is a pair of saddlebags. Finding the right luggage for your Kawasaki Vulcan S can be a challenge. There are plenty of motorcycle luggage options available, but buying the one that fits and fulfills its purpose well can be a tough decision to make. The right saddlebags are affordable, waterproof, and have a security lock system. Don’t know where to find them?

VikingBags offers many Kawasaki-specific saddlebags. Every luggage piece offered by the brand is great to carry a camera, tools, helmet, and touring essentials without any hassle.

With the Ergo-Fit technology and economical riding indicators, you won’t have to worry about getting tired halfway through the trip or having an empty fuel tank. The bike already offers good mileage, and with the economical fuel indicators, you can reduce fuel consumption by adjusting the equipment on your bike. Simply install a suitable backrest for the motorcycle and sissy bar to improve riding comfort.

The bottom line is that with a few compromises and amenities, you can easily tour on your Kawasaki Vulcan S. So don’t let anything stop you from unleashing your adventurous side. You’ve got all you need with your Kawasaki Vulcan S motorcycle sitting in your garage.

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