2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquerohttp://www.totalmotorcycle.com/motorcycles/2012models/2012-Kawasaki-Vulcan1700Vaquero.htm2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
Swagger on the Open Road
Cool, low, long, ultra stylish – all these adjectives fit the Vulcan® 1700 Vaquero™ plus one more – plenty functional. This bagger, introduced just last year into the Vulcan cruiser line, proves that practicality and cool can co-exist on the same bike. Its aggressive and muscular styling makes any Vaquero rider stand out from the crowd. And with a powerful 1,700cc engine, electronic cruise control and full-featured audio system, the Vaquero begs to be taken out on the open road.
Custom, blacked-out details are your first clue to the Vaquero’s mission, and there’s plenty to see. It all starts with the beautiful Candy Plasma Blue paint on the abbreviated fairing, sculpted tank and curvaceous bodywork that looks as if it could be a mile deep. The Special Edition takes it a step further with its Candy Lime Green with Ebony paint job and a custom marbleized paint graphic. Luxurious chrome accents (engine guards, exhaust, mirrors, etc.) provide a beautiful counterpoint to the glossy paintwork, but it’s perhaps the multi-textured blacked-out engine and chassis treatment that best highlights the Vaquero’s radical aesthetic look. The engine, air-cleaner cover, wheels, fork assembly and tank cover all get the blackout treatment, which gives the bike a true custom look that’s beautiful and menacing at once. It’s definitely not a motorcycle you’ll easily forget.
Beneath all that beautiful bodywork, paint and chrome is a superbly engineered motorcycle, one that blends power, handling, durability and confidence-inspiring character in a massively functional package. It all starts with the Vaquero’s 1,700cc liquid-cooled V-twin, which powers all four Vulcan 1700 models – Voyager®, Classic, Nomad™ and Vaquero. A thoroughly proven design, this 52-degree Vee boasts the very latest in engine technology yet looks like a throwback to the past, a time when the V-twin was the engine to have powering your motorcycle. Features include an overhead cam design, high compression and a long-stroke dimensional design that results in the sort of effortless low- and mid-range thrust that’s so desirable and useful in a big-inch cruiser.
Vaquero’s throttle valve system works with the advanced electronic fuel injection to optimize engine response without detracting from its distinctive V-twin throb. The system uses an Accelerator Position Sensor (APS) and a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) that feed data to the ECU, which adjusts the throttle plates to tailor intake airflow accordingly. The system offers a natural throttle feel, because the APS is activated by a throttle body pulley connected by cables to the throttle grip. Besides the obvious FI advantages such as improved fuel economy and automatic adjustment for altitude changes, the system also permits easy hands-off warm-up and idle speed control. Vaquero also features a water-cooled alternator that produces a staggering 46.8 amps of electrical output – plenty to power a selection of electronic accessories that enrich motorcycle travel.
The result of all this is a massive quantity of usable torque spread out over a shockingly wide rpm range. With 108 foot-pounds of torque, a mere twist of the Vaquero’s throttle delivers arm-stretching acceleration for freeway passing or spirited riding, and the smooth wave of low-rpm grunt is always ready to please when you’re just boppin’ down the boulevard, checking out the scene and chillin’.
Speaking of just cruisin’ along; the Vaquero offers true touring-bike convenience in the form of its electronic cruise control system, conveniently operated from the right handlebar and usable at any speed between 30 and 85 mph in any of the top four gears. The cruise system can be disengaged in any of the following ways: depressing the brake lever, clutch lever, rear brake pedal, or manually turning the throttle grip past the “closed” position.
Additional touring acumen shines through the engine’s six-speed transmission with overdriven 5th and 6th gears, which contributes to a relaxed ride and excellent fuel economy at highway speeds. Power is routed to the rear wheel via a narrow carbon fiber-reinforced drive belt that has a 40-percent higher tensile strength than current Kevlar belts. And that chopped, custom-look fairing? Although lower than a traditional windshield or full fairing, it still cuts a decent-sized hole in oncoming atmosphere, giving the rider a useful still-air cocoon in which to enjoy the ride.
Lockable side-loading hard bags set the Vaquero apart from its Vulcan 1700 brethren. They’re beautifully integrated and spacious, and styled to highlight the bike’s long, low look. A scooped saddle offers a comfortable rider perch, while a minimalist passenger pad sits atop a wildly shaped rear fender that integrates equally stylish taillight and turn signal assemblies.
The frame holding all this hardware together is a single backbone, double cradle unit designed to be a slim and light as possible for an easy reach to the ground and optimal handling. Bolted to the steering head is a mammoth 45mm fork assembly offering 5.5 inches of wheel travel and a thoroughly compliant ride. Suspension in back consists of twin air-assisted shocks with spring preload and rebound damping adjustability working through a beefy steel swingarm. Nine-spoke cast aluminum flat-black wheels hold fat, 130/90 front and 170/70 radial tires that offer light handling characteristics, superb traction and long life. Braking hardware consists of dual 300mm front discs with twin-piston calipers and a 300mm rear disc with a two-piston caliper.
It all adds up to a truly top-of-the-line bagger that encompasses a perfect combination of traits: It’s functional in a wide range of environments, from inner-city cruisin’ to running down the open road. It’s got highly advanced technology. And it’s knee-shakingly beautiful, a bike that’ll put goosebumps on your arms and neck every time you open the garage door to take a peek. 2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero - Specifications/Technical Details
US MSRP Price: $16,799 to 17,199 USD
Engine Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valve per cylinder, 52° V-twin
Displacement 1,700cc / 103.7ci
Bore x Stroke 102 x 104mm
Compression ratio 9.5:1
Maximum Torque 108 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
Cooling System Liquid, plus cooling fins
Ignition TCBI with Digital Advance
Induction Digital fuel injection, dual 42mm throttle bodies
Transmission 6-speed with overdrive and positive neutral finder
Frame Type Steel, double-cradle with box-section single-tube backbone
Rake/Trail 30° / 7.0 in.
Front Suspension / wheel travel 45mm hydraulic fork / 5.5 in.
Rear Suspension / wheel travel Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks, with 4-way rebound damping / 3.1 in.
Front Tire Size 130/90x16
Rear Tire Size 170/70x16
Brakes, front / rear Dual 300mm discs, dual twin-piston calipers / Single 300mm disc, twin-piston caliper
Overall length 98.8 in.
Overall width 38.2 in.
Overall height 50.8 in.
Seat height 28.7 in.
Curb weight 835.7 lbs.**
Wheelbase 65.6 in.
Fuel capacity 5.3 gal.
Color Choices Candy Plasma Blue Candy Lime Green / Ebony
Warranty 36 months
Good Times™ Protection Plan 12, 24 or 36 months
** Curb weight includes all necessary materials and fluids to operate correctly, full tank of fuel (more than 90-percent capacity) and tool kit (if supplied).
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