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You are here: Home --- 2012 Models --- Kawasaki --- 2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero Review

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
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2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero

- 2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero Review

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 Features and Benefits

Key Features

• Liquid-cooled 1,700cc V-twin puts out loads of torque
• 6-speed transmission allows for relaxed cruising
• Electronic throttle actuation system ensures optimized injector timing and throttle valve position, resulting in an accurate, powerful engine response
• Electronic cruise control maintains speed for more comfort on long trips
• Frame-mounted front fairing directs aerodynamic forces to the chassis to keep steering feel light
• Unique “muscle car” styled instrumentation keeps the rider fully informed
• Audio system has FM, AM and WX and is compatible with iPod, XM tuner, or CB radio
• Aggressive and muscular cruiser styling from end to end
• Twin tapered mufflers maximize saddlebag capacity
• Low seat height with sporty one-piece seat contributes to long, low classic cruiser look
• Aggressive black-out look and strong colors emphasize the simple character of the body shapes

Powerful 1,700cc V-twin engin

e • Liquid-cooled, four valves per cylinder, fuel-injected 1,700cc 52-degree V-twin engine
• Long-stroke 102 x 104mm bore and stroke dimensions deliver high torque levels with a distinct V-twin feel
• Valve-actuation system uses a single overhead cam arrangement instead of pushrods for quicker revving and enhanced mid-high rpm power
• Semi-dry sump design allows lower crankshaft positioning and a longer piston stroke without increasing engine height
• Single-pin crankshaft accentuates the engine’s V-twin character by providing strong power pulses
• Large-capacity airbox is located on both sides of the engine
• Small-diameter iridium sparkplugs reach deep into the combustion chamber for high combustion efficiency, especially during low-load operation
• Engine tuning, combined with long-stroke design, offers superior acceleration in the 50-70 mph range
• Even in overdrive (5th and 6th gear) the engine pulls strongly, making highway passing easier

Electronic Throttle Valve System

• Fully electronic throttle actuation system enables the ECU to control the volume of intake air (via throttle valve angle) and fuel (via fuel injector timing) delivered to the engine
• Optimized injector timing and throttle valve position results in accurate, powerful engine response
• Control of both injection and airflow provides easy starting and precise cold-engine idle speed control
• From the rider’s perspective, the ETV system works like a standard cable-operated throttle; the throttle grip remains connected to cables, so the feel at the grip is the same
• Twisting the throttle turns a pulley on the throttle body, which triggers the Accelerator Position Sensor (APS) to send a signal to the ECU, which then modulates the throttle valves via a DC motor
• Accurate throttle position is relayed to the ECU by a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)
• APS and TPS send two sets of signals to the ECU for system redundancy in the unlikely event of a sensor failure

Electronic Cruise Control System

• System maintains a desired speed even on uphill climbs
• Cruise control can be engaged and adjusted entirely from the right handlebar
• Cruise system can be activated in 3rd gear or above at any speed between 30 mph and 85 mph
• Pressure on the brake lever, clutch lever or rear brake pedal automatically disengages the cruise control, as does manually rolling off the throttle

On Board Diagnostics

• Diagnostic system allows self testing of the electronic systems on the Vulcan 1700
• System displays codes on the instrumentation, which can be read by owner

6-speed Transmission / Final Drive

• Durable and easy-shifting six-speed transmission with positive neutral finder
• 5th and 6th are overdrive gears for excellent fuel economy when cruising at highway speeds
• Carbon fiber-reinforced final drive belt offers a 40 percent increase in tensile strength compared to current Kevlar belts
• Belt drive system is quiet, efficient and offers reduced maintenance compared to a chain

45mm Telescopic Fork

• Provides superb steering feedback
• 5.5 inches of travel for excellent ride quality
• Optimized damping and spring settings for a plush but controlled ride

Dual Air-adjustable Rear Shocks

• Air-adjustable shocks can be tuned to match varying rider and passenger loads
• 4-way rebound damping adjustability helps the shocks compensate for changes in spring pressure

9-Spoke Cast Aluminum Wheels

• Light and strong wheels allow the use of tubeless tires, while flat black paint nicely complements the Vaquero’s styling treatment
• Fat and long-wearing 130/90 front and 170/70 rear tires
• Tire choice and suspension settings augment the chassis’ light handling characteristics

Styling and Bodywork

• Basic engine architecture supports the Vaquero’s factory-custom look, while its blacked-out color with machined and bare-aluminum accents sets off the bike’s color scheme
• Gloss and matte finishes on the engine highlight aesthetics even further
• Hand-formed body-part shapes create a highly customized appearance
• Many of the parts are exclusive to the Vaquero, which add to its factory-custom look and feel. These include the engine shrouds, rear fender, one-piece side covers, saddlebags, fairing and seat
• Cut-down fairing looks like a true custom piece, right down to the abbreviated smoked windscreen and headlight cover
• Louvre-style fog lamp covers can be replaced with accessory lamps
• Sculpted strut covers seamlessly fill the space between the rear fender and saddlebags
• Mufflers are tapered at their ends for a thoroughly retro look
• Sculpted, custom-look seat looks good and cradles the rider for maximum comfort
• LED taillight is attractive and highly conspicuous when lit for added safety

Wind Protection

• Large, wide fairing with abbreviated windscreen and integrated lowers provides substantial wind and weather protection for riders
• With the fairing mounted to the frame, any wind buffeting is transferred to the bike rather than the handlebar, helping to enhance highway stability and reduce rider fatigue

Convenient Storage

• The Vaquero features hard, lockable and sealed side-opening side cases that provide nearly 10 gallons of storage space each for overnight touring
• Their flowing, rounded shape is an attractive alternative to the square, boxy luggage found on other bagger models
• Up front, lockable glove boxes provide a handy place for storing smaller items
• Dual under-seat helmet holders

Classic Custom Dashboard / Advanced Audio

• Instrument layout and large round dials give the Vaquero’s console a custom look with a retro flavor
• The radio/stereo unit features a classically custom look from the 1960s
• Multi-function LCD display in the center of the instrument console is controlled by switches on the right handlebar. Features include a gear position indicator, fuel gauge, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, remaining range and average fuel consumption
• Analog displays include speedometer, tachometer and coolant temperature gauge
• Audio system with twin speakers features radio (FM/AM/WX) and compatibility with optional iPod®, XM tuner or CB radio units
• The audio system (and your iPod, which plugs easily into the left fairing pocket) can be operated by switches on the left handlebar
• Ignition switch allows key removal in the on position, which prevents keys from damaging the black finish tank cover during operation
• Turning the ignition switch collar to the ACC position allows accessories to be used while the engine is off; turning it to the “OFF” position turns the engine off and necessitates re-insertion of the key to restart

Comfort

• Sculpted seat blends a stylish shape with ideal foam density for all-day comfort
• Scooped shape allows an easy reach to the ground
• Upright riding position and rubber-topped floorboards contribute to substantial riding comfort
• Dual adjustable rear air-shocks use settings optimized for a compliant ride and higher-load carrying when needed

Long Range

• 5.3-gallon fuel tank offers a substantial range, helping to minimize fuel stops when out on the open road

Optional Accessories

• Kawasaki offers a large number of optional accessories, including iPod connector, XM radio module, standard gel seat, dual gel saddle, saddlebag liners, auxiliary lights, DC power sockets, GPS mount, billet handlebar clamps, engine cover trim, saddlebag top rails, custom cover and more. See your Kawasaki dealer for more information

Special Edition

• Deluxe two-tone Candy Lime Green with Ebony paint complemented by a custom marbleized paint graphic for a distinctive look






 

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero - USA 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).








 

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero - Canadian Specifications/Technical Details
Canada MSRP Price:
See Canadian Kawasaki Dealer for pricing.

Engine
Type 4-stroke, V-Twin
Displacement 1,700cc
Bore and Stroke 102.0 x 104.0 mm
Cooling Liquid, plus cooling fins
Compression Ratio 9.5:1
Valve System SOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Fuel System Digital fuel injection with dual 42 mm throttle bodies
Ignition TCBI with digital advance
Lubrication Forced lubrication (semi-dry sump)

Drivetrain

Transmission 6-speed with overdrive
Final Drive Carbon fiber belt
Primary Reduction Ratio 1.515 (50/33)
Gear Ratio: 1st 2.933 (44/15)
Gear Ratio: 2nd 1.900 (38/20)
Gear Ratio: 3rd 1.407 (38/27)
Gear Ratio: 4th 1.143 (32/28)
Gear Ratio: 5th 0.967 (29/30)
Gear Ratio: 6th 0.806 (29/36)
Final Reduction Ratio 2.250 (72/32)
Clutch Wet multi-disc, manual

Frame

Type Double-cradle, high-tensile steel
Wheel Travel: Front 140 mm (5.5 in.)
Tire: Front 130/90-B16
Wheel Travel: Rear 80 mm (3.1 in.)
Tire: Rear 170/70-B16
Caster (Rake) 30º
Trail 177 mm (7.0 in.)
Steering Angle (Left/Right) 35º / 35º

Suspension

Suspension, Front 45 mm hydraulic telescopic fork
Suspension, Rear Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks with 4-way rebound damping

Brakes

Front: Type Dual 300 mm discs
Front: Caliper Dual 4-piston caliper
Rear: Type Single 300 mm disc
Rear: Caliper Twin-piston caliper

Dimensions

Overall Length 2,510 mm (98.8 in.)
Overall Width 970 mm (38.2 in.)
Overall Height 1,290 mm (50.8 in.)
Wheelbase 1,665 mm (65.6 in.)
Ground Clearance 145 mm (5.7 in.)
Seat Height 730 mm (28.7 in.)
Curb Mass** 379 kg (835.6 lbs.)
Fuel Capacity 20 litres (4.4 gal.)
Fuel Consumption 6.5 L/100 km (44 MPG)
** Includes all necessary materials and fluids to operate correctly, full tank of fuel (more than 90% of capacity) and tool kit (if supplied)

Performance

Maximum Power‡ 61 kW {82 PS} / 5,000 rpm
Maximum Torque‡ 146 N.m {14.9 kgf.m} / 2,750 rpm
‡ Power / Torque figures measured at the crankshaft.

Details

MSRP* TBA
Colours Metallic Spark Black / Candy Plasma Blue
Warranty 36 months warranty

ADDITIONAL COST OPTIONS

Good Times Protection Plan 12 or 24 months (Kawasaki GTPP coverage begins after the standard limited warranty expires)



Good Times Protection Plan 12 or 24 months (Kawasaki GTPP coverage begins after the standard limited warranty expires)
* The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price does not include freight, pre-delivery inspection or applicable taxes. The final price is at the discretion of the dealer. Prices and Specifications are subject to change without prior notice.
The specifications mentioned here apply to and have been achieved by production models under standard operating conditions. We intend only to give a fair description of the vehicle and its performance capabilities but these specifications may not apply to every machine supplied for sale. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. reserves the right to alter specifications without prior notice. Equipment illustrated and specifications may vary to meet individual markets. Available colours may vary by market.


 


 

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero - UK/European Specifications/Technical Details
UK/EU MSRP Price:
Not available

Not available

 


 

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero - Australian Specifications/Technical Details
Australia MSRP Price:
Not available

 

Not available




 

 

 

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