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You are here: Home --- 2001 Motorcycle Models --- 2001 Suzuki Motorcycle Models

2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter
Back to 2001 Kawasaki Motorcycle Index Page

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2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter
2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter

2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter
2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter

2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter
2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter

2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter
2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter


- 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter

What good is a beautiful body without the soul to move it?

Once again the Vulcan 800 Drifter complements its larger sibling in the 2001 Kawasaki cruiser line-up, but with a few key changes. A specially-contoured solo seat that replaces last year’s comfortable two-person seat – which is still available as an accessory – a new chrome package and vibrant Candy Cardinal Red color treatment enhance the custom cruiser look.



New Solo Seat Enhances Nostalgic Style

Last year Kawasaki introduced the Vulcan™ 800 Drifter™ retro cruiser, a “little brother” to the Vulcan™ 1500 Drifter™ model that had all the style of its sibling but was lighter in weight and easier on the wallet.

Once again the Vulcan 800 Drifter complements its larger sibling in the 2001 Kawasaki cruiser line-up, but with a few key changes. A specially-contoured solo seat that replaces last year’s comfortable two-person seat – which is still available as an accessory – a new chrome package and vibrant Candy Cardinal Red color treatment enhance the custrom cruiser look.

Upon its introduction in 1999, the Kawasaki Vulcan Drifter motorcycle’s styling was selected for the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design’s permanent design collection. Displayed at the museum’s main building in downtown Chicago, the museum declared the Drifter “a work of art that goes beyond transportation. With its neo-retro style and esoteric performance technology, the Drifter embodies the essence of form and function.”

The Vulcan 800 Drifter’s styling is set off by the deep, sculpted fenders that cover much of the spoked wheels, wide solo seat, and a single fish-tail muffler jutting prominently out the back. While last year’s 800 Drifter featured a blacked-out overall finish reminiscent of 1940’s styling, the ’01 model now is decked out with sparkling chrome engine covers, bullet-shaped headlight shell, fork and shock covers, handlebar and clamp, rear fender rail, and license-plate bracket.

Powering the Vulcan 800 Drifter is an 805cc V-twin featuring a single-pin crankshaft with a gear-driven balancer to reduce vibration. Finned cylinders and four-valve heads are liquid cooled for optimum thermal control. Concealed automatic cam chain tensioners preserve the engine’s clean lines and allow precise cam timing without maintenance. A spin-on oil filter helps make maintenance a quick and easy job.

The 36mm carburetor features the Kawasaki Throttle Responsive Ignition Control (K-TRIC) throttle position sensor. Connected to the digitally mapped capacitor discharge ignition (CDI) system, K-TRIC varies ignition timing according to throttle position and engine rpm so that the ignition compensates for differing engine loads for crisp throttle response and better fuel efficiency.

At the rear of the single backbone, double cradle frame a sleek, triangulated steel swingarm and hidden Kawasaki UNI-TRAK® linkage rear suspension system provide a smooth ride while maintaining the look of a hard tail cruiser. Front and rear disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power.

For the rider, the Drifter feels as good as it looks. The spacious seat puts Drifter pilots nice and low, allowing them to easily put both feet on the ground when stopped. And when riding, their feet rest comfortably on the Drifter’s floorboards that are positioned to put riders in a relaxed sitting position. A heel-toe shifter makes changing gears in the five-speed transmission a snap, while self-canceling turn signals add to rider convenience. A multi-reflector headlight provides a bright beam and is enclosed in a chrome, bullet-shaped housing.

Last year the 800 Drifter proved it could hang with any other larger-displacement machine on the market by carrying Sylvie Campeau across the U.S. in the 2000 Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America to benefit childrens’ hospitals. With its new solo seat and chrome package, the 2001 Vulcan 800 Drifter is big on style and comfort. For those who want a modern, mid-sized engine wrapped in the nostalgic style of the 1940s and lighter than the heavyweight cruisers, the Vulcan 800 Drifter is the logical choice.



V-Twin 805cc Engine with Gear-Driven Balancer

Torque from idle to redline
Smooth and reliable
Balancer allows use of single pin crankshaft without the heavy vibration
Four Valves Per Cylinder

Better breathing for more power and low end torque
Single overhead cam design is simple, lightweight, and practical
Liquid and Air Cooling

Finned cylinders and heads combine with liquid cooling to provide exceptional thermal control
More consistent running temperatures mean no “power fade” on hot days and longer engine life
Automatic fan keeps things cool even in traffic
Includes temperature warning light
Five-Speed Transmission

Ratios designed for great acceleration and relaxed highway cruising
Exclusive Positive Neutral Finder
36mm CVK Side Draft Carburetor With K-TRIC Throttle Position Sensor

A throttle position sensor tells the ignition control unit how hard the engine is working so that its micro-computer can determine the best ignition timing for more power and better fuel economy
Double Cradle Frame

Right down-tube unbolts for easy engine access
High tensile steel for strength and light weight
Low Seat

Confidence inspiring, both-feet-on-the-ground stability
Laid-back riding comfort for two
Tank-Mounted Speedometer with Turn Signal Indicators and Caution Lamps

Compact design complements the bike’s clean look
Clean-design locking gas cap
Modern instrument cluster with nostalgic style
Push-to-Cancel Turn Signals

No fumbling, just a simple push on the switch cancels the turn signals
Transistor Controlled Breakerless Ignition with Digital Timing Advance (TCBI)

A hot spark at all engine speeds for easy starting, smooth running and good fuel economy
Maintenance free
41mm Front Fork

Excellent rigidity and 5.9 inches of travel
Wide fork pitch for classic look
Disc Brakes

Front and rear disc brakes provide sure stops
48-Spoke Custom Wheels

Chromed steel rims and spokes with “spool-style” polished aluminum front hub
UNI-TRAK® Rear Suspension

Single shock absorber with 7-way cam-type preload adjuster
Sleek Swingarm Design

Triangulated, steel swingarm looks like a “hard tail”
Engineered for rigidity, provides precise handling with good tire and chain life


Kawasaki Vulcan™ Cruisers

By introducing the KZ900 LTD in 1976, Kawasaki was an early leader in what has become today’s cruiser movement. Ten years later, when the Vulcan™ 750 cruiser debuted, it was one of Kawasaki’s first V-twin-powered cruisers and featured high-tech items such as dual disc brakes up front and mag wheels. In 1995, Kawasaki unveiled the Vulcan 800, which was one of the first V-twin metric cruiser models to feature American styling.

And now Kawasaki features one of the fullest and most diverse lines of cruiser motorcycles in the industry. From our top selling Vulcan 1500 Classic and the bikes it has spawned like the 1500 Nomad™ and Drifter™, Kawasaki has a cruiser to suit your style. And whatever you choose, you will invariably be happy with the styling, quality engineering and performance of a Kawasaki Vulcan cruiser.

A key element to the cruiser lifestyle is customizing to fit individual design tastes and performance needs. Fortunately, Kawasaki offers its own extensive line of genuine Fire & Steel™ accessories. Motorcyclists can choose from literally hundreds of parts to customize their Kawasaki cruiser motorcycles, and doing so, make their own bold statement. Customers can find Fire & Steel accessories at their local Kawasaki dealer or shop online at

New for 2001:

Chrome components
Candy Cardinal Red
solo seat


Revised for 2001:

Steering lock



Engine Type
4-stroke V-Twin

805 cc.

Bore x Stroke
88 x 66.2 mm.

Compression Ratio

Valve System
SOHC, 8 valves

Keihin CVK36

Kawasaki Throttle Responsive Ignition control (K-TRIC)


Rake 31.5 degrees


Suspension, Front
41 mm. hydraulic telescopic fork

Suspension, Rear
Bottom-Link Uni-Trak with 7-way preload adjustment

Tire Front

Tire Rear

Brakes, Front

Brakes, Rear

Seat Height

Fuel Capacity
4.0 gallons

Dry Weight
547 pounds

Specifications are subject to change without notice, in accordance with national regulation and legislations.