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Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic
Back to 2009 Kawasaki Motorcycle Index Page
photos to enlarge.
They make great desktop images.
- 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic
2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic
Purposeful beauty with a traditional cruiser and high tech blend
Technology is supposed to make life easier, not busier and ever more complex.
Kawasakis new Vulcan® 1700 Classic cruiser employs the right amount
of technology with a dose of old-fashioned simplicity to allow the rider to
focus on the experience and not the machine. Its lighter, more compact frame
holds a new engine utilizing a high-tech electronic throttle valve. Transferring
the healthy torque output to the road is a new six-speed transmission with
overdrive and super strong carbon fiber drive belt.
Building upon its Vulcan 1600 roots, the 1700 features a newly designed 1700cc engine based on the mighty Vulcan 2000. However, it uses a single overhead cam in each cylinder head rather than a push-rod actuated OHV arrangement. This permits faster revving and helps the Vulcan 1700 to provide quick acceleration and deliver superior passing performance at highway speeds. The new engines increase in compression, displacement and long-stroke design means significant torque and power gains over its predecessor.
On the technology front, the new Vulcan 1700 features Kawasakis first fully electronic throttle valve system, which together with the fuel injection system offers smooth, natural engine response. The electronic throttle valve enables the ECU to deliver an ultra-precise metering of both fuel and air to the engine. It also provides accurate cold-engine idling speed control, reduces rider fatigue and retains the natural throttle feel.
The system utilizes dual sensors; an Accelerator Position Sensor (APS) on
the throttle body and a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) on the throttle. Both
of these sensors feed data to the ECU, which in turn adjusts the throttle
plates with exacting precision. The system is capable of functioning on one
set of data alone, offering redundancy in the unlikely event of a sensor failure.
More cutting edge technology is found on the Vulcan 1700s fuel injection system. Like the systems in use on Kawasakis Ninja® 650R and Vulcan 900 motorcycles, the 1700s FI utilizes one sensor in place of the usual three, for less complexity and weight. Besides the obvious advantages of FI like improved fuel economy, the system permits easy hands-off starting. The cruising-oriented Classic features FI and exhaust tuning to deliver the peak torque and horsepower at lower rpm ideal for the urban and back road environments.
Mated to the ground-breaking engine is a new six-speed transmission featuring overdrive. The sixth gear functions as an overdrive gear, contributing to relaxed riding and better fuel economy at highway speeds. Transferring the power from the transmission to the rear wheel is a carbon fiber final drive belt. With a 40-percent higher tensile strength than current Kevlar units, the Vulcan 1700 is able to use a thin and light 28mm belt.
However, this is no cold, mechanical techno-marvel. The designers were able to infuse the abundant technology into the new Vulcan 1700 Classic with all the charm and visual appeal expected on a Kawasaki cruiser. This meticulous attention to detail and exquisite craftsmanship of the engine covers and bodywork design result in a product that turns heads whether parked in front of a café or cruising down the highway. This rolling showcase of workmanship and care not only looks good from any angle, but its elegant form is as pleasing to the touch as to the eye.
Designed from the start to be as light and slim as possible, the new single backbone double cradle frame uses the minimal amount of forged parts and metal for a reduction of 4.4 pounds and a rigidity increase of 40-percent. With a shorter seat to steering head distance, the new lightweight chassis is more compact and shorter overall with a correspondingly decreased wheelbase. The easy-to-reach handlebars facilitate better low-speed maneuvering and contribute to greater rider confidence and comfort.
Adding to the light and easy handling of the low weight chassis design are the new suspension components set to match the Vulcan 1700 Classics cruiser performance. A simple but elegant rear steel tube swingarm suspension with twin air-assisted shocks provides 3.1 inches of travel, and includes air adjustable spring preload and rebound adjustment. Up front, a large 43mm fork offers precise steering feedback, four-way preload adjustment and 5.5 inches of travel.
The Vulcan 1700 rolls on new nine-spoke cast wheels, which use tubeless tires and complement its new muscular styling. Mounted on the attractive wheels are a 130/90 front radial tire and a wide, 170/70 rear radial tire. These arent the giant size tires that can "dull" handling, but beefy treads that offer good traction, smooth ride and good style. Dual 300mm front disc brakes with twin-piston calipers and a single 300mm rear disc brake with a two-piston caliper bring this show to smooth, powerful stops.
Kawasaki has subtly merged traditional styling with sophisticated technology in a fashion to appeal to a broad spectrum of riders with its new Vulcan 1700 Classic cruiser.
Authentic Kawasaki Accessories are available through Kawasaki dealers.
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and distributes Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft, utility vehicles and recreation utility vehicles through a network of more than 1,500 independent retailers, with an additional 8,000 retailers specializing in Kawasaki power products and general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 3,650 people in the United States, with 430 of them located at KMC's Irvine, California headquarters.
Kawasakis tagline, Let the good times roll., is recognized worldwide. The Kawasaki brand has become synonymous with powerful, stylish motorcycles for over four decades. Information about Kawasakis complete line of recreational products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the
Powerful 1700cc V-Twin engine
Liquid cooled, 4-valve per cylinder, fuel-injected 1700cc V-twin engine
Long-stroke 102 x 104mm bore and stroke helps deliver high levels of torque - approximately 15 percent greater than that of the Vulcan 1600
Valve system is based on the Vulcan 2000, but uses a SOHC arrangement instead of OHV for more direct engine feel and quicker revving
Semi-dry sump allows a lower crankshaft placement and a longer piston stroke without increasing engine height
Single-pin crank provides the desirable power-pulse feel
Twin counter-balancers handle smoothing the engine pulses
A 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 at low-load operation (near idling)
Features dual mufflers on the right side of the bike
Engine tuning offers superior acceleration in the 50-70mph (80-113km/h) range
Even in overdrive, the engine pulls strongly in this speed range, facilitating overtaking at highway speeds
Next Generation FI
Based on systems already on Ninja 650R and Vulcan 900
Utilizes one sensor in place of the usual three, for less complexity and weight
The cruising-oriented Classic utilizes a FI and exhaust set up to deliver its peak torque and peak horsepower at lower rpm
On Board Diagnostics
Diagnostic system allows self testing of the electronic systems on the Vulcan 1700
Displays codes on the instrumentation, which can be read by owner; using accessory manual
Electronic Throttle Valve System
Kawasakis first fully electronic throttle actuation system enables the ECU to control the volume of the fuel (via fuel injectors) and the air (via throttle valves) delivered to the engine. Ideal fuel injection and throttle valve position results in smooth, natural engine response
Control of both fuel injection and airflow enables precise cold-engine idling speed control
From the riders perspective, the electronic throttle valve works like a standard cable-operated throttle - the throttle grip is still connected to cables, so the feel at the grip is the same
Twisting the throttle turns a throttle pulley on the throttle body actuating the Accelerator Position Sensor (APS), located on the throttle body, to send a signal to the ECU, which then actuates the throttle valves via a DC motor. Throttle position is confirmed to the ECU by 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.
Transmission / Final Drive
6th gear is an overdrive gear, contributing to stress-free riding and better fuel economy when cruising at highway speeds
28mm carbon fiber final drive belt has a 40 percent higher high strength than current Kevlar units nearly twice its width and allows the Vulcan 1700 to use a slim belt only 2mm wider than that on the Vulcan 900
The drive belt is quiet and efficient and helps reduce maintenance chores
Lightweight handling chassis
? A more compact package than its predecessors, the new frame features a shorter wheelbase, and shorter distance between the seat and frame head pipe, for improved rider ergonomics and easier maneuverability
? Designed to be as light and slim as possible, the frame minimizes the number of forged parts and trims any unnecessary metal. The only forged parts are areas that require additional strength - the down-tube joint, engine brackets, side-stand bracket, and rear fender/shock absorber bracket
? The new frame is 4.4 pounds lighter than its predecessors, and has a 40% increase in rigidity
? The compact design contributes to light handling and facilitates handling at low speeds, especially when executing precise slow speed maneuvers like parking or making U-turns
43mm Telescopic Fork
? Provides superb steering feedback and excellent ride quality
? Features 4-way preload adjustment
Dual Adjustable Rear Air-Shocks
? Feature Air adjustable spring preload to match the load
? 4-way rebound damping for a smooth and comfortable ride
? Feature chromed shock covers, contributing the luxurious finish of the rear of the bike
9-Spoke Cast Wheels
? Allows the use of tubeless tire and complement its new muscular styling
? 130/90 front and 170/70 rear radial tires offer good traction, smooth ride and handsome style
? Tire choice and suspension settings augment the light handling characteristics
Dual 300mm front disc brakes and single 300mm rear disc brake, both with twin-piston calipers provide smooth, powerful stops
V-twin Visual Appeal
Basic engine structure has a great impact on a V-Twin engines appearance.
The line created by the top of the airbox and the cylinder heads forms a curved lined that continues to flow through the bike.
Deeply chromed engine covers have curved upper surfaces. Their three-dimensional form adds volume and gives a quality appearance.
The edges of the fins receive a special NC treatment that makes them gleam in sunlight
All the non-chromed parts of the engine have a matt black finish that further accentuates the chromed parts
The fuel tanks hand-sculpted contours employ constantly varying radii, giving the bike a dynamism that is pleasing both to the eye and to the touch
Its lines flowing through the rest of the bike, the elegantly shaped fuel tank contributes to the Vulcan 1700s curvaceous figure
Ignition switch allows on-position key removal; preventing key bunches from scratching the instrument cluster or tank while the bike is in operation
Turning the ignition switch collar to the OFF position turns the engine off and necessitates re-insertion of the key to restart
Multi-function LCD displays on the tank-mounted instrument cluster are controlled by switches on the right handle. Features include a gear position indicator, fuel gauge, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, remaining range and average fuel consumption
Liberal use of chrome on the engine, fender brackets, light stays, and rear shock cover contrasts nicely with the bodyworks deep, lustrous paint
Simple design of the seat cover balances rich visual tone of the bodywork
The Vulcan 1700 is also the first Kawasaki cruiser to feature an elegant LED taillight
2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic - USA Specifications
MSRP Standard/ Two-tone: TBD
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valves per cylinder, V-twin
Displacement: 1,700cc / 103.7ci
Bore x Stroke: 102 x 104mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Maximum Torque: 108 lb-ft @ 2250
Cooling: Liquid, plus cooling fins
Induction: Digital fuel injection, dual 42mm throttle bodies
Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance
Transmission: Six-speed with overdrive
Final drive: Belt
Frame: Steel, double-cradle with box-section single-tube backbone
Rake / Trail: 30° / 6.7 in.
Suspension, Front / Wheel Travel: 43mm hydraulic fork / 5.5 in.
Suspension, Rear / Wheel Travel: Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks, with 4-way rebound damping / 3.1 in.
Front Tire: 130/90x16
Rear Tire: 170/70x16
Brakes, Front Dual 300 mm discs, dual twin-piston calipers
Brakes, Rear: Single 300 mm disc, twin-piston caliper
Overall Length: 98.4 in.
Overall Width: 40.4 in.
Overall Height: 45.5 in.
Ground Clearance: 5.1 in.
Seat Height: 28.4 in.
Wheelbase: 65.6 in.
Curb Weight: 760.7 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gal.
Colors: Metallic Diablo Black
Two-tone: Luster Beige / Pearl Crystal White
MSRP Standard/ Two-tone: TBD
Warranty: 12 Months
Wholesale Distributor: Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.
9950 Jeronimo Road
Irvine, California 92618
2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic - Canada Specifications
2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic - UK Specifications
Not Available in the UK
*Prices and specifications subject to change without notice.
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