Manufacturer: kawasaki…….TOP Model: VN750 Vulcan, VN800A Vulcan, VN800B/C Classic & VN800E Drifter, VN700 Vulcan (US) Years Made: 1985-2005+, 1995-05+ VN800 Style: Cruiser Engine Type:
Seat: 705/760mm Weight: 496lb (Vulcan), 516lb(Classic),547lb(Drifter) HP:
60hp – 750cc
70hp – 800cc
Torque: 47 Top Speed: 110mph MPG: 50 New Cost: $5,500 (1985) – $5,500 (1987) – $5,500 (1988) – $11,790 (1995) – $11,790 (1997) – $11,290 (1999) – $11,290 (2000) – $12,290 (2002)
Average Used Costs: VN700/750 Low $1,730 Medium $2,990 High $5,345
Description: Vulcan 750:
The Vulcan 750 is an economically priced, mid-size cruiser that can hold its own on the boulevard. From its torquey V-twin engine to its chrome-encrusted bodywork to its low-slung riding position, the stylish 750 is certainly an attention-getter. And, because a barrage of touring accessories are available for the bike via Kawasaki’s Fire and Steel line, the versatile Vulcan 750 cruiser even qualifies on the touring circuit.
Powered by a liquid-cooled, double-overhead-cam 749cc V-twin, the Vulcan 750 is powerful and low-maintenance. Hydraulic valve lash adjusters automatically keep the eight-valve cylinders at optimum adjustment, eliminating unwanted valve noise. Liquid cooling increases overall engine durability, and the frame-mounted radiator is unobtrusive and doesn’t detract from the cruiser’s appearance. The engine itself is rubber-mounted within the double-cradle, high-tensile steel frame to help stave off vibration at the handlebar and footpegs.
A low-maintenance shaft drive conveys power from the five-speed transmission to the beefy 15-inch rear wheel. Plus, the easy-shifting gearbox is endowed with Kawasaki’s exclusive Positive Neutral Finder, which allows for easy and accurate shifting from first into neutral while stopped. Air-assisted rear shocks with four clicks of rebound damping adjustment offer a smooth and controlled ride, while dual front discs provide reliable stopping power. Full instrumentation, including both coolant-temperature and fuel-level gauges, and a centerstand are standard fare.
The Vulcan 750 is a modern cruiser centered on the throbbing sound and look of a high-tech V-twin engine. With lots of chrome, a low seat height and a laid-back riding position, it’s an appealing ride at an attractive price. Add touring items from Kawasaki’s extensive line of Fire & Steel accessories and the Vulcan 750 becomes the perfect platform for economical V-twin touring.
In 1984 sales of the Vulcan 750, Kawasaki’s first V-Twin American-style Cruiser, commenced. – Kawasaki
IGM Says Vulcan 750 (Best buy, Best first bike): Kawasaki introduced this one way back in the fall of 1984 as a 700 and has changed it little since then. Kawasaki went to the high-tech route with the original Vulcan, but that proved an unpopular path, so the 750 has many features not found on newer mid-sized Vulcans, like hydraulically adjusted valves (four per cylinder) and a shaft drive.
IGM Says (VN700, VN750 Vulcan): If you can get past the styling issue of this one, you’ll find a great motorcycle underneath.
Average Used Costs: VN800A/B/C Low $3,505 Medium $4,737 High $6,699
The Vulcan 800 motorcycle is the epitome of the traditional cruising machine, with its low riding stance, stepped leather saddle and raked-out front end. The fact that its clean lines and elegant styling can be enhanced by Kawasaki’s extensive line of Fire and Steel accessories is icing on the cake.
At the heart of this cruiser is a powerful 805cc V-twin engine, which benefits from years of Kawasaki technology. The motor incorporates liquid cooling for exceptional temperature control and engine longevity, but its radiator is discreetly integrated into the double-cradle frame, giving the bike a stylish air-cooled look. The overall result is an attractive, high-torque motor that makes loads of power and emits the distinctive exhaust note associated with a V-twin.
Like the engine, the Vulcan 800’s chassis is the beneficiary of high-tech design and is clothed in nostalgic cruiser garb. Kawasaki’s own UNI-TRAK rear suspension system is hidden away to give the triangulated steel swingarm a clean, hardtail appearance. But in actuality, the linkage system applies progressive damping and spring forces as the single shock is compressed to provide a smooth ride.
Power reaches the chain-driven rear wheel through a five-speed transmission. The transmission, which features Kawasaki’s exclusive Positive Neutral Finder allows the rider to easily shift from first gear to neutral when stopped. While stationary, the lever can’t be raised into second gear, but as the motorcycle begins moving again the transmission resumes normal shifting. Fender to fender, this machine is the picture of fluidity.
The Vulcan 800 cruising motorcycle is simply stylish. It provides a custom look through elemental, flowing lines without visual distractions. Splashes of chrome and extra detailing add key highlights, but this Vulcan’s beauty lies in its simplicity, which can also be easily accessorized with a wide array of Kawasaki Fire & Steel accessories. – K
Vulcan Classic: The Kawasaki Vulcan® 800 Classic motorcycle is truly the epitome of custom-cruiser attitude – stacked with nostalgic traits, such as deeply valanced fenders and a big, fat tire on the spoked front wheel. Chrome covers make the fork downtubes shine and are complemented by a large chromed headlight housing. The tank-mounted speedometer adds extra custom-look appeal, as does the low-stepped seat. Classic styling, combined with modern performance features and affordable pricing, make this V-twin cruiser the leader of the pack on the sales floor.
The heart of the Vulcan 800 Classic’s powerplant is a rubber-mounted, 805cc V-twin engine with a single-pin crankshaft and 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, while simultaneously allowing maintenance-free, precise cam timing. A spin-on oil filter also helps keep maintenance at a minimum.
Giving the Vulcan 800 Classic its quick throttle response is a 36mm Keihin carburetor equipped with an accelerator pump. To take advantage of the engine’s broad torque curve, the five-speed transmission enhances the strong acceleration and creates a relaxed engine pace at highway speeds. The transmission also features Kawasaki’s Positive Neutral Finder, which simplifies finding neutral while at a standstill.
The single-backbone, double-cradle frame design gives the Vulcan 800 Classic stability at highway speeds and maneuverability on city streets. At the rear of the frame, a sleek, triangular steel swingarm and hidden Kawasaki UNI-TRAK? linkage rear suspension system provide a smooth ride while maintaining the look of a hard-tail cruiser. Up front, the 41mm fork aids handling and offers a wide stance for the classic cruiser look.
By combining modern features with nostalgic V-twin looks, the Vulcan 800 Classic makes a bold statement about style and value.
– The Vulcan 800 Classic cruiser comes with these standard features: Single Overhead Cams. Individual cam chains with automatic tensioners. Four-valve, free-breathing cylinder heads for maximum swept valve area. Smooth responding 36mm CVK carburetor fitted with an electric accelerator pump. And an internal gear-driven balancer to help deliver a smooth cruise.
– The transistor-controlled breakerless electronic ignition system with digital timing advance helps ensure precise throttle response and excellent fuel economy.
– The wide-ratio 5-speed transmission offers quick acceleration and a smooth overdrive top gear. Kawasaki’s exclusive Positive Neutral Finder makes finding neutral easy when you come to a stop.
– The twin-piston front brake calliper grips a drilled stainless steel rotor for confident braking performance.
– The Vulcan 800 Classic offers classic styling touches with its wider, deeply valanced front and rear fenders, its spoked wheels, its twin straight pipes and its bigger headlight.
With a nostalgic look of the ’50s, the Vulcan 800 Classic features deep valanced fenders and a big, fat front tire on the spoked front wheel. Chromed covers enhance the fork downtubes and are topped off by a large chromed headlight housing, while a tank-mounted speedometer gives it a custom look. The low-stepped seat adds to the low cruiser look and provides feet-on-the-ground comfort and stability when stopped. By combining modern performance and handling with the styling of a classic V-twin cruiser, the Vulcan 800 Classic does more than make a statement about style; it’s a value that lets the good times roll – Kawasaki
Vulcan Drifter: At first glance, the Kawasaki Vulcan® 800 Drifter™ motorcycle appears as a cruiser from the late 1940s, but a closer look reveals that the Drifter’s retro styling disguises a very modern machine. Sculptured fenders cover much of the spoke wheels and the single fishtail muffler juts prominently out the back – that’s what first catches the eye. What lies underneath is a state-of-the-art engine, frame, and chassis equipped with today’s technical amenities for conquering the open road.
Powering the Vulcan 800 Drifter is a 805cc V-twin SOHC four-stroke engine with a single-pin crankshaft and 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, while a spin-on oil filter helps make maintenance a quick and easy job.
The Drifter’s 36mm carburetor features the Kawasaki Throttle Responsive Ignition Control (K-TRIC) throttle position censor, which is 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. The result is crisp throttle response and better fuel efficiency.
At the rear of the single backbone, double-cradle frame is a sleek, triangulated steel swingarm and Kawasaki’s UNI-TRAK® linkage rear suspension system, which provide a smooth ride while maintaining the retro look of a hard tail cruiser. Front and rear disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power.
For comfort, the Drifter’s specially contoured solo saddle is nice and low, allowing the rider to comfortably plant both feet on the ground at stops. Wide floorboards allow for a relaxed sitting position, a heel-toe shifter makes changing gears in the five-speed transmission a snap, and self-canceling turn signals add to rider convenience.
Finally, the generous use of chrome on the engine covers, bullet-shaped headlight shell, fork and shock covers, handlebar and clamp, rear fender rail, and license-plate bracket enhance the custom look. Upon its introduction in 1999, the Kawasaki Drifter motorcycle’s styling was selected for the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design’s permanent design collection. Placed on display at the museum’s main building in downtown Chicago, it was declared “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.”
– Superior Kawasaki engineering includes: Efficient liquid cooling. 4-valve SOHC cylinder heads. Digitally-controlled ignition. Responsive 36mm carburetor now with K-TRIC digital throttle response.
– The 800 Drifter is smooth and easy handling with its gear-driven engine balancer, rubber engine mounts, 63.6-inch (1615 mm) long wheelbase and very low 29.9-inch (759.5 mm) seat height.
– The lean-looking solo seat is thickly padded for extended riding enjoyment. An accessory two-person seat is available.
– Wide front and rear tires, generous ground clearance, a plush 41mm hydraulic front fork and Kawasaki’s unique UNI-TRAK® rear suspension with seven-way adjustable spring preload make the cruise smooth and enjoyable.
– The Drifter 800 shows off its late-40s styling: Heavily skirted rear fender. Fishtail exhaust tip. Tank-mounted speedometer and the traditional look of a hardtail.
– Powerful braking performance provided by dual-piston callipers on both the front and rear discs.
– The custom designed fuel tank holds a generous 3.3 gallons (15 litres) and features a smooth, clean edge thanks to its flangeless welded seam.
– Engineered for rigidity, provides precise handling with good tire and chain life
– Chromed steel rims and spokes with “spool-style” polished aluminum front hub
– A hot spark at all engine speeds for easy starting, smooth running and good fuel economy
– 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
– More consistent running temperatures mean no “power fade” on hot days and longer engine life
– Better breathing for more power and low-end torque
Once again the Vulcan 800 Drifter complements its larger sibling in the 2001 Kawasaki cruiser line-up, but with a few key changes. 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. – Kawasaki
MBG Says: (Rating- Classic: 6/10, Drifter 7/10) Both the Vulcan 800 Classic and Drifter possess great qualities, clean and elegant lines, smooth and powerful engines, and well balanced handling. Unfortunately, all that isn’t enough to justify the high price tag of the Classic. Whereas, with the Drifter, it is the buyer who seems much less interested in an Indian replica than one would have thought a year (1999) ago.
UMG Says: Sophisticated vee-twins, with four valve heads and watercooling, plus shaft drive that works well enough in the custom context. But lacks the street credibility of Harleys and doesn’t really compete on price Not many on offer in the used market and no real faults as far as we know. New Classic versions of the VN800/1500 for 1996 with more on the ball styling and even better engines.
IGM Says Vulcan 800 Classic (Best buy, Best first bike): Kawasaki’s 800 Vulcan series uses a frame with hidden shocks, like Harley’s Softail series and Honda’s VLX, to give the bike that antique Hardtail look. These bikes don’t have the snort of their bigger siblings, but they have more than enough power and make better beginners’ bikes. The Classic has a more antique, retro look.
IGM Says Vulcan 800 (Best buy, Best first bike): The same basic bike as the Classic, but with chopperesque styling.