2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom

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2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom
2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom
2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom
2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom
2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom

– 2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom Review

Complete with Street Swagger

Inspired by the streets, inspired by history. The Vulcan® 900 Custom and Custom Special Edition both draw from the styling cues from back in the day and modern times. There’s plenty to like about the Custom’s styling profile, from its aggressive flat handlebar to forward footpegs. The stylish cast wheels, including a solid-look rear wheel, give it a distinctive appearance. And the 180-series rear tire is the largest in its class, highlighting its big bike style. And its affordable price tag makes the Custom an even more appealing ride.

The Vulcan 900 Custom’s appeal is more than just paint-deep. It has a fuel-injected 903cc engine that produces exceptional roll-on acceleration rivaling the get-up-and-go of much larger motorcycles – yet it’s wrapped in a nimble chassis that lets it turn and handle like no heavyweight motorcycle can.
The 900 Custom’s unique, edgy design shows it can stand out from the crowd. Kawasaki engineers and designers concentrated on delivering a motorcycle with a customized appearance typically found only on expensive two-wheel offerings. A massive rear tire, light-looking front end accentuated by a thin 21-inch cast wheel, and sculpted bodywork top the stand-out features of the Vulcan 900 Custom.

Perhaps one of the most striking examples of this Vulcan cruiser’s distinctive look is its large-diameter 21-inch front cast wheel – itself somewhat rare in the custom-building world. The wheel features spokes arranged in pairs for a special visual appeal. Balancing the lightweight look of the front end is a low, wide rear wheel featuring a 180mm tire on a 15-inch cast wheel that gives the rider the feeling of sitting on a one-of-a-kind, made-to-order motorcycle.

Bridging the visual contrast between the front and rear wheels is a sleek and subtle fuel tank. Its flowing lines easily lead the eye along the careful and delicate curves that blend together the highly customized form of this gem of mid-sized cruisers. A matte black frame provides an understated framework for the Kawasaki artistry that is the appealing and gutsy, fuel-injected V-Twin Vulcan 900 Custom. Its stylish aesthetics grace a platform that’s perfect for customization with Kawasaki accessories.

Ready for anything from local streets to highway speeds, the Vulcan 900 Custom’s good power, excellent stability, easy maneuverability, and startling good looks make this Kawasaki the one to own.

Want an even more exclusive ride? Then the “Special Edition” model may satisfy that craving. The Vulcan 900 Custom SE comes with all the trappings of an expensive handmade creation for a fraction of the cost and none of the maintenance headaches. It features a special black-out treatment on the air cleaner, engine cases, and exhaust. To go along with the special black-out treatment, this year’s Special Edition features solid black wheels. The 2012 Vulcan 900 Custom SE is finished off with a Special Edition Candy Sparking Orange paint scheme with a tribal pinstripe graphic on the tank and rear fender.

Big-Bike Appeal

The Vulcan 900 Custom is a factory built custom bike that really stands out from the crowd. It’s the result of Kawasaki’s pursuit of the essence of a true custom motorcycle. A study in contrasts, its low set rear, massive rear tyre and solid disc wheel are juxtaposed against a clean and lightweight front end.

With the flick of a switch, the fuel injected V-Twin Vulcan 900 Custom comes to life, its satisfying pulse urging the rider to hit the open road. The feel good acceleration and light, sporty handling characteristics offer a stress free riding sensation that will have riders reluctant to dismount, except perhaps to admire their ride.

Designed to look good from all angles, the carefully crafted Vulcan 900 Custom’s bodywork creates delicate patterns of light and shadow, enhancing the Custom’s striking appearance.

Whether booming down the highway or cruising slowly through city streets, the Vulcan 900 Custom’s light sporty handling makes it one easy to ride cruiser.



2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom Features and Benefits

Key Features

• 903cc liquid-cooled V-twin offers the optimal balance of performance and maneuverability
• Stylish cast wheels – solid-look rear and “twin-spoke” front
• Forward-mounted foot controls for laid-back riding position
• Fat 180-series rear tire is largest in class
• Stylish instrumentation includes convenient fuel gauge
• 5.3-gallon fuel tank is largest in class
• Efficient and stylish belt drive for long life
• Digital fuel injection for precise throttle response and improved fuel economy

903cc V-twin SOHC Engine

• Smooth and reliable engine tuned to deliver a healthy dose of torque at low rpm
• Gear-driven balancer allows the use of a single-pin crankshaft without excessive vibration
• Rubber mounted to reduce engine vibration at all speeds

Four-valve Cylinder Head

• Provides maximum valve area for optimum flow, creating more power and low-end torque
• Single overhead cam design is simple, lightweight and practical
• Long intake tracts narrow near the combustion chamber to increase intake flow speed for more efficient filling, increased torque and better low-end response

Liquid and Air Cooling

• Finned cylinders and heads combine with liquid cooling for exceptional thermal control
• Maintains consistent engine temperatures for long engine life and sustained power
• Automatic fan helps keep things cool

Dual Slash-cut Mufflers

• Big slash-cut mufflers look great and contain emission reducing honeycomb catalyzers

Positive Neutral Finder

• Just lift the shift pedal from first gear at a stop to easily find neutral, every time

Electronic Fuel Injection

• Superb performance and rideability thanks to dual throttle bodies with sub-throttles
• The ECU-controlled sub-throttles are located behind the main throttle valve, allowing the DFI® system to provide more precise throttle response, similar to a constant velocity carburetor
• Fine-atomizing fuel injectors produce a fine fuel mist for optimal acceleration, combustion and fuel consumption

Double Cradle Frame

• Very rigid, large-diameter box section backbone allows space for a larger fuel tank, and offers high stability and lightweight handling at low speeds
• Fork offset and frame geometry combine for light, low-effort handling at ultra-low speeds
• Long wheelbase contributes to highway stability
• Triangular swingarm has a hardtail appearance, but utilizes a single shock hidden beneath the seat
• Long and low chassis for minimal seat height, maximum visual impact

Belt Drive • Lower unsprung weight than shaft drive to improve ride quality and suspension action
• Low maintenance and low noise

41mm Front Fork

• Offers excellent rigidity and 5.9 inches of travel
• 33 degrees of rake and 7.2 inches of trail for excellent straight line stability

Front and Rear Disc Brakes

• A 300mm front and 270mm rear disc are both gripped by twin-piston calipers for some of the best stopping power in the class

Custom Cast 21-inch Front Wheel

• The wheel’s 18 “spokes” are arranged in pairs
• Tapered and flanged in two directions, every line and surface of each 3D spoke is exquisitely curved

Wide Rear Tire

• 180mm rear tire provides added stability while projecting a powerful image
• Wider tire than that found on most large-displacement cruisers
• Custom cast 15-inch rear wheel contrasts the “light,” tall front wheel

Tank-mounted Speedometer with Turn Signal Indicators and Caution Lamps • Provides riders crucial information at a glance
• Compact design matches the bike’s clean look

Sculpted Bodywork

• Fuel tank features a twin valley design, with a dynamic tension and presence all its own
• Designed to be pleasing to both the eye and to the touch, the tank is composed exclusively of curves with constantly varying radii; the twin valley design theme continues to the rear fender and its hand-sculpted contours
• Bottom of the rear fender features a relatively straight cut, to balance the lines of the motorcycle

Custom Features

• Chromed headlamp, headlamp mount, lower triple clamp and turn signals as well as footpegs, shift lever and rear brake lever
• Clean headlight design is compact and isolated without a central fork cover or headlamp bar
• Small, minimalist fender and lack of front fork covers also contribute to the slender appearance of the front end
• Sporty, straight-style handlebar adds to the bike’s custom styling. Instead of handlebar clamps, twin tubes elegantly curve back from the upper triple clamp. Both the handlebar and twin tubes are completely chromed
• Forward-mounted footpegs instead of floorboards add to the custom image and improve rider control
• One-piece “gunfighter” style seat is designed for comfortable rider and passenger accommodation and a custom-style look
• Matte black frame emphasizes the chrome finishing
• Standard toe-operated shift lever instead of a heel-toe shifter complements the forward footpegs for a more open rider position

Special Edition

• Black-out treatment on air cleaner, engine cases, handlebar, headlight and rear fender struts
• New for 2012, solid black wheels enhance blackout look


2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom – USA Specifications/Technical Details
US MSRP Price:
$8,699 – 8,999 USD

Engine Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valves per cylinder V-twin

Displacement 903cc / 55.1 cu. in.

Bore x Stroke 88 x 74.2 mm

Maximum Torque 58.2 lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm

Compression Ratio 9.5:1

Cooling System Liquid

Fuel System DFI® with dual 34mm Keihin throttle bodies (2)

Ignition TCBI with Electronic Advance

Transmission 5-Speed

Final Drive Belt

Frame Double cradle, high-tensile steel

Rake/Trail 33°/7.2 in.

Front Suspension / Wheel Travel 41mm hydraulic telescopic fork / 5.9 in.

Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel Uni-Trak® swingarm, 7-way adjustable spring preload / 4.1 in.

Front Tire Size 80/90×21

Rear Tire Size 180/70×15

Wheelbase 64.8 in.

Front Brakes / Rear Brakes 300mm hydraulic disc / 270mm hydraulic disc

Fuel Capacity 5.3 gal.

Seat Height 27.0 in.

Overall Length 94.7 in.

Overall Width 35.2 in.

Overall Height 44.1 in.

Curb Weight 610.8 lbs.

Color Choices Pearl Purplish Black Mica / Candy Sparking Orange

Good Times™ Protection Plan 12, 24, 36 or 48 months

Warranty 12 Months


2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom – Canadian Specifications/Technical Details
Canada MSRP Price:
See Canadian Kawasaki Dealer for pricing.

Type 4-stroke, V-Twin
Displacement 903cc
Bore and Stroke 88.0 x 74.2 mm
Cooling Liquid
Compression Ratio 9.5:1
Valve System SOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Fuel Injection Digital fuel injection with dual 34 mm throttle bodies
Ignition TCBI with digital advance
Lubrication Forced lubrication (wet sump)


Transmission 5-speed, constant mesh, return shift
Final Drive Kevlar belt
Primary Reduction Ratio 2.184 (83/38)
Gear Ratio: 1st 2.786 (39/14)
Gear Ratio: 2nd 1.889 (34/18)
Gear Ratio: 3rd 1.360 (34/25)
Gear Ratio: 4th 1.107 (31/28)
Gear Ratio: 5th 0.963 (26/27)
Final Reduction Ratio 2.063 (66/32)
Clutch Wet multi-disc, manual


Type Double-cradle, high-tensile steel
Wheel Travel: Front 150 mm (5.9 in.)
Tire: Front 80/90-21
Wheel Travel: Rear 103 mm (4.1 in.)
Tire: Rear 180/70-15
Caster (Rake) 33°
Trail 182 mm (7.1 in.)
Steering Angle (Left/Right) 36° / 36°


Suspension, Front 41 mm hydraulic telescopic fork
Suspension, Rear Uni-Trak with 7-way adjustable preload


Front: Type Single 300 mm disc
Front: Caliper 2-piston calipers
Rear: Type Single 270 mm hydraulic disc
Rear: Caliper 2-piston calipers


Overall Length 2,405 mm (94.7 in.)
Overall Width 895 mm (35.2 in.)
Overall Height 1,120 mm (44.1 in.)
Wheelbase 1,645 mm (64.8 in.)
Ground Clearance 140 mm (5.5 in.)
Seat Height 685 mm (27.0 in.)
Curb Mass** 277 kg (611 lbs.)
Fuel Capacity 20 liters (4.4 gal.)
Fuel Consumption 5.2 L/100 km (54 MPG)
** Includes all necessary materials and fluids to operate correctly, full tank of fuel (more than 90% of capacity) and tool kit (if supplied)


Maximum Power ‡ 37 kW {50.0 PS} @ 5,700 rpm
Maximum Torque ‡ 78 N·m {8.0 kgƒ·m} @ 3,500 rpm
‡ Power / Torque figures measured at the crankshaft.


Colours Pearl Purplish Black Mica, Candy Sparkling Orange ( Special Editon )
Warranty 12 months warranty


Good Times Protection Plan 24 or 36 months (Kawasaki GTPP coverage begins after the standard limited warranty expires)

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 900 Custom – UK/European Specifications/Technical Details
See UK/EU Kawasaki Dealer for pricing.


Engine type
Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke V-Twin

903 cm³

Bore x stroke
88.0 x 74.2 mm

Compression ratio

Valve/Induction system
SOHC, 8 valves

Fuel system
Fuel injection: ø34 mm x 2 with dual throttles



5-speed, return

Frame type
Double-cradle, steel

33º/182 mm

Wheel travel, front
150 mm

Wheel travel, rear
103 mm

Tyre, front
80/90-21M/C 48H

Tyre, rear
180/70-15M/C 76H

Steering angle, left / right
36º / 36º

Suspension, front
41 mm telescopic fork

Suspension, rear

Brakes, front
Single 300 mm disc

Brakes, rear
Single 270 mm disc

Dimensions (L x W x H)
2,405 x 895 x 1,120 mm

1,645 mm

Seat height
685 mm

Fuel capacity
20 litres

Curb Mass
278 kg

Maximum power
37 kW {50 PS} / 5,700 rpm

Maximum torque
78 N·m {8.0 kgf·m} / 3,700 rpm



2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom – Australian Specifications/Technical Details
Australia MSRP Price:
See Australian Kawasaki Dealer for pricing.


Type Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke V-Twin
Displacement 903 cm³
Bore and Stroke 88.0 x 74.2 mm
Compression ratio 9.5:1
Valve system SOHC, 8 valves
Fuel system Fuel injection: Ø 34 mm x 2 with dual throttles
Ignition Digital
Starting Electric
Lubrication Forced lubrication, wet sump

Transmission 5-speed, return
Final drive Belt
Primary reduction ratio 2.184 (83/38)
Gear ratios: 1st 2.786 (39/14)
2nd 1.889 (34/18)
3rd 1.360 (34/25)
4th 1.107 (31/28)
5th 0.963 (26/27)
Final reduction ratio 2.063 (66/32)
Clutch Wet multi-disc, manual

Type Double-cradle, steel
Wheel travel: front 150 mm
rear 103 mm
Tyre: front 80/90-21M/C 48H
rear 180/70-15M/C 76H
Caster (rake) 33°
Trail 182 mm
Steering angle (left/right) 36° / 36°

Front: Type 41 mm telescopic fork
Rear: Type Uni-Trak
Spring preload 7-way

Front: Type Single 300 mm discs
Caliper Twin-piston
Rear: Type Single 270 mm disc
Caliper Twin-piston

Overall length 2,405 mm
Overall width 895 mm
Overall height 1,120 mm
Wheelbase 1,645 mm
Ground clearance 140 mm
Seat height 685 mm
Curb mass 277 kg Includes full fuel tank
Fuel capacity 20 litres

Maximum power 37 kW {50 PS} / 5,700 rpm (EUR/AUS)
40 kW {54 PS} / 6,000 rpm (USA/CAN)
Maximum torque 78 N·m {8.0 kgf·m} / 3,700 rpm (EUR/AUS)
82 N·m {8.4 kgf·m} / 3,500 rpm (USA/CAN)

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