2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS

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2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS
2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS Review

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS

Kawasaki’s first bagger model follows a wide-and-low concept, its design flowing from the front to the rear of the bike. Along with its hard, sporty image, the Vulcan 1700 Vaquero is loaded with high-grade cruising essentials like Kawasaki’s advanced brake system K-ACT ABS, Electronic Cruise Control, and a high-spec iPod-compatible audio system…

Head-turning Looks, Miles of Attitude

Who says you can’t have a well-deserved attitude and still be practical? Owners of a Vulcan® 1700 Vaquero® bagger have the best of both worlds. The traffic stopping good looks will make you smile every time you throw a leg over this blacked beauty. A frame-mounted, abbreviated fairing sets the stage while the swoopy tank leads the eye to the shapely luggage of this V-twin bagger. The multi-textured blacked-out engine and chassis treatment includes components (like the air-cleaner cover, wheels, fork assembly and tank cover) that would normally be chromed, leaving only a special few parts (engine guards, exhaust, mirrors, etc.) to receive plating and act as bright accents to either the Metallic Flat Spark Black or Two-Tone Candy Burnt Orange (SE model) paint.

Vaquero has the substance to back up the flashy styling. The beefy 1700cc V-twin is tuned to deliver instant power with the twist of the wrist on both the boulevard and the highway—all with Kawasaki’s famed long-term dependability. The impressive list of standard features rounding out the roomy cockpit, like electronic cruise control and a high output audio system, show the Vaquero’s practical approach to racking up big miles. However, when this menacing stranger rolls into town on Friday evening, no one will forget the first time they saw the Vaquero.

Beneath all that beautiful bodywork, matte paint and chrome is a superbly engineered motorcycle, one that blends power, handling, a confidence-inspiring character and impressive dependability into a massively functional package.

It all starts with the Vaquero’s 1,700cc liquid-cooled V-twin, which powers all three Vulcan 1700 models – Voyager®, Nomad™ and Vaquero. A thoroughly proven design, this 52-degree V-twin 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.

A massive quantity of usable torque spread out over a shockingly wide rpm range is the signature trait of its muscular V-twin. With 108 foot-pounds of torque, a mere twist of the Vaquero’s throttle delivers effortless 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’.

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.

The intercom headset-compatible, 40-watt, twin-speaker audio system features navigation audio prompts, a three-band (FM/AM/WX) radio that is also compatible with iPods, an XM radio tuner, select GPS devices, or a CB radio unit. The audio system (and iPod) can be operated by an integrated controller on the left handlebar. In addition to volume, the rider can also adjust the bass, treble and balance levels of the system.

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 as 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.

The 1700 Vaquero’s braking hardware consists of dual 300mm front discs with twin-piston calipers and a 300mm rear disc with a two-piston caliper—all linked and enhanced by the Kawasaki Advanced Coactive Braking Technology (K-ACT II) ABS system. K-ACT II uses advanced electronics to translate the rider’s braking inputs from both the front lever and rear pedal into smooth, balanced deceleration and maximum stopping performance. Basically, the front lever also activates the rear brake, and the rear pedal also engages the right front caliper. K-ACT II ensures all this happens seamlessly and efficiently, and the second-generation system uses the same smaller, lighter ABS unit and faster, higher-spec brake ECU found on the Kawasaki Concours® 14 ABS motorcycle for even smoother, more precise operation. K-ACT’s coactive function does not engage when braking is applied at speeds below 12 mph, and the ABS function is automatically disengaged at speeds below 4 mph.

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.

Genuine Kawasaki Accessories are available through authorized Kawasaki dealers.



2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS Totalmotorcycle.com Key Features

Key Features

– Blacked-out looks accentuate the lines and body shapes through the use of varied surface texture and subtle, contrasting highlights

– Sporty, one-piece saddle with low seat height emphasizes the classic, long, low “bagger” look

– “Muscle car” inspired instrumentation delivers essential information with style

– Powerful 1,700cc V-twin delivers impressive levels of torque and immediate passing power

– Six-speed transmission for effortless acceleration and relaxed cruising at highway speeds

– Electronic throttle actuation system combines optimized injector timing for throttle valve position, delivering accurate, powerful engine performance

– Kawasaki’s sophisticated K-ACT II ABS system builds rider confidence by helping execute controlled, balanced braking

– Electronic cruise control maintains speed and reduces rider fatigue on long trips

– Stylish, frame-mounted fairing keeps steering feel light by directing aerodynamic forces into the chassis

– Feature-rich, AM/FM/WB audio system with iPod and XM radio compatibility is standard equipment

– Twin tapered mufflers maximize saddlebag capacity and improve the engine’s power delivery

– Includes a 36 month limited factory warranty. Optional supplementary plans offer a maximum of 36 additional months of Kawasaki’s Protection Plus™ coverage—bumping the total possible warranty to an amazing SIX YEARS!




2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS Totalmotorcycle.com Features and Benefits


Powerful 1,700cc V-twin engine

– Fuel-injected 52-degree 1,700cc V-twin is liquid-cooled and features four valves per cylinder

– Long-stroke 102 x 104mm bore and stroke dimensions deliver high torque levels with a powerful and 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

Digital Fuel Injection

– The touring-oriented Vaquero utilizes DFI® and an exhaust system tuned to reach peak torque and horsepower at a higher rpm than the engines used in standard Vulcan 1700 cruisers

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

Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-Braking Technology (K-ACT II) ABS

– Vaquero ABS features Kawasaki’s sophisticated K-ACT II system, which helps riders to execute controlled, balanced braking. Designed to complement the riders’ brake inputs, the system distributes the ideal amount of brake pressure to maximize braking efficiency

– Low battery mode maintains ABS function while reducing signal frequency to conserve power when needed

– For increased controllability in tight corners and when executing U-turns, K-ACT II’s coactive function does not engage when braking is initiated at speeds below 12 mph

– ABS function is disengaged at speeds below 4 mph

– Dual 300mm front disc brakes with four-piston calipers and a two-piston rear disc brake for sure, powerful stops


– The strong steel frame allows a relatively short wheelbase for optimal ergonomics and easy maneuverability

– The Vaquero frame minimizes the number of forged parts and trims any unnecessary metal to help keep weight in check. 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

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 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

– 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

– 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


– 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

– A large number of genuine Kawasaki accessories are available, including iPod connector, XM radio module, K.Q.R. quick-release passenger backrest, 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




2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS – Totalmotorcycle.com USA Specifications/Technical Details
US MSRP Price: $18,299 / SE: $18,699 USD


Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valve per cylinder, 52° V-twin


1,700cc / 103.7 cu. in.

Bore x stroke:

102 x 104mm

Compression ratio:


Maximum torque:

108 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm


Liquid, plus cooling fins

Fuel Injection:

DFI® with dual 42mm throttle bodies


TCBI with Digital Advance


Six-speed with overdrive and positive neutral finder

Final drive:



Steel, double-cradle with box-section single-tube backbone

Rake / trail:

30 degrees / 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:


Rear tire:


Front brakes:

Dual 300mm discs, dual twin-piston calipers, K-ACT II ABS

Rear brakes:

Single 300mm disc, twin-piston caliper, K-ACT II ABS

Overall length:

98.8 in.

Overall width:

38.2 in.

Overall height:

50.8 in.

Ground clearance:

5.7 in.

Seat height:

28.7 in.


65.6 in.

Curb weight:**

835.7 lbs.

Fuel capacity:

5.3 gal.


Metallic Spark Black,

Candy Burnt Orange (SE)

MSRP Standard / SE:

$18,299 / $18,699


36 Months

Kawasaki Protection Plus:

12, 24, and 36 month plans are available




2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS – Totalmotorcycle.com Canadian Specifications/Technical Details
Canada MSRP Price: See dealer for pricing in CDN


Type 4-stroke, V-Twin
Displacement 1,700cc
Bore and stroke 102.0 x 104.0 mm
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
Cooling Liquid, plus cooling fins
Lubrication Forced lubrication (semi-dry sump)


Front: type Dual 300 mm discs
Front: calipers Dual 4-piston caliper
Rear: type Single 300 mm disc
Rear: calipers Twin-piston caliper


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** 383 kg (838.8 lbs.)
Fuel capacity 20 litres (4.4 gal.)


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


Type Double-cradle, high-tensile steel
Wheel travel: front 140 mm (5.5 in.)
Wheel travel: rear 80 mm (3.1 in.)
Tire: front 130/90-B16
Tire: rear 170/70-B16
Caster (rake) 30º
Trail 177 mm (7.0 in.)
Steering angle (left/right) 35º / 35º


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


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

* 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 amount indicated as “Your price” may include an optional instant Mega Cash credit that is deducted from the manufacturer’s suggested retail price before taxes. This promotion is time limited and certain conditions will apply. See your dealer for complete details. Offer not available on financed purchases and cannot be combined with any other special offers. The final price is at the discretion of the dealer. Prices and Specifications are subject to change without prior notice.

** Includes all necessary materials and fluids to operate correctly, full tank of fuel (more than 90% of capacity) and tool kit (if supplied)

‡ Power / Torque figures measured at the crankshaft.

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.

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