Kawasaki Delivering 4 Revamped Vulcan Cruisers

Publish Date: 
Mar 31, 2009

KAWASAKI DEALERS this month started taking deliveries of the new Vulcan 1700 Classic, Vulcan 1700 Classic LT, Vulcan 1700 Nomad and Vulcan 1700 Voyager. Kawasaki invited media to Northern California this week to ride the Vulcan range, so expect the bikes to be spotlighted in a variety of magazines and websites in coming months.

The Vulcan 1700 Classic ($12,299) has a lighter, more compact frame holding a new long-stroke 50° V-twin engine utilizing overhead cams and a high-tech electronic throttle valve, a new six-speed transmission and a carbon fiber drive belt 40 percent stronger than a Kevlar version.

The Vulcan 1700 Classic LT ($13,799) features a new engine, upped from a 1600cc to a 1700cc lump and delivering 15 percent more torque than the previous version, a lighter and more compact frame, and the carbon fiber drive belt found on the Classic. It’s outfitted with a two-point adjustable windscreen; leather, studded seats and saddlebags; and a passenger backrest.

The Vulcan 1700 Nomad ($14,399-$14,699) comes outfitted an adjustable handlebar-mounted windscreen; hard, lockable, top-opening 10 gal. side cases; front and rear guards to protect engine and side cases; passenger floorboards; a backrest with integrated passenger grab bars; and standard cruise control. It also features an updated fuel-injection system and a fully electronic throttle actuation system driving the ECU.

Based on the systems used by the Ninja 650R and Vulcan 900, the new fuel-injection system utilizes one sensor in place of the usual three for reduced complexity and weight. Plus, the Nomad’s FI and exhaust systems are tuned to reach peak torque and horsepower at a higher rpm than the engines used in standard Vulcan 1700 cruisers.

Kawasaki’s first 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. From the rider’s perspective, the electro-throttle 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 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 then relayed to the ECU by a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS). Kawasaki says this all results in accurate, powerful engine response. (Continued)