More for less – there’s the secret to success. Kawasaki wisely applied this notion to the Vulcan 900 Classic, introduced for 2009 as a stylish cruiser drawing inspiration (my guess is this is no coincidence) from the classic Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Boy, a machine that’s all about curves and flowing lines.
|The imposing 900cc twin enhances the appeal of the Vulcan 900 thanks to a clean and simple design.
For 2010, the Vulcan 900 Classic offers all the characteristics of an authentic cruiser, including a low seat, a wide handlebar, plenty of chrome, mid-mounted footboards and the requisite V-twin. Favorably priced in the category, this bike impresses with neat fit and finish.
A modern, retro-styled engine
The 900cc twin-cylinder enhances the appeal of the Vulcan 900 thanks to a clean and simple design, chromed components, polished cooling fins and a radiator that’s nicely hidden. Compared to the old VN800, the new engine also benefits from a major technical upgrade: electronic fuel injection featuring 34-mm dual throttle valves, one controlled directly by the throttle and the other managed by the onboard computer based on engine speed and throttle opening.
The quest for superior efficiency led Kawasaki engineers to install new SOHC 4-valve cylinder heads. And while the 900 lost some high-rpm power, performance is improved with a significant boost in low- and mid-range torque (a.k.a. the part of the torque curve most often used on a daily basis). The five-speed gearbox gets revised lower gear ratios for smoother accelerations, while the longer fifth gear reduces engine speed as well as fuel consumption and emissions.
As for the chassis, the double-cradle steel frame (painted in a very trendy matte black) teams up with a non-adjustable 41-mm front fork, a preload-adjustable single rear shock, as well as 300-mm front and 270-mm rear discs clamped by dual-piston calipers.
The Vulcan 900 offers a natural riding position that almost feels like an executive’s chair, especially with the wide, nicely-positioned handlebar, the mid-mounted footboards and the sculpted seat just 685 millimeters off the ground.
|The Vulcan 900 offers a natural riding position that almost feels like an executive’s chair, especially with the wide, nicely-positioned handlebar, as well as easy-to-read gauges.