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submitted by Tigerwoman

A I'm 5 foot 5 inches (maybe a bit shorter) and the Vulcan 500 is a great beginner bike and very forgiving and not one to easily outgrow. It also has 6 speeds not just 5 so getting her up to 90 isn't a problem, so interstate riding is very possible. My gas mileage is ranging around 57 miles per gallon and she has a 4 gallon tank. She's lightweight and very well priced, under $5000.00. and finding a good used one isn't a problem either and they are also very well priced.

Here is a list of the specifications on the 2004 model:

Engine: Four-stroke, DOHC, 8-valve parallel twin
Displacement: 498cc
Starting: Electric
Bore x stroke: 74.0 x 58.0mm
Compression ratio: 10.2:1
Cooling: Liquid
Carburetion: Keihin CVK32 x 2
Ignition: Digital TCBI
Transmission: Six-speed
Final drive: Chain
Frame: Double cradle, steel
Rake / trail: 33° / 5.9 in.
Suspension type, front: 41mm hydraulic fork
Suspension type, rear: Dual hydraulic shocks
Suspension adjustments, rear: 5-way adjustable spring preload
Wheel travel, front: 5.9 in
Wheel travel, rear: 3.9 in.
Tire, front: 100/90 x 19
Tire, rear: 140/90 x 15
Brakes, front / rear: Hydraulic disc / Mechanical drum
Overall length: 91.3 in.
Overall width: 32.7 in.
Overall height: 44.3 in
Ground clearance: 4.7 in.
Seat height: 28.1 in.
Dry weight: 439 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 4.0 gal.
Wheelbase: 62.8 in.
Color: Metallic Ruby Red

Features of the bike:

Twin-cylinder 498cc Engine

  • Compact parallel-twin design based on the NINJA® 500 sport bike engine
  • Special cam profiles and ample flywheel weight boost low-end torque

Liquid Cooling

  • Keeps operating temperatures consistent, resulting in longer engine life
  • Allows tighter engine clearances for quieter running
  • Radiator hides between the frame down tubes

Four Valves per Cylinder

  • Better breathing for more power at high rpm
  • Compact combustion chamber for less detonation on today's gasolines
  • Boosts low-end torque

Digital Ignition

  • Microprocessor-controlled timing ultra-responsive to engine needs
  • Waterproof wiring connectors help prevent corrosion

Automatic Cam Chain Tensioner

  • Maintains precise timing without maintenance
  • Cam chain runs quietly, reliably
  • Assures greater reliability

Gear-driven Balancer

  • Engine vibration is reduced for a super-smooth ride

Six-speed Transmission

  • High second and third gears allow more relaxed cruising
  • Allows engine's full potential to be utilized

Positive Neutral Finder

  • Just lift the shift pedal from first at a stop to easily find neutral
  • A Kawasaki exclusive

32mm CVK Semi-flat Slide Carburetors

  • Quick throttle response
  • Precise fuel metering provides uniform power delivery at all engine


Handlebar-mounted Choke

  • Convenient location makes starting and warm-up easier

Straight-flow Exhaust

  • Designed to boost low and mid-range power
  • Tuned pipes enhance low-speed pulling power

Single Disc Front Brake

  • Single piston pin-slide caliper produces quick, sure stops
  • Disc is drilled for better cooling and reduces unsprung weight

Tank-mounted Speedometer with Turn Signal Indicators and Caution Lamps

  • Gives needed information at a glance
  • Compact design complements the bike's clean look

Stepped Seating

  • Laid-back riding comfort for two

Chrome-plated Wire Spoke Wheels

  • Narrow 100/90-19 front tire with a beefy 140/90-15 rear tire complement the LTD's traditional cruiser styling

O-ring Chain

  • Efficient power to rear wheel
  • O-rings keep lube in, dirt out for longer chain life

Thanks to Tigerwoman for submitting this personal review. Tigerwoman says, "I currently ride a red 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500. I have been riding for over a year, I am 32 yrs old and I live in Nashville, TN. I am currently in the Southern Cruisers Riding Club-Middle TN Chapter and also a member of the First Baptist Church of Smyrna TN Sonrunners. "

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