KAWASAKI VULCAN 750
A wonderful purchase for the beginner biker who is of
stature at 5'-8" or taller! At a modest and negotiable sticker price of
$5999, it offers just about all the conveniences of low maintenance and
road-worthiness on the Interstates. It's a bike you can grow into, as
I've ridden it 79,000 miles in the three and half years I've been
This motorcycle has remained essentially the same with very few
modifications as comes from the manufacturer since 1985. That means
parts are plentiful and even though the price of new parts exceeds
practical limits, the salvage parts market is your friend when the
warranty runs out!
Check out the following:
||Low price for nice features, I believe it’s still
just under $6,000, and don’t let any dealer tack-on a bunch of “prep
charges”, etc. Don’t believe it, and besides, with the stagnant
economy now, it’s a “buyers’ market” and you can probably talk them
down on price.
||This motorcycle has remained essentially the same
with very few modifications as comes from the manufacturer since 1985.
That means parts are plentiful and even though the price of new parts
exceeds practical limits, the salvage parts market is your friend when
the warranty runs out!
||Liquid-cooled engine w/radiator, which is great
when stuck in traffic jams.
||Shaft-driven final drive, which means no chain or
belt maintenance, which is a real time-saver.
||Hydraulic engine valves, which means no valve
||Tubeless tires, which means easier tire repairs
||Five speed, which is all you’ll ever need between
crawling and up to about 80mph.
||Comes with tachometer, speedometer and lighted
indicator lights for oil pressure, high beam, neutral and headlight
malfunction warning as standard equipment.
||Stock seat is adequately comfortable and soft.
After an extended trip of over 3 hours, some discomfort will be
noticed. Aftermarket seats are available, but expensive.
||Overall, simple and well-engineered motorcycle,
been around since 1985 and is practically the same model all this
time, which means
salvaged or used parts are mostly interchangeable.
||Steering geometry is set at “average” position for
just about any motorcyclist. Good place to start if you plan on
graduating to larger bike.
||Dry weight (without rider) is about 486 pounds. By
comparison to other bikes, this is “right in the middle”. The average
female (5-8, 150 pounds, say) would not have a problem feeling in
control of the bike while sitting still, but once dropped to the
ground, may need some assistance in raising the bike.
||750cc engine is about the least engine
horsepower/torque I would ever consider. Anything smaller than that is
not only dangerous in an emergency (to get “out of the way”), but is
not highway worthy when traveling interstates or busy highways. THIS
IS IMPORTANT! Many people underestimate this need. Moving with the
flow of the traffic is very important as statistics bear out many
accidents occur when the rider/driver “is moving at a slower speed
than the flow of traffic”. 750cc’s is a bit advanced as far as power
for a total beginner, but it doesn’t take terribly long to learn how
to control it, anyway. Most insurance underwriters provide estimates
on motorcycles with lower costs up to 750cc. After 750cc, your
insurance costs will go up dramatically, based on engine power alone!
||Compared to some other motorcycles on the market,
seat height (27.5 inches from the ground) might be a bit too high if
the individual is under 5’-8”. With a ground clearance of just under 6
inches (150 mm), there are suspension modifications that can be
performed to “drop the frame” (lower) an inch or so. These include
aftermarket shocks and/or fork springs. Some have cut the front fork
springs or spacers (inside the tubes) but this greatly affects ride
quality and suspension behavior under hard braking. Cutting the spacer
is tricky, since you should always maintain some preload on the fork
spring (you don’t want it banging into the top of the fork tube cap
when the suspension goes through radical travel compression).
Shaving some of the seat foam in the seat is another option, but
comfort is compromised by this action. There are other ways around the
problem too, like fabricated suspension mods, but I don’t recommend
“mickey mouse” fixes since proficient welding is imperative.
||NOTE THIS: ALL JAPANESE MOTORCYCLES, BUT ESPECIALLY
THE KAWASAKI'S, HAVE OVER INFLATED REPLACEMENT PARTS PRICES! Know
that, if outside warranty (one year), and something breaks, it helps a
great deal to either have a trusted and fair mechanic who can work
some miracles or be handy yourself. The replacement parts prices are
double what they should be as I’m finding out now that I've past
53,000 miles on my present bike!! Kawasaki has no interest in selling
you parts; they want to sell new motorcycles only, and they see to
that. It’s how they keep the showroom price so low.
||Hydraulic engine lifters (tappets) and cam chain
tensioners do have problems (malfunctioning, noise) after say, 30,000
miles max. This is typical for this bike and some mechanical attention
to the valve train should be planned on.
||The aesthetic appearance of the motorcycle does not
appeal to all riders. The basic “look” of the motorcycle has been
unchanged since 1985. Some find the muffler system to appear anemic
(restrictive) even though it is not. Just the same, the design of the
bike is somewhat dated by appearance, and if you can overlook this (or
customize it), you will be getting a good buy.
The Vulcan 750 comes shipped from the factory as 482
pounds. You can "safely" (according to Kawasaki) add 397 pounds total in
addition with riders, luggage and accessories. Beyond that, the
stability of the frame is compromised and of course, those ratings are
dependent upon quality tires comparable with what the bike was
originally equipped with.
If you'd like MORE info on the 750, check out my
website where you can even ask me questions on the "email me" link
at the bottom of the homepage!
Whatever you do, just GO OUT THERE AND HAVE FUN!
Thanks to gYpSy for submitting this personal review. gYpSy says, "An
automotive mechanical background gives me (and you, the reader!) an
advantage of a practical view of this motorcycle. I've been riding since
1999 and have owned two motorcycles, both this model."
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