Kawasaki Vulcan 500 Information

Written by rob wagner
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Kawasaki Vulcan 500 Information
(Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The Kawasaki Vulcan 500 is an entry-level motorcycle with a long wheelbase, good seating and enough powerfor use on long trips. Introduced in 1990, the motorcycle has become increasingly popular as a beginner’s first bike. Kawasaki’s extensive parts and accessories network allows owners to easily repair or dress up their motorcycle.

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Origins

The Kawasaki Vulcan line was introduced in 1984. The 500 debuted in 1990. The parallel-twin engine is the same as that used in the 500 Ninja. The Vulcan was essentially unchanged until 1996 when it received a modest facelift in which the instrument panel was moved to the gas tank and the chrome front fender disappeared in favour of a painted version, according to Topspeed.com.

Appearance

The Vulcan 500 sports a single-piece, 28.1-inch-high seat that offers a passenger plenty of room. The bike also is equipped with quick-grab handlebars and a sharply designed front fender that hugs the 19-inch front wheel. It’s designed in a classic retro style but handles like a contemporary motorcycle. The speedometer, caution lamps and turn indicators are mounted on the teardrop gas tank. At the rear is a straight-flow exhaust and custom-style rear fender with mounted taillamp over a 15-inch rear tire.

Engine Details

The Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD is adequately powered by a liquid-cooled, 498cc, 4-stroke, 8-valve parallel twin engine with a 74mm bore and 58mm stroke. The engine’s compression ratio is 10.2 to 1 and the carburettors are Keihin CVK32s. Although the Keihins are adequate, the lack of fuel injection hampers overall performance. Power is transmitted via a 6-speed transmission. The fuel tank holds four gallons.

Dimensions

The motorcycle is 91.3 inches long, 32.7 inches wide and stands 44.3 inches tall. Its wheelbase is 62.8 inches. Ground clearance is a scant 4.7 inches. Seat height is 28.1 inches. This is a bike for the road only. Suspension is provided by a front hydraulic fork and rear dual hydraulic 5-way spring-loaded adjustable shocks. There are disc brakes in the front and a drum brake on the rear wheel. It weighs 214kg.

Performance

The Vulcan 500 is lightweight, sturdy and performs much like larger bikes. Parking it next to one of the big boys at a roadside diner won’t be an embarrassment. The Vulcan 500 excels on the highway and is appropriate for long-haul travelling, but it’s best to check out the high-end aftermarket seats for better comfort. Also consider that having a passenger will compromise the speed and acceleration of the Vulcan. This bike is best for the single rider, since the engine is small and light.

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