All Tests – Vulcan S Test: the little green men’s custom – MNC rides the Vulcan S, a little green thoroughbred

Vulcan S test: the custom of little green men

All Tests - Vulcan S Test: the little green men's custom - MNC rides the Vulcan S, a little green thoroughbred

A new 650 cc custom will land in the French Kawasaki dealerships in a few days! Called Vulcan S, it has just been observed in southern Spain, not far from Almeria. Site participated in the launch: 3, 2, 1, fire… green !

MNC rides the Vulcan S, a little green thoroughbred

Approaching the small roads that lead to the heart of the Andalusian hinterland, MNC realizes that the new Kawasaki has more than one trick up its sleeve … or more than 3,500 rpm in its engine! By pulling more gears, the mid-speeds are consistent and lively.

After 7500 rpm (and their 61 horsepower, see the technical sheet on the last page), the Twin continues to pedal valiantly but ceases to tow. So no need to go and trigger the – very soft – switch placed about 2000 turns higher, as we gladly do when controlling an ER-6n.

On small roads, the range of use of "this" small cruiser engine finally extends from 3000 to 7500 rev / min. To walk around without dragging yourself, you can count on the maximum torque of 63 Nm placed at 6600 rpm and you juggle between third and fourth gears.

Site takes the opportunity to point out that the gear indicator light is available as an option, as is the case on the very last Versys 650. A 12 V socket can also be installed on the other side of the meter borrowed from the ER- 6n, therefore particularly complete compared to traditional custom instrumentation.

By fully (un) screwing the throttle grip, the pilot opens wide the double pair of intake throttles. The airbox then crams copiously and produces a very pleasant low rumble, which is unfortunately not granted the original pot of the Vulcan S…

Discreet in the city at low revs – which is rather clever on the part of the Japanese – the soundtrack of little Kawa lacks decibels in the medium and high revs. The acceleration and resumption of the machine lose in auditory sensation because at the tactile level, the Vulcan S is expressed !

The "good" vibrations felt mainly in the hands at start-up make a return to the feet and buttocks, but at a much higher frequency. Perfectly tolerable when driving on a curvy secondary road, they are a little less bearable at constant speed over kilometers of expressway.

On the portion of the highway taken by Site at the end of the first day of driving, the Vulcan S did not surprise us: the relaxed position at moderate speed becomes tense when you exceed 120 km / h. The complete lack of protection forces you to cling to the handlebars and makes your abdominals work badly !

To hold the 130 km / h average over a long distance – the tachometer needle just overhangs the 6000 rpm mark – it is imperative to lie down on the tank (14 liters) … or rather invest in a retractable windshield in a jiffy !

Likewise, when descending from the Vulcans S at the end of a first loop of 240 km made in several small stages, Site "began to feel fatigue" at its rear. For those who would like to cut the road, buying the comfort saddle will not be a luxury.

In the accessories section, the sissy-bar will undoubtedly be appreciated by the passenger. The pilot will like the fact that this element is very easy to remove. On the other hand, he will regret that the supports of the small suitcases – fixed by quarter-turn screws – do not come off so quickly..

After a good night’s sleep, Site is up to speed again. On the program, a new 150 km ride, including a small "special" winding continuously for about 20 km, unearthed the day before by two of our colleagues – bravo and thank you again to them !

On an im-pec-cable surface, the Journal Moto du Net is having fun and realizes that Kawasaki officials were not exaggerating during their conference: the Kawa DNA is there. MNC would even say more: it runs in the veins of this Vulcan S a blood as green as that of Mr. Spock of the ER-6 !

Of course, the simple 300 mm front disc pinched by two small pistons does not offer the custom the same bite as that found on the roadster, road or trail 650 … But by using the 250 disc mm rear and with its single piston, the braking power becomes satisfactory.

"Front and rear brakes prioritize user comfort for beginners", Martin Lambert slipped during his presentation. It is clear that on this point, the Vulcan S fulfills its small custom contract. But more experienced bikers are not completely wronged, phew !

The model tested by Site was also equipped with ABS: "our brakes are Nissin", specifies the responsible Kawasaki Europe,"but the ABS system is the Bosch 9.1M which equips many Kawasaki models". His interventions in the slippery little streets are both effective and discreet: RAS.

Pleasant in town too, the suspensions continue to work well on the road. The rider feels the bike lean on its rear wheel (160 / 60×17) when accelerating or on strong compressions but the rear axle always remains aligned with the front, which gives confidence and encourages you to always go out a little. stronger turns !

Entry into the curve is a little less spectacular, the fork moderately appreciating the prolonged braking on the angle. On the Vulcan S, as on many customs, it is better to regulate its speed before diving towards the rope … where the maximum angle reaches unsuspected values !

Ground clearance in curves is more than sufficient for beginners. The more experienced, more talented or more oblivious will end up rubbing the big aluminum lugs but Site has seen it: it is possible to attack like an alien on the Vulcan S !

Originally fitted with a pair of Dunlop D220s, the little Kawette impressed us with its handling: it is possible to scrape the footrests in curves negotiated at – well – more than 100 km / h! The holding of course is not quite as incredible: the fittings move the whole thing, but not enough to give the hand !

Pleasant in the city, efficient on the road but weary on the motorway, the Vulcan S presents a largely positive balance sheet for those who want a motorbike of average displacement different not only from the roadsters which are sold in full containers in France, but also from the small customs offered by the competition.

Physically and financially accessible, with a look and a unique engine for the category – as are its chain transmission and its too muffled sound, unfortunately … – this new 2015 Kawasaki has solid arguments to do promote among young people, women and "sleeping licenses"(bikers who no longer ride).

It could well be that this new arrival from the planet Vulcan will allow all "mini-cruisers" to develop in France. After all, "last year in Europe, the Street 750 increased the 650-800 cc cruiser segment by + 13% (compared to -11% if we exclude it from the stats)", remark the – little green men. To be checked in the next MNC market reports…

Last note, finally, to the attention of readers of the 1920s (2020!): When buying your used Vulcan S, take care to check in which "Ergo-Fit" configuration the spotted model is located. If your size does not correspond – at all – to that of the seller, beware …

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