All Tests – Vulcan S Test: the little green men’s custom – Far East custom in a Wild West setting

Vulcan S test: the custom of little green men

All Tests - Vulcan S Test: the little green men's custom - Far East custom in a Wild West setting

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 !

Far East custom in a Far West setting

If the Almeria region was chosen by Kawasaki for the launch of its new Vulcan S, it is certainly not by chance: in addition to its appreciable climate in winter, Andalusia offers landscapes that instantly plunge you into the "Far West "…

It is therefore in a spaghetti western setting – not far from Fort Bravo, where great classics have been filmed! – that Site gets to know this little custom which, for its part, does not have fun – too much – parodying American productions.

Naturally, this new Japanese motorcycle has a low and long line, specific to the segment to which it belongs. But it has an engine architecture (parallel twin with liquid cooling, as we saw on the previous page) as well as a quirky look..

Rather than attacking the undisputed leader of custom (Harley-Davidson, “of course!”) Head-on, Kawasaki offers its own version of entry-level custom. And given the more than sluggish debut of the Street 750 in France, the Greens should be happy to offer "something else" !

"Like all manufacturers, Kawasaki is aware that the average age of bikers is increasing", testifies Martin Lambert, press manager at Kawasaki Europe,"it is therefore our responsibility to attract younger customers"… by means of innovative motorcycles.

The Vulcan S actually stands out from other customs thanks to its oblong and not "all-round" optics which gives it a nice face, its split-five-spoke rims and its offset rear shock absorber which give it a welcome touch of sportiness.

In its purple color that draws towards glittery blue under the clear Spanish sun – but risks passing for a basic black in our winter grayness -, the new Kawasaki resolutely takes on the air of a large plastic toy – a little – and steel – mostly…

Impressive on paper, the beast’s 227kg weight (all full, with ABS) is set so low in reality that it’s very easy to lift it off its side stand. The Vulcan S is ultimately more accessible than some lighter roadsters, of course, but higher !

The other side of the coin – of this low height – is that once the pilot is seated, his gaze is more quickly and often blocked by obstacles. In the city, it quickly becomes difficult – if not impossible! – to know what is happening twenty meters in front of you. For an urban motorcycle, this is a definite disadvantage.

Quite logically, Kawasaki prefers to insist on the fact that a saddle posted at only 705 mm (that is to say 4 mm less than the Street 750, whether with the standard saddle or the two others optional) allows the vast majority of bikers to put both boots on the ground.

In addition, the small custom 650 had the good idea to keep its pot under the engine – it is better to avoid looking on the left side … -, like its roadster cousins ​​(ER-6n), road (ER -6f) and trail (Versys 650). In addition to lowering the center of gravity of the motorcycle, this location offers other advantages…

Indeed, the biker – or "the biker"Kawasaki is keen on it! – is less exposed to the heat of the pot and does not have to spread its leg too far to touch the ground."The right side of our motorcycle is devoid of large air filter as seen on other machines", at the same time underline the Greens,"which facilitates access to the ground".

To suit the larger world – and "because it is an important element in the eyes of our customers according to our surveys carried out during trade fairs", insist Kawasaki officials – the two levers are adjustable. By testing the minimum and maximum positions, however, MNC observes that large hands are better served than small.

Small arms, on the other hand, are not overly stressed at the management level. Despite its 18-inch front wheel, its 120 mm tire with an old-fashioned vintage design – which visually crushes its fairly flat profile -, its 31 ° caster angle and its wheelbase of 1,575 mm, the small Kawasaki anvil (21 kg of more than the ER-6n, 45 more than the MT-07 casually!) is handy.

Feet projected towards the road, arms placed straight in front of you and buttocks wedged in the back of the saddle: the riding position is very relaxed. Relaxing too, the engine distills at idle slight tremors in the handlebars and in the saddle, frankly not unpleasant.

Thus, and under a bright sun, the Journal Moto du Net sets off quietly, without having to wax the clutch too much, then on the fly the first four gears of the pleasant gearbox under 3500 rpm. min and parade on the seashore at around thirty km / h.

The work of the Japanese on the engine is significant: the Twin seems rounder than ever and allows to cross in the sixth and last gear at around 55 km / h. The pilot can then relaunch his Vulcan S on a trickle of gas, as he would on a "real" Power Cruiser..

Despite the low travel of the rear suspension (80 mm, 130 at the front) the bike never bumps into the countless backs of donkeys that litter our start of the course. The comfort provided by the small custom is unexpected to say the least: you have to try it to believe it.

The ease with which we tip the Vulcan S in roundabouts and intersections is also quite surprising and ultimately very appreciable in urban areas. Less satisfactory, the passenger seat – delivered as standard in France – is too thin to be comfortable and houses a toolbox, nothing more! And on the road – the real one – that gives little Kawa ?

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