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Review Kawasaki VN 1500 Classic Tourer

Me, myself and I.

Cruising as therapy: Kawasaki makes it possible. The VN 1500 Classic Tourer offers the necessary basis for tripling your self-esteem.

That‘s exactly how it was: this chugging, this pumping. That’s exactly how it felt. This quiet happiness when Theo finally allowed me to steer his Lanz. It was my birthday, the sixth. Two laps through the village, past the church, the fountain and the shopkeeper. Proud like Oskar. Me: the center of the world. Driving a tractor was just the greatest. And driving the VN 1500 Classic Tourer feels just like that.
What an event, when the pistons of the huge V2 begin to pound, the slow pulse of the engine rushes through your veins, you become one with the mechanics that work beneath you. And when it comes out of bed, this big, heavy, mighty machine, you hold your breath for a moment because the huge building wobbles for a moment, only to finally push it off with full dignity: what a spectacle.
It’s hard to believe what Kawasaki did with the VN 15. Just a few steps and the pale Harley blend, which always had to be accused of weakness in character, grew into an impressive original. A revised engine, different exhaust system, five instead of four gears, two suitcases, a windshield – not much more was necessary to develop a personality.
Few of their kind interpret the cruiser theme as convincingly as the Classic Tourer. Their key alone: Pure, powerful bass. Valerian for the tired psyche. Half an hour and you’ve got the rhythm: no stress – always in four-four time. So on you can no longer imagine yourself ever going faster than 100 km / h.
At some point you even find yourself standing in a traffic jam. The tin can friends have formed an alley that could compete with the division of the Red Sea. A ship like that in the rearview mirror inspires respect. Would also leave pretty big scratches. Okay – if that’s how you want it: go through the middle.
However, you should refrain from gracious greetings, extreme concentration is required at walking pace. Here the seven hundred pounds of weight, the record-breaking caster of 189 millimeters and the fat, 150 mm front tire conjure up an egg dance that nips any coolness in the bud. Especially in connection with longitudinal asphalt furuncles.
The Classic Tourer is not necessarily made for high speeds. From 140 km / h the steamer begins to lurch. However, the rumble has a certain entertainment value. Ultimately, however, it stays that way: Life with the UN feels best at medium speed ranges.
And it’s best when you always put in fourth or fifth gear. Yes, right after starting off. Rack-zack chopped through – the rocker switch is a stunner. Chugging along in high gear, varying the pitch with the throttle grip, dropping the speed until the engine almost dies, then pulling it out of the cellar on the long belt – it can become an addiction.
With 64 horsepower, Kawasaki seems to have found the right level for the water-cooled 1500 engine. The desire for more performance never arises. Also because you sometimes find yourself in awkward situations. For example, when the lean angle has been used up and the comfortably tuned load billows towards the edge of the curve. Huiuiui, you notice every single one of the 354 kilograms.
Also when braking: Despite the double disc, the front system quickly reaches its limits. Only with the assistance of the rear brake can the murderous hype be successfully paralyzed. The motto is respect for the matter. There you will find enough space to enjoy the laying and swiveling of the crowds, to let your gaze wander over the charming details, to dream to yourself, to feel good all around.
D.he reality picks you up at the gas station: 7.6 liters for a 100-kilometer stroll. Pretty rough. Comfortable, at least for my conscience, that the new Kawasaki is available with a secondary air system (KCAS) and a catalytic converter as standard. And somehow it was clear that such an ego trip on such a tractor has its price.

My conclusion

I would never have thought that a cruiser could reach me like this again after the Honda F6. And then of all things the VN 1500. This formerly – well – rather bland creature. But Kawasaki knew how to give the fat thing character. We have visual, acoustic and metaphysical level. Many a problem solves itself on the wide handlebars of the Classic Tourer. You see the world with different eyes. Somehow more tolerant. That is precisely why this machine is forgiven for one or the other inadequacy. After all, everyone has their quirks.

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