2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

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Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 is, without a doubt, one of the best Japanese cruisers ever built. In order to deliver such a great product, Kawasaki created their biggest V-twin motor, tuned it finely in order to deliver the best of power and torque, and it than gave the bike its modern styling.

 

Introduction

At the top of the lineup there’s Kawasaki’s most outstanding cruiser, the Vulcan 2000. This bike looks very capable and thanks to its 2,053cc fuel-injected V-twin motor it will never disappoint. You will be astonished by the amounts of torque delivered by the massive engine, but we all know that what first attracted you were the wonderful design features.

Using this perfect blend of old and new, the 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 promises to be the most thrilling motorcycle you have ever ridden.

History

In 2004 Kawasaki introduced the brand new Vulcan 2000, a motorcycle which raised the standards concerning engine displacement, power, and feel of a cruiser. With the Vulcan 2000 Kawasaki had now completed its Vulcan line of cruisers and it virtually dominated any other form of competition.

The bike was defined, of course, through its 2053cc engine which was the first ever to go beyond the 2000cc limit and simply open new horizons for this highly disputed class.

Riders wishing to buy the biggest and the most imposing cruiser now headed towards Kawasaki and the sales increased significantly proving that the vision had completely come to live.

Competition

Competitors for the biggest Vulcan aren’t hard to find because every single manufacturer has joined the battle won (for now) by Kawasaki.

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

If you are set to find a bike that would compare with the Vulcan with every single detail, you should look no further than the 2008 Star Roadliner Midnight. The Star is built for pure performance, as it features a 113-cubic-inch (1854cc), and styled for unique look which individualize Star motorcycles generally. This one particularly is the flagship of the Star line, a bike intended to show best what a Star can do. I suppose it has no option than to go against the Vulcan 2000.

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

With the 2008 Boulevard M109R, Suzuki proves it has discovered its own idea for success by offering an excellent combination of cruiser styling, renowned Suzuki power and handling. The manufacturer’s best idea was to implement on the Boulevard M109R the fuel-injection technology used on the GSX-R sport bikes. As the Vulcan and the Roadliner, the Boulevard intends to take some distance from your average cruiser as it features dragbike styling.

Honda does an awesome job with the VTX1800 and many consider the “F” version as being the most appropriate for the rough fight given both on the boulevards and on the highways. The Honda VTX1800F has a long, low and sleek chassis which gives it its custom appearance, kind of like the Vulcan 2000.

Exterior

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

You will definitely have a hard time trying not to fall in love with this bike as it features smooth lines and excellent fit and finish resulting in a kind of mysterious motorcycle with much attention to detail. The plan was to black-out as many components so they started with the black chrome nacelle wrapped around the powerful four-bulb, projector-type headlight which individualizes the Vulcan from the crowd.

The lines of the headlight are continued all the way through the massive fuel tank with the Vulcan emblem on each side. What’s great is that this unit has the instrument panel attached to it so the rider’s eyes won’t be taken off the road for a long time when needed to read speedometer.

Underneath the fuel reservoir there’s the masterpiece, a massive looking V-twin which tends to prefer paint instead of chrome. This way, the general appearance of the bike isn’t “disturbed”. Also, the manufacturer intends to create the certain air-cooled look that you’ve already gotten used to. The trick is to mount the radiator between the down tubes of the frame, and it seems to work every time.

The bucket-type seat positioned relatively low on the frame continues what the fuel tank started and smoothly makes the pass from the gas tank to the rear fender, a very important detail when it comes to cruisers and custom-made machines. This one rocks!

Another cool aspect can be found on the left side of this monster. The belt final drive complements the massive rear wheel’s design and it also makes noticeable the triangle shape in which the frame ends.

Bad boy looking and pretty impressive, this cruiser had to have some chrome here and there so you will find the Black paintjob covered in chromed ornaments on the rear fender. Also the transmission side cover, mirrors, and exhaust are chromed so that the look will be complete.


Test Drive

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

The Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 is definitely the cruiser for you to be on in your next riding years. Even though massive and pretty heavy, you will start to appreciate its qualities once you swing a leg over it. I did so and found out that I may need to pay a visit to the gym from time to time as the Vulcan 2000 is relatively hard to maneuver in the parking lot. It won’t be an every day nightmare so let’s just say that you’ll soon find yourself getting it into first and twist its throttle in order to make that weight go away.

Of course, the bike’s central piece is the massive fuel-injected 2053cc, 52-degree V-twin featuring dual cams and eight valves per cylinder. This unit guarantees to satisfy your every single riding need as it provides impressive torque from just above idle. This results in quick launches but if you expect the big displacement to result in great horsepower, you will be slightly disappointed. In this case the V-twin features 103 x 123.2mm bore x stroke so this is more of an enjoyable rumbling motor down the highway than your average quick-revving unit.

The Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 is made for the long run and it features belt drive for that exact purpose. Power delivery is smooth and noise-free so that the ride will be comfortable in all points of view.

But when it comes to comfort, the most important piece is the saddle, in this case featuring bucket shape. Even though comfortable at first, after three hours you’ll find yourself searching for a rest stop.

A well set five-speed gearbox values properly all that power coming from the motor. This bike requires you to change its first two gears relatively fast and than it becomes an absolute pleasure on those twists and turns where you can keep it in third and obtain great acceleration out of corners.

Operating the clutch is done with ease and you wouldn’t even think that you’re on Kawasaki’s biggest cruiser when needing to engage or disengage before and after shifting.

On the open road is where a cruiser is best valued so I took the Vulcan 2000 on a highway incursion where I noticed that the big and heavy motorcycle is transformed in the best trip companion as the engine delivers a lot of torque at your disposal. You can cruise at 70mph and keep the revs as low as 2500 per minute or give it a bit more gas for those high speed passing maneuvers. The bike is capable of running with 150 mph but if you are reading this article, it is clear that you’re not the kind of guy that wishes a speed machine.

The suspensions are very smooth and provide all the comfort needed for you and your passenger to cruise in comfort, ignoring the eventual bumps that may intervene and intend to be harsh on your back.

An eventual problem would be the wind which hits you directly in the upper body and helmet. You will not feel incommode under the 70mph zone, but above you may start thinking about buying a windshield.

This huge mass is effectively stopped with the help of 300mm discs. The Vulcan has two up front and a single one at the rear. Applied with the help of four-piston calipers, stops are quick and confidence-providing.

Price

Big motorcycles are usually offered for big money and the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 is one of those motorcycles. You will benefit of the bike’s reliability, performance and comfort for the suggested retail price of $13,699.

For the category it actually leads, the biggest Vulcan offers the best bang for the buck.

Conclusion

With the 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 you know you’ve made the right choice with the first look that the bike’s striking appearance captures on the boulevard but when you take it down the open road and really test its cruising abilities you start wondering what is the next step.

The Vulcan has that effect on riders as a result of its bulletproof building, awesome acceleration and great overall riding abilities. Once you’ve reached a certain level you won’t feel the need to go any further. That level is marked by the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000.


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine and Transmission

Displacement: 2053 cc/125 cubic inches
Type: Four-stroke, 52-degree V-twin, dual cams, eight valves
Bore and Stroke: 103.0 x 123.2 mm
Maximum Torque: 141 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Cooling: Liquid, plus cooling fins
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Induction: Digital fuel injection, dual 46mm Keihin throttle bodies
Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance
Transmission: 5-Speed

Chassis and Dimensions

Rake/Trail: 32°/7.2 in.
Suspension, Front / Wheel Travel: 49mm telescopic fork / 5.9 in.
Suspension, Rear / Wheel Travel: Triangulated steel tube swingarm with direct-action single shock, fully-adjustable spring preload, eight-way rebound damping / 3.9 in.
Front Tire Size: 150/80-16
Rear Tire Size: 200/60-16
Wheelbase: 68.3 in.
Front Brake Type: Dual 300mm Discs with 4-Piston Calipers
Rear Brake Type: 320mm disc with dual-piston caliper
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.5 gal.
Ground Clearance: 5.3 in.
Seat Height: 26.8 in.
Dry Weight: 750 lb.
Overall Length: 99.8 in.
Overall Width: 40.4 in.
Overall Height: 45.5 in.

Other

Color: Metallic Diablo Black
Warranty: 12 months
Good Times™ Protection Plan: 12, 24, 36 or 48 months

Features

 

Engine:

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

- Four-stroke 2,053cc (125 cu. in.) 52° V-twin, engine produces massive torque across the entire rpm range


- Strong and light forged pistons and alloy connecting rods


- Huge 220mm flywheel smoothes power delivery


- Push-rod valve actuation contributes to lower engine height, low center of gravity and relatively low seat height


- Hydraulic valve adjusters reduce maintenance


- Engine Control Unit (ECU) manages electronic fuel injection and digital ignition system optimizes throttle response


- Fuel injection system features sub throttle valves for a smooth, linear power band


- Fine atomizing injectors in the fuel injection system deliver ultra-fine fuel/air mixture for greater combustion efficiency, increased power and optimum fuel economy


- Center spark plugs enhance combustion for smooth, consistent power and reduced emissions


- Liquid and air cooling maintain consistent operating temperatures


- Engine and transmission feature built-in oil and water pumps, reducing the number of parts and weight


- Single-pin crank provides the desirable power-pulse feel and classic V-twin sound

Transmission / Final Drive:

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

- A gear position sensor in the five-speed transmission sends signals to the ECU, further enhancing fuel injection and ignition performance


- Smooth, quiet, reliable and low maintenance belt final drive

Frame and Suspension:

- Steel double-cradle frame features large-diameter, box-section single-tube backbone for strength


- Utilizing the engine as a stressed member of the frame minimizes chassis weight


- Steel tube swingarm is simple and elegant


- Direct-action single shock features spring preload and rebound damping adjustment with 3.9 inches of travel for a smooth ride


- Large 49mm forks provide precise steering feedback and 5.9 inches of travel

Wheels and Tires:

- 7-spoke, 16-inch cast aluminum wheels add to the Vulcan 2000’s high-quality look


- 200/60R series rear tire puts the power to the ground


- Radial tires enhance handling supply a firm, “planted” feel

Brakes:

- Dual 300mm front disc brakes with four-piston calipers and single rear disc brakes provide smooth, powerful stops

Styling:

- Stylish Nacelle headlight cover gives the Vulcan 2000 a high-class look


- Powerful, four-bulb projector-type headlights brighten the road for nighttime rides


- Large 5.5-gallon fuel tank enables long-distance road trips

Additional Features:

- Chrome instrument panel keeps the rider informed with a large-face speedometer, LCD display and warning lamps


- Bucket-type front seat and sleek passenger seat provide all-day rider comfort and style


Models Available

 

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

This simple version of the 2000cc Vulcan is also the first introduced back in 2004 and the one that paved the road for the other two versions which can be now found in the same lineup.

Enjoying the Vulcan, riders started desiring a motorcycle featuring the looks that always seem to be the most appropriate for a cruiser and the majority also felt the need for a more comfortable model which would be more appropriate for those trips from coast to coast on which these bikes are usually taken.

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

The Classic version uses the same basic features as the model I previously reviewed. The engine is the same and it is also used as a stressed member of the chassis. Of course, we are talking about the same chassis.

Classic looks and lots of chrome is what this bike is all about as it is destined for people seeking the same thrill given by the impressive fuel-injected V-twin motor, but who still prefer the consecrated cruiser appearance.

The Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic with an MSRP of $13,049 and it is available in two awesome paintjobs: Metallic Diablo Black and Atomic Silver.

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic LT

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

Another alternative is the Touring version which is equipped with adjustable windshield, leather saddlebags, and passenger backrest. This one is based on the Classic model so I guess you can consider it as still being just that but taken to a whole new level as it appreciates more those weekend trips that everyday commuting.

Offered for a bit more money ($14,599 to be more precise), the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic LT features only distinctive two-tone colors such as: Metallic Ocean Blue / Neutron Silver; Candy Cardinal Red / Atomic Silver.


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