There’s nothing like riding a large displacement tourer and when it comes to this, the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic LT is not only one of the best representatives of its class, but also the one featuring the biggest bore and stroke. So for 2010, the massive Vulcan designed for the long haul enhances its visual and makes sure that the engine is delivering power even smoother than before. Meanwhile, the simple Vulcan 2000 and the Vulcan 2000 Classic remain 2009 model years.
The engine is what makes the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic LT so popular among experienced riders and we couldn’t understand this aspect better as we’re talking about a 125-cubic-inch (2,053cc), 52-degree V-twin with dual cams and four valves per cylinder. This thing is built for quick acceleration even though it will have to move the 884.2 lbs wet weight of the fully accessorized Vulcan 2000 Classic LT. With a bore and stroke of 103mm x 123.2mm it’s hard to thing that virtually anything else related to that engine even matters, but the great part about it is that it determines all the other systems to grow with it. Take fueling system for example. The Digital Fuel Injection features dual 46mm Keihin throttle bodies in order to supply the engine with the needed amount of gas which sometimes can be in a more than decent quantity.
The greatest quality of big V-twin motors is that they deliver loads of torque from just above idle and that of Vulcan’s achieves peak 141 lb-ft of torque at just 2,800 rpm. That’s why you don’t get a sixth gear and also why fuel consumption won’t be that bad after all. The engine and tranny connect through a 220mm flywheel just so that power delivery would be smooth, not only impressive.
Given the specific engine and tranny, all Vulcans are built on a steel double-cradle frame bolted in between a 49mm telescopic fork offering 5.9 inches of travel and a triangulated steel tube swingarm offering 3.9 inches of travel. This thing rides on a pair of 16-inch wheels and the rear one features a 200mm tire, just so you get a clue on how the engine influences all of the other features of this motorcycle. But because it is mounted so low on the frame, the engine (which also features forged pistons and alloy connecting rods) has everything to do with the 5.3 inches of ground clearance which also allows for a fairly low seat height of only 26.8 inches.
Any sport bike would be proud of the front 300mm discs with four-piston calipers brakes while secure rear braking performance is ensured by a cruiser-like disc measuring 320mm in diameter and working with dual piston caliper.
We can’t reproach much to the Vulcan 2000 Classic LT apart from the fact that it can be very tricky to maneuver at slow speed in the parking lots. That’s a big bike characteristic which will hopefully be lost as speed increases and also with the contribution of the low center of gravity. Still, we can’t help mentioning that the engine didn’t necessarily had to be that big, just a little sportier and it would have done the trick properly.
The biggest Vulcan Classic LT out there is labeled a 2010 model year for getting a new color scheme, but those of you willing to experience the same thrill without the extra luggage can easily go for the 2009 Vulcan 2000 and Vulcan 2000 Classic, which are just the same and offer customization possibilities.
Star Motorcycles offer the Roadliner and Stratoliner models as alternatives for the three Vulcans. These bikes are also long, low and sleek while being powered by a 113-cubic-inch (1854cc), air-cooled, 48-degree V-twin; pushrod OHV, four valves per cylinder engine. Also, there’s a five-speed gearbox and belt final drive, just like in the case of the Kawasaki models so you simply don’t get more appropriate than this.
Suzuki isn’t lacking any alternatives both for the Kawasaki and Yamaha lineups. The Boulevards M109R and M109R2 as well as the C109RT can match the performance of any of the above mentioned thanks to the fuel-injected 108.8-cubic-inch (1,783cc), liquid-cooled, DOHC, 54-degree V-twin engine behind them. We’ve wrote about them so click on the links for more.
Finally, Honda isn’t falling any steps behind with their VTX1800 lineup offering an alternative for each Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 model. Performance is of the essence and this comes from a 109.53-cubic-inch (1795cc), liquid-cooled, 52-degree V-twin, SOHC; three valves per cylinder engine fed through Honda’s advanced Programmed Fuel Injection system with automated choke.
All models are in the same pricing range so it’s just a matter of spotting your favorite and seeing how good of a bang for the buck it is.
Tourers usually distinguish thanks to a tall windscreen, seat, passenger backrest and saddlebags package, so this is also the additional equipment mounted on the 2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic LT. This not only completes the original lineup, but is a clear indicator that the long haul is where these bikes perform best and are recommended to be ridden. The only color scheme available for 2010 is composed from Metallic Diablo Black and Candy Imperial Blue.
The simple Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic (which is still stuck in 2009) features more chrome in the engine department, headlight and instruments while the bucket-style seat ensures a smooth pass from the gas tank to the sinuous rear fender. This model is characterized by the Candy Diamond Red / Metallic Titanium color scheme and an even classier look.
Apart from loads of torque, the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 is also characterized by distinctive styling. This last was actually a bare necessity given the class competitor so Kawasaki started innovating in matters of design while sketching the bike with performance in mind. They ended up wrapping the locomotive-like headlight in smooth nacelle and painting the fork, lower legs and upper covers just to create that compact bike look and keep the thing classy. The gas tank is not only characterized by smooth flowing lines and Kawi’s distinctive badge, but by the large speedometer placed on top of if. This requires a quick glance in order to provide the rider with all the information needed and integrates perfectly with the overall look of the bike. The V-twin engine is matte black painted on the standard Vulcan 2000 model with only the cooling fins and cylinder heads being chromed. The two-into-two exhaust is chromed as well and together with the mirrors, signal light and taillights housings as well as the rear fender ornaments, riders are offered a fair share of chrome, like any veritable cruiser demands. Metallic Titanium is the only color available on the previous model year.
“Twenty miles of lazy swooping through the countless corners revealed the Kawasaki Classic LT is biking at its purest level. No extraneous gadgets have been added to hinder the visceral riding experience; only the essential controls are present to tame this massive machine." – ultimatemotorcycling
"Overall, the big Vulcan gets a "V for Virility," as Cernicky noted, because the torquey, slightly raw engine makes the bike fun to ride when you pull out on the highway and twist that grip. But as the miles wear on, the whole package doesn’t hold together too well as a long-distance mount." – cycleworld
The 2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic LT comes with an MSRP of $15,999 and if you think that’s spicy, there’s always the alternative of finding a 2009 simple or Classic model, which start at $14,599 respectively $13,899.
Kawasaki doesn’t radically upgrade the Vulcan 2000 lineup for 2010, but do they actually need to do that? The engine is massive and already fuel injected, achieving an impressive peak torque figure while stile is unique and ready to be distinguished years from now with only color scheme upgrades…for the 2010 model, of course.
Engine and Transmission
- Engine: Four-stroke, 52-degree V-twin, dual cams, eight valves
- Displacement: 2,053cc/125ci
- Bore x stroke: 103.0 x 123.2mm
- Compression ratio: 9.5:1
- Maximum torque: 141 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm
- Cooling: Liquid, plus cooling fins
- Induction: DFI with Keihin 46mm throttle bodies (2)
- Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance
- Transmission: Five-speed with positive neutral finder
- Final drive: Belt
Chassis and Dimensions
- Frame: Steel, double-cradle with box-section single-tube backbone
- Rake / trail: 32 degrees / 7.2 in.
- Suspension, Front / Wheel Travel: 49mm telescopic fork / 5.9 in.
- Suspension, Rear / Wheel Travel: Triangulated steel pipe swingarm with direct-action single shock, with fully-adjustable spring preload, eight-way rebound damping / 3.9 in.
- Front Tire: 150/80-16
- Rear Tire: - 200/60-16
- Brakes, Front - Dual 300mm discs with four-piston calipers
- Brakes, Rear: Single 320mm disc with two-piston caliper
- Overall Length: 99.8 in.
- Overall Width: 40.4 in.
- Overall Height: 58.3 in.
- Ground Clearance: 5.3 in.
- Seat height: 26.8 in.
- Wheelbase: 68.3 in.
- Curb weight: 884.2 lbs.
- Fuel capacity: 5.5 gal.
Features & Benefits
2,053cc, 52° V-twin Four-stroke Engine
- The 125 cu. in. 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
- Liquid and air cooling combination maintains 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
Electronic Fuel Injection
- Electronic Control Unit (ECU) manages electronic fuel injection and digital ignition system for optimized 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
Transmission / Final Drive
- A gear position sensor in the five-speed transmission sends signals to the ECU, further optimizing fuel injection and ignition performance
- Smooth, quiet, reliable and low-maintenance belt 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
- Large, 49mm forks provide precise steering feedback and 5.9 inches of travel
- Direct-action single shock features spring preload and rebound damping adjustment with 3.9 inches of travel for a smooth ride
Wheels and Tires
- 16-inch cast aluminum wheels add to the Vulcan 2000 Classic LT’s visual appeal
- 200/60R series rear tire is the largest stock tire size fitted to a production V-twin cruiser
- Radial tires enhance handling and give it a firm, planted feel
- Dual 300mm front disc brakes with four-piston calipers and single rear disc brake provide smooth, powerful stops
- Bullet-style headlight
- Spacious, 5.5-gallon fuel tank provides for long-distance road trips
- Thick, optically correct acrylic plastic windscreen is shaped for smooth airflow and cruiser style
- Strong chrome-plated steel supports
- Two-position height
Seat and Passenger Backrest
- Detailed with 1/2-inch diameter chrome plated brass studs
- Strong chrome plated steel supports
- Made of reinforced top grain cowhide carefully selected with minimal flaws and deep dyed to prevent scrapping off the finish
- Slant top opening lid, secured with two 1.5-inch wide leather straps with chrome buckles and quick release stealth fasteners
- Dual panel lid construction with embossed Vulcan logo detail
- Metal reinforced upper edge so bags hold their shape
- Rolled and riveted top lid minimizes water entry
- One-half inch diameter chrome plated brass stud accents