The 2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic doesn’t have the panache of the Vaquero and Nomad versions, but it nevertheless offers plenty of upside for a cruiser bike. Featuring the perfect combination of classic Kawasaki design engineering with the most up-to-date two-wheeled chassis and engine technology, the Kawasaki 1700 Classic is a definite man’s bike. No glitters and pizzazz here; just a straight up, heads-all-over cruiser.

The stunning raked-’n’-retro front end complements the huge V-twin design of the fat-tendered backside. Add a powerful four-stroke, 1700cc, SOHC V Twin engine inside, coupled with advanced technology and staggering functionality, and you have a cruiser bike whose bite is every bit as good as its bark.

There’s plenty to like about the newest Kawaski Vulcan 1700 Classic. As with all classic cruisers, riders will have an terrifyingly great time running around with the Vulcan 1700 Classic.

Find out more about the Vulcan 1700 Classic after the jump.

  • 2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    103.7-inch V engine
  • Transmission:

Exterior Design

2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic Exterior
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Kawasaki went with a light and slim approach in designing the Vulcan 1700 Classic. The aforementioned retro front end lends itself a classic look with the V-twin, fat-fendered, and fat-tired backside. The bike also features a deep paintwork that’s highlighted by thick chrome and detailed touches, affording it a look that’s both classic and modern at the same time.

The Vulcan 1700 Classic also carries a single backbone double cradle frame that offers a short seat-to-steering head distance to go with a corresponding short wheelbase. Even the car’s handlebars are easily reachable and can facilitate slow-speed maneuvering to help riders ease into the bike’s overall set-up. Up front, a large 43mm fork offers precise steering feedback, a supple ride, and 5.5 inches of travel.

The final touch of the bike’s exterior are the nine-spoke cast wheels that run fat, tubeless tires measuring 130/90 in the front and 170/70 in the rear. The tires go with dual 300mm front disc brakes featuring twin-piston calipers and a single 300mm rear disc brake with a two-piston caliper that gives the bike a steadying stopping influence.


2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic Exterior Drivetrain
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The Vulcan 1700 Classic carries a liquid-cooled, 103.7-inch V engine with a pair of massive pistons moving within a pair of liquid-cooled but beautifully finned cylinder blocks that are arrayed at 52 degrees to give the best possible optimum balance to the bike. Kawasaki also brought in a powerful ECU and a fuel injection system that provides revised settings, resulting in a improved throttle response. The electronic throttle valve allows for a more fluid response while not taking anything away from the engine’s performance capabilities.

Then there’s the matter of the transmission with the Vulcan 1700 Classic carrying a six-speed transmission that contributes to an improved overall riding experience and better fuel economy, even at highway speeds.


2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic Exterior
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Taking into account the whole package that comes with this imposing cruiser bike, the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic carries a reasonable price tag of just $12,199.

Final Thoughts

2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic Exterior
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Anybody in the market for an all-new cruiser should definitely pay close attention to the Kawasaki 1700 Classic. It’s not as overwhelming on the senses as the Nomad and Vaquero variants, but for under $13,000, you’ll have trouble finding a bike that offers more than this bagger for the price tag it commands.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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Show Comments


  (1) posted on 04.21.2013

Just my 2 cents worth; but the Classic and all the other 1700’s are not water cooled on the cylinders. Just a small portion in the head is water. The jugs are air cooled. Also, the tuning is totally different from the Classic to the Nomad and Vaquero. The Classic gets it down low and the others are tuned for higher RPM torque and HP. I have a 2009 Classic and love it.

  (1) posted on 08.11.2011

A little editing is needed on this article. There is a reference to the "car’s" handlebar early in the article and "bagger" in the last paragraph. I know you wrote the classic, nomad, and vaquero articles at the same time. But the classic is clearly not a "bagger". Also, where did the dashboard come from for this bike? I don’t even see a windshield in the other photos.

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