2015 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT
Good things happen when vanity, comfort and affordability cross paths. Kawasaki demonstrates this truth with its top-of-the-family-line 2015 Vulcan 900 Classic LT model. Blessed with undeniably classic looks, the LT is sure to appeal to a wide variety of riders, but its qualities are not limited to its visual impact. Comfort and control considerations are well-represented in the design, and this bike begs to be shown off with a wild abandon and complete lack of modesty.
Keep reading for more information on Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT.
2015 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT
Engine:Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valves per cylinder V-twin
The lines are reminiscent of 1950’s-era American cruisers, and the studded-leather seats, passenger backrest and saddlebags reinforce that sense of nostalgia. While the top lines of the bike give it a rather short and stocky appearance due to the closely packed height variances, which are accentuated by the tall, fuel-tank-mounted instrument cluster and deep saddle, the design creates a rather compact rider triangle that provides easy access to the controls, even for riders who fall into the vertically challenged category. The 26.8 inch seat height helps create a low overall center of effort, and gives the rider immediate access to the ground when the need arises to use footwork (read:}}| deploy training wheels) to keep the bike under control during low-speed maneuvers.
Folks, this is a good-looking sled. It has been said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and Harley-Davidson fans will definitely recognize the influence of the Heritage Softail model family in the 900 Classic LT. However, Kawasaki improved on its influences by correcting some of the negatives associated with the Heritage. The connecting rods mate up to the crankshaft via a single throw, similar to Harley 45-degree V-twins, but without the harsh, body-numbing vibration normally associated with this configuration, and they did so while keeping the price out of the stratosphere.
Sheet metal and seat design are all good and fine, but it is the frame that really gives this bike its signature looks. The lines flow cleanly down the backbone to the wishbone and into the triangular swingarm, then forward along the bottom of the frame, lending the appearance of the classic rigid frame. A single shock absorber hidden beneath the seat provides 4.1 inches of swingarm travel to prevent the harsh, organ-jarring ride associated with rigid frames, and the lack of external (read:}}| visible) shocks further accentuates the clean lines of the rear end. While there is some give in the swingarm, the travel is somewhat limited. What this means to you is that you are trading a measure of comfort for the aesthetically pleasing appearance. To be fair, the H-D Softail family also shares this characteristic, and there does not seem to be any way around the limited rear suspension travel in rigid-looking frames. That said, don’t let this put you off unless you want to do some serious touring (in which case Kawasaki has other models that will be more appropriate for your intended riding style).
The wheelbase is a little on the short side at 64.8 inches, which may make it a little twitchy at high speeds, but the resultant low-speed maneuverability is an acceptable tradeoff for a boulevard cruiser. A single 300 mm front disc and 270 mm rear disc handle braking, coupled with generous contact patches provided by the large tires to give you plenty of brake authority when you need.
A four-stroke, liquid cooled, SOHC engine serves as the beating heart of this ride. The 55.1 cubic-inch displacement generates a solid 58.2 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm, which provides ample roll-on power for passing and general “shenaniganery” when you feel the need to get a little twisty with the throttle. Dual 34 mm Keihin throttle bodies deliver precisely metered fuel, and the liquid cooling with the four-valve heads ensure that the emissions fall well within the federally required levels.
If aesthetics are a vanity, then this engine could be considered a full-blown narcissist! The black jugs are accentuated by chrome cases, cooling fins, valve covers and exhaust pipes, which help to showcase the engine within the overall dark looks of this scoot.
Probably the single most impressive ’feature’ of this bike is the price. Available for the everyday low price of $8,999, Kawasaki ensures that prospective buyers won’t be wandering around in a sticker shock-induced haze. In comparison, this puts the Vulcan 900 Classic at around half the price of its Harley-Davidson and Indian counterparts, placing it well within the entry-level price range. Bottom line here is that this is a whole lot of bike made accessible to riders looking to break into the lifestyle without having to mortgage the house or live off ramen noodles for the next several years.
"I’ve always been a fan of rigid-looking frames. Heck, I’m so hardcore I would actually ride a true rigid, but with the availability of bikes like this I probably will never have to (and my kidneys rejoice)! I really think that Kawasaki has outdone itself with this creation, and I’m looking forward to putting miles behind me on this baby."
My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "I called the Vulcan 900 Classic a bagger without the bags. This is that same bike with the bags — a nice and affordable cruiser. The low seat height and low center of gravity appeals to me, and I like the colorway. If you’re going to offer a bike in only one colorway, at least make it a nice one. The two-tone Metallic Carbon Gray and Metallic Spark Black looks awesome."
|Engine:||Four-Stroke, Liquid-Cooled, SOHC, Four Valves Per Cylinder V-Twin|
|Displacement:||55.1 cubic inches|
|Bore X Stroke:||88 X 74.2 mm|
|Compression Ratio:||9.5 to 1|
|Maximum Torque:||58.2 Pound-Feet @ 3,500 Rpm|
|Fuel System:||DFI® With Dual 34 mm Keihin Throttle Bodies|
|Ignition:||TCBI With Electronic Advance|
|Transmission:||Five-Speed With Positive Neutral Finder|
|Final Drive:||Kevlar-Reinforced Belt|
|Front Suspension / Wheel Travel:||41mm Hydraulic Telescopic Fork / 5.9 Inches|
|Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel:||Uni-Trak® Swingarm / 4.1 Inches|
|Front Tire:||130/90 R16|
|Rear Tire:||180/70 R15|
|Front Brakes:||Single 300 mm Hydraulic Disc With Two-Piston Caliper|
|Rear Brakes:||270 mm Hydraulic Disc|
|Frame Type:||Semi-Double Cradle, High-Tensile Steel|
|Rake/Trail:||32 Degrees / 6.3 Inches|
|Overall Length:||97.0 Inches|
|Overall Width:||39.6 Inches|
|Overall Height:||58.3 Inches|
|Ground Clearance:||5.3 Inches|
|Seat Height:||26.8 Inches|
|Curb Weight:||657.1 Pounds|
|Fuel Capacity:||5.3 Gallons|
|Color Choices:||Metallic Carbon Gray / Metallic Spark Black|
|Warranty:||24 Month Limited Warranty|
|Kawasaki Protection Plus™ (Optional):||12, 24, 36, Or 48 Months|