The Kawasaki Vulcan S (EN650) is an entry level Cruiser priced just over the magic $10,000 AUD. The Vulcan S is designed specifically as a LAMS or learner specific model. It may have a 650cc engine but it is clearly restricted to producing as much legally acceptable power as possible. That means has a low revving but high torque producing engine.
Kawasaki only had the Ninja 250 – 400 sports bike styled bike for learner riders and clearly have had trouble adapting to changes in learner rider preferences until the release of the Vulcan S. Kawasaki are not known for taking chances with the models they make, waiting to see what other manufacturers release before releasing their own. The Vulcan S is no different and shows what they learned from others, in particular Honda and the discontinued Harley Davidson Street Rod.
In terms of styling the Vulcan S is a modern interpretation of the Cruiser. Most of the key parts are blacked out as per what Millineum aged learner riders want. There is a ‘Cafe’ variant with Orange paint and highlights indicating what the target group do with the motorbikes and their preferred colour scheme in 2019. I think it looks good and certainly not easily singled out as a LAMS motorbike which is an added bonus. It’s not the traditional Harley Davidson styled derivative from the 70’s which we are all accustomed to and arguably grown tired or too familiar with.
In terms of engine and technology the Vulcan S has a large 650cc engine and it’s restricted for LAMS purposes and it’s not a V-Twin. It’s an inline or parallel twin shared with the Versys 650 and the Ninja 650 so capable of being much more powerful. So you are missing the V-Twin sound having a more high speed sewing machine. Sharing parts and frame with other models means it is a compromised solution like a sports bike looking rear swing arm, chain drive modern looking instrument cluster. It’s claim to fame is high torque at low revs, so should be decent enough ride. All the parts like the brakes are meant for a full power version so you get the real deal so to speak.
The Kawasaki Vulcan S is priced around the $10,000 mark which is the going rate for the Harley Davidson Street 500 in particular so you’d probably be deciding between these two cruisers. The Vulcan S is one of the best selling model and LAMS motorbike in Australia selling 670 units in 2018 so clearly a package that is desirable. However I hope buyers are not reading overseas reviews and buying it based on unrestricted overseas models. Furthermore to put it in prospective the Yamaha TMAX 530 SX makes just much power and torque as the Vulcan S!
|Kawasaki Vulcan S Key Specifications (2019)|
|Engine:||IL2 cylinder DOHC (EFI)|
|Power/Torque:||Approx 35 Kw @ 6500 RPM 53 Nm @ 5600 RPM|
|Gearbox:||6 speed manual|
|Performance:||0-100kph N/A seconds Approx
Max Speed N/A Kph Approx
|Fuel Economy:||14 litre fuel tank
Approx 5 litres per 100km
|Seat height:||705 mm|
|Dimensions:||L2310 X W880 X H1100 mm
|Recommended Retail Price:||$10,099 AUD (2019)
$10,599 AUD Cafe Special (2019)