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 What will replace the Vulcan 500 LTD? 
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Post What will replace the Vulcan 500 LTD?
read this today:

"On October 5, 2010, Kawasaki will post the 2011 Kawasaki New Product Launch (NPL) website showcasing the entire line of 2011 products. You will get the first look at several all-new products, as well as models that have been updated with new colors. We're excited about the enhancements made to our already top-tier product line and are sure that you will be too. The website also features a message from Kawasaki president, Mr. Takeshi Teranishi, who explains how Kawasaki is strengthening its commitment to you in 2011."

I'm hoping to see a fuel injected Vulcan 650 (EN500 frame with ninja 650 engine). I won't hold my breath though.....

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Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:21 am
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Post Re: What will replace the Vulcan 500 LTD?
I'd like to see the 500 with fuel injection. I really am satisfied with the power of the 500. It does what I need it to do very well, and it still gets great gas mileage. Fuel injection could only make it better. If I could make one change to the engine it would be to have self adjusting hydraulic valves. I'm getting ready to adjust mine again this weekend at 23,000 miles. This will be the fourth time I've adjusted them in less than 16 months and I'd just rather not have to do that. It's not that big of a deal, but it's several hours out of my weekend several times a year and it would be nice not to need to do this.


Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:47 am
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Post Re: What will replace the Vulcan 500 LTD?
Well, I'm also satisfied with my EN 500, but the very idea of a new vulcan with 650 engine makes me drool. Abundantly!
I also have a kawasaki versys (OK, my wife has it, since I bought the EN 500) and its engine is a jewel. Modest in consumption, no issues, powerful just enough for me....you name it
If kawasaki really started producing such a cruiser, I would be facing a serious dilemma: what to do with Magnus?

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Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:10 am
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Post Re: What will replace the Vulcan 500 LTD?
I've been drooling over a 650 Vulcan as well, but just like the rest of you, won't be holding my breath. We can hope. If they could keep the weight similar to what it currently is, it would actually be one of the faster cruisers on the market. 71hp in Ninja trim, a bit less in the other versions. That would do just fine on the cruiser chassis. Add in mag wheels, fuel injection, and return to belt drive and you have a low maintenance sport cruiser that would be inexpensive to commute on.

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Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:19 pm
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Post Re: What will replace the Vulcan 500 LTD?
fastpakr wrote:
I've been drooling over a 650 Vulcan as well, but just like the rest of you, won't be holding my breath. We can hope. If they could keep the weight similar to what it currently is, it would actually be one of the faster cruisers on the market. 71hp in Ninja trim, a bit less in the other versions. That would do just fine on the cruiser chassis. Add in mag wheels, fuel injection, and return to belt drive and you have a low maintenance sport cruiser that would be inexpensive to commute on.


All it would need then is the hydraulic self adjusting valves from the vulcan 750..... that would be one nice low maintenance bike!

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Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:16 pm
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Post Re: What will replace the Vulcan 500 LTD?
Triangles, I've got to agree with you on the valves. I just finished adjusting mine again last weekend and although it's not rocket science, it takes several hours of my weekends to do it and even though I went 9,000 miles between adjustments (6,000 is the recommended interval), this is the second time this year I've had to do this. I'm always amazed at the improvement in performance after a valve adjustment. I guess they get out over such a long riding interval that you just don't notice it much, but wow when you set them back into the specs it really makes a noticeable difference in performance. I'd pay another thousand bucks to have a 500 with self adjusting hydraulic valves, more than that even, it is just too annoying to have to take the time to do this several times per year.


Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:44 am
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Post Re: What will replace the Vulcan 500 LTD?
When I was looking at bikes I almost got a vulcan 750 but I figured it would be a pain to adjust the valves on the V-twin engine. Well my friend got one and I found out it has automatic adjusting valves! It has other niceties like a center stand and fuel gauge. The shaft drive is nearly maintenance free too, but from what I understand, shaft drive saps a lot of efficiency/power. I don't know if that last bit is true or not but it makes sense with the gearing required for a shaft drive.

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Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:44 pm
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Post Re: What will replace the Vulcan 500 LTD?
I read something interesting on Kawasaki's Canadian web site. Apparently it looks like they're using the great white north as a test market for a Ninja 400R that looks strikingly similar to the Ninja 650R. I would imagine this is the replacement for the ninja 500. The 400cc engine's stroke is somewhat shorter than the 650's. This leads me to believe it's a little more than just a sleeved down 650 engine. I wonder if we'll see them shove this 400cc engine on a Vulcan 500 frame? I could also see them shoehorning the 450cc engine from the KX450F motorcross bike into a Vulcan 500 frame. Hopefully Kawasaki won't abandon the sub 900cc engine in the Vulcan line.

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Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:11 am
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Post Re: What will replace the Vulcan 500 LTD?
The 400 is, as you said, just a sleeved 650 engine. It's a reduced effect version like a lot of similar models of other motorcycles in Canada and Europe. They exist to meet the tiered licensing structure found in other countries. Not much point in putting the 400 version in the Vulcan when you could use the 650 just as easily.

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Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:36 pm
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Post Re: What will replace the Vulcan 500 LTD?
Hi, I owned a VN750 for three years, so can supply some info.

The hydraulic valvetrain was a great asset...never needed adjustment or clearance checks.

Good, but not great, power...I think the shaft drive does, in fact, sap some power. I have not ridden a VN500, but I suspect that, taking into account the lighter weight and chain drive, the performance of the VN500 is likely to be very similar to the VN750.

Weak point is the electrical charging system...specifically, the stator, which has a tendency to go Krispy if the battery is not well maintained...the regulator/rectifier also has difficulties because of its placement above part of the exhaust system...heat failure sometimes occurs.

Handling is OK...not bad for a cruiser.

Generally, the VN750 is a solid bike with a few weak points. These can be offset by proper maintenance and careful attention. Rotella T works very well in this machine as a basic oil.


Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:07 pm
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Post Re: What will replace the Vulcan 500 LTD?
I can tell you one thing. I've owned a 2011 Kawi Ninja 650R and too be honest the bike has amazing power, and an amazing power band. I had power till about 120 then it drifted off till i hit its top speed of 132mph. The bike go repossed when i lost my job last year. It was extremely comfortable as you dont lean forward near as much as a regular sport bike. It sits you pretty straight, and has a ton of torque that u can def feel. got great gas mileage too. once i got it broke in, i couldnt even feel it shift when using amsoil synthetic oil with k&n filter. A fuel injected 650R motor in a Vulcan 500 ltd frame would be a definite WOW factor. Especially if they used the better highway ratio'd belt drive. I personally would like to see them offer it in all of them (belt, chain, and shaft drive). I'd probaly get the belt or shaft drive and just put in a K7n filter, some nice pipes and a power commander and be done with it. actually no i wouldnt cuz stock that bike would knock your socks off! If they made a Kawi Vulcan 400 id be dissapointed. I'd but a fully built frame with everything but the engine, and then id but a 650R engine and stick it in myself, and i guess it would fit being a un-sleeved 400 :-)...... I know what im gonna be dreamin about tonight!!...... Next stop!! Kawaski Vulcan vx-14 (vulcan with the monster zx-14r engine) LOL or Boss Hoss 502ci V8 on a modified vulcan 500 frame haha nahh

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:12 am
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