The Vulcan S not only runs a lower chassis compared to its street bike cousin, the Z650, it also has a more raked out front suspension, a longer wheelbase, and a much longer handlebar. All of this should make the Vulcan lazy to steer, and therefore, a chore to commute on. Or to take on twisties with.
But, that’s not the case. Sure, it takes a little more effort at the handlebar to get the Vulcan to change directions. But, once it starts leaning, it feels light and natural and surprisingly willing. The tyres do a good job of holding onto both concrete and tarmac as well. So, it neither feels tedious or cumbersome in the city – barring maybe the slightly heavy clutch-pull. And, it doesn't feel too wallowy or vague around a winding road either. It’s quite unlike a long-legged cruiser in that sense.
Ditto with the brakes. These aren’t the sharpest units in the business, and it does require some effort at the lever to slow this 200kg plus motorcycle. But, the feel and progression are unlike a traditional cruiser, which allows you to ride the bike a lot quicker - knowing you can stop harder - than its stance conveys.
Then there’s the intake noise. Open the Vulcan’s throttle aggressively between 3,000-5,000rpm and it has this lovely baritone of an intake which makes you want to be in this zone all the time. And it’s not short of performance in this range either.
Sure, unlike a traditional, long-stroke, V-twin cruiser motor, the Vulcan’s 61bhp parallel twin doesn’t have the torque wave between 3-5k rpm that will have you grinning every time you open gas. It behaves more like a street motor, wherein the closer you rev it to its redline, the livelier it feels.
But, the performance feels perfectly acceptable – and enjoyable even – at these rpms. Plus, riding the mid-range fits better with this whole low-slung, foot-forward, cruiser appeal. I’d say you could cruise at 100kmph as effortlessly as daydreaming for as long as your backside allows.