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Kawasaki Vulcan S [2018-2019]

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Key specs
  • Displacement649 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported25 kmpl
  • Transmission6 Speed Manual
  • Kerb Weight235 kg

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 5,49,802

Kawasaki Vulcan S [2018-2019] is now discontinued in India.

Discontinued
  • 51 ImagesSee Images
  • 2 ColoursSee Colours
Colours:

Kawasaki Vulcan S [2018-2019] Summary

Vulcan S [2018-2019] key highlights

Engine Capacity 649 cc
Mileage Owner Reported Mileage: BikeWale collects mileage information from bike owners to provide you with the actual mileage that you might get. 25 kmpl
Transmission 6 Speed Manual
Kerb Weight 235 kg

About Vulcan S [2018-2019]

The Vulcan S is Kawasaki’s middleweight cruiser offering in the Indian market and a direct rival to the Harley-Davidson Street 750 and the Hyosung Aquila Pro GV650.

The bike sports the design language of a modern cruiser and gets a muscular styling, low-slung profile and a laidback riding position, blacked out components and the short exhaust. However, the bike also gets elements like the teardrop shaped fuel-tank and inverted triangle headlamp to set it apart. The instrument cluster is similar to the previous generation Ninja 650 and ER-6n, and comprises of an analogue tachometer and a digital display.

The Kawasaki Vulcan S is powered by a retuned version of the Ninja 650's liquid-cooled, 650cc parallel-twin engine that produces 60bhp and 63Nm of torque. This motor is mated to a six-speed gearbox that transfers power to the rear wheel via a chain drive. It rides on an 18-inch front alloy wheel with telescopic forks and a 17-inch rear alloy wheel with an offset monoshock. Braking power comes from a single 300mm disc up front and a 250mm disc at the rear with ABS offered as standard.

The Vulcan S tips the scale at 226kg and has a fuel tank capacity of 14 litres. Kawasaki offers the bike with ‘Ergo-Fit’; a three-level adjustment for the seat, handlebar and foot pegs, making it suitable for riders of different heights.

The bike was only available in a black colour option at launch, but since then an orange version has been added as well. It is priced at Rs 5.44 lakhs (ex-showroom) and the orange variant costs Rs 10,000 more.
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Kawasaki Vulcan S [2018-2019] Expert Opinion

  • Good Things

    • Offers a comfortable riding position
    • Has a refined 649cc engine
    • Gets good built quality
  • Could be Better

    • The rear suspension is stiff
    • Could get a better instrument cluster
    • Weight is on the heavier side

BikeWale's Take

The Vulcan S is Kawasaki’s only cruiser offering in the Indian market. It offers a comfortable riding position thanks to the forward set footrests and slightly sweptback handlebars. Moreover, it also gets a refined 649cc engine and good built quality to match. On the other hand, it could do better with an updated instrument cluster and pliant rear suspension. 

Kawasaki Vulcan S [2018-2019] Review

According to Kawasaki, the Vulcan S isn't your average cruiser. And, if I were to quote the Japanese bike maker verbatim, 'It doesn't require the rider to conform to any herd mentality fashion or lifestyle.'

Introduction

Pros: Low seat height, cool running, quality

Cons: Rear-end ride quality, boring clocks, switchgear

According to Kawasaki, the Vulcan S isn't your average cruiser. And, if I were to quote the Japanese bike maker verbatim, "It doesn't require the rider to conform to any herd mentality fashion or lifestyle." 

Now, that's a proper dig at not one, but two cruiser makers, one American and the other Indian, but with British ancestry. And, it's fine to be cocky, but only if your product can follow up and deliver that crucial knockout punch.  

In our book, the Vulcan S has a much easier job to do. It needs to be a hassle-free and easy to ride motorcycle for a crowd that's looking to upgrade from Enfields. And possibly even Avengers. And yes, it needs to be quick and comfortable. Also, because it comes with a steeper price tag, it must have good street creed. 

Okay, so the job isn't all that easy, after all. 

Quality

Well, if you are upgrading from Enfields or Avengers even, the quality on the Vulcan S will impress. It might not have any shiny bits whatsoever – even the chrome-like bits are finished in matte – but the quality of paint, the finish on gloss plastic, and even the welds and the concealment of wires etc is neat.  

If at all, the look and feel of the switchgear could have been better. In fact, we would have liked to see different instrumentation as well, to go along with the overall upmarket feel of the Vulcan.  

And since I am clearly in a grumpy mood, the rear grab handles – much like on the Ninja 300 – are there because they have to be. There’s no real aesthetic thought behind their design, which is a shame.

Comfort

Kawasaki has, however, paid attention to comfort. So, on city roads or over mildly broken tarmac, and on beautifully paved four-lanned highways, the Vulcan just seems to glide over it all feeling effortless to ride. 

Now, to complete the cruiser stance, the Vulcan runs a different chassis and suspension setup compared to the Z650 and the Ninja 650. So, the Vulcan is lower, heavier, and the rear suspension barely has any travel.  

And that begins to show when the going gets bumpy. Over deeper and sharper potholes, and severely undulating roads, the Vulcan has the ability to both crush your spine and throw you off the seat like a drunken bull. Not surprisingly, the rear loves to bottoms out.

 

The seat itself though, is cushy and accommodating. And on shorter rides, it’s lovely to be in. But, spend over an hour in it and your tailbone will begin to hurt. Also, since you can´t really stand up courtesy the pulled-in handlebar and the forward set footpegs, there’s no other way to release that stress apart from stopping and taking a break.

Performance

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.

Technology

The Vulcan S is quite basic when it comes to technology or features, especially for a motorcycle at this price point. The Vulcan S retails at over Rs 6.6 lakhs on the road in Mumbai. 

 

It gets dual channel ABS, which can’t be turned off. It gets reach adjustable clutch and brake levers. There’s fuel injection and liquid cooling for the engine. The Vulcan also gets a slick shifting 6-speed gearbox. And, one can also alter the position of the footpegs by 25mm front and back. However, the linkage rods one will need in order to run the altered footpeg positions have to be bought separately, which, defeats the purpose of having thise feature, to an some extent. And lest we forget, it also gets radial tyres at both ends.

Fuel efficiency

The Kawasaki Vulcan S returned a little over 22kmpl during our fuel run. That, and a 14-litre fuel tank translate into a range of around 300km. The figures aren’t bad on either count. Sure, riders upgrading from the Avenger might find the economy dreadful. But for those moving up from Enfields or other 250cc to 400cc motorcycles, will find the figures more than acceptable.

Fitness of purpose

Like we said at the start, the Vulcan S is for those looking to upgrade from Enfields, and possibly Avengers. And on that count, the Vulcan has its bases covered. It’s an easy to ride motorcycle whether you use it for commuting, Sunday rides or long road trips. Just remember to avoid really broken sections of road. 

Our take

The only thing that may turn-off Avenger and Enfield owners is the price of the Vulcan. It is an expensive motorcycle, and quite a jump cost wise from REs. However, we did forget to mention that born-again bikers might also consider the Vulcan. And for that lot, this Kawasaki might not be such an expensive proposition. 

But, for the latter variety, the slightly snatchy throttle response at low revs might be a cause for concern. As might be the motorcycle’s over 230kg kerb weight. Get past that and the Vulcan’s performance, handling, braking, and even tyre grip, is good enough to restore the confidence one needs to start and enjoy riding motorcycles again.  

Our take is, the Vulcan will certainly find takers.

Photography by Kapil Angane

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Kawasaki Vulcan S [2018-2019] Colours

Kawasaki Vulcan S [2018-2019] mileage

As reported by Vulcan S [2018-2019] owners, the real mileage of Kawasaki Vulcan S [2018-2019] is 25 kmpl.

Vulcan S [2018-2019] mileage details

Vulcan S [2018-2019]

Specifications

  • Power & PerformancePower & Performance

    Fuel Type Petrol

    Max Power 59.5 bhp @ 7,500 rpm

    Max Torque 63 Nm @ 6,600 rpm

    Cooling System Liquid Cooled

    Transmission 6 Speed Manual

    Transmission Type Chain Drive

    Emission Standard BS-IV

    Displacement 649 cc

    Cylinders 2

    Bore 83 mm

    Stroke 60 mm

    Valves Per Cylinder 4

    Compression Ratio 10.8 : 1

    Ignition Digital

    Spark Plugs --

    Clutch Wet Multi-Disc

    Fuel Delivery System Fuel Injection

    Fuel Tank Capacity 14 litres

    Reserve Fuel Capacity --

    Riding Range Maximum distance a petrol bike can travel on a full fuel tank and an electric bike can travel on a full charge 350 Km

    Mileage - ARAI --

    Mileage - Owner Reported BikeWale collects mileage information from bike owners to provide you with the actual mileage that you might get. 25 kmpl

    Top Speed --

    View more specs
  • Brakes, Wheels & SuspensionBrakes, Wheels & Suspension

    Braking System CBS, IBS, SBT, UBS, HBS - Combined braking of both front and rear wheel | ABS - Anti-lock braking system which can be just for front wheel (single channel) or both wheels (dual channel) or can be switched off (switchable) | E-ABS - Electronic assisted braking system | Standard - Cable operated Dual Channel ABS

    Front Brake Type Disc

    Front Brake Size 300 mm

    Front Tyre Size 120/70R18M/C 59H

    Rear Tyre Size 160/60R17M/C 69H

    Tyre Type Tubeless

    Rear Brake Type Disc

    Rear Brake Size 250 mm

    Calliper Type Front-2 Piston Rear-Single Piston Calliper

    Front Wheel Size 18 inch

    Rear Wheel Size 17 inch

    Radial Tyres Yes

    Wheel Type Alloy

    Front Suspension ø41 mm telescopic fork/130 mm

    Rear Suspension Offset laydown single-shock, linkage equipped

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  • Dimensions & ChassisDimensions & Chassis

    Kerb Weight 235 kg

    Overall Length 2,310 mm

    Overall Width 855 mm

    Wheelbase 1,575 mm

    Ground Clearance 130 mm

    Seat Height 705 mm

    Overall Height 1,090 mm

    Chassis Type Perimeter, high-tensile steel

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Features

Odometer Digital

DRLs (Daytime running lights) --

Mobile App Connectivity --

Pillion BackrestNo

Pillion GrabrailYes

Pillion SeatYes

GPS & Navigation --

USB charging port --

Front storage box --

Under seat storage --

AHO (Automatic Headlight On) --

Speedometer Digital

Fuel Guage Yes

Tachometer Digital

Stand Alarm --

Stepped Seat Yes

No. of Tripmeters 2

Tripmeter Type Digital

Low Fuel Indicator Yes

Low Oil Indicator Yes

Low Battery Indicator Yes

Pillion FootrestYes

Digital Fuel GuageYes

Start TypeElectric Start

Shift LightYes

KillswitchYes

ClockYes

Electric System12V DC

BatteryMaintenance Free

Headlight Type--

Headlight Bulb Type--

Brake/Tail Light--

Turn SignalYes

Pass LightYes

Additional features--

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Kawasaki Vulcan S [2018-2019] User Reviews

4.8 (21 ratings) 7 reviews
  • 4

    Visual Appeal

  • 4

    Reliability

  • 4

    Performance

  • 4

    Service Experience

  • 4

    Maintenance cost

  • 4

    Extra Features

  •  4Powerful, Comfortable and Visually Appealing 8 months ago by Arpit Mayer

    The motorcycle is powerful, comfortable and visually very appealing. The whole idea of putting the sports bike engine in a cruiser itself is crazy and you will feel that power. For mileage, keep it around 5000rpm and you'll get 22-26kmpl easily. Just be careful around t

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    • Used it for

      Tours

    • Owned for

      6 months-1 yr

    • Ridden for

      < 5000 kms

    • Got mileage of

      22 kmpl

  •  5A REAL SPORTS CRUISER 1 year ago by Ankit Narayan, Kanpur

    i bought this bike in march 2019. the look is just awesome people will just stare at the bike every place .... on traffic signals on highways everywhere. so the look of the bike is super awesome. it goes to a top speed of 217kmph. on highways the mileage come upto 22 or

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    Inappropriate review? Report Abuse

    • Used it for

      Everything

    • Owned for

      6 months-1 yr

    • Ridden for

      < 5000 kms

    • Got mileage of

      20 kmpl

  •  5Cruiser 2 years ago by Anand Mishra, Lucknow

    awesome bike with great comfort...ridding is very easy with this bike so comfortable...looks like beast on roads... performance wise good in city, highways, and off road also.... servicing and maintenance do not think for super bike......con is low ground clearance.....

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    Inappropriate review? Report Abuse

    • Used it for

      Everything

    • Owned for

      < 3 months

    • Ridden for

      < 5000 kms

    • Got mileage of

      25 kmpl

  •   
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    • Got mileage of

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