Using the versatile 649cc parallel-twin mill that powers the Ninja 650 sportbike, Z650 naked bike, and Versys 650 adventure bike as a basis, Kawasaki splintered off three unique power cruisers, including the Vulcan S, the Vulcan SE, and the Vulcan Café. Available with or without antilock brakes, the Vulcan S serves up some Ninja sizzle with sportbike design cues, such as an exposed horizontal monoshock, drilled brake rotors, and windswept lines. Inventively, its flexible Ergo-Fit ergonomic design allows specially tailoring the handlebar, seat, and footpegs to suit riders 5-foot-6 and under, 5-foot-7 to 6 feet, or 6-foot-1 and taller.
Moving up one level, the Vulcan S ABS SE comes with antilock brakes as standard equipment, and features unique Pearl Lava Orange special-edition paintwork. And then, atop this three-bike 649cc Vulcan range, the Vulcan S ABS Café adds a stylized tinted windshield, a unique tricolor Pearl Sport Gray paint scheme, Lime Green accents for the shock spring and wheels, and special gas-tank badges.
Likes: Hybrid cruiser/sportbike approach, brilliant Ergo-Fit adjustability
Dislikes: Short rear suspension travel; solo seat vetoes taking a passenger
Verdict: Sporty, affordable, and designed to fit real people