Often, individuals might overlook mid-sized cruisers like the 2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom Special Edition. They glance at the liquid-cooled 903cc V-twin engine and dismiss its “small” stature as though only 96 cubic inches or more machines qualify as genuine cruisers. Yet, with merely 55 cubic inches, Kawasaki has crafted a cruiser that boasts style and delivers performance that defies its size.
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2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom: A Closer Look
The Dark Elegance of the Special Edition
The 2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom Special Edition embraces a darker aesthetic. Its appearance is undeniably mature and rebellious, with a blacked-out engine adorned with shimmering accents, black wheels, tanks, forks, and paint. The only significant components retaining their chrome finish are the twin exhausts. This design ensures the engine size is manageable, leaving many bystanders guessing if they’re witnessing a more formidable cruiser.
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Performance That Speaks Volumes
Other motorcyclists will surely sense a challenge when they spot you in the bends. The Kawasaki engine, characterized by its liquid-cooling, overhead cam, and four-valve V-twin design, is elegant, responding swiftly to the rider’s commands. The twin-body Keihin fuel injection system operates flawlessly, delivering peak torque (a claimed 58 ft/lbs) as early as 3500 rpm. Riders can confidently push beyond this for exhilarating acceleration, whether within city limits or beyond.
Agility and Precision in Design
Complementing the Vulcan 900’s spirited engine is a chassis eager to navigate sharp turns. Its stated curb weight of 611 pounds is an advantage. The 21-inch front wheel ensures nimble steering, while the 180 rear tire, fitted on a compact 15-inch rim, doesn’t compromise maneuverability. Although the bike might scrape during sharp turns, it boasts a commendable lean angle, with the Dunlop tires performing seamlessly up to their limits.
Balancing Attitude and Control
With a 33-degree rake—shy of the Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide by a degree—the bike exudes confidence. However, its steering precision might catch you off guard. Credit goes to its shorter wheelbase (3.5 inches less than the Wide Glide), it’s relatively lightweight, and the minimized gyroscopic effect due to its smaller engine. While larger bikes have their merits, especially for long rides or when carrying a passenger, smaller ones have undeniable benefits.
Superior Japanese Craftsmanship
Being of Japanese origin, there’s an assurance of quality in the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom’s suspension. The 41mm forks offer nearly six inches of travel, while the concealed rear shock suspension provides over four inches of wheel movement. The suspension’s behavior is impeccable. Additionally, the belt drive is silent and virtually maintenance-free.
Braking and Ergonomics
The braking system is reliable and consistent, though not remarkable. It features a 300mm single disc up front and a 270mm one at the back. The 900 Custom’s geometry allows effective use of the front disc, ensuring predictable deceleration with a firm grip. From an ergonomic perspective, the 2010 Vulcan 900 Custom positions the rider’s feet forward, with handlebars that curve back comfortably. The seat design ensures riders remain secure, even during intense acceleration. The engine’s balance is impeccable, and the sound from the twin slash-cut mufflers is subtle. Long rides, whether in the city or on highways, are a breeze on this bike.
Accessorizing the Vulcan
Exploring the Kawasaki Accessories catalog, additions include:
- A custom-stitched seat cover.
- A blacked-out backrest/luggage rack combo.
- Billet mirrors.
- A mini tachometer.
- Passenger floorboards.
- A café windshield.
While some cruiser accessories prioritize aesthetics over functionality, that’s only sometimes the case. The backrest offers added security, especially given the seat’s compact design. The small rack, subtle in black, is handy for carrying items. The café windshield is effective on highways, though its visual integration with the bike might be subjective. For those keen on touring with the Kawasaki Vulcan 900, the LT variant might be more suitable than the custom.
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Additional Features and Considerations
The mini tachometer is prominently placed, but its utility might be limited. Despite the Kawasaki 900’s quick-revving nature, hitting the limiter is rare. If it happens, a simple gear shift using the smooth five-speed transmission rectifies it. The passenger floorboards enhance comfort and security for the rear rider. Their unique design makes the Vulcan billet mirrors visually appealing and functional. While aesthetically pleasing, the seat cover is most noticeable when the bike is stationary.
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Final Thoughts on the 2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom Special Edition
When contemplating the 2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom Special Edition, it boils down to individual preferences. Numerous options exist for those who equate size with satisfaction, including Kawasaki’s Vulcan 2000 for those fixated on displacement. While the Special Edition is undeniably attractive, brands like Harley or Victory might command different attention. However, for those who prioritize the riding experience on a cruiser, the 903cc might be surprisingly fulfilling.