Originally Posted by Exhuberance
Congratulations on the new bike !
This is on my candidate list for sure. I have a question though regarding the ground clearance, is it manageable for longer rides/ city speed breakers ?
Longer ones are no issue at all. As for ground clearance, as long as you're riding solo there should be no trouble on sensibly made breakers. However the ones made privately (RWAs, institutions & individuals) will bottom the bike out nice and proper, unless you come to a near stop and waddle along.
Riding with a pillion could prove embarrassing more frequently than you'd feel comfortable with.
Originally Posted by mohit_a
Congratulations and welcome to the KVS club!
Haha, even I had incidentally stumbled upon the Vulcan after not getting a test ride of the RE 650 at my nearest showroom in Mumbai.
I've been really happy with the decision and hope you are too.
Not too much to be honest, I am appalled by the build quality and cost of accessories.
Do read on.
I did my first long(ish) ride on the Vulcan y'day. About 200Kms+ on NH8. I am on 450 odd Kms on my ODO. Here are my observations and suggestions.
The accessories for the Vulcan are hard to come by, and really expensive. For example a Hopeco & Becker luggage rack will set you back by about INR 11,000. A Puig leg guard by INR 21,000. A radiator guard by INR 9,000. Original Kawasaki accessories are even dearer (that is IF they even make the item you are looking for).
So I got the following brands instead:
A motofusion radiator guard - Around INR 2,300. The difference is that it's secured by zipties instead of screws.
An Asco engine guard - Around INR 8,000. Still have to get it fitted, so will update as and when I do.
As for the luggage rack, I got the saree guard cut, and installed the grab rails on the bike. Post which I got 5 steel bars welded between the grab rails. Once that was done, I got the welding sanded and powder coated.
The whole operation cost me a couple of hours for fabrication and leaving the guard overnight for powder-coating.
Total cost? INR 1,300
So that's a saving of INR 10,000 and I'll be honest when I say that that finishing is MUCH better than the plain eyesore welds done by the Kawasaki assembly team on the original saree guard.
Here are a few things you'll have to be careful about though:
- Get the battery terminals disconnected before getting the welding job
- Cover the motorcycle as best as you can while the welding happens
- The welding will have to be done ON the motorcycle for the best fitment
- The rack becomes a bit hard to take off after the install, so you'll have to be cognizant of that
You know, it's a 6Lakh motorcycle and for most, it'll be a stepping stone for to a higher category motorcycle. Spending ridiculous amount of money on accessories will make the difference between cost and re-sale even higher.
Also, if cheaper and equally effective options exist, the dealerships as well as local vendors should stock them. As far as I know, no big-bike shops in Gurgaon do.
Moving on, here are a couple of pictures from my ride y'day.
My list of pros and cons after spending about 10 days and 450kms with the machine.
- City riding is fun! It's a very low-key looking motorcycle and no one expects it to rocket off (and that's when I am restricted to 4,000 revs on the upper side)
- It's quiet. That's extremely comfortable on long rides. Loud exhausts can be a real pain for extended periods. Yes, I do wear ear plugs while riding
- It's comfortable through random rough patches. Doesn't feel nervous, and neither do you.
- The riding position is comfortable (more on this later)
- It's got enough punch to overtake on highways even in taller gears downshifting isn't really required in most high to medium flow cases
- Hardly any engine heat experienced, unless waddling through traffic
- No clatter while riding
- Tank capacity provides decent range
- Even though it's a low-slung cruiser, I think it can take Himalayan touring. Will seriously consider Spiti with this one. Sure, I will have to crawl in some stretches, but the over all comfort, I think, will negate that
- The rear view mirrors are pure joy. Excellent coverage
- I felt there was more torque available at higher rev-ranges (thought I got only a small glimpse while overtaking on a couple of occasions). So cruising above and around legal speed limits should be no issue at all.
- The instrument cluster has all the necessary info and is easy to read while riding.
- Cleaned the motorcycle once (no washing yet). Seems like a simple enough job to do well.
- Appalling fit and finish. Terrible. I can see the misaligned headlight parts every time I ride. A few plastic panels "move". The saree guard welding looked like it was done by a fresh apprentice in tier-II city fabricators.
- The rear-right indicator fell out after an uncharacteristically rough detour because of the farmer protests. But it fell out! How does that happen on a 6lac motorcycle? It's not even "that" American brand. It's a sort of loose rubber seal that can be popped right back in. So I did that. But imagine a loose rubber seal indicator on a "premium" motorcycle. My 2003 Enfield had better fitment of parts when I bought it.
- The indicators and break-light scream "cheap motorcycle" anyway. I will be looking for options as far as the indicators go. Supplements for the tail-light too. The modern look of the motorcycle and retro styled lights don't go at all!
- The halogen in the headlight will need replacing with an LED
- The motorcycle can be mistaken for a Bajaj Avenger pretty easily unless one is into motorcycles, or does a double take. Listen, I bought a premium motorcycle, at least give me a high gloss, LED fitted premium looking machine? Guess Kawasaki applies that only to its speedier models.
- That said, only one drab looking colour option, which in its original avatar I call the "morose grey". With extremely sad looking graphics, that you'll want to get sorted
- Importantly, while the "ergo-fit" option exists to make the motorcycle comfortable for your height, it is a paid thing. Abroad it's absolutely free, but in India they have decided to charge for it. I wanted to get the setup changed for easy-reach, but the price for all that (about 50-60,000) was hard-reach. Not a great trade-off.
- Little torque at lower rev ranges. But that's a personal thing. The tune on the W800 was way more suited to my taste.
- The "upset sewing machine" engine sound and exhaust note. Please note that non-OEM exhausts will get you a nice fat ticket (at least in Delhi)
- Didn't realize it while riding in the city but the handles get pretty vibe-y at around 4000RPM (75-85kph in the 6th). Didn't feel any in the footpegs and the seat, but the handlebar gets the shivers. Plan to get grip-puppies to remedy that
- The instrument panel looks ancient for today's day and age. It looks positively fossilized when I compare it to my 2018 Duke 390.
- In fact nearly everything looks two generations too dated when I compare it to my Duke 390. 6lacs needs better kit.
- I've been waiting for a small part since I bought this on the 6th. Hasn't come in yet. Hope it's not a regular thing with the Kawasakis and this delay is only because of the farmers agitation.
I do realize that I've more gripes than greats about this motorcycle. Buyer's regret? I don't think so.
However, the increase in power and increase in comfort are worth the upgrade.
Regardless, with RE launching the twins at the price they have and KTM delivering the tech at the price they do, this motorcycle should cost no more than 5lacs on-road WITH everything LED and 10x better assembly.
If RE launches a cruiser version of their 650, the Vulcan S will join the W800 in being straight booted out.
There is no machine in this specific category that competes (except Harley, and you all know the Harley story) and the next jump is a Triumph Speedmaster which costs 13 big ones on the road.
So if you're in the market for a mid-sized cruiser go for this, but with eyes well open.
Will keep you guys posted about the ownership experience as and when!