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One word comes to mind obese.

This is kind of a sympton of an increasing overweight population, the baby boomers. Make sure you bring your lipitor, glucophage, and your insulin cause this is a bike with Type 2 diabetes.

Nice review great pictures and opinions. Nice to see a cruiser rider with a full-face helmet
 

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That thing weigh's like twice as much as my YZF-R1! Do they make them this heavy on purpose?



Tip it over and your going to need a small army to get back upright.



If I were to buy a cruiser I would go for the Rocket III, more power and less weight than the V2K.
 

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"The belt final drive is a first for Kawasaki " Are you forgetting the KZ 450 LTD that pioneered belt drive on Kawasaki's? It had the old trapezoidal tooth belt drive that worked quite well with the 450's limited horsepower.
 

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Seems to me this bike is the average cruiser guy's dream. Big...Powerful...And I am sure with the right pipes it will scare folks off the street. I'm being serious here folks. Seems like that is what most...not all cuiser guy's want, something to make them look bad. Also, I must say this bike is pretty neat. Nice power right off the floor. Why should you have to buy a bike and then go right back and have to take off a bunch of new just paid for parts only to buy more parts and pray the tuner knows what he is doing to get descent power? If my arms and legs were a little longer I would consider this bike. Good job Kawasaki!
 

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Beautiful bike, but I still don't get it. Must be me. Maybe I should borrow a friend's heavy cruiser and spend a few quality days getting to know the breed. Anyway, thanks for the article - well written & informative.
 

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Man, you guys just don't understand us cruiser types. If I didn't just buy my Warrior last year, I'd snap one of these bad boys up.

Big motor? check

Big fat back tire? check

Belt drive? check



Blowing off Hardleys? check.....



Great review, and thanks for the Dyno run videos! BTW, the right seat and handebars made my Warrior all day comfy.....
 

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This test is simply one big elaborate troll to try to bring the Highwayman back, isn't it?



Actually, the Vulcan doesn't seem any worse in dimension than the GoldWing. Don't see a lot of compalint about that behemoth. Apparently the Vulcan'll make a practical touring bike.



Sportbikes slowly getting smaller and excluding taller riders. Cruisers slowly getting bigger and wider and excluding shorter riders. Take it to its absurd extreme and the future belongs to Naked Standards.



I can deal with that.
 

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It's too heavy and too expensive. I would like to know how a company that makes such powerful bikes, like the ZX-12 and light and powerful like the ZX-10, come out with a behemoth like this and it can't even crack 100 HP with 2 litres? I mean it weighs almost as much as 2 ZX-10s and costs more, and it's old technology. As far as cruisers and performance go, Harley got it right with the V-Rod, although too expensive. I can find better ways to spend my money.
 

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You know what...............? Kawasaki has always had the "Balls" to try different concepts and I like the company for that. I was looking forward to this bike and it pretty well says when you see it "I don't give a sh*t I'll be what I am!" The quality in this machine is awesome and I can just imagine this thing for the aftermarket bike builders especially the engine/tranny/belt combo! Apparently Kawasaki says they laft alot of room in that motor so it could have had more displaement! I think I will buy one! It's a MANS bike thats for sure.
 

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Here's a little Highwayman for you:





The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,

The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,

And the highwayman came riding--

Riding--riding--

The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.



He'd a French ****ed hat on his forehead, and a bunch of lace at his chin;

He'd a coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of fine doe-skin.

They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to his thigh!

And he rode with a jeweled twinkle--

His rapier hilt a-twinkle--

His pistol butts a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.



Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,

He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred,

He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there

But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--

Bess, the landlord's daughter--

Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.



Dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked

Where Tim, the ostler listened--his face was white and peaked--

His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,

But he loved the landlord's daughter--

The landlord's black-eyed daughter;

Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say:



"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I'm after a prize tonight,

But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.

Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,

Then look for me by moonlight,

Watch for me by moonlight,

I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."



He stood upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,

But she loosened her hair in the casement! His face burnt like a brand

As the sweet black waves of perfume came tumbling o'er his breast,

Then he kissed its waves in the moonlight

(O sweet black waves in the moonlight!),

And he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.



He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon.

And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,

When the road was a gypsy's ribbon over the purple moor,

The redcoat troops came marching--

Marching--marching--

King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.



They said no word to the landlord; they drank his ale instead,

But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed.

Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets by their side;

There was Death at every window,

And Hell at one dark window,

For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.



They had bound her up at attention, with many a sniggering jest!

They had tied a rifle beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!

"Now keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say,

"Look for me by moonlight,

Watch for me by moonlight,

I'll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way."



She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good!

She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!

They stretched and strained in the darkness,

and the hours crawled by like years,

Till, on the stroke of midnight,

Cold on the stroke of midnight,

The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!



The tip of one finger touched it, she strove no more for the rest;

Up, she stood up at attention, with the barrel beneath her breast.

She would not risk their hearing, she would not strive again,

For the road lay bare in the moonlight,

Blank and bare in the moonlight,

And the blood in her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love's refrain.



Tlot tlot, tlot tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hooves, ringing clear;

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?

Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,

The highwayman came riding--

Riding--riding--

The redcoats looked to their priming! She stood up straight and still.



Tlot tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot tlot, in the echoing night!

Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!

Her eyes grew wide for a moment, she drew one last deep breath,

Then her finger moved in the moonlight--

Her musket shattered the moonlight--

Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him--with her death.



He turned, he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood

Bowed, with her head o'er the casement, drenched in her own red blood!

Not till the dawn did he hear it, and his face grew grey to hear

How Bess, the landlord's daughter,

The landlord's black-eyed daughter,

Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.



Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,

With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!

Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon, wine-red was his velvet coat

When they shot him down in the highway,

Down like a dog in the highway,

And he lay in his blood in the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.



And still on a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,

When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

When the road is a gypsy's ribbon looping the purple moor,

The highwayman comes riding--

Riding--riding--

The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.



Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,

He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred,

He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there

But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--

Bess, the landlord's daughter--

Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.



-- Alfred Noyes

 

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"Sportbikes slowly getting smaller and excluding taller riders. Cruisers slowly getting bigger and wider and excluding shorter riders. "



I second to that notion. I'm about 6' , not actually that tall, but I've tried some of the newer sportbikes (R1, CBR RR) and I felt like a one of those circus chimps on a tricycle. Or it could be just me.
 

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Does anyone remember what one of the major cycle rags said of the 'monstrous' 6 cyl Kawasaki KZ1300 back sometime in the early 80's?



"Enough!"



And now we have the 'Hummer H2' of motorcycling...



Harley must be howling...
 

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Too Little, Too Late...

...too big, too borrowed. A very late entry into what the Japanese have been trying to conquer for some years. Had this arrived five years ago, all the world would have taken notice. Lets' see...a flattening cruiser market, aging Baby Boomers...

If people think they're are getting a better deal because it's supposedly comparable to a Harley they are sadly mistaken. It is essentially a Harley formula clone, a clone of what people are really after--a Harley. And if prospective owners think that Harley owners are going to stand up and take notice--they are sadly mistaken and will have wasted their money, as most, if not all Harley owners won't give a damn. Toppling an icon, any icon, is much harder than people think as it relates direct to what people think.

Now, Kawasaki has a remarkable motorcycle with the ZX-10R and there is still the up and coming market that will eventually take as greater market share of motorcycling and that's sport touring. Kawasaki has further wasted valuable time with the Vulcan line up as a whole.
 

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I dunno if these boys were ABOUT max power when they made the sucker. I mean, clearly, Kawi has shown it can top 100hp with half the displacement -- if you want a screamer get a sportbike, right?



Would YOU want a bike like that doing 0-60 in 3.something? It's just not what they're built for.

This V2000 appears to have grunt, presence, and a torque band that would shame many econo-cages. I think that's probably what they were going after.



Of course, *I* don't "get it" about cruisers, either. But obviously a whole bunch of people do.
 

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Get it before it's moot!

People who want "big" will by better served by a Rocket III, which will handle better, go faster, and isn't a "clone" of anything. People who want a Harley will get a Harley. Realistically, Kawasaki's superior distribution over Triumph, which has only 65 or so dealers nationwide, will ensure decent sales for the VN2000. Apart from that bit of saving grace, this bike is too little, too late, and too expensive to succeed.
 
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