Kawasaki's Vulcan cruiser is tired of residing in the shadows of the Big Twin market. Just introduced is a new-from-the-wheels-up 1700cc cruiser that includes a more powerful drivetrain and a nimbler, stronger chassis than the previous Vulcan 1600. Kawasaki invited us to Marin County just north of San Francisco to sample its new line on the area's hills, coastline and freeways.
The new Vulcan 1700 is a significant upgrade over the old Vulcan 1600 line, starting with a motor said to offer 20% more horsepower. The new mill is indeed new, not some enlarged version of the old 1552cc "1600." Kawi says the engine is based loosely on the giant Vulcan 2000, although it uses a single-overhead-cam design with four valves per cylinder instead of the V2000's pushrods. A 102mm bore was retained from the V1600, but the stroke was stretched from 95mm to 104mm to create an even 1700cc – that’s 103.7 cubic inches for those adverse to the metric system.
More: 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700/LT Review on Motorcycle.com