Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 63 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Was b.s.ing with the gentleman that actually owns the local kawi/honda shop today. Was talking about kawasaki marking 50 years in the motor Cycle business and he makes the statement that Kawi made an grave mistake in killing off the v2k. He couldn't say why they did it. Does anyone hear know. Also in conversation it was remarked that instead of killing it off they should have mated the engine to a 6 speed and put it in the vaquero and voyager. He is of the opinion that Kawi would absolutely rule that particular market segment at this time if they had done that. Personally I would pitch a tent a week ahead in front of the showroom to get something like that. What you folks think?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-T817A using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,043 Posts
It's likely that only Kawasaki corporate knows why. Maybe ask them directly, but it might be necessary to learn Japanese to be able to be able to understand the answer . . .
 

·
BOTM Winner, October 2016
Joined
·
537 Posts
Short answer : low sales numbers.
When it came out the stand was shorter and it was heavy off the kickstand, putting off a lot of people, including the guys at Motorcycle Cruiser who gave the bike the worst reviews. In came Yamaha with a 1900 and these guys ranted and raved. Heckled that Mama Yama bought things of advertising. Other magazines followed suit, and sales were lackluster. I myself chose to test ride, and that was it, had to have one.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

·
BOTM Winner, April 2016
Joined
·
424 Posts
Was b.s.ing with the gentleman that actually owns the local kawi/honda shop today. Was talking about kawasaki marking 50 years in the motor Cycle business and he makes the statement that Kawi made an grave mistake in killing off the v2k. He couldn't say why they did it. Does anyone hear know. Also in conversation it was remarked that instead of killing it off they should have mated the engine to a 6 speed and put it in the vaquero and voyager. He is of the opinion that Kawi would absolutely rule that particular market segment at this time if they had done that. Personally I would pitch a tent a week ahead in front of the showroom to get something like that. What you folks think?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-T817A using Tapatalk
I would just pitch a tent...

Sent from my Z30 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. Bout what I figured. But I would like to see a vaq or Voyager powered by our power plant.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,074 Posts
Sales killed the bike. I agree that it's one of the best engineered engines ever produced. The entire package needed some tweaking. I personally didn't think a 6th gear was needed but would've been welcomed. That motor hums at 90 mph in 5th like it ain't no thing.

That engine in the 1700 platform would kill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Being 6'2" and 350 pounds, this bike is PERFECT for me, in size, weight, and power. *shrug*
I'm 5'10", 185 lbs. I feel with an additional 50 horsepower it would be perfect for me. :)
It's adequate now though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
At 140 lbs I moved from a Suzuki 800 to my beast. Needless to say a little pee dribbled out on my test ride. But that just made me want it more.
If there was a way to shove this engine in a vaquero I'd do it
 

·
Bike Of The Year Winner, 2012
Joined
·
4,910 Posts
this topic comes up every few years...

As stated, it just didn't sell.. and Money (sales) is what drives everything.

I don't remember the details anymore.. you could search around for some older post if you want exact years.. but sometime in the mid 90's Kawasaki spent 5 or 6 years doing research into what the American male wanted... they came up with BIG.

Then by the time they actually designed, prototype, and built it, it was another 4 years..

Soo. what started out in the mid 90's, didn't hit the U.S. until mid-2000's.. and by then what the Average Male wanted had changed...they wanted build in faring and bags... which is why they came out with the V2K classic (windshield and bags) as an attempt to please the market. But it was to late.

By then, the V2K had already taking a bad rep in the media as being to big and bulky, which we all know is not true.

But, regardless, it came down to sales.

And i agree, if they brought the engine back in a vaquero, I'd be one of the first in line to get one...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
The whole "too big and bulky" was primarily the comments from shorter guys who were used to riding their lightweight vn900's. Who at the same time even today still complain about how they get picked on for riding a 'girls' bike. Which it is.

The fact is, its a marketing failure the V2K is no longer produced.


Disclaimer: above comments are stated as, "IMO".


Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,670 Posts
The whole "too big and bulky" was primarily the comments from shorter guys who were used to riding their lightweight vn900's. Who at the same time even today still complain about how they get picked on for riding a 'girls' bike. Which it is.
Really, I thought it was because they ran out of small wiener guys to sell it to. A 100 hp bike from 2000cc really is a joke, but some who like the big bike pissing match still lament what use to be .... I guess.

BTW, my statement is just as ludicrous as yours. ......

The fact is, its a marketing failure the V2K is no longer produced.
You buy bikes because of marketing .... I'm surprised you don't have a Harley. .....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
You buy bikes because of marketing .... I'm surprised you don't have a Harley. .....

No not really. I buy bikes out of research and desire.

Although you make a good point on the possibility of marketing being the reason guys buy HD's. I think it would have been awesome to see a nicely done Kawasaki commercial giving Harley a good old marketing slam. Like when Indian came out with their commercial showing off their 111 cube motor shortly after Harley ran their commercial debuting the 110.

Can't you just see the fun Kawasaki could have had showing off our 125?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r4bEXmanRVc&ebc=ANyPxKrGmTP_OJasEKE-C6mC8L3UpX5Si5O50gPvgD1UFM5vlVjCV6ummIRi105pmVNb-_2sNvbPe5BbiQKFuv-JTwlk83EiqQ&time_continue=8
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
The whole Harleys better thing gives me a good laugh, and I come from a family of old school HD riders. One the first photos of me was with my dad on a '64 electra glide. HD has sacrifice quality for quantity in the last several years, and the growth and re-emergence of Victory and Indian only prove the fact. In my dad's and uncles day there was an average wait time of 18 months for a new one, or so I've been told. On a side note I was asked by my brother (who was sitting on my v2k)why I didn't like Harleys, and being the smartass I am answered that I didn't have anything against them, that I in fact loved pulled pork! He didn't see the humor, lol! This has been a decent thread so far, I just asked the question to see how many different answers I'd get. Fun so far.


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
So an engineer from Kawasaki who is married to a supermodel meets a Harley engineer who is married to a tied-up-in-the-backyard-howlin-at-the-moon dog, who tells him "What really matters is that your wife is a good cook." so the Kawasaki engineer divorces the supermodel and marries some double-bagger for her fantastic pot roast. What a dumass, right?

That torque crap is just Harley BS trying to cover the fact that their engines don't make power. Torque is great if you use your bike to tow a boat, but if you want to go fast, horsepower is the ONLY thing you care about from the engine. Weight is the other concern. Horsepower to weight is the Holy Grail, brothers.

But Kawasaki did exactly what the dumass in the example above did. They know how to make horsepower - look at the ZX-14, but they were brainwashed by Harley Davidson into building an engine with a 4-inch bore and almost a 5" stroke, forever dooming its horsepower potential. If the V2K had a 4.4-inch bore like the M109R and could rev to 7 grand, it could make 140hp. and would have sold like wildfire. Instead of hitting the rev limiter at 5250, from 5250-6500 it would take off like a rocket.

People didn't buy the V2K because it doesn't deliver what 125 cubic inches should. Period. Look at an S&S 124-inch EVO - an air-cooled, 2-valve engine with a multi-piece crank, and it pumps out 140hp. - for a while. The V2K, a water-cooled, 4-valve engine with a solid crankshaft, could do it for a long time. Adios Harley Davidson? We'll never know...

And Suzuki screwed the pooch with the M109R big time. Offset crankpins for perfect primary balance. We're talking about a v-twin here right? The whole attraction is the sound and engine character. How did Suzuki miss that? And those plastic "cowlings" or whatever? The thing looks like a transformer in mid-transform. Add shaft drive for the final nails in the coffin and we have another Japanese shot at Harley, with a .44 magnum, but it misses by a mile. Will they ever get it right?

When I ride my V2K into the ground, if I can't find another one - they're getting scarce - I'll probably get a Victory. But I'll really miss the V2K. It's a great bike, despite the fact that it isn't all it could have been.
 

·
BOTM Winner, February 2016
Joined
·
265 Posts
Kawasaki has always had an unbalanced line up of bikes in the Vulcan line. Calling simple accessory packages their own model.

My dream lineup would be: 900 Custom; 1500 Classic; 1600 Meanstreak; 1700 Nomad/Vaquero/Voyager; 2k Classic. The LT package is just an accessory package (bags, backrest, windshield) for the 900, 1500 and 2k platforms. This gives them a complete cruiser and touring lineup to compete with every offering from Indian, Harley and Victory.

This would give the following floor models:

entry level
750 standard - no distinct options

mid-level cruisers
900 Custom
900 Classic
900 Classic LT (its just accessories for the 900 Classic so why not)

The standard cruiser (great solo cruiser)
1500 Classic
1500 Classic LT (its just accessories for the 1500 Classic so why not)

The speed cruiser
1600 Meanstreak

The touring line up
1700 Nomad
1700 Vaquero
1700 Voyager

The "big boy"
2000 Classic
2000 Classic LT (its just accessories for the 2000 Classic so why not)

I built it this way along the same lines as how HD, Victory and Indian also build their lineups. With some distinctive "steps up" and also differentiation in the lines. Like for example the 900 classic to 1700 nomad...is far to big of a step currently (its literally 2x the size and weight). This is still not as many models as either of those other cruiser lines contain, but is enough to spin off Vulcan as its own motorcycle company.

So who wants to invest?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,221 Posts
So an engineer from Kawasaki who is married to a supermodel meets a Harley engineer who is married to a tied-up-in-the-backyard-howlin-at-the-moon dog, who tells him "What really matters is that your wife is a good cook." so the Kawasaki engineer divorces the supermodel and marries some double-bagger for her fantastic pot roast. What a dumass, right?

That torque crap is just Harley BS trying to cover the fact that their engines don't make power. Torque is great if you use your bike to tow a boat, but if you want to go fast, horsepower is the ONLY thing you care about from the engine. Weight is the other concern. Horsepower to weight is the Holy Grail, brothers.

But Kawasaki did exactly what the dumass in the example above did. They know how to make horsepower - look at the ZX-14, but they were brainwashed by Harley Davidson into building an engine with a 4-inch bore and almost a 5" stroke, forever dooming its horsepower potential. If the V2K had a 4.4-inch bore like the M109R and could rev to 7 grand, it could make 140hp. and would have sold like wildfire. Instead of hitting the rev limiter at 5250, from 5250-6500 it would take off like a rocket.

People didn't buy the V2K because it doesn't deliver what 125 cubic inches should. Period. Look at an S&S 124-inch EVO - an air-cooled, 2-valve engine with a multi-piece crank, and it pumps out 140hp. - for a while. The V2K, a water-cooled, 4-valve engine with a solid crankshaft, could do it for a long time. Adios Harley Davidson? We'll never know...

And Suzuki screwed the pooch with the M109R big time. Offset crankpins for perfect primary balance. We're talking about a v-twin here right? The whole attraction is the sound and engine character. How did Suzuki miss that? And those plastic "cowlings" or whatever? The thing looks like a transformer in mid-transform. Add shaft drive for the final nails in the coffin and we have another Japanese shot at Harley, with a .44 magnum, but it misses by a mile. Will they ever get it right?

When I ride my V2K into the ground, if I can't find another one - they're getting scarce - I'll probably get a Victory. But I'll really miss the V2K. It's a great bike, despite the fact that it isn't all it could have been.
Good points on the post. Not many V2K owners have the guts to admit the truth about the low performance of the bike.
What good is displacement bragging rights if stock HDs & Suzukis are faster in the 1/4?

I will disagree with you on torque though.
The R3 puts out about 140 lbs of torque to the rear wheel and that makes for a lot of fun 0-60 & 0-100; where most of us ride. It has enough hp to run several 10s past triple digits with ease.
My FJR has a lot higher hp to weight & once the engine spins up will take off like a thoroughbred. But, my Rocket would get the hole shot EVERY time.

Torque & HP are BOTH fun.

The problem with V-twins in cruisers is the weight of the bikes requires torque and getting the volume to create torque severely limits how fast you can spin it without affecting reliability.

The Triumph R3 will have a higher entry cost and probably a higher maintenance cost than Japanese bikes. But, if you're looking for something to upgrade to after having a V2K. The R3 is all that the V2K wanted to be and more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Saw a Rocket at a motel on a cross-country ride once. Talked with the owner. He loved the thing. He had made some mods to it, and it definitely looked cool - unique. You think a V2K is big? That Rocket is HUGE. Definitely a candidate, unless you're looking for a traditional v-twin.

On the torque question, too many people don't understand that horsepower is torque at rpm. You can put 500 ft.lbs. of torque on a wrench and if the nut doesn't turn, you have no power. Torque in itself does not imply motion at all - it can be static. But say it takes 500 ft.lbs. of torque to turn something - like turning the handle on a winch. 500 ft.lbs. of force no matter how fast you turn it. How fast you can turn that handle depends on how much power - horsepower - you have. Power is a measure of something dynamic. It has a variable for TIME in it that torque doesn't have.

Big displacement v-twins are going to produce plenty of torque by the nature of the design. Look at the M109R. It is way over-square and still produces enough torque to move a very heavy motorcycle quite well. The severely under-square design of the V2K over-emphasizes an inherent abundance of torque at the expense of a powerband that quits at 5250rpm. I think this is the lowest rev limit of any motorcycle engine? For high performance, it's just a stupid design.

In order to appreciate the V2K, you have to forget the expectations brought by the 125 cubic inches. With 97hp, the bike moves pretty well. It is actually a very nicely balanced machine and one of the best cruisers out there. It has a great sound, traditional styling, belt drive and the weight can be reduced by over 100lbs. with judicious stripping, if it bothers you. It just didn't live up to the hype. A real shame.
 
1 - 20 of 63 Posts
Top