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The 2016 Kawasaki Vulcan S “Café”

The Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe Is Back For 2016

Updated August 10, 2018

So, let’s ignore the “Café” nonsense for a moment and cut straight to the goods: the new Kawasaki Vulcan S has been revealed and it looks cooler than ever.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe 2016 1

Without being negative, that’s about as far the upgrades go. Kawasaki have spent their time ironing out a lot of the creases that often come part and parcel with cruiser styled motorcycles. Well to put it better, they’ve styled a practical cruiser, rather than themed one – you know, the standard themes of leather, tassels, black widows and all that paraphernalia have been cut and replaced with modern and practical thinking in mind.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe 2016 2

The 2016 Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe

When the Vulcan S first came on the scene last year, it smashed a lot of conventions; firstly, its’ powered by a 649cc parallel twin (the very same as the ER-6 series), rather than the customary V-twin. Then it came equipped with a load of cool Ergo-Fit options to maximize and individualize the Vulcan’s ergonomics, including the foot control positions, the shape and size of the seat and an adjustable handlebar position, to fit and suit the shape and riding style of any rider.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe 2016 3

Back to the 2016 Vulcan S Cafe, we’re looking at a fresher approach to the overall aesthetics. The overall matte effect gives the Vulcan S a powerful road presence and the lack of chrome gives it a futuristic element. Now, the Kawasaki green: you either love it or hate it. The green accents add another dimension to the overall appearance, but whether it needs them or not is a matter of taste.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe 2016 4

Underneath the Vulcan S Cafe’s aesthetics, we’ve got zero in the way of changes. Like we mentioned above, it’s still equipped with the liquid cooled, parallel twin 649cc engine with around 61 hp at 7,500 rpm and 46.3 lb-ft of torque at 6,600 rpm, with a chain driven, 6 speed gearbox. Of course, it has an ABS option for the USA release which is mandatory in Europe.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe 2016 5

The real issue is the name: Vulcan S Café. A café racer it ain’t. Adding a little windscreen does not make it a café racer but in Kawasaki’s defense, the word has been bandied about a little too liberally over the last few years by custom builders and opportunist manufacturers, which has rendered the term completely meaningless. Whatever it means, it’s a probably a smart marketing move on Kawasaki’s part and will certainly attract buyers looking for a comfortable and rock steady machine without the lumbering cruiser moniker.

Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe 2016 6

The name sucks, but the execution is spot on.


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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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