Kawasaki’s brand-new 649cc cruiser, the Vulcan S was created to get more new riders comfortably on two wheels. This bike specifically tackles new riders’ top three requirements when choosing their first motorcycle: comfort, fit, and confidence.
It all began 4 years ago. With the children grown and out of the house, my husband, Neil, said, “Its time to start riding again.” I said, “Have fun”! I had never ridden on a motorcycle, except for once when I was 18, and that ride was enough for me. I also once rode on the back of Neil’s motorcycle and didn’t think it was that much fun. But, for my 50th birthday, Neil somehow managed to have me take motorcycle lessons.
Kawasakis Ninja 250R has long been a popular choice for beginning riders who prefer the look of a sportbike but like a comfortable sit-up seating position. The smallest Ninja has been replaced for 2013 with a new 300cc platform featuring a slew of updates that promise the novice plenty of rideability and two-wheeled excitement to foster the learning process while ensuring the bike won’t be quickly outgrown.
Fully dressed tourers offer comfort features no other kind of motorcycle can match. But they’re also big and heavy and can be intimidating for many women riders. And while a tour trunk adds a convenient place to store lots of stuff that’s easy to get to, it also creates a load in the worst place possible—up high and to the rear. However, there are several large touring models available today that eliminate that awkward tour trunk, including Kawasaki’s Vulcan 1700 Vaquero.
It had been a long three-year motorcycle drought for me. Although I was blessed to be able to rent a Honda ST1300, a Shadow Aero and a Harley on vacations over those three years, I missed riding my own steed and tried to miss it less by living vicariously through WRN contributor articles, having five different rider magazines sent to my house every month and attending motorcycle shows.
People ask me, “What is a touring bike?” and I always say it’s any bike you’re touring on. I know I know, but really, unless you’re doing some truly hardcore riding, anything with a decent-sized gas tank that’s comfortable for a couple-day’s ride that you can strap some gear on is fine. Still, it’s very nice to have a bike that’s actually built for touring and the 650cc Versys is a versatile choice.
The New Year — that time when resolutions fill our list and guide our dreams for the next 365 days. While economic situations might force us to cross “new motorcycle” off our wish list, we can still give our current rides a little love and some new bling to ring in 2010 and keep some cash in our wallets as well.
Kawasaki unveiled its all-new, completely redesigned-for-2009 Vulcan 1700 family in sunny Mill Valley, California, which includes the Classic and the Classic LT (for long touring). The routes were among Bay Area riders favorites: backroads through golden hills and the redwood groves to the Pacific Coast Highway. But the chaparral-lined twisties from Stinson Beach to the top of Mount Tamalpias provided a demonstration of the Vulcans surprising grace and maneuverability.