Vulcan ABS: Check it out
More than you might think comes in this neat 649cc package
Regular readers of this column (hello both of you) will be saying ‘Hang on, didn’t you test one of these a couple of issues back?’ But the opportunity to test the standard ABS version of the Vulcan S came up, along with the chance to ride it for longer than usual.
We were given another 2016 Vulcan S, but this time the standard ABS version (standard levers, monochrome paint job, standard shaped tank), with just 468 miles on the clock (pre-test).
Give me some spec
A high-tensile steel double pipe perimeter frame houses a 649cc parallel twin putting out 61bhp/45kW @ 7500rpm with maximum torque of 63Nm/6.4kgf-m @ 6600rpm and a 115mph top speed. It weighs 223kg wet, brought to a halt by a single 300mm, two-piston caliper front disc and 250mm, single caliper rear.
So what’s it like to ride?
As with the Special, this bike came with standard bars/peg/seat. The standard peg position is raked out (I’d like to ride one with the rearset peg placement), but it makes for long ride comfort. I did a 60 mile nonstop ride without a fidget.
The dealer is located on an industrial estate, great for getting used to the bike before heading onto the open road. I used this to reacquaint myself with the handling and the Vulcan can lean over quite a way, further than you expect from a cruiser. On the road, lean into the bend, push on the inside peg and let the Vulcan flow from bend to bend.
Given it was still in it’s running in period I was careful about the revs, but even sticking in the bottom two-thirds of the range, opening the throttle to overtake rewarded with sufficient grunt to have it pulling hard on my arms as I drove forward with purpose.
I have to praise the stability and poise of the Vulcan. The photos don’t reveal this, but I rode in conditions from gloriously sunny to heavy rain causing a flash flood. If you are familiar with Chelmsford you will know Three Mile Hill, a three mile dual carriageway and being a hill, fairly steep. The rain hammered down hard enough to cause a flood at the bottom that washed over my heels as the Vulcan cruised through it (at walking pace) unaffected.
Other than that, the brakes have good feel and power, the mirrors are great and the dash gives more information than I know what to do with!
What nick is it in?
A slight scrape on the end of a lever, of the ‘I got too close to the garage wall’ variety and a blemish on a pillion peg, but nothing of issue.
What’s it worth?
The dealer wants £5299 for a 2016 model with 468 (pre-test) miles logged and factory warranty still remaining; a grand off list for a bike not fully run in. This is keenly priced: my dealer search – ignoring the Cafe and Special versions (and the ‘one mile’ items) – sourced a 2015 bike with 1860 miles clocked for £4995 up to a 2016 bike for £5599 with 2150 miles recorded.