Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycle Reviews on Cycle Insider (24)
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2011-05-14 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I had an 800 (review on here too) and loved it. So a few years later after missing baby blue, I found a nice Drifter with only 6,600 miles on her. She has performed flawlessy and have her dialed in with windshield adjusted, handlebars dropped back 2" It has plenty of power & loves to do 80 mph. all day long. I need to get rid of pinging at full throttle, but then one doesn't need full tilt often. But Vulcan Drifter rider group has a solution (and more on many small issues).
- Craig Williams, Laguna Hills, California

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2007-03-07 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I purchased my Drifter new in 2000. I have traveled long distances as much as 700 miles in a day on the stock 2 up seat and was very comfortable. I have traveled extensively in the mountains with switchbacks and it handled like a dream. Acceleration was fantastic out of the tight corners, clearance was adequate, dragged a few foot boards from time to time. Not only does it handle extremely well, it is a great looking bike doing it. I will never sell my Drifter. When I die they will need to dig a big hole so it can be parked next to me. I have ridden a Honda Goldwing, it is a nice bike. I also own a Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe, but my pick, without a doubt is my Drifter. I put over 14000 miles on last year and plan to do more this year. We will see how my Drifter performs in the Rockies in June. Riding to Eureka Springs, Arkansas Drift In October 07. I ride, I do not trailer. The best bike I have ever ridden, this includes a hands down favorite over any Harley I have ridden.
- Ron Ottow (Dancing Bear), Knox, Indiana

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2004-02-10 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I have been riding since I was 10. I worked in a bike shop and a great many friends' own bikes, so I've been aboard quite a few. I currently own two Kawasaki's, one older KZ1000 and a 2001 Drifter 1500. Now I like my KZ, it's quick enough and fast enough to make you think wow, I ought to slow down. But my Drifter is so much nicer, it's comfortable enough to ride all day long, and while it's performance doesn't quite keep up with the KZ, who cares? This bike is by far superior to most. Styling is tops, Performance is still fantastic, (my KZ is WAY above average). All in all this is one bad motor scooter.
- Steve , Colorado

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2003-12-10 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I also own a Honda GoldWing, which of course I use for the long hauls. But the Drifter is my 'fun bike'. I have loved the look ever since I first saw one, but now that I own one, I am even more impressed. You can keep you look-alike Harleys; the Drifter gives me way more style and power. A fine ride and an eye-catcher to boot.
- Drifting Jay, Jacksonville, Florida

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2003-08-25 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I've had my 2000 Drifter for 3 years. I bought it new. In that time I've put 85,000 miles on it. that's right 85,000 miles. I had Harleys and Yamahas before and this bile beats them hands down. I recommend anyone get a Vulcan even if it's not a Drifter. You can't beat the engine, price, style or power.
- J F Terry, King George, Virginia

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2003-08-10 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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Just bought one - an 800 - my second bike. My first bike was like riding a sprited jackrabbit. This one is like floating atop a thunder-head. Powerful, fast, beautifully responsive, smooth as silk. Sounds great with the factory pipes (I'm not a loud-freak, but it's got a real just-right rumble). I'm not a snob - I don't care who built a bike, what race of people or where they come from on the globe. I don't care what the parts are made of, as long as they provide form AND impeccable function (the Corvette ain't all metal, either.) Having said this, I think this is the sharpest-looking bike I've ever seen on the market, period. that's why I bought one. The rest is gravy - and delicious! The price left me incredulous (in a good way, for a change).
- Jonathan Wright, East Coulee, Alberta

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2003-05-10 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I love everything about this bike. No problems with it. Had it a year. Fast runs great, comfortable ride. Turns heads.
- Griffin, Fairview, Texas

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2002-12-09 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I have owned my 2000 Drifter for one season, and I love it. I traded my 2001 Sportster (1200) even on it and I feel I came out way ahead on the deal. My bike was a left over at a local dealer and fortunately for me the shop owner rode her for 500 miles, but titled her new to me. The shop owner put on Roadhouse pipes, some very tasteful pin stripping, and a windshield. I have added a Mustang seat cover, that makes the bike look too cool. My Sportster looked good, but nobody ever came up to me in a parking lot and complemented me on it. This has happened at least a half dozen times on my Drifter. It's gold (or beige) and looks great. I took the AMAs' Experienced Rider course on her the first month I owned it, so you know it must handle well. My first ride on her was in the rain and on the highway, and it was the best ride I'd ever had. The Drifter is the best kept secret in motorcycling. Buy one.
- anonymous, cincinnati

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2002-12-06 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I have a 99 beauty and I mean the look you just can`t deny, but all the accessories I brought was very expensive and with no directions. I have factory sattlebags and I brought the rangers, but found out after the trouble of putting them on and having a time in doing so that the ones that should go on the double seat 1500 should be the maveric, so needless to say that these rub alittle on the rear shocks and speaking of shocks (look out for the leaking) both of mine are gone and the bike is a remember 99. all in all the rest is great....jp
- james pratt, Tacoma, Washington

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2002-11-13 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I been on alot of motorcycles ,Harleys and international this Kawasaki driffter really caught be by suprise I enjoyed the whole riding expirence I give it an a+.
- Matt Locricchio, Clinton TWP, Michigan

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2002-08-30 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I have enjoyed my Vulcan Drifter for the past year. It is easy to handle, rides great, and looks very 'retro'. Great bike.
- Fernie, El Paso, Texas

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2002-06-30 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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No buffetting from passing tactor trailers. Bike is very stable and could be ridden to the moon.Kawaski did their homework when they built this one. Only complaint I have is the prices on the Fire and Steel accessories.I get nothing but thumbs up from passing bikers and cage drivers when on the road.Will update this when I get back from the VDOG rally in Wisconsin later this month.Safe riding to all no matter what your riding.
- Frank'Mad Francis'Renaud, Central Islip, New York

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2002-05-21 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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Let me tell you this bike rides better than it looks and to me it looks great!!! There are plenty of options to choose from and the rideability is better than the Yam XVS or the Harley, and at good value for money. MPG is better than expected with a digital fuel injection system. How does it handle, suprisingly well considering it's weight this is well balanced and the toque is more than enough. The ground clearance is about how I like it, to get around them corners or across the rally field without denting the exhaust. The seating position is, I'm sorry to say! bloody great also but whatch your waterproofs on that exhaust, I've burnt me leg and a mate of mine on his VN800 did also.... time for a heat shield i think. Negatives.... Original Kawasaki Accessories are over priced and not as good as Highway Hawk, the bike is great though. Ride Safe and look for the Yellow Vulcan VN1500 Drifter JAS
- Jon "JAS" Shackleton, ISLE OF WIGHT, United Kingdom

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2001-04-17 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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Bought my 2000 Drifter in fall of 2000 and now have about 2000 miles on it. I will be putting more miles on it this summer for sure. The bike is very smooth and runs great at all speeds. This is the smoothest shifting bike I have ever owned. Its almost a smooth a silk. I have done a lot of accessories on it and still putting on more. I get a lot of great ideas from an internet club for Drifters called Vulcan Drifter Owners Group otherwise known as VDOG. You can check out the VDOG webpage by going to www.vdog.org. There is very little I can complain about this bike. One is the fact that I wish it had a 5 gallon tank. The 2001 models have a 5-gallon tank now. The other is the handlebars. When I switched to a Corbin solo seat, I could no loner reach the handlebars without hurting my back. I solved this problem with getting new handlebars from Flanders. They are wide, have a lot of pullback and make the Drifter look even fatter. Other than those two things, this is by far the best bike I have owned and rode. I'm in no way going to trade it for anything else. If there is one thing I love about this bike, it's the attention I get when I ride it. I have never rode a bike that gets this much attention. I have had people stop and get out of their cars to see my bike and I have even had some that wanted to take a picture of my bike. The best story is when I was riding at a toy run that was dominated by Harleys, my bike attracted a lot of attention. It was amazing to see Harley riders drooling over my bike. But the most amazing thing of all is this. It took a Japanese motorcycle company to make a bike that is more Indian than the so called modern Indian. Now you know why this is by far the best bike I have ever own or rode!!!!!
- rider, USA

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2001-02-07 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I've owned a Suzuki 650 and 1500A Vulcan. I just found the dream bike of my life in the 2001, 1500 drifter, black w/ solo seat.The easiest bike I've ever rode bar none. My first day I put 150 miles on without even noticing it. And did I get notice! Great ride Big K.
- rider, USA

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2001-01-26 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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Just a quick update. I now have 2500+ trouble free, fun riding miles on this bike. I have added a few things. Large saddle bags, Light bar, Windshield, Backrest, Road House Exhaust. The bike is beautiful!!!! I go on rides with allot of Harley owners, even they make comments about the bike. Last weekend we all road up to a State park, some people were there taking pictures, out of all the bikes that pulled up, mine was the one they ask if they could take pictures of. The engine power is great, I haven't topped 100mph yet, but it seems like it wants to. All day highway cruising at 70+ mph is comfortable and smooth. The bike is still fun on back roads. I have developed a slight squeal when I lightly apply the rear brake, more peddle , no squeal. All around the best bike I have ever owned, and, yes, I have owned a Harley.
- Lee Box, Brooks, Georgia

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2000-11-13 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought my teal 2000 Drifter in August and have 1,500 miles on it. I added the Kawasaki windshield with black trim (btw no complaints about buffeting at high speeds). I know others who have that problem, but I love mine; it's adjustable to 19" or 21" and removable within three minutes. I also added the black light bar, crash bars, passenger floorboards and two-up Corbin seat with backrest. I'm thinking of adding a small riser, maybe two inches so I can lean back more comfortably. The bike's engine is very strong, reliable and very easy to ride, with the heel and toe shifter, floorboards, positive neutral finder, etc. Its fuel injected, liquid cooled, shaft driven. It's well balanced, doesn't vibrate or leak oil and takes curves like a dream. My only wish is that the gas tank was a bit bigger, 4.2 is not big enough for a bike this size. And most of all I bought it because it's a beautiful bike, we always get looks everywhere we go. And finally, the price. I paid $9,650 for a brand new 2000 and received it within a week. Try THAT with a Harley, LOL. PS, I don't need/want the "Harley guys" respect anyway, they need to earn mine, LOL. For more info and pics of my bike and other Drifters, go to www.vdog.org, I'm VDOG #182.
- Max Olalde, Florida

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2000-07-18 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I've just put 1300 miles on my 2000 Drifter and I absolutely love it! It handles well and is light and responsive at all speeds. The fit and finish on the bike is up to Kawasaki's ususally high standards. The motor has plenty of power and pulls the bike along effortlessly. I've read the other reviews, and I have to agree that it does ping under load, even with 93 octane gas, but all you really need to do is downshift to eliminate the problem. I haven't added anything to the bike yet, but based on the feedback about the buffeting with Kaw F&S windshield installed, I'm having second thoughts about adding one. I'd like to leave the bike stock, but if I can find some aftermarket exhaust that looks more like the original Indian setup without increasing the noise level, I'll do that.
- Greg Ravizza, Connecticut

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2000-06-06 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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Wonderful styling attracts much attention. Very comfortable but ugly saddle. This machine has the strongest engine of all the standard cruisers but it has been sorely inhibited by the blind oxygen mask wearing engineers at the big green K. Once I had changed the intake to a right side only K&N filter and altered the stock exhaust so this poor machine could breath, it has really started to perform. I have over 8,000 miles on it and I like it more every time I ride it. My HD friends are envious of how easy it is on my butt after a 500-mile day in the saddle. Handling is super even though my rear tire will need replacement pretty soon. I'm averaging 43 miles per gallon since the changes. It only got 36 before. Find out more at the Drifter page, www.vdog.org.
- Kirk "Coyote" Faught, Casper , Wyoming

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2000-04-19 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I've had my Drifter for about eight months as of 4-18 and I can't get enough of riding it. It is a '99 and I could run for days on it. Almost zero maintenance: shaft drive, hydraulic lifters, fuel injection, liquid cooled. It is really solid and surprisingly light in its feel. I've only got 3200 miles on it now (live in MN) and have seen nothing but trouble free operation. It seems to be built for the long haul and although it is uniquely beautiful, Kawasaki built it to ride dependably= it's not just a chrome status symbol, but a bike for those who want to ride- a lot. Strange rear fender is attached to the swingarm and gyrates with the road (looks strange from behind) and leaves some challenges for luggage attachment. The one problem so far is the gas mileage and 4.2 gal tank. I don't ride especially hard but the last two tanks have only seen 36 mpg. I'd expect to see 40-45 on a bike like this with FI and the average sized tank means you HAVE to fill every 130 miles. Guess smoking the tire makes it worthwhile......
- Anonymous, Stillwater, Minnesota

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2000-04-06 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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Not bad for the price. Engine has top end noise from valve pinging even with the 92 octane. Tends to knock in warmer weather. Limited with accessories and pricey from Kawasaki. Lots of windshield buffeting above 60 MPH. Good power at all speeds. Would be nice if it came with a frame stand for oil changes and general cleaning of wheels, etc.
- Dutch Freiberger, Las Vegas, Nevada

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2000-03-31 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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Outstanding response and F/I works great. Do wish Kawasaki would do something about windshield - lots of buffeting at speed. Other than that this thing is a real screamer. The torque is incredible and at speed it lopes along vibration free. By the way I am 56 and feel 26 on this thing.
- Jerry Chenard, Nashua, New Hampshire

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2000-01-20 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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My previous mount was a Yamaha Royal Star 1300cc (great bike but too heavy). The 1500cc Drifter, lighter bike, but has no place to put a saddle bag, (I used an awkward tank bag) wobbles on the freeway from trailing wind when behind transport trucks, requires pricey high test gas, and is cold on the knees (chrome air cleaners) when comfy riding with feet on rear pegs. Got frustrated and traded it in for a Honda Aero 1100cc which is a superior bike in every category.
- Anonymous, Toronto

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1999-12-16 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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The bike starts easy without choke. Shifts good and has comfortable ride. I have one dislike: the factory optional windshield is bad... a lot of wind buffeting. I hear this is true on other kawasaki models too. Optional solo seat and saddle bags work well.
- ken schreiner, Carrollton, Texas

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