Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycle Reviews on Cycle Insider (16)
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2005-05-07 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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This is my first bike and I am very impressed with the size and ease of handling. It's not to heavy and has pleanty of power for its size. I ride this bike to work every day at 60 to 65 mph and get around 57 to 60 mpg. I put 88 miles on it a day to and from work. I give this bike 2 thumbs up for a beginning rider or even an expert rider . It has more peppyness than you think for a 500cc. 0 to 90 mph is a cakewalk on the highway with this bike. so far the top speed for me is 115 mph on a non windy day if you have wind resistance 110 mph . but hey who wants to go fast anyway this bike is for just crusing and relaxing. It is very comfortable on a 120 mile ride to my suprise.
- Jimmie Rhoden, Jack, Alabama

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2005-01-08 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I use this bike to commute to work everyday (unless the roads are too icy) and for fun runs at every opportunity. Despite our northern Canadian winters, it gets 9-11 months of use each year; starts without protest even on very cold days, and never needed any mechanical attention beyond routine servicing. The dealer gently prompts me to upgrade to a more powerful machine most time the LTD goes in for maintenance work, but I honestly can't think of any pressing reason to do so. The LTD is peppy enough in highway traffic, comfortable on long runs (even though I'm tall), and never seems strained. I recently rode CBR 900 and GSX 1000-R sports bikes for comparison, and while the sports bikes clearly had much more acceleration, speed and power, the riding position was less comfortable and (particularly on the Suzuki) became quite uncomfortable after a while. Then there are questions about the purpose of motorcycling. You ride a sports bike for the very real thrill of acceleration and speed; you ride an LTD to feel the wind on your face, take in the view from the road, and smell the roses. The LTD seems well on its way to become a legend of performance and reliability among motorcyclists who value the latter qualities.
- Mike, Thunder Bay, Ontario

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2002-05-12 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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If you are a true motorcycle ethusiast like I am. You read about motorcycles, and ride and enjoy motorcycles. I normally don't recommend any thing to anyone. But I know that there are lots of people that think that they must have a liter bike or bigger or it will be under powered (supposedly). I've got news for you people. Ride this bike before you buy. Two people and as fast as you want to go..no problem. Be safe. p.s This bike is fast, comfortable, it pocesses good presence on the road, (what I mean is it feels and looks like a motorcycle)good milage, looks great to boot. This bike is a steal for the price. Opinion based on 40 years of experience and ownership of numerous bikes from 100-1500 cc vtwin/inline/opposed/you name it. have fun fellow riders. Billy
- Bill Starnes, Kingsport, Tennessee

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2002-04-22 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought this bike last summer and reviewed it very positively last October. This update is to tell you what went right and what went wrong after eight months of summer, fall, winter and early spring riding. What went right? Everything; there were absolutely no problems. The bike started reliably even in -10C (18F) temperatures, and it's been to the dealer only for routine servicing. What went wrong? Nothing at all. The only addition I've made so far is a Kawasaki low windshield, which improves the ride considerably. Because of the upright sitting position, wind buffeting was harsh at speeds over 60 mph. But the windshield disperses the buffeting at any speed I'm likely to go. For a reliable, speedy, and very enjoyable bike, I'm happy to recommend the LTD to anyone.
- Mike Stones, Thunder Bay, Ontario

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2002-01-19 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I have been riding for 28 years, I started out with a honda CB100,then a yamaha DT125, then a TX650 yamaha, then a XT600 yamaha, then a KAWZX10, then a suzuki GS1100L. Just recently I purchased the 500 vulcan LTD. don't get wrapped up into the beginner/starter hype that advertisers throw out. If you are looking for a bike,that looks great and runs even beter, all I can say is ride it. It will flat out get up the road very quickly, no problem. I am thrilled with mine. Just ride it. I'm outta here. Think horsepower times 50.
- Dave Chapman, Slidell, Louisiana

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2001-10-03 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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My brother has 454 LTD and it's too big for me. After seeing new 02 Vulcan 500 LTD I decided to get one and seat is much lower than his. I'm 5'6" and small rider but I'm strong and like that the bike is small and easy to handle too. I live in sticks and back roads so it's nice cruising bike for me.
- Loni, USA

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2001-10-02 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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By definition, "sweet" is an experience that gives delight or satisfaction. that's exactly what I get every time I take my "Kandy" out for a ride. Being a 5'4" female, I feel that this bike fits me perfect in every way. Performance is great and the ride extremely smooth on the highways, the scenic by-ways and the "Deal's Gap" type areas. My husband declares that my bike is like riding on air because it is so smooth. Having 6 gears can be a little confusing at first, but after a short time you'll be recognizing them with no problem at all. The large size gas tank, the paint scheme and the abundance of chrome make the bike appear much bigger than it really is...I have added a few accessories that also assist with the "big bike" look. I knew from the moment I laid eyes on the Vulcan 500 that it was the bike for me. After 3,000 miles in less than 3 months ownership time...it's definite that "Kandy" is going to be around here for a long, long time.
- Beth Hobbs, Bristol, Virginia

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2001-09-26 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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This is the first bike I have owned in several years. After shopping around and reading many reviews I decided on a Vulcan 500 ltd. This bike has the power of many 800 & 900s and the fit and finish is second to none. I have purchased a backrest with rack as well as a windshield. I ride with my wife as a passenger often and this bike will run 75 on the highway with two people with no problem. Horsepower not cc matters, and this bike has plenty of HP.
- Brian Pulliam, Moline, Illinois

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2001-08-27 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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This bike is my first 30 years. Compared with the BSAs, Velocettes, and Hondas I rode back in England, this machine is a dream. It rides smoothly, lots of acceleration and pace when needed, and with excellent braking. The seat is comfortable for the long haul, and my wife - who is shorter than me - really appreciates the raised pillion. Even with both of us aboard, the bike surges along effortlessly. The 6 gears are great, very precise, with neutral easy to find. I'm sooo impressed with the LTD and having sooo much fun. Why the heck did I wait 30 years before getting a bike again!
- Mike Stones, Thunder Bay

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2001-08-21 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I have been riding for two months now and have put 2500km (1200m approx) on my two month old Vulcan. I researched several similar bikes (V-star, Shadow, Marauder etc.) and really wanted the Vulcan 800 for the colour. I settled for the 500 for the price here in the great white north (about $2300 difference). I have not been disappointed. This is bike is easy to handle and goes waaaay fast! Being 6'2", 195lbs I sometimes feel the bike looks a little small under me when stopped at a light and examining this gorgeous machine. These thoughts disappear however, when I start throwing this bike into corners at speed and the smile I'm wearing has turned my face into a Jokeresque mask that I'll wear for hours. I have added saddlebag mounts but I prefer the nylon easy on, easy off luggage having saddlebags and a tankbag. I'm looking into a windscreen for my first road trip but haven't found much else in the way of accessories up here. Any info would be great!
- Ged Noel, Ottawa, Ontario

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2001-07-22 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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Being 6'2', 64 yrs old and not having ridden a bike in 35 yrs, the impulse to ride again was reawakened after my younger brother (59) bought a KAW KlR 650 after having undergone his 2nd successful heart bypass. I happened on the 500 LTD by accident after looking at several light to midweight machines. I was sold on this handsome bike the first time I saw it and sat on the very comfortable saddle. The footpegs were a perfect fit for my size and I knew this was what I wanted. And after some favorable negotiations I bought it. This bike has more than met my expectations for handling and great acceleration thru the smooth shifting gearbox. I have put 1800 miles on in 4 months with no problems whatsoever and expect to put many more on in the coming years. Highway cruising at 70 is a breeze with this smooth comfortable cruiser. I have added a low windscreen and this helps a lot to keep the bugs and wind off my chest. Prospective buyers in this size category should take a look at this neat bike with all the power most sane people need. Safe ridding, Zen
- Zenon Vernik, Zephyrhills, Florida

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2001-07-20 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I have an EN500 with approximately 2000 miles. So far I've added a shorty windshield, luggage racks, sissy bar, and saddle bags. I average just over 50mpg and cruise at any speed I choose. The bike is stable and easy to handle with very adequate acceleration and power. I have not had any mechanical difficulties. The insurance on the this bike is also cheaper than the Ninja.
- pick126, Georgia

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2001-07-05 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I weigh about 220lbs and have easily gotten this bike up to 90mph on I 25 for my weekend trips up to Fort Collins (130miles one way). This bike has a sporty little engine. I have four other bikes and this is my favorite bike. I have a rebel, which I have rode on the highway out here, it has too much trouble on the mountains trying to do 75, plus the rebel vibrates. I have 2 1500cc Vulcans. But for short distance trips I prefer the 500 because the parking issues with the weight of my big bikes. This bike is smooth. The revs are high at high way speeds but the bike easily averages 80mph on I-25 (even when I had a passenger). The passenger seat did get uncomfortable for her after 100 miles.
- Trudy z, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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2001-05-06 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I purchased my 2001 Vulcan 500 in February, 2001 and have put a little over 1000 miles on it so far. My previous bike was a 1981 Honda CB 650, and I haven't ridden in about 10 years. I can honestly say that this bike is the best I've ridden so far (athough I haven't ridden that many bikes recently). Plenty of pep and rides like a dream. I have no complaints about this bike and would recommend it to anyone looking for a lightweight economical cruiser, which can easily keep up with the "big boys" if needed. For myself, I bought a bike for cruising, not racing and it certainly delivers in that area. Did I mention how comfortable the seat is? It's top rated and I agree 100% with other reviewers. I looked at a few 750 and 800 cc bikes, but they seemed just a little too big (clumsy) and hard to handle. My Vulcan is just right for my 165-lb. weight and the occasional passenger (I bought the optional backrest). don't hesitate to buy this bike if you think it's a wimp, because it isn't. It may not have the glitter and chrome of a $6000 bike, but it's got all the performance that the average biker could ask for and at an unbelievably low price (got mine for $4295). Go get it!!!!
- Jeffrey K. Vosburgh, Arthur, West Virginia

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2001-04-24 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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This is my first bike and I also reviewed/tested several bikes and this was the winner. The price range is good and the bike handles well. It really has the get up and go. The engine will smoke. The only draw back I have found is the lack of accessories. Would like to dress it up more. Have purchased all the additional accessories from Kawasaki and would still like more. Lots of bang for the bucks. Try it, you will like it.
- prsistnc, Winston-Salem, NC

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2001-02-02 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I have been busy comparison shopping. 1] vulcan 500; 6 speeds, 4 gal. tank, liquid cooling, good price.2] honda vlx ,4 speeds small tank, liquid cooling, $600.more for same pakage with less after market available.3] yamaha vstar,5 speeds air cooling ,good size tank @ $1000 more than the vulcan. 4] suzuki savage 650. 1 lung, small price but small tank also,air cooled. In this part of the country we often get 100+temps in the summer ,liquid cooling is a must. All 4 are proven designs with the vulcan having the honors of most time proven motor. Too bad more road test shoot- outs have not included this proven bike. wonder why? This bike has been reported to be faster than those mentiond and whith greater cruising range. Besides the vertical twin is unique, smooth and reliable. Not to mention lots of gismos & gadgets available in the after market. Only drawback are color choices.What color choices?
- shytownbb, Redding, California

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