Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycle Reviews on Cycle Insider (14)
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2007-07-03 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I'd say this bike is just about perfect. It does the whole cruiser thing very well despite being a 500. I love the smooth performance and ride. It doesn't have the big V twin rumble or noise, so it may not appeal to the straight pipe have to pay $20,000 for a bike crowd. It is a vertical twin displacing only 500 cc, so it will rev higher than a big Hog on the highway, but it's so smooth you really can't tell unless you listen for the pitch of the exhaust. I would like a little more power, but I feel very confident in traffic of any kind. Smooth comfortable reliable. Those are the best words to describe this bike.
- Mark, Peoria, Illinois

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2004-10-01 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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Just like my trout stream, this is a well kept secret bike. It's simply the best buy around - stomps bigger bikes in a drag race, very reliable, fuel efficient, and low maintenance. Weighs about what my '69 Triumph 650 Bonny did and is faster and way better. Has high tech motor that is proven and a real work of art. I've had 13 bikes, including Hogs, and this is the best, regardless of size. All the power anyone in their right mind needs and very comfy.
- Steve Ost, Pt Orchard, Washington

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2004-08-28 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I have owned my Kawasaki 500 for three years. I ride it to work, I take my children for Saturday excursions, and I even took a five day 1900 mile tour around Lake Superior. This bike just goes and goes. I have had zero problems, except for a loose negative connection on the battery that took some time to diagnose. And the bike is surprisingly comfortable for a small bike. I find myself wishing for a bit more distance to the rider pegs since my legs are a bit long. Of all the small cruisers out there - this has got to be the best.
- Bill, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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2004-07-07 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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Here I was convinced by other bikers that you had to gradually get bigger and bigger bikes. Well you know what? Not true. This bike provides all the power and comfort needed to cruise country highways at 50-60 mph, but can also move along a highway at 70-75mph. Gas mileage in this day of high prices is incredible 50+ per gallon. Yes, I am sure I could get a more powerful bulkier cruiser but the point is for what? To go 0-60 in 1.5 seconds less and have to manage a beastly less nimble bike? Not to mention pay 2k-7k more? No thanks, I'll keep my Vulcan.
- SBC, Holden, Massachusetts

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2003-11-07 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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Great bike, great for beginners and experienced riders alike. Will run at any speed, can put many bigger bikes to shame. A definite must have. Very big feeling bike, but not to heavy, very comfortable. No complaints. Big gas tank is a plus.
- VulcanBob, VulcanVille, California

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2003-06-25 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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Just picked up an en500 for the wife and clocked our first 1K miles. Great, easy handling ride with plenty of pep (for a cruiser). don't let the 500 fool you, this DOHC 8 valve power plant delivers ample power for most cruising situations. The freeway is a bit rough, due to the high RPMs. We're planning on swapping out the sprockets for better top end performance and adding a windscreen for those longer rides. Great first bike, budget all around cruiser, or for smaller, lighter people. No complaints. Gets only four stars due to the above average maintenance.
- semitone, walnut creek, California

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2003-04-02 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought my bike in March 2002. This is my first cruiser and one I could afford. I have really enjoyed it and have taken on 2 rallies. It gets good gas mileage and has a big tank so you have less stops.My neighbor has a 1200 sporster and he really liked my bike.I havn't had any problems with mine, it has just went in for it's 3000 mile service, the guy told me I had a spark plug that was trying to faul on me, other than having to lube the chain it's been great. I have taken it to it's extreme speed and believe 105 is all it will do. It does real well crusing around town and for long trips. The only thing is , there are not very many web sites out there that offer accessories for the 500 exept kawasaki and they arn't cheap. But you want a good bike with a good price and enough power for any need go go for the LTD 500
- Michael Twillman, Amarillo, Texas

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2002-11-14 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I'm a returning rider. I've had my bike for 13 months and 6500 miles, and I'm enjoying it immensely. Did the whole Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway/Deal's Gap thing, and the bike was great. It also performs superbly at high speeds--actually, the engine seems to get especially smooth above 50mph. I think Kawasaki engineered this very well: 6 speeds, water cooled, 8 valves, high compression yet uses regular gas, special cam profiles. When I ride with the liter bikes they're a bit faster when the light turns green (hey, I have one more shift than they do), but I catch them in no time and then never lose them. See what the current Cycle World and recent Motorcycle Cruiser have to say about this bike. Only problem was a broken plastic clip on the handlebar that routes a wire. Two aspects of this bike really stand out: its looks (IMHO) and its price/performance ratio. A windshield really helped, and a set of small slant Willie & Max saddlebags add convenience and look great. Oh, and did I say 60 mpg?
- Vroomr, Burke, Virginia

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2002-11-09 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought this bike as a returning rider. I was impressed by other riders' reviews. The more I ride this bike, the lighter it feels, meaning I am becoming more of an expert rider. The MSF course helped alot, too. The 500 LTD has excellent riding ergonomics, with a sophisticated, and very proven Ninja 500 engine. The engine has good low end torque, and quick passing pickup too. The 2002 model I bought has Bridgestone Exedra tires, and they hold the road, dry and wet with no hesitation. don't let anyone say they are low end tires, believe me, I have pushed them hard on curves and at 70 mph on the interstate. They will add to your confidence. I consider this bike a sport cruiser, and therefore will not be a first choice for long distance (greater than 250 miles/day). But a heavy cruiser won't do the backroad tricks which are the real thrill of biking. MPG: 54!! I drive for fun, so I push the bike. I'd get close to 60mpg if I drove it nicely, but that won't ever happen. If you do spend time on the highway, I highly recommend a windshield. I have a Kaw. V Force tinted windshield, and it puts the airstream right over my head. It is the most bike for the price, and with a pair of saddlebags, I get lots of compliments. Negatives: with 4 valves per cylinder, the engine sounds busy, not bad. And the stock pipes keep the noise down, but if you need a macho rumble, better find custom pipes. Also, there are not many accessories for this bike, but you won't need many. The seat is very comfortable, so all you must have is a windshield, and saddlebags. A last negative, this bike could have done well with 5 speeds, but the factory underestimated the strength of the engine, so they put six gears. I bought this bike over the phone, having never seen it outside of the internet. As soon as I sat on it, I declared the factory must have had me in mind because it fit so well. (I'm 5ft, 11 inches). If you buy it, you will love it.
- Jon , Olympia, Washington

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2002-10-23 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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Just a brief follow-up on my previous review involving my rattling motor and a reserve tank that was useless. I had a highly incompetent dealership in Florida work on the bike and after about a month of waiting for parts, they replaced the exhaust from the engine back. It was all covered under Kawasaki's warranty and cost nothing. The rattle is gone and now surprisingly enough, my reserve tank works fine. Apparently the pipes were stifling the exhaust and causing the bike to stall out after riding about an hour and having to resort to the reserve. Now the bike is running great and I have about 12000 miles on it, maybe thinking about replacing the rear tire soon. Highly recommend this bike for beginners and/or those on a budget who like a bike that has what it takes to get around in traffic.
- Justin, Port St Lucie, Florida

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2002-10-10 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I purchased this bike thinking my wife would ride it. Turns out shes's afraid of it. (To heavy, she says) Oh well, she rides with me. I don't need two bikes. It has 1100 miles on , just had the first dealer service. I need to sell it for a (big) discount to someone. It rolls along at 60 -70 MPH on the highway with two people, very easily. I'm told it will do over 100MPH. It's smooth, comfortable, and gets 65-79MPG. I'm in Sioux City, Ia My phone is 712 255 1385. Or contact me by E-mail
- Jack Langley, Sioux City, Iowa

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2002-08-30 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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1. Horsepower 46 2. 6 speed 3. dohc 8 valve watercooled. 4. 50 mpg 5. Top speed 120 mph (I did it) 6. Comfortable 7. Good looking 8. High quality fit and finish 9. Best 4500 I ever spent. 10.Faster than all v-twins regardless of displacement, with the exception of the vulcan 750 and harleys v-rod 11. No brainer-good buy. 12. If you don't believe me, ride it. Jeff
- J. Suthers, Elmira, Oregon

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2002-07-07 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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After break-in miles I set out from Albany,NY for Ft.Myers,FL (1,500-Miles) Somewhat apprehensive due to the distance and Bike size of my 2002 500cc vulcan 500LTD. I am pleased to say that my doubts quickly faded into the sunset. Traveling mostly on interstates (I-95) and some secondary roads, I was not only able to keep up with traffic but usually led the pack whith plenty of power for hot throddle passing. It took me two 12hr days of cruising to arrive at my destination without any aches or pains whatsoever due to the confort of this great priced, good looking, 55MPG dependable 500cc Cruiser. I have now logged numerous trips and have accumilated 14,000 miles on this bike without any problems or downtime. Truly a great Cruiser thats plenty quick, dependable and looks great. So if you want to keep up with the big boys (and you really can) without paying too much as they may have, try one!
- Art Treffiletti, Albany, New York

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2002-05-01 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I read, I debated, and I reviewed and finally decided on the Vulcan 500 LTD. I just couldn't bring myself to spend more than twice the money on that HD Sportster 1200 that didn't ride nearly as well. This bike has good pep, has the feel of a bigger bike, and handles great! After a twelve year hiatus from motorcycles I'm please with my choice. If you are new to motorcycles and want a ride capable of keeping up with the big boys but don't want to break the bank, this is your bike. If you are a veteran and want to add a great little bike to your collection that your friends won't laugh at you about (trust me), this is the one.
- Patrick Leigh, Denham Springs, Louisiana

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