Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycle Reviews on Cycle Insider (47)
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2006-08-31 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought this bike after I snookered my wife into riding my 800 Classic. Now we both ride and it's much better than riding two-up. I would rate the fuel injection and low maintenance as the highs, although the looks are a definite winner. I have owned this bike for 3 years and have twelve thousand miles on it and I have no regrets about my choice. I don't look longingly at any one else's ride and have had many good remarks from friends and strangers about mine. I run 20-50 oil and it seems to run better than 10-40.
- keith day, anchorage , Alaska

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2006-01-19 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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When I first bought my 2003 Vulcan 1600 Classic, I wasn't that comfortable on it. The handlebars were too wide and low, weight was more than I expected and overall comfort was not as good as my 96 Vulcan 1500. Then I bought Areomach 2" risers, which solved my handlebar comfort problem. They bring the bars 2" up and 2" closer to you... It even resolved some of the excess weight feeling I had. Then I bought a Mustang seat, new Jardine pipes, engine guards and a large Fire & Steel windshield. Riding this bike on the highway is the smoothest, most powerful ride I have ever had. After the risers and the seat, I am totally happy with the Vulcan 1600.
- Brendan, Levittown, New York

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2005-11-05 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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Bought my new Ruby Red '03 1600 Classic Labor Day weekend in 2004. Got a great deal on it. The bike has been bullet-proof since I owned it. I had a minor cooling system 'weeping' of radiator fluid, but the dealer fixed it under warranty. I do wish the bike had a decent OEM tail light. It may look stylish, but it is tough to see from behind according to my buddies. The tail lamp on the 2000 is a good size. Also, the horn is a joke.
- Steve Voorhees, Grosse Pointe, Michigan

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2005-09-28 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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The reliability has been excellent. No problems so far. don't like the way the clutch engages... choppy/jerky but I've learned to feather out most of the jerk. I felt the acceleration was weak relative to the engine displacement. Once it blows through 4700 rpm it hits a wall. However, I can certainly live with what it has to offer. There are some V-twin vibrations that I've learned to dodge in the 2,000 rpm range. The engine is very smooth from 2200 on up to 3,000 rpm while cruising. The brakes are awesome. My fuel consumption is coming in around 45+mpg. Still experimenting with what the best rpm range is for maximum fuel economy. So far it seems to be in the 2200 to 2500 rpm range... still verifying. The original seat was horrible (for me, I replaced it with a Mustang saddle w/backrest... problem solved! The quality is excellent and I believe this Vulcan is probably one of the top best-value bikes on the market. I would like to see more after-market parts become available.
- David Cracknell, Milford, Michigan

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2005-09-12 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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Have had this beauty for just over a year, and in my humble opinion there is no finer ride out there. Smooth ride, adequate power, and unrivaled looks make this bad boy the bike to own. Do yourself a favor and get ya one.
- Kim O'Neill, Bella Vista, Arkansas

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2005-08-26 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I just got back into riding after almost 20 years. I purchased a Vulcan 500 in the early spring, and while it is a super bike, it was not exactly what I wanted when on the highway. My wife got into bike riding this spring as well (first time for her) and we got her a 250 Yamaha. It was nice to get her started, and through the MSF course, but once she got riding some, she complained about the rough ride. One day I suggest she try going up the road a piece on my bike. It was all over from there, and I told her if she wanted my bike, it would cost her! Later that day, we found a 2 year old Vulcan 1600 with just 14k miles on it. I have since put another 2k on it, mostly with my wife on the back. This bike is AWESOME. Nicely styled (admitedly, this is a personal preference), and smooth as silk. It is quite heavy, but that all goes away over 10 MPH. It corners better than my 500 did, and at 80-90 on the highway it just glides. We put on the Kawasaki plexi windshield, soft bags, and a backrest, and that made a world of difference. Lots of power, V-twin sound (very throaty - but no where near as loud as HD), Fuel Injection, Shaft Drive, Self cancelling signals, digital guage package, floorboards, heal and toe... No bad for a cruiser. One negative: The handlebars are set quite wide, and you really reach out to them, especially if you have moderate to short arms. You get used to it, but it is a very different feel from most bikes. I would buy this bike again in a heartbeat.
- Joseph Ewing, Wynantskill, New York

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2005-08-02 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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My Wife and I Just Purchased, 2 Months Ago a Kawasaki 1600 Vulcan Classic. This is one Bad Boy Cruiser. Everywhere we ride this Bike, people stop and stare. I have even had a few People ask if our bike was a Harley, And I would say to them Sorry, This is a Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic and you should see The Looks on their Faces! We Really Love our 1600 Vulcan Classic. It is Really Comfortable, Has more than enough power to satisfy you whether Your Cruising around Town or out on the Open Road. I would Recomend this Motorcycle to anyone who is Looking for a Smoooth, Reliable, Goodlooking, and last but Certainly Not least Powerful Cruiser!
- Big John, Coshocton, Ohio

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2005-04-11 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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This is an ultra reliable bike and despite reviews to the contrary, an extremely comfortable motorcycle. The day I bought it I left on a 1400 mile trip. The motorcycle performed flawlessly. I previously owned a Vulcan 800A and the Vulcan 1600 is much easier to go on long trips with.
- Cliff Howard, Port Orchard, Washington

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2004-07-30 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought this bike 800 miles ago. There are only two things I would have to say I need now... a stereo and a little more comfortable seat (for long rides only). Other than that... it's everything that I wanted. I am so glad I bought this machine.
- Stephen A Smith, Medford, Massachusetts

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2004-07-22 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought this '03 VN1600 Classic new in July '04. I drove it off the lot with .5 miles on it. If you're looking to upgrade to a bigger bike this is the one. You will not be sorry. I just got my bike back from its first tune up today. WOW what a ride. It might just be me, but after the break-in period and a tune up, this big pig really hauls it! I came from an 800 Classic. The 1600 handles the same as the old 800 did. I've done one road trip with it so far. I was in the saddle for an hour and a half before stopping for gas. I was still ready for more when we stopped. I usually get about 230+ miles before fill up. that's a real treat. I plan to have this bike for years to come. It does have some strange noise that I was told is normal. Everyone who rides a bike takes long looks at this one. Everywhere I stop someone comes up with a question about the bike. Again, you won't be sorry. Go get one today!
- Brian C, Eagan, Minnesota

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2004-07-14 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought my 2003 Kawasaki vulcan 1600 classic in April of this year (2004) and I love it. Plenty of power to carry a big(6'4' 290 lbs) guy like me anywhere. The seat is a little bit uncomfortable on a ride to the beach which is about 150 miles away, but overall it wasn't too tiring. I have added a few things to it. I almost have it like I want it to look. I have had other bikes (quite a few) and this bike is the last one I will ever own. It has a look about it like I have always wanted in a bike. So I would tell anyone that asks me... YES buy this bike you won't be sorry.
- Dale CAgle, Lancaster, South Carolina

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2004-03-13 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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With its low MSRP the Vulcan 1600 Classic is a bargain. The amount of style and performance it brings to the table for that price is nothing less than surprising, and the 1600 Classic is definitely a bike you should take a close look at if you are shopping in this category. For such a big motorcycle, it handles very well. Even at low speeds, the Vulcan 1600 Classic feels very balanced. With such a huge wheel base, tight u-turns are not easy, but the bike will perform them. Once moving at a good pace, the bike almost feels nimble, and very well balanced. Straight-line stability is rock solid, but the bike will actually carve twisties as well as (and maybe better than) any other cruiser in the large displacement, traditional category. This bike doesn't have the chassis stiffness of some of the power cruisers (Kawasaki's own Mean Streak and Yamaha's aluminum framed Road Star Warrior come to mind), but it felt fluid and well behaved when pushed through the twisties.
- Ren, Rollin Hills, Colorado

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2004-02-06 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I fell in love with this bike and bought it as a replacement for my Suzuki Marauder 800. Loved that bike too but felt it was a bit small for me. Now that I've ridden the Vulcan 1600, I can never go back! I rushed to get 1000 km (600 miles) on it so I could get the first servicing done and then go on a 1600 km (1000 mile) trip in two days. Bike performed great but that stock seat has GOT to go. Mustang is now making a custom seat for the 1600, I will be getting mine before the spring. The wide handlebars and extra weight take a bit of getting used to but after that, it's the best bike I've ever owned. I'd recommend it to anybody who was looking for a bike of this type.
- Doug FM, Ottawa, Ontario

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2003-10-20 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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2 months and 7300 miles. Flawless with zero problems. Added D&G 3" Hard Chromes, awesome! Muthco mirrors, windscreen, saddle bags, passanger peg extensions, TFI kit, backoff brake module, Corbin seat, backrest and a custom paint job. I'll have this ride for a long time. One fine machine
- Jeffrey A Straw, Crestview, Florida

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2003-10-20 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought the Classic on the last day of July, and now, two-and-a-half months later, just turned the 8,000th mile. I live on the southern Oregon coast, so most of my riding has been off the interstate, which lies an hour away, although ther've been a couple of 400-mile days there, too. I've ridden about 30,000 miles a year since 1965. The Classic is a great motorcycle. Except in the parking lot, where it is ponderous unless you let it idle its way through the turn, it handles like a lighter bike. It stops like a much lighter bike. Its best speed in top is an indicated 65 to 80 (probably 60 to 75). Mileage for me is a little higher than I've seen reported. Typically, my bike returns 42 to 44 miles per gallon. I change oil and filter at 2500. At 2000, it takes a couple of ounces of oil to bring the oil to the H mark on the sighting window. Only two things could be done differently. The sighting window could be relocated for a reading taken with the bike on its sidestand. I understand that only BMW locates the window in that way. The seat.... is a backbreaker: too low, angled wrong, and build with a backrest that shows no indication the human back was in mind when it was laid out. A Russell daylong saddle, built about 4 inches higher than the stock seat, is the best investment you can make in a Classic. The Russell seat isn't sleek and pretty. Neither am I. It works, though: establishes a good angle in the knees, supports you vertically and laterally, and makes a long ride a lot shorter. You will want a windshield if you ride in wind and rain, as I do. The Kawasaki model is nicely made, mounts cleanly, and gives good protection. I added driving lights...not for night riding, but to make myself more visible in the daily commute. In sum, if you want a dependable, good motorcycle to put a lot of miles on, buy the Classic, add a shield, and change the seat. Tom
- Tom Burke, North Bend, Oregon

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2003-09-30 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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Got the 1600, because I wanted plenty of power with two up and still have great handling. I love this bike and I drive it everyday to work now. I'm a fairly big guy (6'3 250 lbs) and agree with the others that the stock seat should be replaced. It's okay for 40 minute commute, but weekend trips are a killer! Lots of looks and lots of comments everywhere I go. Just turned 2000 on the odometer and the clutch is feeling weak, but that is the only glitch I've had and an adjustment should handle that."
- Ken H, Raleigh, North Carolina

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2003-09-26 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I HAVE 78 MILES ON THIS 1600 VULCAN AND I'M BRAGGING ALREADY. I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BIKE EXCEPT KAW'S SO CALLED TALL WINDSHIELD. I'M 6'2' AND THE TOP OF THE SHIELD HITS ME IN THE CHEST. I'M SURE I'LL BE BRAGGING MORE AS THE MILES ROLL ON.
- DAVID EUBANKS, KNOXVILLE, Tennessee

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2003-09-19 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I've had the bike since May 23. Have 6100 miles on it. Love this bike. I'm sad I have to sell it. I want the new 2000.
- Samiam, gurnee, Illinois

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2003-09-14 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I don't know what to add.After 3200 miles and i'm coming home from rides and i still shake my head on what a great bike this is.I agree with you guys that have gave it great reviews.don't know what to add.Except i have my eyes on the new 2004 2000 version.Kaw keep up the good work
- John D., Charles Town, West Virginia

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2003-08-30 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I had a Honda vtx 1800, Road star 1600. Both were good motorcycles but had small problems with them. I never have owned a Kawasaki, liked the looks of the 1600 Vukcan better than the others and the price was much better. 1700 miles later I like the bike more than any bike I have owned. It has vance& hines pipes, kawasaki windshield. I have ordered lower wind guards, cruiserbag.I average 44 miles to a gallon. I rate the bike 5 star
- Terry Morris, Duncan, Oklahoma

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2003-08-23 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I have owned bikes most of my life, and since buying the 1600 this is the most fun I have had. The bike handles like no other I've owned or rode. I was actually ready to order a Fat Boy, went to our local Kawasaki dealer with my brother saw the 1600 sat on it and fell in love. I haven't looked back once. Only complaint I have is after market products, can't wait to add to the awsome looks. I put a set of Cobra low-boy shotgun pipes on it and you want to talk about a "bark". Buy one you won't regret it!!
- Dave Arnone, Lakewood, New York

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2003-08-13 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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Owned many HD's. This is much much better,left my goldwing for this bike! Handles great, lots of power, great looks, great price!!! Only had 1 problem with coolant fan fuse. The same day I had it, in the mail was the update from Kawasaki! Buy one of these,you wont be sorry. BIG BILL
- BIG BILL, CLIFFWOOD BEACH, New Jersey

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2003-08-04 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I went to a local Kawasaki dealer for just a peek of new bikes. I hadn't seen VN 1600 before because it came just a few months ago to Europe. So I walk into the store, look around a bit and then I got the sight of the century in my eyes. I didn't recognize it at first but when I take a closer look, I see it's a Vulcan 1600. I'm in love at that second. I sit three times on it to get that perfect feel of the bike. And it's quite an upgrade comparing into my old ACE 750. So I go home to sleep on it and after a week I just had it. I had to get that bike!! OK, I have about 400 miles on it and I just love it. I also had some vibrations on gas tank cap but not anymore. Also a minus to the valve noise at idle. But that's it...I love everything else!! Also the seat seems to fit me great. And it sounds great, not too loud to the driver but still not a sewing machine.. This time Kawasaki did it!!
- Strictly VN 1600, Helsinki, Finland

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2003-07-29 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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Well finally found heaven on earth and guess what it has two wheels. I was a former V-Star rider and throught that this is the way a bike should feel, but needed more size and power. What more can I say Kawasaki has found the right combination. There is a smooth power band that gives you such a feeling of balance and control words can not desribe. You find yourself wanting more turns in all the roads and smiling at the HD guys who paid way too much for something so average. My only complaint is that the HK exhaust pipes are taking to long to be made. BUY THIS BIKE........
- Ira WImberly, Englishtown, New Jersey

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2003-07-29 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I have owned my 1600 for 8 days now, with 250 miles on the odometer. So far - I love it! It is still in break in, so I am babying the engine, but the power is great riding solo or two up. Even though it is a heavy bike, the center of gravity is verly low, and it is balanced very well... I have taken the weight as a plus on the highway - it is rock solid at speed and in higher winds. I love the fuel injection, and the electric fuel pump means no fuel valve petcock to remember to turn on. The gas gauge and accompanying low fuel warning light work great and take the place of the "reserve" tank. I have not ridden in 15 years, and had ridden smaller bikes back then, but I feel right at home on the 1600 Classic. In summary - The 1600 is a great looking, low maintenance bike that can do it all.
- Dave Kraft, Saint Clair Shores, Michigan

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