Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter Motorcycle Reviews on Cycle Insider (9)
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2004-05-14 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I've had my drifter about 2 months and love it. The looks are so diverse there is no problem telling what kind of bike it is. The ride was not what I wanted so I added a Corbin seat which helped. The power is not as great as my 1200 is but I can still ride with the big boys. I have no regrets in buying this bike. Makes an old man look good. The pipes make this bike stand out.
- robbie Wilkerson, conway, Arkansas

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2004-02-10 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought my 2003 800 Drifter as an "around town" bike. I've added all the accessories I could find, even a hand shifter conversion. The bike has plenty of power and is lightweight. My father had a surplus "30.50" Indian and the 800 comes closest to the look of an antique Indian. My other bike is a 2002 Gold Wing, which is why the Drifter is for local riding. By the way a 1950 Chief weighed 550 pounds, made 50 horsepower and had hydraulic forks. Sounds like the specs of an 800.
- Kelly, Lockport, Illinois

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2003-09-14 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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This is the first bike that I have ever owned. I bought for the looks and have been pleasantly surprised by its performance. I would much rather ride my drifter than my friends V-star or another friends Valkerie tourer. The only thing that could make it better would be louder pipes from the factory, but that is just a minor thing. Great bike!!!
- Jason, Copperas Cove, Texas

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2003-08-11 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I OWN A 2000 800 DRIFTER. I BOUGHT IT NEW. I've BEEN RIDING BIKES FOR OVER 30YRS. THIS HAS TO BE ONE OF THE SMOOTHEST RIDING CRUSIERS I've RIDDEN. OTHER THAN FULL DRESS BIKES. I've ADDED A WINDSHEILD BACKREST SADDLEBAGS AND CUSTOM PIPES. MY GIRLFRIEND WHO HAS BACK PROBLEMS CAN RIDE ALL DAY WITHOUT PROBLEMS WHERE AS A HARLEY CAUSES GREAT DISCOMFORT. IT HAS GREAT POWER AND CRUISES GREAT UNDER LOAD. I've BEEN ON POKER/RALLY RUNS WITH FULL PACK AND TENT AND SADDLE BAGS LOADED. DEFINITELY NO COMPLAINTS.
- RON TODISH, OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma

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2003-08-04 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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I've owned this bike for about 6 months (bought in Jan 03). It's great for Sunday morning cruises. The power is adequate for solo riding. The front brake is noisy (sometimes sounds like I'm grinding gravel) but works fine. I even took it to the dealer to verify. I was told it was because the drifter uses metallic brake pads. The cooling system is great for riding in the hot Texas summers. Only comes on when I'm waiting on a traffic light. Gas mileage is about 40 mpg on regular. I hit the reserve at about 120 miles. Cleaning the chain is a pain. I had to buy a motorcycle jack to lift the bike up. I am still using the stock pipes because I can't see forking over $500 dollars for more decibels. I bought the bike to ride it--not to listen to it! I still get a lot of looks from other bikers (even the sacred HD riders). The reason this bike didn't get 5 stars is because I am getting a very noticeable vibration (from the engine?) after riding for about an hour. I can ride about 200 miles in one day before I really want to get off to give my hiney a break. Oh, if you decide you want to change your solo seat for a double, be ready to dish out about $800.00 (ouch!). A quote I saw on a t-shirt: "You'll never see a motorcycle parked outside of a shrink's office!!!" Live to Ride...
- Lupe Sosa, Jr., Houston, Texas

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2003-07-27 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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This is my 3rd year on the Drifter 800 and I must say that it is great bike. The only part needed was a starter relay and with over 33,000 miles of starts, I cant complain.Yes at this point 33,000 + and no problems.Drift on!!
- Joe KIng, Holley, New York

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2003-06-29 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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You either love the look or hate it....and I love it. I am impressed mostly with the looks, and the handling, although scraping the floorboards is common in the turns. Not much power compared to my prior rides, but very comfortable, and I am almost 6' 2". I put on some aftermarket handlebar pullbacks to raise the bars two inches, and also installed a windshield, light bar and engine guards...all of which look good and are quite functional. Mechanically, the chain is a pain to lube, but I bought an engine stand to make it easier. The bike is cold blooded, and even on a warm afternoon, needs the choke for the first five minutes or so. Braking is amazingly good. I wish it had a sixth gear.......all in all, much nicer than the 1500 Drifter, and a top choice for a light cruiser, if zero to sixty isnt' important to you anymore.....
- gor4844, matawan, New Jersey

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2003-06-20 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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After owning one of these for just a few weeks, I can assure you that I have yet to find an unbecoming or awkward view of the bike, it is all eye candy everywhere you look ! Be prepared to get looks everywhere you go, and it's just a kick in the pants to have the oldtimers come up and tell me about their Indians back in the day. After riding a 1500 Vulcan it is very clear, the 800 is the one to have. Not because it does look more authentic to the Indian, but because, as one test rider remarked: "Dude, it's just like a Dirt Bike!". Monoshock, good old fashioned chain drive and the wide handlebars give you the feeling of riding a vintage hardtail machine, except that all the little bumps in the road don't bother you a bit.,and you don't need to carry a toolbox with you. Sitting perfectly upright with your feet directly beneath you, controlling the weight of the bike in turns is effortless and easy. The wide handle bar is as comfortable as it looks, as is the wide Solo Seat and vibration is not a problem there or on the handlebar. It is almost ironic how a bike as pretentious and preposterous as this fake Kawasaki Indian would turn out to be such a breakthrough in motorcycle design because it actually manages to save all the desirable attributes of a vintage machine while eliminating all the undesirable ones. Gone are hard to reach rusty bolts inside the fender, hello lightweight, easy to unbolt and install pastic fenders. Goodbye shaky iffy drum brake, hi there Ninja disc brakes. What makes this bike a breakthrough is that it is greater than the sum of its indivdual parts. It feels raw, but it is in fact buttery smooth. The Drifter 800 is capable of reaching and maintaining speeds of up to 90 mph effortlessly, but what makes it great is that it does not invite you to do so. It is the least hurried motorcycle I have ever ridden. It's not a Harley, nor is it a "girlie bike" as others have claimed, but it is a perfect beginners bike and best described as Wolf in Sheeps Clothing. Few bikes have ever offered themselves up to having so much fun, both riding one and customizing it. How many bikes are there that would look just as good or better if you painted all the chrome black? Last but not least, Kawasaki is not asking for too much money, and that was a deciding factor for me. Looking at the quality and the workmanship of the Drifter, I was ok with what I was getting for my Dollar. But now, having spent some miles on it, I must admit: I have stolen from the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Corporation.
- 7, Grand Junction, Colorado

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2003-06-14 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter Motorcycles View Listings

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i picked up my bike may 3.i rode it around the block i loved it first ride since 1983.everyone loves its looks. its like owning a custom bike.kawasaki should keep making it,give all those indian lovers an option. let the good times roll.
- drifter dave, fostoria, Ohio

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