Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycle Reviews on Cycle Insider (15)
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2009-07-14 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I love mine. It's been very dependable. Gas mileage is great. If I really, really get on it the MPG is 45. When I decide to drive it sensibly I have gotten just over 60 MPG. I'm looking at getting a 900 classic only because I'm starting to take longer trips with passengers. I've taken the 500 on overnight trips by myself over 4 hours away and was very comfortable on it. Perfect bike for a high school kid.
- Lyle Hoffman, Edgar, Wisconsin

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2009-07-02 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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This bike seemed small for my frame but I've found it very comfortable and exceptionally easy to ride. It's a bit cumbersome in slow parking lot but has a nice balance while using the friction zone in very low speed. On the highway this can kick ass at 75 and can move me on and up to speed of traffic in no time. It also seems like the 6 speed really makes a difference on the freeway. I'm averaging over 50 MPG but even though this is a 4 gallon tank it seems to conk out until I switch the fuel valve to the reserve setting at about 115 to 135 miles. Then I basically end up adding about 2 gallons of gas. Two gallons in reserve just seems a bit excessive for me. If you want a bike that makes a lot of noise this is not the bike for you. It has a quiet almost stealth like rumble. I love it. All in all a good starter bike with the power and HP to get you going.
- Surfmurf, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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2009-06-18 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought this last Monday. If you want a bike that can handle highway speeds without working the engine too hard and be comfortable at the same time, this bike will meet your needs. It has a solid feel and is easy to handle in slower traffic. You can run all day at 75 if you so desire. I'm not one for being on any motorcycle riding the interstate, but it will do the job. My gas mileage for highway is right at 57 MPG. If the two lane highway and city crusing is what you want in a motorcycle, this will fill the bill.
- Roger Petersen, Grand Island, Nebraska

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2008-03-22 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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perfect starter bikeThis bike really does everything you could ask of a bike in this size and class. I get 53 or more miles per gallon. The bike is plenty fast and goes well on the highway if you obey traffic laws (if you want to ride 95 plus miles per hour for long periods of time then you probably should get something else or get the aftermarket sprocket belt drive to lower the r's). It goes from 0 to 70 plus very quickly and you can ride it all day long at 80 mph and still get 50 plus mpg. I honestly feel that if you want a good reliable bike that doesn't cost a ton this is a great choice. It is a very forgiving bike and very rider friendly so it is the perfect bike for someone just learning to ride and should prove to be very enjoyable for many years. If you get a windshield I would suggest the larger one if you get the Kawasaki one though you may want to check on a Memphis Shades or some other aftermarket one.
- Streetsweeper, St louis, Missouri

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2007-08-12 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought the bike new as a birthday gift for my wife. My initial impression was positive. Very good fit and finish for an entry level bike. Negatives would be the obvious tank seam, plastic chrome in abundance, and side panels that are not color matched to tank and fenders. Also, the stock seat becomes uncomfortable after 65 miles of constant riding, still looking for an aftermarket seat that will fit. The bike starts with some difficulty on extremely hot or cold days. Needs full choke for several minutes before engine won't stall when in 1st gear. Now to the positives! This bike is everything I've come to expect from Kawasaki = Great value, Excellent reliability, Nice styling, and good build quality. I just wish that the aftermarket companies would get on board so accessories would be more abundant for this nice little bike. Would definitely recommend this bike for 1st timers as well as experienced riders who live in the inner cities and need a quick handling, reliable, and suprisingly fast commuter bike.
- Emil Bart, Mukwonago, Wisconsin

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2007-02-23 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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Bought a 2003 Vulcan 500 LTD about 6 months ago. The acelleration is surprising and the ride is very smooth. But the previous owner installed Harley mufflers and it is too loud and raspy for my taste.
- jerry, jennings, Louisiana

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2006-12-24 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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For a 500, this beauty sure knows how to go! Smooth, trouble-free joy of a ride. Easy to keep up at freeway speeds, and loads of fun! She looks snappy too! Candy apple red and lots of chrome. An all around winner at a very good price. I'd recommend one to anyone as a starter or as a lil brother to any other horse in the stable. She's a winer alright, with lot's of git up & go!!!
- Dan, Miami, Florida

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2006-12-04 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought a used 2003 Vulcan 2 months ago. It's a great bike! It keeps up just fine with my husbands Goldwing, I can get both feet flat on the ground (I'm only 5'1 with my shoes on) and can comfortably maintain highway speeds. It sits low enought that it doesn't blow around much in the wind. I've ridden smaller on/off road bikes my whole life so it took me a couple tries to get used to the increase in weight and power. The first time I popped the clutch on a gravel road the back wheel spun out from under me and left me standing in the road with just the handle bars but I got used to it quickly. I'm just upset that winter is here and I had to put it away for the year. I would recommend this bike to anyone that wants an all around great bike for not much money.
- Donna Shinaut, Denton, Nebraska

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2006-11-20 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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Bought my Vulcan 500 last February, and it has been a joy to ride. For a Lil Guy, he sure does wanna run. I have run up and down I25 from Denver to Colorado Springs on numerous occasions and I can run with the box cars all day long. The water cool is just that....cool. I will be upgrading to a Vulcan 1500 this Feb. So If you want the perfect starter bike or just one to reload your confidence, try the Vulcan 500 LTD. Easy on the eyes as it is on the pocket.
- VuLcAnRiDeR, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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2006-11-03 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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This bike is great for me because I just learned how to ride a motorcycle 2 months ago. I love just riding out in the country for hours. It is also great on the highway for a small bike. I just wish the brackets for my saddle bags would get here. They are on back order.
- derren lynn, martinsville, Indiana

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2006-09-28 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought the bike for my wife who has never driven or ridden anything. She has not been asking for many lessons so I have been giving the Vulcan some much needed love. My bike is a 2000 BMW R1100RT. The Vulcan is a nimble, quick ride that handles everything that it is asked to. A little underwhelming when the engine is cold. However, when it warms up, its true colours as a capable highway and commuting bike come through. One issue regarding reliablity that I have had, was probably nothing to do with the manufacture of the bike but rather the pre-delivery inspection -- the battery cables were not tightened and after a while the bike would quit running. The feel to this was as if it were being starved of fuel. Once the problem was diagnosed and rectified, the bike came back to life. Comfort wise, I find the seating position a little hard on my back. With the feet forward, I find that I tend to slouch a little putting pressure on my lower back. I found the same issue on another cruiser style bike that I have ridden (Suzuki C50T). Fuel economy is good getting 237 km from full to reserve. Performance of the 6 speed gear box surprised me. With the ability to be in 6th gear at 60kph, this bike pulls very good when you need to go. Roll on from 80kph to 100kph is effortless and requires just a minor twist of the wrist. And the horn could be louder. It's hard to warn the brain cell deficient soccer mom in the mini-van that she is in danger of running you off the road after she passes you with this little thing. First scheduled maintenance at 800km was very affordable. Would I recommend this bike for a first time buyer? Absolutely. Would I buy this bike for myself? Probably not. The seating position (FOR ME) does it no favours. But this is likely a flaw of the cruiser styling more than anything else. My back prefers a more upright position.
- Robert D, Edmonton, Alberta

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2006-08-30 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I'm a young, adventuresome Montana girl. This is a great bike for all girls and guys alike who want to get out on the road but don't have a ton of money to spend. Straight from the shop it was perfect and I hit the roads immediately. In Montana, you run into paved, dirt, and gravel roads and this bike does fine on all surfaces which surprised me because it is not the intended use. This thing cruises and I have no trouble keeping up with riders on much bigger bikes in acceleration and highway riding. The weight is managable as well. For a first bike I recommend that you start with something you can handle in CC and weight. The Vulcan 500 gave me all of that and I am looking forward to many years with this bike. I also have to add that I have turned many heads on my Vulcan 500, but maybe that has to do with my boots and chaps!
- Kaylan Minor, Great Falls, Montana

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2006-08-25 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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Gas mileage: When I was breaking it in, it got one tank at 63 MPG. In town, I average 55 to 57 MPG. On the highway, I get about 50 MPG and the engine appears to be winding a little too much. I am going to trade for a Vulcan 900 to do a little more highway time, if I were going to keep this one, I would change the sprocket to drop the engine Rs down at highway speed. Most of the metric bikes I have seen are always geared too low. The bike runs quite well for being a light 500cc, but at highway or interstate speed it is a little light and gets bounced around some by the drafts. The bike for its size and weight, does run really well down the road, it feels good, the suspension is very good and it tracks very well. Very little vibration gets to the handlebars. The engine is quiet and must be balanced well as I can feel no engine vibes in the bike, either in the handlebars or my legs against the tank. Once and a while, when I start it, the thing floods out. I have several friends that either have or had one; they say that this is a problem with the 500. The dealer told me to set the choke then try it. It has always started after doing this, but it's a pain. I would say this happens once every 10-20 times I start it. I would generally say the bike is a cold starter, it takes about 30-45 seconds to warm up and if you don't wait, it may stall when you put it in gear and let the clutch engage. I gave it a 3-Star because of the chain, a guy can use chain wax which is a cleaner deal than chain oil, but it's still a little messy and there isn't any reason they couldn't have built it with a belt. And I think the flooding would apply in here also. So....what do I think? If I were to get another bike for what I started out with this one to do, I would probably buy a 500 Vulcan again. I have overall enjoyed it and the way it handled. I like the look and people around town notice it. I am always getting comments on how nice it looks, but I have the candy apple red and keep it clean and polished. It has a classic look that I feel Kawasaki lost in its bigger Vulcans. And it doesn't look small and innocent, it looks like it is a hefty bike that means business.
- Tom Kelsey, North Platte, Nebraska

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2006-07-11 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I recieved a this bike for an early birthday gift from my fiance, and at first I was a little shocked. I kept sending the hint that I had wanted a honda shadow 750 for some time. Boy, am I glad I got this bike instead. Let me first tell you about the feel of the bike. As you sit on it and put your hands on the handlebars, there is no reaching or effort needed to feel comfortable on the bike. The footpegs are forward mounted, and combined with a dry weight of 439 lbs., the bike feels easy to maneuver in traffic. The 500 cc engine, I admit has got a lot of power for a sub 600 cc engine. I have no problems getting up to speed in a hurry, and no problems keeping up with my buddies (they all have 750's). The 6 speed tranny shifts smoothly and really helps with gas mileage. (My last fill up was around 170 miles. But I'm still in the break in period.) The seat on it is very comfortable. I find that it starts to ache my butt after about 4-5 hours of continuous riding, but my back and shoulders don't ache at all. The drawbacks to this bike are as follows: Aftermarket parts to dress the bike upare hard to find. Namely exhausts. Windshields, sissy bars, and saddlebags are easier to find. If you are an aftermarket junkie, then this is not the bike for you. Personally I think this bike looks great stock. The final word- This bike is a great bike for the beginning rider, or the seasoned veteran who wants something fun to ride. I am glad my fiance found this bike for me instead of the Honda. And for less than honda, suzuki, and yamaha how can you go wrong? If you are looking to purchase a bike and don't want to go broke, then this is the bike for you.
- Mike L., calexico, California

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2006-05-18 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD Motorcycles View Listings

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I am very surprised this bike is so balanced and user friendly. I haven't been on a bike in 10 yrs. and I'm really glad I chose this one to start back on. The parallel twin engine has got some zip. It's low, so you under 6 ft. riders dont have to tip-toe it at stops.I just wish it came with the backrest...thats a tad-bit pricey at $225. But all-in-all this bike is great and I think it's just an extremely fun bike...I'll keep it a while.
- david, carthage, Missouri

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