Do you want to ride a slow bike fast or a fast bike slow? I hope more of our readers will agree with me—slow bike, please. But we don’t want to go too slow, so give us a little more power than a 250 tiddler for those times when we really need to go somewhere in a hurry. That goes for sportbikes, standards and even cruisers.
New riders—riders so new they’ve never even ridden outside the parking lot where they learned to ride—agree. Engine size isn’t that important to these folks—Kawasaki calls them ‘Intenders’—but they do want enough power to accelerate with authority onto freeways and with traffic, and they want to be able to grow into a bike’s capacity as their skills grow.
What isn’t as important to these Intenders is the figurative and maybe even the literal baggage American-style cruisers come with. According to Kawasaki, what they want is a functional and useable bike that can fit a very broad range of body types and sizes. Kawasaki could pick the engine configuration, and when it comes to delivering horsepower for dollar, it’s hard to beat a midsized parallel Twin—hello Versys/Ninja 650 motor. That compact mill means you could package it into a small, light and narrow chassis—and the Vulcan S took shape.