Today at their American dealer show in Las Vegas, Nevada and at the World's Largest Motorcycle Show - INTERMOT in Cologne, Germany, Kawasaki unveiled their 2011 model lineup, including the all new 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Surprise? Well, not really since the whole world already knew about it a week ago.
However the full story hasn't been told yet - specifically the part about the Stateside ZX-10R NOT matching the 200+ horsepower numbers of the Euro model. To satisfy government regulations, the US version will ship with a lower RPM ceiling plus currently unknown additional electronic restrictions. Kawasaki's Odeon Dy stressed that the engine mechanicals between the US and its European counterpart are identical.
Thankfully there is a glimmer of hope for the USA's power junkies... those restrictions should be fairly easy to get around, likely in the form of an aftermarket exhaust plus a race ECU, granting access to the production bike's full abilities (and then some).
Kawasaki also released info about the new Ninja 1000 and Vulcan 1700 Vaquero.
See pics, full descriptions, and specs for all three models below.
2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000
2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R / ZX-10R ABS
Newer. Faster. Lighter. Better. You hear these descriptors all the time in this business.
Problem is, reality rarely lives up to the hype.
But Kawasaki’s new-from-the-ground-up 2011 Ninja® ZX™-10R sportbike has no such credibility gap, going several steps beyond newer, faster, lighter and better by offering the most advanced traction-control system in all of production motorcycling.
Yes, in all of production motorcycling.
Not only are we talking about a complete redesign of the ZX-10R’s engine, frame, suspension, bodywork, instrumentation and wheels, but a highly advanced and customizable electronic system that helps riders harness and capitalize on the new ZX-10R’s amazing blend of power and responsive handling. The system is called Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control, or S-KTRC. It represents a whole new dimension in motorcycle performance, and the ZX-10R is the only production sport bike that can take you there.
Motorcyclists have forever been challenged by traction-related issues, whether on dirt, street or track. Riders that can keep a rear tire from spinning excessively or sliding unpredictably are both faster and safer, a tough combination to beat on the racetrack. And when talking about the absolute leading edge of open-class sport bike technology, where production street bikes are actually more capable than full-on race bikes from just a couple years ago, more consistent traction and enhanced confidence is a major plus.
The MotoGP-derived S-KTRC system works by crunching numbers from a variety of parameters and sensors – wheel speed and slip, engine rpm, throttle position, acceleration, etc. There’s more data gathering and analysis going on here than on any other Kawasaki in history, and it’s all in the name of helping racers inch closer to the elusive “edge” of maximum traction than ever before. The S-KTRC system relies on complex software buried in the new ZX-10R’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU), the only additional hardware is the lightweight speed sensors located on each wheel.
Unlike the KTRC system on Kawasaki’s Concours™ 14 ABS sport tourer, which primarily minimizes wheel slip on slick or broken surfaces as a safety feature, the S-KTRC system is designed to maximize performance by using complex analysis to predict when traction conditions are about to become unfavorable. By quickly, but subtly reducing power just before the amount of slippage exceeds the optimal traction zone, the system – which processes every data point 200 times per second – maintains the optimum level of tire grip to maximize forward motion. The result is significantly better lap times and enhanced rider confidence –exactly what one needs when piloting a machine of this caliber.
The S-KTRC system offers three different modes of operation, which riders can select according to surface conditions, rider preference and skill level: Level 1 for max-grip track use, Level 2 for intermediate use, and Level 3 for slippery conditions. An LCD graph in the newly designed instrument cluster displays how much electronic intervention is occurring in real time and a thumb switch on the left handlebar pod allows simple, on-the-go mode changes.
The system also incorporates an advanced Power Mode system that allows riders to choose the amount of power – and the character of delivery – available from the engine. Besides the standard Full-power mode are Medium and Low settings. In Medium mode, performance varies according to throttle position and engine rpm; at anything less than 50 percent throttle opening, performance is essentially the same as in Low mode; at more than 50 percent, riders can access additional engine performance. All three S-KTRC settings are available in each of the three Power Mode settings.
And the motorcycle so capably managed by all of this trick electronic wizardry? It’s completely redesigned from 2010 to ’11.
It all starts with the 10R’s all-new inline-four, easily the most advanced engine to ever emerge from a Kawasaki factory. Like last year’s potent ZX-10R engine, the new powerplant is a 16-valve, DOHC, liquid-cooled inline-four displacing 998cc via 76 x 55mm bore and stroke dimensions. But that’s where the similarity stops, as the new mill boasts a handful of engineering changes designed to optimize power, power delivery, center of gravity and actual engine placement within the chassis.
A primary goal of Kawasaki engineers was linear power delivery and engine manageability throughout all elements of a corner: the entry, getting back to neutral throttle at mid-corner, and heady, controllable acceleration at the exit. Peak torque was moved to a higher rpm range, which eliminates the power peaks and valleys that make it difficult for racers and track-day riders to open the throttle with confidence.
Larger intake valves (31mm vs. 30mm), wider– and polished – intake ports, and completely revised exhaust porting all allow better breathing, more controllable power delivery and less engine braking, just the thing to smooth those racetrack corner entries and exits. Higher-lift camshafts built from lighter-yet-stronger chromoly steel (instead of cast iron) and featuring revised overlap further contribute to optimized engine braking and more controllable power delivery. Newly designed lightweight pistons feature shorter skirts and mount to lighter and stronger connecting rods, each of which spin a revised crankshaft made of a harder material and featuring stronger pins and journal fillets. Compression moves to a full 13.0:1.
There’s more, including a totally revamped crankshaft/transmission shaft layout that contributes to a higher center of mass – and improved handling via better mass centralization – by locating the crankshaft approximately 10 degrees higher relative to the output shaft. There’s even a secondary engine balancer assembly this year, which allows a number of vibration-damping parts to be simplified, contributing to weight savings. A smaller and dramatically lighter battery helps drop even more weight, as does a lighter ECU and fuel pump.
A race-style cassette transmission allows simple trackside ratio changes and offers a host of improvements for 2011. These include closer spacing for 4th, 5th and 6th gears and the fine-tuning of the primary and final reduction ratios for less squat/lift during acceleration and deceleration, which allows more precise suspension tuning in back. An adjustable back-torque limiting clutch assembly is fitted, which allows worry-free downshifts and an even higher level of corner-entry calmness.
Cramming all that fuel and air into this amazing new engine is a ram air-assisted fuel injection system featuring larger throttle bodies (47 vs. 43mm) and sub-throttle valves, a larger-capacity airbox (9 vs. 8 liters), secondary injectors that improve top-end power characteristics, and a large, redesigned ram-air intake that’s positioned closer to the front of the bike for more efficient airbox filling and increased power.
The final piece of the ZX-10R’s power-production formula is a race-spec exhaust system featuring a titanium header assembly, hydroformed collectors, a large-volume pre-chamber containing two catalyzers and a highly compact silencer. Due to the header’s race-spec design, riders and racers looking for more closed-course performance need only replace the slip-on muffler assembly.
With the engine producing a massive quantity of usable and controllable power, engineers looked to the chassis to help refine handling and overall road/track competency even further. An all-new aluminum twin-spar frame was designed, an all-cast assemblage of just seven pieces that features optimized flex characteristics for ideal rider feedback, cornering performance and lighter weight than last year’s cage. Fewer pieces mean fewer welds, which contributes to a cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing look. Like the frame, the new alloy swingarm is an all-cast assembly, with idealized rigidity matching that of the frame itself.
Chassis geometry was juggled to offer the best possible stability and handling quickness. Rake, at 25 degrees, is a half-degree steeper than on the 2010 machine, while trail has been reduced from 110 to 107mm. This slightly more radical front end geometry, and the quicker, lighter handling it allows, was made possible largely by the new engine’s more controllable power, engine placement and the CG differences it generated, and the frame and swingarm’s newfound flex characteristics.
Highly advanced suspension at both ends helped as well. Up front is a 43mm open-class version of the Big Piston Fork (BPF) found on last year’s comparo-dominating Ninja ZX-6R. Featuring a piston design nearly twice the size of a conventional cartridge fork, the BPF offers smoother action, less stiction, lighter overall weight and enhanced damping performance on the compression and rebound circuits. This added compliance results in more control and feedback for the rider – just what you need when carving through a rippled sweeper at your local track or negotiating a decreasing-radius corner on your favorite backroad.
There’s big suspension news in back, too. Replacing the vertical Uni-Trak® system of the 2010 ZX-10R is a Horizontal Back-Link suspension design that positions the shock and linkage above the swingarm. Benefits include better mass centralization, improved road holding, compliance and stability, smoother action in the mid-stroke (even with firmer settings), better overall feedback and cooler running. The design also frees space previously taken by the linkage assembly below the swingarm, space now used for the exhaust pre-chamber, which allows a shorter muffler and, again, better mass centralization. The fully adjustable shock features a piggyback reservoir and dual-range (low- and high-speed) compression damping.
All-new gravity-cast three-spoke wheels are significantly lighter than the hoops fitted to the 2010 bike. Up front, Tokico radial-mount calipers grasp 310mm petal discs and a 220mm disc is squeezed by a lightweight single-piston caliper in back. The result is powerful, responsive braking plenty of rider feedback.
Finally, Kawasaki engineers wrapped all this new technology in bodywork as advanced and stylish as anything on this side of a MotoGP grid. Shapes are more curved than edged this year, and the contrasting colored and black parts create a sharp, aggressive image. Line-beam headlights enable the fairing to be made shorter, while LED turn signals are integrated into the mirror assemblies and convenient turn-signal couplers allow easy mirror removal for track-day use. The rear fender assembly holding the rear signal stalks and license plate frame is also easily removable for track days. High-visibility LED lamps are also used for the taillight and position marker.
Instrumentation is totally new as well, the unit highlighted by an LED-backlit bar-graph tachometer set above a multi-featured LCD info screen with numerous sections and data panels. A wide range of information is presented, including vehicle speed, odometer, dual trip meters, fuel consumption, Power Mode and S-KTRC level, low fuel, water temperature and much more. For track use, the LCD display can be set to “race” mode which moves the gear display to the center of the screen.
The new ZX-10R’s ergonomics have been fine tuned for optimum comfort and control, with a slightly lower saddle, adjustable footpegs positioned slightly lower and more forward relative to last year, and clip-ons with a bit less downward angle. This is a hard-core sportbike you can actually take on an extended sport ride – and still be reasonably comfortable doing so. And because it’s 22 pounds lighter than last year’s bike, the new ZX-10R will be quicker and more nimble in any environment you choose to ride it in.
The old saying, “power is nothing without control” is certainly apt where open-class sport bikes are concerned. But when you factor in all the engine, chassis and ergonomic control designed into the 2011 Ninja ZX-10R, you begin to realize you’re looking at one very special motorcycle – one that can take you places you’ve never been before.
Newer. Faster. Lighter. And better. Reality really does match the hype.
ABS equipped model:
Kawasaki calls its all-new anti-lock system KIBS – or Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System. The use of “intelligent” is apropos, too, considering just how smart the new KIBS is. It all starts with the smallest and lightest ABS unit ever built for a motorcycle, one Bosch designed specifically with sport bikes in mind. It’s nearly 50 percent smaller than current motorcycle ABS units, and 800 grams lighter, adding only about 7 pounds of weight compared to the non-ABS machine, a pound of which is accounted for by the larger battery.
KIBS is a multi-sensing system, one that collects and monitors a wide range of information taken from wheel sensors (the same ones collecting data on the standard ZX-10R for its S-KTRC traction control system) and the bike’s ECU, including wheel speed, caliper pressure, engine rpm, throttle position, clutch actuation and gear position. The KIBS’s ECU actually communicates with the bike’s engine ECU and crunches the numbers, and when it notes a potential lock-up situation, it tells the Bosch unit to release caliper pressure, allowing the wheel to once again regain traction.
Aside from this system’s ultra-fast response time, it offers a number of additional sport-riding and race track benefits, including rear-end lift suppression during hard braking, minimal kickback during ABS intervention, and increased rear brake control during downshifts. The high-precision pressure control enables the system to avoid reduced brake performance (sometimes seen on less advanced systems), maintain proper lever feel and help ensure the ABS pulses are minimized.
The rest of the 2011 Ninja ZX-10R ABS is equally advanced. Not only are we talking about a complete redesign of the Big Ninja’s engine, frame, suspension, bodywork, instrumentation and wheels, but a highly advanced and customizable electronic system that allows riders of all skill levels to harness and experience the new ZX-10R ABS’s amazing blend of power and razor-edge handling. The system – called Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control, or S-KTRC – represents a whole new dimension in sport motorcycling, and the ZX-10R ABS is the only production sport bike that can take you there.
New for 2011
- Totally redesigned DOHC, 16-valve, inline-four engine makes more – and more controllable – power than ever before
- Stronger camshafts, pistons and crankshaft maintain legendary Kawasaki reliability in the face of additional horsepower
- All-new S-KTRC electronic traction control system comes directly from MotoGP and allows racers to explore the edge of traction more successfully for better drive off the corners and faster laps
- All-new ECU electronics also include a Power Mode system, which allows riders to pick between three power modes for changing conditions
- Revised transmission shaft layout raises the engine’s center of gravity slightly for better mass centralization
- Newly designed titanium-header exhaust system
- Revised fuel injection system features larger throttle bodies and dual injectors
- All-new aluminum twin-spar frame is lighter and offers optimal flex characteristics for the best possible handling
- 43mm Big Piston Fork (BPF) is lighter than a conventional design and offers improved action and response
- Redesigned Horizontal Back-link rear suspension offers better wheel control and improved mass centralization, all of which
- improves stability and overall handling
- Shock and linkage assemblies are now positioned above the swingarm, which frees space below it for a large exhaust sub-chamber, which allows a shorter (and lighter) muffler
- Lighter and stronger three-spoke gravity-cast wheels minimize unsprung weight for exceptional handling quickness
- Revised ergonomics offer a roomier cockpit, a slightly lower seat and adjustable footpegs
- Revised chassis geometry – steeper rake, less trail, slightly raised CG – allows even sharper handling characteristics
- 22-pound weight reduction compared to the 2010 machine
- Radical new bodywork features more rounded edges and a revised ram-air intake
- Mirrors integrate trick, LED turn signals and remove easily for track day use
- Revised transmission gear ratios for better on-track performance
- High visibility instrumentation includes an LED bar-graph tachometer and a full complement of LCD readouts to keep riders fully informed
- All-new engine and chassis add up to more power and more control
- All-new Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC) continuously monitors wheel speed, throttle position, engine rpm and a host of other data to help ensure the optimal amount of traction
- All-new Power Mode selector allows riders to select power level and power delivery
- All-new aluminum frame has ideal strength and rigidity
- All-new Big Piston Fork helps maintain composure under braking
- All-new Horizontal Back-link rear suspension helps improve road holding, and helps deliver smoother suspension action
- 2011 ZX™-10R is 22 pounds lighter than the 2010 model (non ABS model)
- Improved mass centralization
- Slipper-type back-torque limiting clutch helps improve corner entry handling
- All-new race-oriented instrumentation offers riders a wealth of information
New-generation Liquid-cooled DOHC 998cc Inline-four Engine
- All-new design is compact, narrow and lightweight, and features a revised internal transmission shaft layout that optimizes CG and engine placement in the frame
- Stronger camshafts, crankshaft and pistons increase durability and are able to withstand the new engine’s prodigious power production
- Larger intake valves (now 31mm), revised camshaft profiles and optimized port shapes help maximize power production and smooth power delivery
- Cylinder bores are machined with a “dummy” head bolted in place, yielding improved bore circularity and precision; thusly, lower-tension piston rings can be used, reducing mechanical losses
- Offset cylinder bores (relative to the crankshaft) are positioned 2mm toward the exhaust side of the engine, resulting in reduced lateral piston force at the point of maximum combustion pressure, reduced mechanical friction and lower piston loads – allowing the use of lighter pistons
- Larger-diameter intake tappets (now 29mm) suit the higher-lift camshafts
- New, chromoly camshafts (previously cast iron) receive a new nitriding process and lapping treatment to help cope with heavier valve spring pressure and enhance durability
- New, harder crankshaft features stronger pins and journal fillets; gear teeth durability was also increased
- Single-shaft secondary balancer was added to help reduce vibration, and its use allowed several vibration-damping parts to be simplified and lightened
- Connecting rods are stronger overall to suit the increase in power
- New ECU is dramatically lighter than the old unit and is small enough to be tucked away in a slot in the airbox assembly
- A lighter battery replaces the old unit for even more weight savings
- One-piece upper crankcase and cylinder casting saves weight and offers maximum rigidity
- Low-friction oil pump reduces parasitic power loss
- A lightweight radiator with tightly packed cores provides efficient engine cooling
- A liquid-cooled aluminum oil cooler promotes high-efficiency heat dissipation
- Intake and exhaust valves are titanium to reduce reciprocating weight and stress at high rpm
Dual-injector Digital Fuel Injection
- Larger throttle bodies (47mm vs. 43mm) help produce more power and improved throttle control
- Secondary fuel injectors improve top-end power output and power characteristics at high rpm; the lower injectors are always on, while upper injectors come on as needed according to degree of throttle opening and engine rpm
- Oval-shaped throttle bodies – larger for 2011 – allow precise throttle control and instant response
- An Idle Speed Control (ISC) valve on the throttle body unit automatically adjusts idle speed for more stable operation; also contributes to easier starts and better off-idle throttle response
Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control – S-KTRC
- A highly sophisticated electronic system based on actual Kawasaki MotoGP experience that’s designed to maximize forward motion by allowing racers to ride closer to the edge of traction
- The system, anchored by an all-new Electronic Control Unit (ECU), crunches a wide range of data, including throttle position, wheel speed, engine rpm, wheel slippage and acceleration, with help from a speed sensor fitted to each wheel
- The quickest acceleration requires a certain amount of wheel slippage, so to optimize traction, S-KTRC actually allows for optimum wheelspin
- Using complex analysis, the system is able to predict when traction conditions are about to become unfavorable. By acting before slippage exceeds the range for optimal traction, the system can quickly and smoothly reduce power slightly so the wheel regains traction
- S-KTRC confirms conditions 200 times per second and governs ignition, which allows extremely quick response to changing conditions
- Riders can choose between three operational modes, depending on skill level and conditions
- A level meter on the LCD instrument panel displays how much electronic intervention the system is providing, in real time
- A highly efficient and more forward-positioned ram air intake is designed for lower intake noise, higher intake efficiency and thusly more power
- Redesigned and larger airbox (now 9 liters instead of 8) with a new filter element improves breathing and power
- Oval-section intake funnels promote non-turbulent flow at all rpm
Titanium Exhaust System
- All-new titanium-header exhaust system with hydroformed header pipes and small, lightweight muffler assembly uses a larger-volume pre-chamber that houses two catalyzers for reduced emissions and sound
- Headers have nearly identical specs to their roadracing counterparts, which makes it easier for riders to increase track performance with the simple addition of a less-restrictive muffler; now there’s no need to replace the lightweight and race-spec header assembly
- Dual catalyzers help the 2011 ZX-10R meet strict U.S. and Euro III exhaust emissions standards
- Race-style cassette transmission allows simple trackside gearing changes to suit individual circuits
- With the revised engine shaft layout, the “cassette” is located high enough that it can be accessed without having to drain engine oil
- Fine-tuned primary and final reduction ratios minimize rear end movement (squat/lift) during acceleration and deceleration. The more composed rear end action allows more freedom with suspension settings
- Closer-ratio 4th, 5th and 6th gears complement the new ZX-10R’s circuit performance
- Overall gear ratios suit the power characteristics for ideal power delivery in all rpm ranges
- An adjustable back-torque limiting clutch facilitates smooth downshifts, a main contributor to stability under heavy braking
Chassis / Frame
- All-new aluminum-alloy frame connects the swingarm pivot with the steering head more directly, and offers optimal flex and rigidity characteristics for balanced handling on street or track
- Revised chassis geometry incorporates slightly steeper rake (0.5 degree) and a bit less trail (3mm). The result is more weight on the front wheel, which allows sharper steering characteristics and crisper handling with no corresponding tradeoff in chassis stability at speed
- Frame is an all-cast construction of only seven pieces, which allowed engineers much design freedom, including minimizing wall thicknesses while providing adequate strength and optimized rigidity
- Fewer frame pieces mean fewer welds, which contributes to more pleasing aesthetics
- More front end weight also aids aggressive, on-the-gas corner exits, as there is less tendency to wheelie
- Modifying or removing the exhaust pre-chamber (for racetrack applications only) enables two chain links to be removed, which offers riders the opportunity to alter chassis geometry by shortening the wheelbase by up to 16mm to suit different track layouts
- Like the frame, the alloy swingarm is an all-cast design, with just three pieces
- Narrow subframe layout contributes to the compact and slim tail section
Horizontal Back-link Rear Suspension
- All-new design positions the shock and linkage above the swingarm
- The new design offers a host of benefits, including improved road-holding, smoother suspension action (especially in the final third of the stroke range), increased stability and feedback when cornering, and improved mass centralization
- The design also frees space under the swingarm for a larger exhaust pre-chamber, which allows the use of a shorter and lighter muffler assembly
- The design also positions the shock’s upper link (mounted to the frame’s upper cross member) further from the swingarm pivot, helping to spread out the load and contribute to enhanced overall frame rigidity and chassis balance
- The fully adjustable shock features a piggyback reservoir and dual (high- and low-speed) compression damping, which enables fine tuning for racing or track-day use
- Between the Big Piston Fork (BPF) and new Back-link suspension system, pitch control during aggressive riding is minimized, which contributes to added rider control and faster lap times
- Minimal effect from exhaust heat due to the new design translates to more stable damping performance
Big Piston Fork (BPF)
- The Big Piston Fork (BPF) fitted to the 2011 Ninja® ZX-10R features 43mm inner tubes and is one of the contributing factors to the new bike’s enhanced composure under braking
- Compared to a cartridge-type fork of the same size, the BPF features a main piston almost twice the size as the piston on the previous ZX-10R: 39.6mm vs. 20mm
- Oil inside the BPF acts on a surface area almost four times the size of a conventional fork’s. The larger surface area allows damping pressure to be reduced while ensuring that damping force remains the same
- Reducing damping pressure allows the inner fork tube to move more smoothly, which is especially noticeable at the initial part of the stroke. The result is greater control as the fork compresses and very calm attitude change as vehicle weight shifts forward under braking, and thus greater chassis stability on corner entry
- Because the BPF eliminates many of the internal components of a traditional cartridge fork, construction is simplified and overall fork weight is reduced
- Compression and rebound damping adjustments are located at the top of each fork tube, while preload is now at the bottom
Race-spec Steering Damper
- An adjustable twin-tube Öhlins steering damper is standard. The second tube acts like a reservoir, allowing the internals to ensure stable damping and excellent feedback even under racing conditions
Advanced Braking System
- Tokico radial-mount brake calipers use dual pads and offer a superb initial bite, increased control, progressive feel and a high degree of feedback to the rider
- A radial-pump front master cylinder provides the ultimate in front brake feel and feedback
- A pair of 5.5mm thick, 310mm petal discs provides the heat dissipation needed to maintain brake feel and responsiveness during extended heavy use
- A 220mm rear petal disc gripped by a single-piston caliper provides excellent feel and feedback
Kawasaki Intelligent Anti-lock Braking System (KIBS) (on ABS model)
- The most advanced anti-lock braking system ever utilized on a production motorcycle
- Utilizes the smallest and lightest ABS unit available – a Bosch-built unit that’s half the size of a standard unit and considerably lighter
- KIBS monitors a wide range of data, including front and rear wheel speed, throttle position, gear selection, engine rpm, caliper pressure, clutch actuation and more to help prevent wheel locking
- High-precision brake pressure control offers a number of sport riding benefits, including rear-end lift suppression, minimal kickback during operation and consistent lever feel
- ABS unit is located close to the bike’s center of mass, behind the left engine cylinder, which minimizes the effects of the added weight
- System uses wheel speed sensors already fitted to the non-ABS ZX-10R (used for S-KTRC traction control system)
Three-spoke Cast Aluminum Wheels
- New gravity-cast alloy wheels feature a three-spoke design that’s lighter than previous hoops by 330 grams (0.73 pound) up front and nearly 500 grams (1.1 pounds) in back
- Lighter wheels reduce unsprung weight, which allows the suspension system to work more efficiently
- Fine-tuned rider accommodations feature a lower seat (by 17mm), adjustable footpegs moved slightly lower (by 5mm) and forward (by 2mm), and clip-ons with a bit less downward angle
- Lower seat makes it easier to reach the ground
- Newly shaped fuel tank offers an even better ergonomic fit with the rider’s forearms and inner thighs when riding
- Adjustable foot pegs can be lowered an additional 15mm when street riding or touring
Advanced Aerodynamic Bodywork
- A total body redesign results in a lighter, more compact and even sexier shape, with more curved – instead of “edged” – surfaces
- High-quality fit and finish, and superb attention to detail, are evident front to back
- Larger ducting aids engine heat dissipation
- Line-beam headlights enable the fairing to be shorter, which furthers the compact, aggressive styling
- LED three-bulb position lamp at the top of the new ram air duct offers enhanced visibility to drivers and pedestrians
- Fairing-mounted mirrors feature integrated, LED-type turn signals
- Turn signals are electrically connected via couplers, which allows easy mirror removal for track day riding
- Compact tail section includes an elegant, nine-bulb taillight
- Taillight and turn-signal stalks are mounted on a rear fender assembly that’s easily removable for track day riding
Advanced Electronic Instrumentation
- All-new instruments feature a high-visibility bar-graph LED tachometer positioned above a multi-window LCD info panel that offers riders a massive quantity of information
- The tachometer also functions as a shift indicator: LEDs flash when the pre-set rpm is reached, and riders can set shift rpm according to preference
- The multi-function LCD features two display modes: Standard and Race. Switching to Race Mode alters the Speed display by changing it to Gear Position, and by changing the Clock display to Speed
- Additional functions include odometer, dual trip meters, average fuel consumption, instant fuel consumption, Power Mode (x3), S-KTRC (x4), S-KTRC level indicator, low fuel indicator, Economical Riding indicator (shows most favorable fuel consumption), water temperature and a host of indicator lamps
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Bore x stroke: 76.0 x 55.0mm
Compression ratio: 13.0:1
Fuel system: DFI® with four 47mm Keihin throttle bodies with oval sub-throttles, two injectors per cylinder
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance and Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC)
Final drive: Chain
Rake / trail: 25.0 degrees / 4.33 in.
Front tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: 190/55 ZR17
Wheelbase: 56.1 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 43mm inverted Big Piston Fork (BPF) with DLC coating, adjustable rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability / 4.7 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Horizontal Back-link with gas-charged shock and top-out spring, stepless, dual-range (low-/high-speed) compression damping, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preload / 4.9 in.
Front brakes: Dual semi-floating 310mm petal discs with dual four-piston radial-mount calipers
Front brakes (ABS): Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Braking (KIBS), dual semi-floating 310mm petal discs with dual four-piston radial-mount calipers
Rear brakes: Single 220mm petal disc with aluminum single-piston caliper
Rear brakes (ABS): KIBS-controlled, single 220mm petal disc with aluminum single-piston caliper
Overall length: 81.7 in.
Overall width: 28.2 in.
Overall height: 43.9 in.
Seat height: 32.0 in.
Curb weight (non-ABS): 436.6 lbs
Curb weight: (ABS): TBD
Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.
Color choices: Lime Green / Ebony, Ebony / Flat Ebony
MSRP standard / special edition: $TBD / $TBD
Warranty: 12 Months
2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000
They’ve been a staple of the sporting motorcycle world for decades: sportbikes that blend top-shelf engine and handling performance with a high degree of comfort, practicality and devastating good looks. Kawasaki has built plenty over the years, from the original Ninja® 900R of the 1980s, to the ZX™-11 of the ’90s, and the ZZR®1200 of the ‘00s – standout performers that are also easy to live with, day in and day out.
For 2011, an all-new model slots into this legendary and ultra-capable category – Kawasaki’s new Ninja 1000. Like the original, which debuted to an amazing chorus of press and customer kudos back in 1986, the new Ninja 1000 offers an alluring blend of capability and technology, from the very latest racetrack components, to astounding engine and chassis performance, and to cutting-edge styling that’ll stop you in your tracks the instant you lay your eyes on one.
It all starts with a core motorcycle – frame, engine, suspension – that’s so good, so flexible and so downright capable it’s been wowing press and customers worldwide all year long: Kawasaki’s amazing Z1000 super-standard. Using the Z1000’s new-think engine and chassis package as a starting point, Kawasaki engineers added radical, knife-edged bodywork along with a host of cool features that push the Ninja 1000’s performance, capability and flexibility envelopes to amazing heights.
Ninja 1000 motivation comes by way of a highly advanced open-class powerplant – a 1,043cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 16-valve inline-four featuring a long-stroke design for instantaneous power, a slick-shifting six-speed gearbox, and no-fuss electronic fuel injection for the type of seamless throttle response – warm or cold – that makes short work of tricky traffic, higher-speed backroad situations and everything in between.
Power? There’s a ton of the stuff, but the real magic of this engine is its flexible, midrange-heavy thrust that accelerates you out of corners and away from stops in a satisfying manner that’s sure to keep you entertained – and your riding buddies impressed – for years to come. At seemingly every rpm, the Ninja 1000 engine produces the sort of smooth, instant-on thrust many hard-core sportbikes just can’t match.
Digital fuel injection helps, and the quartet of 38mm Keihin downdraft throttle bodies slam the perfect mix of fuel and air into the combustion chambers with help from an advanced ECU, oval sub-throttles and a cool air intake system that routes fresh air to the airbox via ducts at the front of the bike. A balance shaft driven off the crankshaft keeps the solidly mounted engine as smooth as possible, while a radically designed 4-into-2-into-2 catalyzer-equipped exhaust system offers a pleasing growl without being overly loud along with the cleanest possible emissions. It’s a perfect engine for a road-going sportbike – smooth, powerful, flexible and blessed with the sort of legendary reliability Kawasaki motorcycles are known for.
Like the superb-handling Z1000, the new Ninja 1000 features an advanced aluminum frame similar in design to that of the all-conquering Ninja ZX-10R sportbike. The lightweight cage curves over the engine, cradling it from above and bolting solidly to it in three places, with a rubber-backed fourth mount provided for added vibration isolation and torsional rigidity. This design allowed engineers to keep the waist of the bike very narrow for superb rider interface and high levels of comfort and control. The main frame and swingarm pivot pieces are cast as a single unit, with welds eliminated wherever possible for seamless aesthetics.
The wheels, brakes and suspension parts that control that frame/engine duo are thoroughly advanced. Up front is a stout 41mm inverted fork that’s fully adjustable for spring preload, rebound and compression damping – just what you need for dialing things in perfectly for your weight and riding style. In back is a horizontal back-link shock system featuring a damper mounted nearly horizontally above the swingarm for optimal mass centralization and excellent heat resistance. The gas/oil shock is adjustable for both spring preload and rebound damping, and tuned for effective performance everywhere from backroad sport riding to bopping along a pothole-infested city street. As a package, the Ninja 1000’s suspension is designed to provide the rider with clear communication of what’s happening at the contact patches, while still taking enough edge off the bumps to provide a comfortable ride on longer trips.
Strong, responsive stopping power is provided by the new Ninja’s racing-spec brakes. Dual 300mm petal-type rotors up front are squeezed by ultra-rigid radially mounted calipers pressurized by an equally race-spec radial pump master cylinder. In back is another high-tech disc setup. Braking power and feel at both ends are amazing, giving rookies and pros alike a feeling of confidence while aboard.
The wheels holding those brakes – lightweight six-spoke supersport-style hoops – are also the latest in production technology. They not only reduce unsprung weight, which allows the suspension to function optimally, but they carry the latest in radial tire technology. The result is excellent grip, precise handling and extended tire life.
But perhaps the most stunning aspect of the new Ninja 1000 is its racy, full-coverage bodywork. Designed with one eye focused directly on Kawasaki’s track-ready ZX-6R and ZX-10R, Kawasaki has blessed the new bike with a thoroughly radical look, one that’s fresh and riveting. But despite its edgy, rakish appearance, the bodywork cleaves enough of a hole in the atmosphere to offer a reasonably quiet cocoon for the rider. A manually adjustable, three-position windscreen helps here, allowing riders to pick just the right setting for their height and riding style. Integrated front turn signals, a ZX-6R-spec front fender, a stylish tail section, a wildly styled exhaust system and a full-featured instrument panel help complete the look. It’s one you won’t soon forget.
And despite its radical stance, the new Ninja 1000 retains comfortable ergonomics. The handlebars are mounted higher than on a supersport machine and the pegs a touch lower, all of which makes the Ninja 1000 a capable medium-haul tourer, and certainly a sportbike you could spend the day aboard without undue strain. To sweeten the day- or weekend-trekking deal even more, Kawasaki offers a line of optional touring-oriented accessories, including hard-case saddlebags, a top trunk, heated grips and more.
It’s rare to find such all-around functionality and performance in a sport motorcycle these days, with many bikes so specialized they’re almost one-trick ponies. But the 2011 Ninja 1000 is a different animal – one with wide-ranging talent in sport, sport-touring and commuting roles. And because it’s based on a motorcycle – the Z1000 – so all-around competent and happy in its own skin, you know the newest Ninja will be a hit. Chalk up another great do-it-all sportbike to the Kawasaki folks.
- 1,043cc inline-four with DFI® offers serious torque
- Lightweight aluminum frame is narrow and tuned to transmit optimal feedback to the rider
- Fully adjustable inverted front fork has settings designed for sporty performance and ride quality
- Placement of horizontal back-link rear suspension contributes to mass centralization
- Radial-mounted front brake calipers combine with the radial-pump front brake master cylinder to offer superb control and feel
- Sleek, supersport styling gives the Ninja® 1000 a distinctive look
- Relaxed, upright riding position contributes to all-day comfort
- Larger fuel capacity offers substantial range
- Windscreen is adjustable to three positions, allowing for optimum wind and weather protection
DOHC, 16-valve, 1,043cc Engine
- Liquid-cooled inline-four offers true open-class power from idle to redline, making it easy to harness for experts and novices alike
- Bore and stroke dimensions of 77.0 x 56.0mm offer an ideal balance of peak power and low- and mid-range flexibility
- 38mm Keihin throttle bodies cram the air/fuel mixture directly into combustion chambers via downdraft intakes for maximum power
- Oval sub-throttles help keep the engine slim, and a slim midsection allows an ideal bike/rider interface for maximum comfort and control
- Engine’s rev limiter comes into play “softly,” providing usable overrev character since power doesn’t drop off suddenly at high rpm
- The engine’s relatively low crankshaft position allows a moderately long stroke without adding engine height
- A secondary engine balancer, driven off a gear on the sixth web of the crankshaft, eliminates excess vibration and contributes to rider comfort
Cool Air System
- Intake system routes cool air to the airbox via ducts in the fairing, minimizing performance loss due to heated intake air
- Duct positioning – close to the rider – allows the intake howl to be heard and enjoyed
- Airbox resonator reduces noise at low rpm and enhances intake sound at higher revs
- The exhaust system features a 4-into-2-pre-chamber-into-2 layout. Silencer end-caps maintain the quad-style image
- Main and pre-catalyzers ensure cleaner emissions
- Thanks to the under-engine pre-chamber, silencer volume is reduced, and silencer weight is low. Exhaust system offers excellent mass centralization and contributes to a low center of gravity
Slim-type Fuel Pump
- Slim-type fuel pump features an integral fuel gauge
- Fuel tank design and slim-type fuel pump minimizes dead volume inside the tank; fuel capacity is 4.0 gallons
- Supersport-style full-fairing bodywork gives the Ninja 1000 a distinctive, head-turning look, and also offers plenty of wind and weather protection for short-tour ability
- The fairing’s slat-style leading edges direct wind around the bike, allowing the fairing to be narrower at the middle
- The fairing flares at the rear, keeping hot engine air from hitting the rider’s legs
- Original design front turn signals are integrated into the fairing and are attached to the inside of the fairing with rubber mounts that minimize damage if the bike falls over
- ZX-6R-spec front fender contributes to excellent aerodynamics and racy looks
- Slim and compact tail cowl moves mass physically and visually toward the front of the bike
- LED taillight features red LED bulbs and a red transparent lens
- Slim rear fender gives the bike a light-looking rear end
- Windscreen is manually adjustable for optimum wind/weather protection
- Windscreen has three available positions spanning approximately 20 degrees and ranging from sporty to maximum wind protection. Adjustment can be done by hand (no tools required) by depressing the release button below the instrument panel.
- Windscreen adjustment should always be done with the bike stopped
Aluminum Backbone Frame
- Aluminum backbone frame is similar in concept to the Ninja ZX-10R’s, and helps make the bike narrow and easy to grip with the knees for maximum rider comfort and feedback
- The frame is lightweight and highly rigid, and uses the engine as a stressed member for solid handling and optimum stability
- Frame elements are tuned to transmit optimal engine feedback to the rider
- The frame’s five-piece construction consists of steering stem, left and right main frames, and two cross pieces. The two main frame components have open C-shaped cross sections
- Welds were eliminated wherever possible for simplicity and appearance; the frame beams and swingarm brackets are single die-cast pieces
- The new frame uses four engine mounts, three of which are rigid, one of which (the upper rear crankcase mount) is rubber
- Rear subframe is a three-piece aluminum die-casting assembly that’s light, strong and optimizes mass centralization
- The sub-frame is an example of form and function combined, negating the need for side covers and allowing underseat narrowness for a shorter reach to the ground
Horizontal Back-Link Rear Suspension
- All-new rear suspension design positions the shock unit and linkage above the swingarm where it’s less exposed to exhaust heat and contributes to mass centralization
- Visible from the outside, the horizontal monoshock contributes to the Ninja 1000’s ultra-sporty appearance
- Linkage characteristics are the same as those of a standard Uni-Trak® system: Wheel movement versus shock stroke is the same ratio
- The shock features stepless rebound damping and spring preload adjustability for a custom-tuned ride
Fully Adjustable 41mm Fork
- The Ninja 1000’s inverted fork is adjustable for compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload – and is protected from harm by a cool-looking shroud
- Settings are designed for both sporty performance and ride quality
- Separate, raised handlebars contribute to the sporty, comfortable riding position; bar stays are mounted to the fork tube tops, which extend above the top clamp
- A thick urethane seat provides a high level of rider and passenger comfort
- Tapered-type grips, like those used on supersport models, offer a more direct feel
- Ninja ZX-10R-style footpegs with knurled surfaces offer good grip, direct feel and control, and no-nonsense looks
- The passenger footpeg brackets incorporate convenient luggage hooks
- 300mm front petal-type brake discs are gripped by opposed four-piston radial-mount calipers. (Caliper piston size is 4x30 mm)
- A radial-pump front brake master cylinder contributes to the superb control and feel offered by these high-end calipers
- The rear brake is a single piston, pin-slide caliper gripping a 250mm petal-type disc. The caliper is mounted below the swingarm, and located by a torque rod
Large-Volume Fuel Tank
- Five-gallon (19L) fuel tank offers substantial range
- Steel construction facilitates use of magnetic tank bag
- Tank shape (flared edges and a trim shape at the back) allows riders to easily grip tank with their knees
- Sporty instrument panel features a large analog tachometer and multi-function LCD screen. It’s a design based on the ZX-6R’s unit, but which features original graphics and coloring
- Functions include speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, odometer, clock, dual trip meters and warning lamps
- Hazard switch located on left bar pod
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Bore x stroke: 77.0 x 56.0mm
Compression ratio: 11.8:1
Fuel injection: DFI® with four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies, oval sub-throttles
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
Final drive: X-ring chain
Rake / trail: 24.5 degrees / 4.0 in.
Frame type: Aluminum Backbone
Front tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: 190/50 ZR17
Wheelbase: 56.9 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 41 mm inverted cartridge fork with stepless compression and rebound damping, adjustable spring preload / 4.7 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Horizontal monoshock with stepless rebound damping, adjustable spring preload / 5.4 in.
Front brakes: Dual 300mm petal-type rotors with radial-mount four-piston calipers
Rear brake: Single 250mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper
Overall length: 82.9 in.
Overall width: 31.1 in.
Overall height: 48.4 in.
Seat height: 32.3 in.
Curb weight: 502.7 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal.
Color choices: Ebony, Candy Fire Red / Ebony
Warranty: 12 Months
2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
The dictionary defines vaquero as a Spanish-origin word meaning “cowboy” or “herdsman.” Well, if that cowboy happened to be independent, adventurous, undeniably-cool and sported handmade boots and a custom hat, he’d probably ride a 2011 Kawasaki Vulcan® 1700 Vaquero™.
Baggers are arguably the coolest cruisers these days, and it’s not a stretch to see why. The really good ones are low, long, ultra stylish and, with their chopped fairings and hard-case side bags, plenty functional.
The new Vaquero bagger is all that – and much more. Kawasaki engineers and designers didn’t just throw custom paint and a blacked-out motif on a Vulcan 1700 and call it done. They digested valuable owner and market research, and scrutinized every system – engine, chassis, features, bodywork and appearance – to ensure that the bike being developed squared nicely with what cruiser buyers wanted.
Custom, blacked-out details are your first clue to the new Vaquero’s mission, and there’s plenty to see. It all starts with the beautiful Ebony or Candy Fire Red paint on the abbreviated fairing, sculpted tank and curvaceous bodywork that looks as if it could be a half-inch deep. Luxurious chrome accents (engine guards, exhaust, mirrors, etc.) provide a beautiful counterpoint to the glossy paintwork, but it’s perhaps the multi-textured blacked-out engine and chassis treatment that best highlights the Vaquero’s radical aesthetic look. The engine, air-cleaner cover, wheels, fork assembly and tank cover all get the blackout treatment, which gives the bike a true custom look that’s beautiful and menacing at once. It’s definitely not a motorcycle you’ll easily forget.
Beneath all that beautiful bodywork, paint and chrome is a superbly engineered motorcycle, one that blends power, handling, durability and confidence-inspiring character in a massively functional package. It all starts with the Vaquero’s 1700cc liquid-cooled V-twin, which powers all four Vulcan 1700 models for 2011 – Voyager®, Classic, Nomad™ and Vaquero. A thoroughly proven design, this 52-degree Vee boasts the very latest in engine technology yet looks like a throwback to the past, a time when the V-twin was the engine to have powering your motorcycle. Features include an overhead cam design, high compression and a long-stroke dimensional design that results in the sort of effortless low- and mid-range thrust that’s so desirable and useful in a big-inch cruiser.
Vaquero’s throttle valve system works with the advanced electronic fuel injection to optimize engine response without detracting from its distinctive V-twin throb. The system utilizes an Accelerator Position Sensor (APS) and a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) that feed data to the ECU, which adjusts the throttle plates to tailor intake airflow accordingly. The system offers a natural throttle feel, because the APS is activated by a throttle body pulley connected by cables to the throttle grip. Besides the obvious FI advantages such as improved fuel economy and automatic adjustment for altitude changes, the system also permits easy hands-off warm-up and idle speed control. Vaquero also features a water-cooled alternator that produces a staggering 46.8 amps of electrical output – plenty to power a selection of electronic accessories to enrich motorcycle travel.
The result of all this new-think engine tech is a massive quantity of usable torque spread out over a shockingly wide rpm range. With 108 foot-pounds of torque, a mere twist of the Vaquero’s throttle delivers arm-stretching acceleration for freeway passing or spirited riding, and the smooth wave of low-rpm grunt is always ready to please when you’re just boppin’ down the boulevard, checking out the scene and chillin’.
Speaking of just cruisin’ along; the Vaquero offers true touring-bike convenience in the form of its electronic cruise control system, conveniently operated from the right handlebar and usable at any speed between 30 and 85 mph in any of the top four gears. The cruise system can be disengaged in any of the following ways: usage of the brake lever, clutch lever, rear brake pedal, or manually turning the throttle grip past the “closed” position.
Additional touring acumen shines through the engine’s six-speed transmission with overdriven 5th and 6th gears, which contributes to a relaxed ride and excellent fuel economy at highway speeds. Power is routed to the rear wheel via a narrow carbon fiber-reinforced drive belt that has a 40 percent higher tensile strength than current Kevlar belts. And that chopped, custom-look fairing? Although lower than a traditional windshield or full fairing, it still cuts a decent-sized hole in oncoming atmosphere, giving the rider a useful still-air cocoon in which to enjoy the ride.
Lockable side-loading hard bags set the Vaquero apart from its Vulcan 1700 brethren. They’re beautifully integrated and spacious, and styled to highlight the bike’s long, low look. A scooped saddle offers a comfortable rider perch, while a minimalist passenger pad sits atop a wildly shaped rear fender that integrates equally stylish taillight and turn signal assemblies.
The frame holding all this hardware together is a single backbone, double cradle unit designed to be a slim and light as possible for an easy reach to the ground and optimal handling. Bolted to the steering head is a mammoth fork assembly offering 5.5 inches of wheel travel and a thoroughly compliant ride. Suspension in back consists of twin air-assisted shocks with spring preload and rebound damping adjustability working through a beefy steel swingarm. Nine-spoke cast aluminum flat-black wheels hold fat, 130/90 front and 170/70 radial tires that offer light handling characteristics, superb traction and long life. Braking hardware consists of dual 300mm front discs with twin-piston calipers and a 300mm rear disc with a two-piston caliper.
It all adds up to a truly top-of-the-line bagger that encompasses a perfect combination of traits: It’s functional in a wide range of environments, from inner-city cruisin’ to running down the open road. It’s got highly advanced technology. And it’s knee-shakingly beautiful, a bike that’ll put goosebumps on your arms and neck every time you open the garage door to take a peek. We’re sure any hombre would appreciate this one. Custom hat and all…
New for 2011
- The Vulcan® 1700 Vaquero is an all-new motorcycle for 2011
- Liquid-cooled 1,700cc V-twin puts out loads of torque
- Six-speed transmission allows for relaxed cruising
- Electronic throttle actuation system ensures optimized injector timing and throttle valve position, resulting in an accurate, powerful engine response
- Electronic cruise control maintains speed for more comfort on long trips
- Frame-mounted front fairing directs aerodynamic forces to the chassis to keep steering feel light
- Unique “muscle car” styled instrumentation keeps the rider fully informed
- Audio system has FM, AM and WX and is compatible with iPod, XM tuner, or CB radio
- Aggressive and muscular cruiser styling from end to end
- Twin tapered mufflers maximize saddlebag capacity
- Low seat height with sporty one-piece seat contributes to long, low classic cruiser look
- Aggressive black-out look and strong colors emphasize the simple character of the body shapes
Powerful 1,700cc V-twin engine
- Liquid-cooled, four valves per cylinder, fuel-injected 1,700cc 52-degree V-twin engine
- Long-stroke 102 x 104mm bore and stroke dimensions deliver high torque levels with a distinct V-twin feel
- Valve-actuation system is based on the Vulcan 2000’s, but uses a single overhead cam arrangement instead of pushrods for quicker revving and enhanced mid-high rpm power
- Semi-dry sump design allows lower crankshaft positioning and a longer piston stroke without increasing engine height
- Single-pin crankshaft accentuates the engine’s V-twin character by providing strong power pulses
- Large-capacity airbox is located on both sides of the engine
- Small-diameter iridium sparkplugs reach deep into the combustion chamber for high combustion efficiency, especially during low-load operation
- Dual, newly tapered mufflers, one on each side of the bike, allow maximum clearance for saddlebags and look good
- Engine tuning, combined with long-stroke design, offers superior acceleration in the 50-70 mph range
- Even in overdrive (5th and 6th gear) the engine pulls strongly, which makes highway passing easier
Next-generation Fuel Injection
- Based on the systems used by the Ninja® 650R and Vulcan 900 motorcycles
- Utilizes one sensor in place of the usual three for reduced complexity and weight
Electronic Throttle Valve System
- Fully electronic throttle actuation system enables the ECU to control the volume of intake air (via throttle valve angle) and fuel (via fuel injector timing) delivered to the engine
- Optimized injector timing and throttle valve position results in accurate, powerful engine response
- Control of both injection and airflow provides easy starting and precise cold-engine idle speed control
- From the rider’s perspective, the ETV system works like a standard cable-operated throttle; the throttle grip remains connected to cables, so the feel at the grip is the same
- Twisting the throttle turns a pulley on the throttle body, which triggers the Accelerator Position Sensor (APS) to send a signal to the ECU, which then modulates the throttle valves via a DC motor
- Accurate throttle position is relayed to the ECU by a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)
- APS and TPS send two sets of signals to the ECU for system redundancy in the unlikely event of a sensor failure
Electronic Cruise Control System
- System maintains a desired speed even on uphill climbs
- Cruise control can be engaged and adjusted entirely from the right handlebar
- Cruise system can be activated in 3rd gear or above at any speed between 30 mph and 85 mph
- Pressure on the brake lever, clutch lever or rear brake pedal automatically disengages the cruise control, as does manually rolling off the throttle
On Board Diagnostics
- Diagnostic system allows self testing of the electronic systems on the Vulcan 1700
- System displays codes on the instrumentation, which can be read by owner
Six-speed Transmission / Final Drive
- Durable and easy-shifting six-speed transmission with positive neutral finder
- 5th and 6th are overdrive gears for excellent fuel economy when cruising at highway speeds
- Carbon fiber-reinforced final drive belt offers a 40 percent increase in tensile strength compared to current Kevlar belts
- Belt drive system is quiet, efficient and offers reduced maintenance compared to a chain
Light Handling Chassis
- The strong steel frame allows a relatively short wheelbase for optimal ergonomics and easy maneuverability
- Lightweight and slim, the Vaquero frame minimizes the number of forged parts and trims any unnecessary metal. The only forged parts are areas that require additional strength: the down-tube joint, engine brackets, side-stand bracket and rear fender/shock absorber bracket
- This compact design contributes to light handling and facilitates low-speed handling, especially maneuvers such as parking or U-turns
43mm Telescopic Fork
- Provides superb steering feedback
- 5.5 inches of travel for excellent ride quality
- Optimized damping and spring settings for a plush but controlled ride
Dual Air-adjustable Rear Shocks
- Air-adjustable shocks can be tuned to match varying rider and passenger loads
- 4-way rebound damping adjustability helps the shocks compensate for changes in spring pressure
9-Spoke Cast Aluminum Wheels
- Light and strong wheels allow the use of tubeless tires, while flat black paint nicely complements the Vaquero’s styling treatment
- Fat and long-wearing 130/90 front and 170/70 rear tires
- Tire choice and suspension settings augment the chassis’ light handling characteristics
Styling and Bodywork
- Basic engine architecture supports the Vaquero’s factory-custom look, while its blacked-out color with machined and bare-aluminum accents sets off the bike’s color scheme
- Gloss and matte finishes on the engine highlight aesthetics even further
- Hand-formed body-part shapes create a highly customized appearance
- Many of the parts are original designs, which adds to the factory-custom look and feel of the Vaquero. These include the engine shrouds, rear fender, one-piece side covers, saddlebags, fairing, seat and mufflers
- Cut-down fairing looks like a true custom piece, right down to the abbreviated smoked windscreen and chrome headlight cover
- Louvre-style fog lamp covers can be replaced with accessory lamps
- Sculpted strut covers seamlessly fill the space between the rear fender and saddlebags
- Newly designed mufflers are tapered at their ends for a thoroughly retro look
- Sculpted, custom-look seat looks good and cradles the rider for maximum comfort
- LED taillight is attractive and highly conspicuous when lit for added safety
- Large, wide fairing with abbreviated windscreen and integrated lowers provides substantial wind and weather protection for riders
- With the fairing mounted to the frame, any wind buffeting is transferred to the bike rather than the handlebar, helping to enhance highway stability and reduce rider fatigue
- The Vaquero features hard, lockable and sealed top-opening side cases that provide nearly 10 gallons of storage space each for overnight touring
- Their flowing, rounded shape is an attractive alternative to the square, boxy luggage found on other bagger models
- Up front, lockable glove boxes provide a handy place for storing smaller items
- Dual under-seat helmet holders
Classic Custom Dashboard / Advanced Audio
- Instrument layout and large round dials give the Vaquero’s console a custom look with a retro flavor
- The radio/stereo unit features a classically custom look from the 1960s
- Multi-function LCD display in the center of the instrument console is controlled by switches on the right handlebar. Features include a gear position indicator, fuel gauge, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, remaining range and average fuel consumption
- Analog displays include speedometer, tachometer and coolant temperature gauge
- Audio system with twin speakers features radio (FM/AM/WX) and compatibility with optional iPod®, XM tuner or CB radio units
- The audio system (and your iPod, which plugs easily into the left fairing pocket) can be operated by switches on the left handlebar
- Ignition switch allows key removal in the on position, which prevents keys from damaging the black finish tank cover during operation
- Turning the ignition switch collar to the ACC position allows accessories to be used while the engine is off; turning it to the “OFF” position turns the engine off and necessitates re-insertion of the key to restart
- Sculpted seat blends a stylish shape with ideal foam density for all-day comfort
- Scooped shape allows an easy reach to the ground
- Upright riding position and rubber-topped floorboards contribute to substantial riding comfort
- Dual adjustable rear air-shocks use settings optimized for a compliant ride and higher-load carrying when needed
- 5.3-gallon fuel tank offers a substantial range, helping to minimize fuel stops when out on the open road
- Kawasaki offers a large number of optional accessories, including grip heaters, dual gel saddle, solo seat, heated solo seat, rider backrest, quick-release backrest, passenger floorboard kit, saddlebag liners, luggage rack, quick-release solo luggage rack, rear engine guards, auxiliary riding lights, DC power sockets, headset kit, GPS mount, billet handlebar clamp, engine cover, saddlebag top and side rails, front fender trim and more. See your Kawasaki dealer for more information
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valve per cylinder, 52˚ V-twin
Displacement: 1,700cc / 103.7 cu. in.
Bore x stroke: 102 x 104mm
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Maximum torque: 108 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
Cooling: Liquid, plus cooling fins
Induction: Digital fuel injection, dual 42mm throttle bodies
Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance
Transmission: Six-speed with overdrive and positive neutral finder
Final drive: Belt
Frame: Steel, double-cradle with box-section single-tube backbone
Rake / trail: 30 degrees / 7.0 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 43mm hydraulic fork / 5.5 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks, with 4-way rebound damping / 3.1 in.
Front tire: 130/90x16
Rear tire: 170/70x16
Front brakes: Dual 300mm discs, dual twin-piston calipers
Rear brakes: Single 300mm disc, twin-piston caliper
Overall length: 98.8 in.
Overall width: 38.2 in.
Overall height: 50.8 in.
Ground clearance: 5.7 in.
Seat height: 28.7 in.
Wheelbase: 65.6 in.
Curb weight:** 835.7 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 5.3 gal.
Colors: Ebony, Candy Fire Red
MSRP standard / two-tone: $16,499
Warranty: 24 Months