July 26, 2020 - Kawasaki vs. the Obvious
Updated: Jul 29
The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 is a great bike. It comes in three styles, it's reliable as a Swiss watch, and it's been virtually unchanged since 2006. It's hard to argue this bike hasn't been a tremendous success for the green team.
Or is it?
I've was always taught it's more about doing your best than how you finish. In other words, try to live up to your full potential, and never settle for just "good enough."
The VN900 has been good enough all these years to be a damned good bike. One of the best, most affordable, small to mid-range cruisers on the market.
So Kawasaki, I must ask: "Why not put your best foot just a little more forward, listen to your inner common sense, and produce the best bike in class?"
"Well?" (Insert crickets chirping here).
Harley's sales are struggling, Yamaha has killed its entire cruiser line, Triumph withdrew from the market, Honda has no similar offering, and Suzuki's never been known as a "biker's bike."
Even your own Vulcan line suffers from a huge gap in product offering. You play well at 650cc, and you do the same at 1700. But in between? Nothing but the fifteen year-old Vulcan 900, leaving a gap of of nearly 800 cc. It's almost like Subway offering 3" and 18" sandwiches with nothing in between.
Now don't get me wrong, the 900 still looks the part of the quintessential bad-to-the-bone mid-range cruiser. It just doesn't play the part well. In fact no bike made today does.
So boys, grab a pen and take some notes...
It's simple. Real simple. Only five simple things stand in the way of the Vulcan "900" simply being the best mid-range cruiser in history. Address these issues and be prepared to catch gold falling from the sky.
A sixth gear. Duh.
300-400cc more displacement OR a DOHC with 4 valves per cylinder. Because it would be nice to hit the interstate once in a blue moon.
ABS brakes. Because all the cool kids are doing it and it's just a good idea.
A digital tach. For those who whine about not having one.
LED lights. Double duh.
Do the above with the same frame and power plant, and you'll sell the little beasts faster than they can roll off your Thai assembly line. You'll destroy the the mid-range cruiser market. You'll achieve Vulcan nirvana.
And I'll have a huge smile on my face, and one in my garage. A Vulcan "900" that is.