MSRP: $5,499 Monthly Payment*: $92
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After 3 months my new 500 LTD got harder to start. By 8 months it just wouldn't start sometimes, and I tried all positions of giving more gas, choke, etc. Then I let it run out of gas once, it shut down, I put the reserve on, it cranked up, and a mile later just quit running. I let it sit for two minutes and it started up. Afterwards it was harder and harder to start, even when warm. Then it died again on the highway. I let it sit for a couple of minutes, and it cranked up. I took it to the shop, and they said it was the battery. Right.
I bought this bike brand new because my old bike was 25 years old and nothing but problems. However 1 month after I started riding it the lock on the gas tank stopped working. The dealer tried to convince me I was doing something wrong. But when I presented them with the bike they could not open the lock. And I found that was needed for driving. That was in May 2010 I am still awaiting a part from Kawasaki to finish fixing that problem.
Then about 2500 km in the bike stopped working at about 90km/hr on a highway, it slowed to 0 and then died on the highway, and lost all electrical. No lights, no power no go. The dealership had it for 3 weeks and never found a problem. After having it back for 10 days, it died again this time while I was in between two very large trucks and in front of a bus. The dealership has now had it for 4 weeks, and can't find anything wrong. According to Kawasaki it is the gas cap. I am not sure how a gas cap explains the loss of electrical. I agree with the reviews I've read, it is a little powerful bike and a smooth ride. My bike is a lemon and I'm lucky so far to have not been killed on the faulty piece of crap. Last I saw it it had 3000km on it, it has spent 2.5 months in the shop. Which means I've ridden it for 3.5 months. Definitely would NOT recommend. I want my money back!
I have a 2008 which I bought as the gas prices went up to save some money. I have almost paid for the bike with my fuel savings. I get 45 MPG city and 55 - 65 MPG highway. It is a great bike!!! I routinely keep up with the Gold wings and other big bikes on weekend group trips, unless the wife doubles up with me then I have to do some aggressive accelerations, but I make a lot less fuel stops than the big bikes do. Although everything is felt after about 90 miles, but thats typical of any bike. The Vulcan 500 LTD has great pick-up off the line and as a commuter it is as fun as any sport bike but twice comfortable. I hope Kawasaki turns the 500 LTD into a 650 - 800 LTD like the Ninja did so they can corner the middle weight class market. Enough with the big bikes already they are not selling for a reason (we are all broke). There are several hundred of used Harley's and other big bikes listed for sale in my area but of the 2000 or so Vulcan 500 LTD in the area that have been sold over the past few years there are only TWO Vulcan 500 LTD for sale. They are keepers!!!
My second ride (after not having ridden in 10 years) got me a batter cable disconnected. Luckily I was alone on the road so the sudden decelleration didn't get me whammed from the rear.
At month 3 or 4 the rubber band holding the battery down caught fire when when starting. I blew a big puff of white smoke but quit when I turned the engine off. It hasn't happened again.
At 2,500 miles I started having trouble shifting - bad trouble. Would stay in neutral from first to second, then wouldn't go into third from second. I took it to the shop and they said nothing was wrong. They finally fixed it but it's not like new. I can't shift fast now - it will not shift if I do.
I still don't know how to get the air filter out. The manual doesn't seem to tell me how to do it correctly.
i bought this bike for $4,999 out the door.after my trade in, it was only $4,000. this bike is great. well designed, well made, and extremely reliable, from what i can gather. but most bikes nowadays are. this is my tenth bike, and i love it. me and my wife go everywhere on it.as everyone says, it can haul butt when you want it to. but it can be docile also. buy one, you wont regret it.
Dual carb, liquid cooled, double overhead cam, 4 valves per cylinder, 10.2/1 compression ratio. Is it any wonder that my bike keeps up with all the 650's and 750's out there? Plus a comfortable seat and 4 gallon tank. To top it all off I get 55 miles per gallon! This has to be the most cruiser for the money in this size range.
I just love this Bike,I am getting a bit old now, But this bike takes me back to the 70's when bikes had carbs, chain drive, and had a chopper look to them, I had a harley with a belt drive and after the second one broke,I said no more belts, at least a chain you can fix on a trip by yourself, and its not a all day job and 600.00 later..
The power on this bike is great for 500cc. it will run with the big boys, and some it will just outrun..have fun
It's still a good buy. I do think the added $500 is a slap in the face, just like on the Ninja 250. They realized how popular the bike is and just wanted to take advantage. Not good business sense to me. But...
The Vulcan 500 IS, without a doubt, a very, very nice bike. You still get a lot of bang for the buck, especially considering Kawasaki's unbeatable low monthly payments (mine is $59 a month with their special financing). The low payment option is how they can increase the price... it lures you in.
Anyway, on to the bike: First off, the style is absolutely awesome! It looks terrific... and actually looks like it's bigger than a 500. Looks better than the Honda Shadow and comparable Yamahas (which are crazy expensive). The fit and finish is flawless! The paint is perfect, the welds are supurb. The bike is just really, really well put together. The weight is just perfect, just enough to handle well on the highway but not too heavy as to intimidate new riders like me. It handles like a dream, even at 70 and 80. The ride is very comfortable, though I would change the seat if long rides are your thing. The oem seat is actually pretty good, much better than Hondas crappy terribly uncomfortable Shadow seat. The riding position is real comfortable and the foot pegs fit me well (though I am on the short side). The low seat hight is a blessing.
Most experienced bikers or enthusiasts know that the 500 engine is a well proven engine and is virtually bulletproof. It's basically the same engine thats on the Ninja 500. If taken care of, the thing will go forever without a hitch. Gas mileage is around 55mpg, which I'm not complaining about.
The sound with the factory pipes is actually really good. More hardcore would wanna change them, but for me, it sounds real nice. The engine itself provides plenty of power. The throttle responds very well and smooth and is easy to prevent new riders from getting into trouble. But, lemme tell you: when you're cruisin on the highway and decide to get into it, the 500 will deliver... and then some. A lot of people think a 500 is nothing, but let me tell you, this thing will get down and haul a** when you want it to. The low end and midrange power is phenomenal! Believe it or not, it will hang with most 600 and 750. So don't worry about power cause believe me, it's there.
I just cant say enough good things about the bike. Although it is my first, I have been riding for awhile and have ridden Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda and Harley. And with the exception of the Harley (which was a 883 sportster), the Vulcan 500 is by FAR the best overall. To me, Kawasaki cruisers just have this awesome feel to them, something I cant put my finger on, but its something that the others guys dont have. Suprisingly, the feel is really pretty close to a small Harley.
I promise, if you grab this bike, even with the price increase, you will not regret it. On a scale of 1-10, I'd give it a 20!
TO BEGIN WITH, THIS REVIEW IS NOT AIMED AT ANY DEALER! RATHER AT "KAWASAKI" ITSELF! A FRIEND OF MINE OWN'S ONE AND I HAVE RIDDEN IT FROM TIME TO TIME. AT THIS POINT IT REALLY IS IN A CLASS BY ITSELF SINCE I DON'T KNOW OF ANY OTHER 500CC CRUISER'S NOW BEING MADE! I HAVE ALREADY WRITTEN TO "KAWASAKI" TWICE REGARDING THE 500.00 PRICE INCREASE FOR 09' "MYSELF" AND MANY OTHER'S HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR "THIS" AND OTHER "SMALLER" KAWASAKI MODELS SINCE MAY OF 08'.. I THOUGHT IT LESS THAN PRUDENT OF "KAWASAKI" TO SLAP POTENTIAL SMALL BIKE BUYER'S LIKE US IN THE FACE WITH THIS INCREASE SINCE IT WASN'T OUR FAULT THAT "THEY" (KAWASAKI) RAN OUT OF THESE MODEL'S I SUGGESTED TO "THEM" THAT "KAWASAKI" SHOULD AT LEAST HAVE KEPT THE 08' PRICE IN PLACE FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 09' GIVING "SERIOUS" BUYER'S A "FAIR" CHANCE TO PURCHASE ONE! AFTER THAT, YOU'D BE ON YOUR OWN. "NATURALLY" I NEVER GOT ANY REPLY! IT'S (VULCAN 500 LTD) A "GOOD" BUY AT THE O8'PRICE, BUT WITH THE $500.00 INCREASE, ONE START'S TO CONSIDER GOING "LARGER" I AM A VETERAN BIKER LOOKING TO GO "SMALLER" THESE DAY'S. I HAVE OWNED A FEW KAWASAKI'S IN MY TIME. THEY'RE GREAT BIKE'S TO SAY THE LEAST, BUT I THINK THAT "KAWASAKI" SHOULD SHOW MORE CONSIDERATION TO IT'S PROSPECTIVE "SMALLER" BIKE CUSTOMER'S!! WE "SERIOUS" BIKER'S WERE THE ONE'S WHO PUT "KAWASAKI" ON THE MAP AS A MOTORCYCLE MANUFACTURER..IF GASOLINE PRICE'S GO WAY DOWN TOMORROW, WE'LL BE THE ONE'S STILL "RIDING" AND "BUYING" THEM!! I UNDERSTAND THAT 09'WILL BE THE LAST YEAR FOR THIS MODEL.I PERSONALLY THINK THIS IS A "TRAGIC" MISTAKE ON "KAWASAKI'S PART!! THERE WILL NO LONGER BE A "MIDDLE GROUND" FOR BIKER'S LOOKING FOR SOMETHING IN THIS SIZE RANGE! AS A CONSEQUENCE, MANY WOULD BE BUYER'S WILL SIMPLY SHY AWAY FROM BIKING. "LARGER" BIKE'S BEING TOO "INTIMIDATING" OR "EXPENSIVE" SMALLER ONE'S TOO "UNDERPOWERED" OR "TOYISH" MOST MAJOR MANUFACTURING MISTAKE'S ARE MADE AT THE "CORPORATE" LEVEL! UNFORTUNATELY, THESE COMPANY "BIGSHOT'S" ARE NOT IN TOUCH WITH CONSUMER'S NEED'S, AND ARE TRYING TO MAKE A NAME FOR THEMSELVE'S WITH "NEW" IDEA'S THAT SIMPLY DON'T REFLECT ON REAL WORLD SITUATION'S!!!!!
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