If you don’t know much about the Kawasaki Vulcan S, it's a cruiser built around the company’s popular 649cc engine available in their Ninja and Versys, but specially tuned to provide better low-end and mid-range torque profiles.
READ MORE: Kawasaki Vulcan S Specs | RideApart
The Build-Off's Beginnings
Emcee for the evening and PR Manager + Brand Experience for Kawasaki Motor Corp. USA, Kevin Allen, explained that the Breaking Boundaries Build-Off was first conceived in the Kawasaki marketing department as a fun experiment for the Vulcan S.
The Vulcan S is a fairly affordable cruiser that comes in just under $8,000 and has the potential to serve as a promising platform for customization. What better way to see what could be done with the Vulcan S than to give it to a few folks eager to cut some metal and twist a wrench?
Intrigue Under the Sheets
Under each individual veil, each Vulcan S possessed very different profiles very different from the stock version.
The Builds, Unveiled
The Austin Speed Shop Kawasaki Vulcan S Custom
- Two Brothers Competition 2-1 Exhaust
- ProTaper high rise ATV bars for a tracker look
- Battery - Shorai Ultra Light Lithium
- Upholstery - Mario’s on South 1st Diamond Stitch Design
- Tail Lights - Vintage Dash Light with LED internals
- Grips - Motorcross Style grips
- Tail Section - 1” O.D. Tubing shaped includes custom oval seat section with wiring routed through tubing.
- Rear Sets - Relocated 10” rearward
- Headlight - Hella LED 6”, 18 watt 1080 lumen bulb
- Electrical - Wires minimized to clean up appearance. All connections soldered and heat shrinked for a cleaner look.
- Battery box custom fabricated
RideApart Kawasaki Vulcan S Flat Tracker
- Anaheim rod and custom paint
- Wheels - Retro KZ1000 cast, and anodized
- Front Suspension - Ninja
- Swingarm - Ninja 650
- Pegs - Biltwell
- Handlebars - Biltwell
- Tires - Metezler Lasertech
- Battery relocation
- Custom seat designed by RideApart and built by Al's Upholstery
- Mid-control mounts by RideApart
- Custom Exhaust
Track-er Die Kawasaki Vulcan S Dirt Tracker
- Full custom paint job by paint by Bondo.
- Tires -Pirelli MT60rS
- Custom fabricated gauge mount.
- Custom headlight fabrication set up
- Machined solid riser bushings
- 6” Gordo risers by Biltwel
- Contour handlebars by Pro Taper
- Levers and perch by ASV
- Hand guards by Acerbis
- Full exhaust system by two brothers racing
- Suspension by Progressive
- Reshaped and covered seat by The Seat Guy
- Internal wiring through handlebars to clean up the look
Iron and Air Vulcan SS
- Drag style handlebars
- Foot controls- moved rearward, return revised for more aggressive seating position
- Café tail - fender and struts swapped out, but retains the stock taillight return modified shock mounts increase the ride height.
- Custom-made tank - to raise the visual line of the bike and give it a more “Kawasaki” look.
- Two-tone gloss and flat black paint scheme with Kawasaki green pinstripe.
AND THE WINNER IS....
Based on votes tallied on-site. The winner of the Breaking Boundaries Build-Off is....The RideApart Vulcan S Flat Tracker!
READ MORE: The Kawasaki Vulcan S Riding Impressions - From a Small-Fry Beginner Rider | RideApart
Congrats to our Senior Editor Jesse Kiser for putting together a winning build!
Because I was going to write a brief article, I abstained from voting. However, if pressed, deciding which of these bikes was my favorite turned out to be difficult. In the end, if I had to live with one in my own garage, I would run the Vulcan SS by the Iron and Air boys because it fit me. I’m a bit of a sucker for comfort and a little cafe styling. I do really love the scrambler pipe and that high seat on Jesse's build, and the weirdness of the Austin Speed Shop and Track-er Die bikes. Great builds all around.