The Kawasaki Vulcan S - Breaking Boundaries Build-Off


Categories: Contests, Design, Event

Held deep in San Pedro, California the Kawasaki Breaking Boundaries Build-Off sought to find the creative potential of the company's Vulcan S cruiser in the design-happy hands of four separate outlets/shops: RideApart, Austin Speed Shop, Iron and Air Magazine, and Tracker-Die.

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.


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.

Which bike is YOUR favorite?


READ MORE: The Kawasaki Vulcan S Motorcycle Build | RideApart

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