2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic (SE) | Preview

2012 Kawasaki Motorcycle

For Kawasaki, it doesn’t get more classic than the 2012 Vulcan 900 Classic. The motorcycle features retro, muscle-car styling, spoke wheels and super-low, 26.8-inch seat height.

And there’s also the new 2012 SE edition, which takes this already classic styling and tweaks it with a bold attitude. The Vulcan 900 Classic SE features blacked-out styling on the forks, fender struts, air cover, engine covers and cases and cylinders and valve covers.

The SE arrives with a unique, Pearl Meteor Gray / Polar White paint job that is enhanced by a checkered flag pinstripe. The Vulcan 900 SE’s retro look is completed with chrome pipes and whitewall tires.

The grunt of the 900 Classic (SE) arrives from the liquid-cooled, 903cc V-Twin engine. The motor was tuned for ultimate streetability, offering over 50 ft. lbs. of torque. Unlike other vibrating V-Twins, though, the Vulcan 900 Classic arrives with a counterbalancer that “works with the single-pin crankshaft to produce that distinctive guttural V-twin sound and feel, but without the annoying V-twin vibration.”

The chassis was tuned with a fork offset and rake designed for effortless agility in around-town situations. Adding to the comfort of the chassis are comfortable ergonomics due to the wide handlebars, low seat and floorboards. And with a light weight of just over 600 lbs, stopping power is easily obtained with a 300mm hydraulic disc up front, and a 270mm hydraulic disc out back.

The 2012 Vulcan 900 Classic (SE) is further enhanced with a 5.3-gallon fuel tank – the largest in its class, heel and toe shifter, and tank-mounted, easy-to-read instrumentation with fuel gauge.

From its styling to its powerplant, the 2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic (SE) is a no-nonsense classic cruiser. And with a MSRP of under $8,500, the Vulcan 900 Classic is kind to the rider’s pocketbook in tough economic times.

Following are the highlights, specs, color options and MSRP for the 2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic (SE).

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic (SE) Highlights:


  • Tuned to deliver a healthy dose of torque at low rpm
  • Smooth and reliable
  • Gear-driven balancer allows use of single pin crankshaft without excessive vibration

Four-Valve Cylinder Head

  • Provides maximum valve area for optimum flow, resulting in more power and more low-end torque
  • Single overhead cam design is simple, lightweight and practical
  • Extremely efficient intake tracts feature ports that narrow near the combustion chamber to increase intake flow speed for more efficient filling and increased torque
  • Long intake tracts for great low-end response

Liquid and Air Cooling

  • Exceptional thermal control with finned cylinders and cylinder head, combined with liquid cooling
  • Maintains consistent engine temperatures for long engine life and sustained power
  • Automatic fan keeps things cool even in traffic
  • Includes temperature warning light


  • Big slash-cut mufflers look great and contain honeycomb catalyzers to reduce emissions

Positive Neutral Finder

  • Just lift the shift pedal from first gear at a stop to easily find neutral, every time

Fuel Injection

  • Dual throttle bodies with sub-throttles provide optimum performance and rideability
  • The sub-throttles, located behind the main throttle valve, are controlled by the ECU so that the DFI system retains more precise throttle response, similar to a constant velocity carburetor
  • Fine-atomizing injectors produce a fine fuel mist for better acceleration, combustion and fuel consumption

Kevlar-reinforced Belt Drive

  • Lower unsprung weight than shaft drive to improve ride quality and suspension action
  • More efficient so more power reaches the rear wheel compared to shaft drive
  • Cleaner and lower maintenance than chain drive


  • Very rigid large-diameter box section backbone allows a larger fuel tank, and helps contribute to high stability and lightweight handling at low speeds
  • Triangular swingarm looks like a hardtail design, but acts on a single shock hidden beneath the seat
  • Long and low for minimal seat height and maximum visual impact
  • Fork offset and frame geometry combine for light, low-effort handling at ultra-low speeds
  • Long wheelbase contributes to highway stability
  • Ultra-low 26.8-inch seat height allows riders to easily plant both feet on the ground at stops
  • Laid-back riding comfort for two

Instrumentation on Tank

  • Gives you the information you need at a glance
  • Compact design complements the bike’s clean look
  • 5.3-gallon fuel tank is largest in its class

41mm Front Fork

  • Excellent rigidity and 5.9-inches of travel – the most in its class
  • 32-degree rake angle for excellent straight line stability
  • Wide fork pitch for classic look


  • A 300mm front and 270mm rear disc have twin-piston calipers for some of the best stopping power in the class

16-inch Wheels

  • Chromed steel rims and spokes
  • “Spool-style” polished aluminum front hub

Wide Rear Tire

  • 180mm rear tire provides added stability while projecting a powerful image
  • Wider tire than that found on most large-displacement cruisers
  • Widest rear tire in its class

Special Edition

  • New for 2012 Special Edition has blackout treatment on forks, rear fender struts, engine covers and cases, and cylinders and valve covers.
  • New for 2012, a checkered flag pinstripe detail adds to the factory custom look

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic (SE) Specs:

  • Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valves per cylinder V-twin
  • Displacement: 903cc / 55.1 cu.in.
  • Bore x Stroke: 88 x 74.2 mm
  • Maximum Torque: 58.2 lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm
  • Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
  • Cooling System: Liquid
  • Fuel System: DFI with dual 34mm Keihin throttle bodies
  • Ignition: TCBI with Electronic Advance
  • Transmission: 5-Speed
  • Final Drive: Belt
  • Frame: Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
  • Rake/Trail: 32°/6.3 in.
  • Front Suspension / Wheel Travel: 41mm hydraulic telescopic fork / 5.9 in.
  • Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel: Uni-Trak swingarm / 4.1 in.
  • Front Tire Size: 130/90-16
  • Rear Tire Size: 180/70-15
  • Wheelbase: 64.8 in.
  • Front Brakes / Rear Brakes: 300mm hydraulic disc / 270mm hydraulic disc
  • Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gal.
  • Seat Height: 26.8 in.
  • Overall Length: 97.0 in.
  • Overall Width: 39.6 in.
  • Overall Height: 41.9 in.
  • Curb Weight: 619.6 lbs.
  • Good Times Protection Plan: 12, 24, 36 or 48 months
  • Warranty: 12 Months

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic (SE) Color Options/MSRP:

  • Candy Arabian Red / $8,299
  • SE: Pearl Meteor Gray / Polar White / $8,499



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.