By John Burns
It was 20 years ago (almost) today, Sgt. Minime taught the band to play. We’ve been going in and out of style, but we were all guaranteed to raise a smile on this new Kawasaki junket in Daytona, including Tom Riles who captured all the excitement in stunning Velvia. Or was it Kodachrome? I’ll FedEx you the slides next week… While we were there, clattering around on Kawasaki’s new big cruiser and being 20 years more irresponsible, we also watched Mat Mladin beat Nicky Hayden’s brand-new RC51 to the line to win the Daytona 200. It was kind of a big deal. Those were the days, my friend.
A Better Vulcan for eVeryone
Daytona Beach, Florida, March 16, 2000 — Kawasaki cheats! It’s a plain and simple fact, really; you can’t invite the press to Daytona Beach, Florida to ride new motorcycles in the fun and sun of Bike Week 2000 and expect folks to say much of anything negative, except, perhaps, that Florida is pretty darn flat.That said, we can’t complain about the motorcycles we rode. When first we saw Kawasaki’s new Vulcan 1500 Classic Fi, it was hard not to smile knowing we’d spend the better part of the day traversing roughly 160 miles of the twistiest roads in Florida, the vast majority of which would be considered arrow-straight anywhere north of the Panhandle or west of Denver.
Although the main selling point of the new Fi Vulcan is its fuel-injection system that is supposed to improve power and throttle response (that’s why it’s called the Classic Fi), Kawasaki has made a few other changes. The end result is a bike that Kawasaki hopes will travel longer, stronger and look better than its carbureted brother.
The new Vulcan 1500 Classic Fi. Since cruiser riders appreciate …read more