The 2005 Kawasaki cruiser lineup remained true to form: quality cycles capable of fitting into many budgets. The 2005 Vulcan 1500 served as a great example of a capable cruiser that could be customized for touring, or purchased as the Vulcan Nomad, with a stock set-up for enjoying long stretches of highway riding solo or tandem. In their essential forms, the 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic and 1500 Drifter serve as versatile cruisers that both rely on the same 1470cc, liquid-cooled, V-Twin power platform.
The 2005 Vulcan 1500 is a smooth running V-Twin cruiser. Anyone familiar with the feel of the traditional V-Twin muscle offered by Harley-Davidson, as well as other American engine manufacturers, will immediately notice less vibration in many of the Japanese manufactured V-Twin engines, including the Kawasaki 1500. This is an impressive feat, considering engine size and capability. The liquid-cooled nature of this particular engine equates to reliability: simple, routine maintenance will equate to miles upon miles of enjoyment. Riders won't have to worry about thick traffic on hot days, long rides through the American desert regions or the heat and humidity synonymous with the American South or Midwestern river valley regions. This bike will tick like a clock.
The transmission serves as a smooth shifting five speed; however, being a five speed, something is lost in the way of power within the geared ratios and while cruising at higher speeds. Ultimately, the five-speed transmission doesn't hurt the performance of the 2005 Vulcan 1500, but it does detract from the overall appeal of the bike. A six-speed transmission would allow this model to much more easily compete with the Dyna Glide models offered by Harley-Davidson, which offer similar displacement and power in the scheme of large, V-Twin motorcycles.
In terms of aesthetics, the 2005 Vulcan 1500 is sharp. The classic cruiser looks are beefed up to match the robust engine size. The front and rear tires crown laced wheels, offering girth and comfort in their riding characteristics. As the trim model names suggest, the overall look of the bike and aesthetic lines change appropriately. The Vulcan Classic is marked by classic, sweeping lines, and vintage styling in the fenders. Taking the vintage fender look and design to the next level, 2005 served as the final year of production for the Kawasaki Vulcan Drifter. This single-seat cycle suggested attitude and nostalgia, boasting a design that was inspired by (and reminiscent of) the 1940s Indian Chief motorcycles.
The 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 is a good motorcycle option for riders with experience on two wheels. The power is immediately evident with a twist of the throttle, yet it is combined with a 27.6 inch seat height, greatly reducing the intimidation factor. In regards to budget-friendly cruisers with touring and long trek potential, the 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 remains a worthwhile competitor in the category. It is comparable to the 2005 Honda VTX and Suzuki Boulevard models in terms of comfort, performance, reliability, and ride.