Additional 2006 Kawasakis: New 900 Vulcans, More 2000 Vulcans, ZX-10R, Ninja 650, KLX250

Kawasaki's new motorcycle models for 2006 include two Vulcan 900 cruisers, new Vulcan 2000 Classic cruisers, an upgraded ZX-10R, the new Ninja 650R, and the new KLX250S dual-sport bike.

In addition to the new ZX-14, Kawasaki's 2006 announcements also include new 903cc cruisers, more 2053cc cruisers, a fresh ZX-10R, the Ninja 650R twin, and the KLX250S dual-sportbike. Here are the basics on each. Excerpts from Kawasaki's releases follow.

The Vulcan 900 Classic and 900 Classic LT are fresh V-twins that replace the 800 Classic and 800A. (The 800 Drifter remains in the 2006 Kawasaki line.) They feature fresh styling, fuel-injection, and belt final drive. The LT adds leather saddlebags, a windshield, and passenger backrest to the Classic.

There is also a new Classic (Is that an oxymoron?) in the Vulcan 2000 series. The 2000 Classic's major change from the original 2000 and Limited is a more traditional headlight arrangement, which replaces, the large, heavy nacelle on the original. There is also an LT version of the Vulcan 2000 Classic.

Kawasaki sharpened the ZX-10R with a new fuel-injection system, more flywheel,rearranged shift linkage, juggled chassis dimensions, and upgraded aerodynamics.

The all-new Ninja 650R introduces a fuel-injected 649cc eight-valve parallel twin in the engine bay. Fully faired, but with friendly ergos, the Ninja 650R looks like an afforable middleweight with a wide appeal.

Finally, the KLX250S is sharper-edged 250 dual-sport bike. It features electric starting.

Additional details are avialble in the Kawasaki press releases below.


Highlighted by styling that is drawn from the long, low look of Kawasaki's Vulcan 2000 Classic, this entry in the mid-size cruising category is a sure winner. Both entry-level riders and those who have never been able to tap the feeling that goes with a heavyweight ride, will enjoy this maneuverable mid-size package.

Its 903 cc engine--delivering exceptional roll-on acceleration--places this Vulcan firmly at the top of its class. With a style and physical presence that were previously unavailable in this displacement arena, it will not only fit in with many larger cruisers, it will do so while offering a better value, easier maneuverability, and better performance than some. The Vulcan 900 lays claim to the highest power and torque in its class.

Designers matched the "extra" displacement of the Vulcan 900 power plant with "extra" physical charisma and class-leading ergonomics. The freshly styled fenders and fuel tank add a slight curve to the traditional cruiser shapes. Its polished chrome-accented air cleaner and chrome headlight design keep it connected to its cruiser roots. Adding to the stylistic "eye-candy" are a very modern flair emanating from its new bodywork, an LED taillight, and new low-slung seat height.

Curved engine fins add visual interest to the traditional look of the big, fuel-injected V-twin, while the four valves per cylinder, liquid-cooled reliability, and smooth highway cruising aided by the engine's counter balancer make this a worthy new entry in Kawasaki's Vulcan stable.

The Vulcan 900 Classic features a belt drive that not only keeps the overall weight down, but also improves rear-end styling and provides the rider with additional customizing opportunities. Any mention of rear-end styling has to include this unit's use of a large, 180mm wide rear tire, largest in the category. The beefy, "big bike" look inherent with the larger tire adds to the guttural, classic V-twin sound that is produced by the use of a single-pin crankshaft...

The low seat height makes the Vulcan 900 accessible to shorter riders and its tapered seat flows comfortably into the large capacity fuel tank and lower chassis rails and provide a narrowed shape...

The wide handlebars offer an ideal relationship between the seat, and footboards, making for an extremely comfortable mount. The ergonomically designed front bucket seat is comfortable enough for any distance, and the pillion pad make sharing the two-wheeled experience with a friend effortless.

Some of the other features that make the Vulcan 900 so appealing to such a wide audience are:

- It employs the same combustion chamber and intake/exhaust porting design concept as that used on Kawasaki's Vulcan 2000 model.

- The dual throttle valves control an electronic fuel injection system that helps insure smooth responsiveness and easy-to-control torque characteristics.

- Similar to the Vulcan 2000, it is equipped with an auto-fast idle system, featuring an rpm feedback relay that helps insure a fixed engine speed in all starting conditions.

- Easy-to-control torque, thanks to the fuel injection system, making ultra-low speed riding surprisingly easy; matched with gutsy, low-rpm torque that makes the roll-on acceleration characteristics such a rider plus.

- The fork offset and rake geometry are set for light, low-effort handling when maneuvering at low, in-town speeds.

Available in four color selections--Ebony, Candy Fire Red, Metallic Ocean Blue, and Galaxy Silver--the new Vulcan 900 Classic will give prideful owners more reason to hit the road.


Kawasaki is matching the introduction of its new Vulcan 900 Classic with another new model with added performance and style. The new Vulcan 900 Classic LT will find a place right alongside its sibling when it comes to acceptance by a wide audience of riders, but the classic LT will be particularly attractive to those seeking an out-of-the-crate cruiser dressed up for cruising around town, or ready for open road touring...Kawasaki accessorizes the Vulcan 900 LT with saddlebags, a special seat, passenger backrest and an adjustable windshield.

The stylish saddlebags are made of reinforced top grain cowhide that has been carefully selected to minimize leather flaws and deep-dyed so the finish can't be scraped off. These perfectly sized bags provide a slant-top opening, fastened with two 1.5-inch wide leather straps that feature chrome buckles and quick release stealth fasteners. Rounding out the look of these bags is an embossed Vulcan logo on the reinforced, dual panel lids, and chrome plated brass stud accents. Helping to protect both the bags and their contents are metal reinforced upper edges to help maintain shape, and rolled and riveted top lids to help keep unwanted moisture out.

The seat and passenger backrest combine to offer both comfort and a look that helps this touring machine take its place among the most stylish on the highway. The seat is detailed with chrome plated brass studs to match the bags, while the classic, tombstone-shaped passenger backrest sports identical studded appeal.

This long, low ride takes wind protection seriously; thick, optically correct acrylic plastic is used for the windscreen that's shaped to smooth the airflow around the rider.


For the 2006 model year, Kawasaki has spread its wings in the big-bore V-twin cruiser arena by adding two more unique versions of its Vulcan 2000 to the growing line-up of cruisers populating America's back roads and highways. The Vulcan 2000 Classic LT is the one that responds to consumer interest in an off-the-showroom floor dressed up cruiser--one that comes with accessories designed to compliment the overall 2000 styling, yet adding a flavor all its own.

The Vulcan 2000 Classic LT will make its mark with those more interested in weekend jaunts than simply getting back and forth to work. It will help Kawasaki further establish its dealer showrooms as the place for big bike motorcyclists to do their shopping. And more than anything, it will marry the performance inherent in the 2,053cc family of top-of-the-line cruisers with Kawasaki's own take on individualized styling. While it comes with special accessories as part of the package, this motorcycle is eminently slated to be further customized by its purchasers. And the company's broad offering of accessories will give owners of this new entry every opportunity to do just that.

The accessories coming standard with this new, stylish cruiser are saddlebags, passenger floorboards, passenger backrest, and a windshield.

The bags are constructed of reinforced top grain cowhide (selected with minimal flaws and deep dyed so the finish won't scrape off), and are highlighted by chrome plated brass stud accents on the bag lids, a slant top opening on the lid which is fastened with two 1.5-inch wide leather straps featuring chrome buckles and quick release stealth fasteners. To protect the contents from moisture getting into the bags, the rolled and riveted top lid minimizes water entry. A metal-reinforced upper edge keeps the bags holding their shape, while they hold the rider's gear.

Chrome plated brass studs adorn the special seat and match those attached to both the bags and the passenger backrest. Together, they provide a styling line both attractive and distinctive. The backrest is a classic new style that takes both visual appearance and comfort into consideration.

The adjustable height windshield is made of thick, optically correct acrylic plastic and is shaped for smooth airflow and classic cruiser style.

Power for this stylish cruiser comes from a massive V-twin engine featuring a bore and stroke of 103 x 123.2mm, forged pistons, alloy-steel connecting rods, huge 220mm flywheels, dual cams located within the one-piece crankcase and right-side pushrods actuating four valves per cylinder. Notably, Kawasaki engineers chose to utilize a push rod design in order to reduce engine height, which directly contributes to the Vulcan 2000 Classic LT's low center of gravity and relatively low seat height. Plus, hydraulic valve lash adjusters automatically maintain zero valve clearance for smoother, quieter operation.

Cruiser fans will appreciate the Vulcan 2000 Classic LT's V-twin sound thanks, in part, to the single-pin crankshaft, while dual counterbalancers and rubber engine mounts keep it running smoothly.

To provide sharp throttle response at any rpm, the Vulcan 2000's electronic engine control unit (ECU) manages electronic fuel injection with its dual 46mm throttle bodies and sub throttle valves, as well as the iridium spark plug ignition system. The sub throttle valves provide the Vulcan 2000 Classic LT with smooth throttle response, while the highly sophisticated fuel injection system's fine atomizing injectors deliver an ultra-fine mist of fuel/air mixture to the cylinders for greater combustion efficiency, increased power and optimum fuel economy.

The top quarter of the V-twin engine is liquid cooled, while temperatures for the bottom three-quarters of the engine are managed by stylish and highly functional cooling fins. Plus, the engine and transmission feature built-in oil and water pumps, with the transmission also serving as the oil tank.

The chrome air cleaner cover is nestled between the cylinders, which feature a black matte finish, and the cooling fins are polished to a bright metallic shine. Dual exhaust pipes and mufflers emit a distinctive V-twin rumble, and include honeycomb catalyzers to reduce emissions.

A Hyvo primary drive chain transfers torque from the big V-twin engine to the five-speed transmission case, which houses a multi-plate wet clutch. To fully benefit from the Vulcan 2000 Classic LT's advanced electronics, a gear position sensor in the transmission sends signals to the ECU, further enhancing fuel injection volume and ignition timing, and thus improving performance. Final drive to the rear wheel is provided by smooth, quiet and low maintenance belt drive.

The V-twin engine is utilized as a member of the Vulcan's steel, double-cradle frame, which features a large-diameter, box-section single-tube backbone. Coupled to the frame is a simple but elegant rear steel tube swingarm suspension with a direct-action single shock. The rear suspension provides 3.9 inches of travel, and includes spring preload and rebound adjustment. Up front, large 49mm forks provide precise steering feedback and 5.9 inches of travel.

Styling queues that put the Vulcan 2000 Classic LT at the forefront of cruiser design include a bullet-style headlight. Adding to its high-end status is the chrome instrument panel with its large-face speedometer; mounted on a stretched, 5.5-gallon fuel tank, the V-shaped panel keeps the rider informed with an LCD display and warning lamps.

This Vulcan motorcycle rides on bright, cast aluminum 16-inch wheels with a 150/80 front radial tire and a huge, 200/60 rear radial tire - the biggest stock rear tire on a production V-twin cruiser. Dual 300mm front disc brakes with four-piston calipers and a single rear disc brake with two-piston caliper bring this big cruiser to smooth, powerful stops.

Authentic Kawasaki Accessories are available through Kawasaki dealers or they can be purchased on the Internet at www


Few would have thought Kawasaki engineers would tamper with the success enjoyed by its NINJA ZX-10R sportbike over the past two years... But, in a move intended to show the brand's very serious and ongoing commitment to building the most potent motorcycles available, Kawasaki has taken it up another notch with the introduction of this latest version of the NINJA ZX-10R... The new liter-class Kawasaki is being brought to market with a complete engine, chassis and aerodynamic makeover, maintaining its top-of-class dominance, whether on the street or racetrack.

It features all new power characteristics, highlighted by a new fuel injection system featuring ultra-fine atomizing injectors to work with the 43mm throttle bodies and dual throttle valves. Providing a noticeable boost in mid-range power, the new ZX-10R's power delivery is also more linear, and its off-corner acceleration capability will satisfy the most demanding of riders. Also contributing to the smoother power delivery is the addition of a heavier flywheel, and high-speed generator moved to the end of the crankshaft. Shifting gears while handling the bike's awesome power output is simplified by improvements to the shift linkage, resulting in smooth, almost effortless transitions.

By repositioning the ZX-10R's center of gravity, Kawasaki engineers have bettered an already superb handling motorcycle. The new frame also features revised stiffness balance, new motor mounts, more centralized mass, and a relocated swingarm pivot, coupled with a racing-spec hlins steering damper...

Combining a short wheelbase with a long swingarm gives the ZX-10R the type of track maneuverability that speaks to its nimble, yet stable handling performance. And even more to the liking of experienced racers, the tucked-in position made so comfortable by the NINJA's concave tank top and the relationship between pegs, handlebar, and seat, only magnifies its appropriateness for the track...

Possessing an abundance of power, handling, and performance characteristics, the "look" of the motorcycle need only compliment its core consumer values. The designers focused on a no-frills approach to delivering an experience that significantly improves aerodynamics with a new fairing, seat cowl, and dual under-seat exhaust system. While the most noticeable effect of this new look is found at the high end of the speedometer, it succeeds in appearing fast, even when sitting still.


Look at Kawasaki's all new NINJA 650R sportbike and the first impression is one of pure design appreciation. Look a little longer and many of the innovative engine and chassis elements begin to come into play. But the entire package doesn't truly project its intended engineering outcome until the motorcycle is viewed with a rider seemingly melded into its unique posture. Because the 650R was meant to have broad rider appeal, Kawasaki's development team began its task with the rider--not the motorcycle.

Focusing on all kinds of riders, and all kinds of riding, Kawasaki carefully studied the interface between human and machine. Riding positions were studied to discover which instilled the most confidence. Narrowing the distance between foot pegs and striving for a lower seat height and low effort controls all played into the design efforts.

Ultimately, this exceptionally well-proportioned NINJA 650R represents a genre of motorcycling new to Kawasaki--one that finds itself at home with both novices and experienced riders, and one that will be seen equally in daily midtown commuting situations as well as week-end highway getaways.

The very compact liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve 649cc Parallel Twin with fuel injection delivers a smooth responsiveness that is tuned for rider-friendly power characteristics--especially in the low and medium rpm ranges that will inspire confidence in new motorcyclists. Its excellent mid-range characteristics will make the 650R a natural for medium speed commuting environments. And slipping in and out of traffic will be a cinch for this new entry, as its lightweight trellis frame and laydown shock also contribute to its overall compactness.

While the powerplant on this new NINJA is compact, it is anything but minimal in its output. Just gauge the 650R's roll-on response when making a highway pass and any concerns in that area quickly subside. The engineers called on their vast experience building NINJA supersport machines to develop a motorcycle possessing performance characteristics that will be a match for anything currently available in the middleweight arena, including those with larger displacement.

Some of the engine's characteristics:

- Triangular layout of the crankshaft and transmission shafts make the engine very short, front-to-back

- The transmission's input shaft, output shaft, and change drum are contained in a cassette-style package that both works for the 650R's compact layout, and facilitates transmission maintenance

- Engine height is reduced through the use of a semi-dry sump design

- This new Kawasaki has a plated, linerless aluminum cylinder which is lightweight; its narrow cylinder pitch reduces engine width

- Under-engine muffler improves mass centralization and lowers the 650R center of gravity

Some of the chassis design elements:

- Compact engine design allows use of a slim, minimalist frame, which results in a design that is narrow at the knees and feet

- Light and nimble handling characteristics are one of the benefits of the extremely short wheelbase of this motorcycle

- A long swingarm is used, so both rear suspension and handling are improved

- Engineers used 3-D analysis to achieve the ideal stiffness balance for the frame, which contributes greatly to its handling characteristics

- Frame construction is of high-tensile steel, rivaling the lightness of aluminum frames

- The layout of the offset single-shock rear suspension allows the battery to be located next to the shock rather than beneath it--making for a slim design and lower seat height

Bringing the motorcycle to a stop is handled by triple petal disc brakes that look as good as they perform. And the attractive six-spoke supersport-style wheels give the 650R a "light" look while reducing unsprung weight.

This new entry sports a very aggressive headlight design, an aerodynamic windscreen and full fairing, and front turn signals integrated into the faring. The flowing bodywork includes a slim tail cowl with flush-surface tail lamp lens giving the new NINJA 650R a slim, agile appearance from the rear.

Also contributing to the slim design appearance is a two-tone seat and a sculpted fuel tank.

Instrumentation abounds with this multi-purpose motorcycle. A compact step-motor speedometer features an LCD display with digital readouts for odometer, twin tripmeter, and clock as well as an LED water temperature warning lamp.


It may be dressed in the same Kawasaki Lime Green as its sibling KLX300R off-road speedster, but the all-new KLX250 with electric start finds itself equally at home on the pavement as it will when the riding terrain calls for enduro-like performance. Aggressively styled in the same manner as Kawasaki's KX motocross equipment, the KLX250 features a lightweight engine with a wide powerband, and a lightweight, high-tensile steel perimeter frame.

Powering this new entry in the Kawasaki stable is a compact, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, single-cylinder engine displacing 249cc. With bore and stroke measuring 72 x 61.2 mm, the engine is mounted towards the bottom of the perimeter frame, helping to deliver a low center of gravity.

The engine's dual overhead cams activate four valves atop an electrofusion-coated aluminum cylinder that provides the KLX250 power plant with extra strength and reliability. The design of the cylinder head provides maximum valve area for optimum flow, and a low reciprocating weight contributes to higher efficiency at high rpm readings.

Riders headed out for a long trip will appreciate the gear-driven engine balancer, which helps eliminate engine vibration to deliver greater rider comfort and less fatigue.

When getting off the pavement calls for extra protection, the KLX250's aluminum engine guard shields the crankcase from rocks and stones so prevalent when riding on gravel or dirt roads.

With today's fuel prices, even motorcyclists want to pay attention to gasoline consumption. A Keihin 34mm semi-flat slide CVK carburetor equipped with a Throttle Position Sensor delivers the optimum amount of fuel required under all riding conditions, contributing to improved responsiveness and power, as well as increased fuel economy. Motorcyclists will notice the 26.5 caster angle and short wheelbase which contribute to quick handling response, while the frame rigidity helps straight-line stability. The Uni-Trak rear suspension provides superb road-holding ability and bump absorption and the 43mm inverted cartridge-style front fork comes with a 16-way compression damping adjustment. Stopping the powerful KLX250 is handled by front and rear disc brakes. A twin-piston caliper grips a 250mm semi-floating disc up front, while a single piston caliper operates the 220mm rear disc.

Among the other key features of the new KLX250:

- Flat-top piston and pentroof combustion chamber deliver an 11:1 compression ratio. Lightweight piston, piston pin and connecting rod allow power-producing revs.

- Starting the KLX250 is simplified through the use of an electric starter and Kawasaki Automatic Compression Release (KACR), which automatically lifts an exhaust valve at cranking rpm.

- The digital CDI provides precise control of ignition timing and contributes to easy starts and reliability under extreme conditions.

- Dual, vertical-flow radiators provide highly efficient, reliable engine cooling.

- A lightweight, rigid aluminum swingarm contributes to reduced unsprung weight.

- Dual-dial instrument panel features easy-to-read analogue speedometer and tachometer, odometer, trip meter, water temperature warning lamp, and a series of indicator lamps.

- Snail-type chain adjusters simplify wheel removal and chain adjustments.

- The KLX250 is equipped with a 1.9 gallon fuel tank, narrowly constructed to provide the rider with a comfortable position.

Engine : Four-stroke, single cylinder, DOHC, 4-valves, liquid-cooled
Displacement : 249cc
Bore x stroke : 2.83 x 2.41 in
Cooling : Liquid
Carburetion : Keihin CVK34
Compression ratio : 11.0:1
Ignition : CDI
Transmission : Six-speed, return shift
Frame : High-tensile steel, perimeter design
Suspension type, front : Telescopic fork, upside down
Suspension type, rear : Uni-Track, swingarm
Wheel travel, front : 11.2 in.
Wheel travel, rear : 11.0 in.
Tire, front : 3.00-21
Tire, rear : 4.60-18
Brakes, front : Single disc
Brakes, rear : Single disc
Overall length: 84.1 in.
Overall width : 34.8 in.
Overall height : 47.6 in.
Ground clearance : 11.6 in.
Seat height : 34.8 in
Dry weight : 262.4 lbs.
Fuel capacity : 1.9 gal.
Wheelbase : 56.5 in.
Color : Kawasaki Lime Green/Black

2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic LT
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic LT
2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R
2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R
2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R
2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R
2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R
2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
2006 Kawasaki KLX250S
2006 Kawasaki KLX250S