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Kawasaki VN 900 Vulcan Custom Ebony Special Edition
FEATURES & BENEFITS
■ To enhance the lightweight look of the front end there is no central fork cover, headlamp bar or front fork covers. Uni-Trak® rear suspension
■ Single shock absorber with 7-way cam-type preload adjuster.
■ Shock and linkage are tucked in out of sight to give the swingarm a clean, uncluttered look. Front and rear disc brakes
■ Single 300 mm front disc with a dual piston caliper and a rear 270 mm disc with a dual piston caliper ensure excellent stopping power and feel.
Although the Custom is from the VN900 series, in order to achieve its custom image, Kawasaki designers completely re-evaluated its bodywork, treating it as if it were a completely new model.
Central to the 900 Custom's design is its fuel tank. Unlike some custom machines that use flashy designs to attract attention, the beauty of the Custom's tank lies in its subtlety. Painstakingly crafted, its delicate twin-valley theme gives a graceful play of light and shadows along the soft curves of the tank.
The twin-valley design theme is continued in the rear fender.
The key feature in achieving the Custom's light-looking front end is its thin, 21" wheel. The wheel's larger diameter also helps raise the front of the bike, further contributing to the light image. For size alone a more traditional wire-spoke wheel would have sufficed, but a cast design was deemed necessary to achieve the impact of a true custom.
While 21" cast wheels are rare enough in custom-building circles, they were unheard of on a mass-production machine. However, a way was found to realise the extremely high precision tolerances required to mass produce the "spoke-style" casting, an achievement made harder by the complexity of the spoke design.
Arranged in pairs, the front wheel's 18 "spokes" were designed by hand. Tapered and flanged in two directions, every line and surface of the 3D spokes is exquisitely curved.
To accentuate the lightweight image of the front end, the rear was designed to be low and solid looking. This contrast contributes to the Custom's sense of dynamism as the eye travels from the front of the bike to the rear. he 15" cast rear wheel was chosen to contrast the "light," tall front wheel. Its solid disc design helps give the rear a "squatting" appearance. The massive 180 mm rear tyre gives the rear of the bike a powerful image. The tyre's high profile adds to the weighty appearance of the rear, the large amount of rubber contrasts with the light image created by the front of the bike.
The relatively straight cut of the bottom of the rear fender complements the lines of the bike and opens up space to show off more of the rear tyre. The sporty, straight-style handlebar adds to the bike's custom styling. Instead of handlebar clamps, twin tubes elegantly curve back from the upper triple clamp. Both the handlebar and twin tubes are completely chromed.
The small headlamp, headlamp mount, lower triple clamp and turn signals are all chromed.The small, minimalist front fender also contributes to the clean lines in this area.
The chromed tank-mounted instrument console is slim and lightweight, contributing to the bike's elegant lines.
Designed with custom-style looks in mind, the one-piece seat comfortably accommodates rider and pillion. The ergonomics of the front part of the seat make use of the same research used to design the Vulcan 900 Classic's comfortable bucket seat.