Project V2K: Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine’s Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Makeover
From its inception, our Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 project would include two stages. In the first, we’d take a competent motorcycle and make it better#151more what we would have wanted it to be from the factory. In the second, we would hand off our newly gussied-up cruiser to a customizer to show us all how real builders do things.
There’s a funny thing about plans. While they always look carefully thought-out on the calendar, they rarely take into account the challenges encountered along the way. As any customizer (from the home-garage type to the grizzled pro) will tell you, the real story behind a custom bike is what happens while you’re struggling to meet the demands of your schedule.
Of course, trying to modify a relatively new-model bike for which aftermarket companies are still developing accessories will further complicate things.
While we were in diet mode, we also set out to improve some of the V2K’s systems. First and most importantly, we addressed the rear suspension. We called two of our favorite suspension companies to see what they had. Works Performance said it hadn’t had access to a Vulcan 2000 to develop a shock for it, and if we would be nice enough to loan the company ours for a week or two, it’d whip one up.
Our call to Progressive Suspension revealed that, not only did it have a shock, it’d be happy to ship one out the next day. We called Works Performance to say thanks, but, you know, deadlines and all. Works was very pleasant about the whole thing.
Time passed. No shock arrived. A phone call revealed that parts of the shock were expected in the next day or so.
After another couple of weeks passed, we contacted Progressive Suspension to find out where the shock was. The company was being held hostage by parts that still hadn’t arrived and couldn’t build the shock until it got them. So, faced with looming deadlines, we contacted Works Performance and asked. shuffle, shuffle. if it was still, uh, willing to develop a shock for us.
You’d think that after all these years in the motorcycle business we’d have acquired a taste for crow, but we still have to choke it down. Fortunately, Works Performance was more than willing. After leaving the V2K with the company for a couple of weeks, we had the first off-the-assembly-line shock for the V2K. (A brief aside: As this issue was going to press, the Progressive shock arrived on our doorstep, so its supply bottleneck has been resolved. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to test it since the V2K was being packed away for the next stage.)
Fending for Ourselves?
- Honda CB500F, Kawasaki er-6n or Yamaha XJ6: which bike A2 choose? Bikes Doctor
- Honda CBR250R vs Kawasaki Ninja 250R : Comparison Page – 1 ZigWheels.com
- Kawasaki GPX750R Reviews – MotorcycleSurvey.com
- 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 650R Riding Impression Review- Ninja 650R Photos
- New 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650R review: Slick and Savvy – Motoroids.com