Kawasaki VN1500 (Vulcan 88, VN-15)

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Kawasaki VN1500B (Vulcan 88 SE, VN-15 SE)

The cruiser Kawasaki VN1500A / VN1500B first appeared in 1987 and was sold under the names Kawasaki Vulcan 88 (US market) and Kawasaki VN-15 (European market). The model is the predecessor of Kawasaki VN1500 Vulcan Classic.

The motorcycle was based on a 2-cylinder V-shaped liquid-cooled engine with a volume of 1470 cc. see, delivering up to 72 hp. power and almost 124 Nm of torque. These figures differ depending on the country of sale (the exact power and torque figures for a particular country can be found in the service manual). The block heads have one camshaft, 4 valves per cylinder and hydraulic clearance compensators.

Other features of the Kawasaki Vulcan 88 / VN-15 include a steel tubular frame, simple suspension in the form of a conventional telescopic fork and double shock absorber, a 4-speed gearbox, disc brakes and a cardan drive.

In 1996, Kawasaki released the updated Vulcan 1500, marketed under the name Kawasaki VN1500 Vulcan Classic, but the old version is still in production through 1999.

The main modifications of the Kawasaki Vulcan 88 / VN-15:

  • Kawasaki Vulcan 88 (VN-15) - regular version. Has alloy wheels and a 16 liter fuel tank.
  • Kawasaki Vulcan 88 SE (VN-15 SE) - version with spoke wheels. Has a 12 liter fuel tank.
  • Kawasaki Vulcan 1500L - replaced the VN-15 in the European market. Similar to the plain VN-15 version, but with spoked wheels and straight low drag bar.

The main competitors of the Kawasaki Vulcan 88 / VN-15 in the class:


Kawasaki Vulcan 88 (VN-15)
Kawasaki Vulcan 88 (VN-15)
Kawasaki Vulcan 88 SE (VN-15 SE)


Specifications Kawasaki VN1500A / VN1500B / VN1500C (Vulcan 88, VN-15):

ModelKawasaki Vulcan 88 / VN-15
Motorcycle typecruiser
Release year1987-1999
Framesteel tubular
Engine type2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V-shaped
Working volume1470 cc cm.
Bore / Stroke102.0 x 90.0 mm
Compression ratio9.0: 1
Number of valves per cylinderSOHC, 4 valves per cylinder (with hydraulic clearance compensators)
Fuel supply systemCarburetor, 2x Keihin CVK36
Ignition typetransistor
Maximum power72.0 h.p. (53 kW) at 4500 rpm - full-strength versions
Maximum torque123.6 Nm (12.6 kgf * m) @ 3000 rpm - full strength versions
Drive typecardan
Front tire size100 / 90-19 (57H)
Rear tire size150 / 90-15 (74H)
Front brakes1 disc, 1-piston caliper
Rear brakes1 disc, 1-piston caliper
Front suspension41mm telescopic fork, 150mm travel
Rear suspensionpendulum with two shock absorbers, stroke - 100 mm
Motorcycle length2390 mm, (A) (F) 2385 mm, (E) 2410 mm, (l) 2375 mm - VN1500A

2370 mm, (E) 2410 mm - VN1500B

Motorcycle width895 mm
Motorcycle height1190 mm, (A) (E) 1180 mm - VN1500A

1210 mm, (E) 1195 mm - VN1500B

Wheelbase1605 mm - VN1500A

1635 mm, (E) 1630 mm - VN1500B

Saddle height720 mm, (A) (E) 750 mm - VN1500A

710 mm, (E) 745 mm - VN1500B

Minimum ground clearance150 mm, (A) (E) 135 mm - VN1500A

165 mm, (E) 160 mm - VN1500B

Acceleration to 100 km / h5.4 sec
Maximum speed178 km / h
Fuel tank capacity16.0 L - VN1500A

12.0 L - VN1500B

Motorcycle weight (dry)252 kg, (Cal) 252.5 kg, (E) 257 kg, (G) 256 kg - VN1500A

248 kg, (Cal) 248.5 kg, (E) 249 kg - VN1500B

Motorcycle weight (curb)280 kg, (Cal) 282.5 kg, (E) 283 kg, (G) 282 kg - VN1500A

275 kg - VN1500B