The Kawasaki Vulcan S was recently launched in India at a price of ₹ 5.44 lakh. This is the first ever instance of Kawasaki launching a cruiser motorcycle in India and of course, the company is betting big on it. Keeping the price and the specifications in mind, the Vulcan S has its biggest rival in the Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750, which was launched in 2017 and is a premium variant of the Street 750, which is still Harley's bestselling model in India. So, it only makes sense to do on-paper specifications comparison of the Vulcan S and the Street Rod 750! Here goes...
Both motorcycles are similar in size and have almost similar presence on the road. The Harley looks more retro and is available in more colours while the Kawasaki looks more modern but is available only in one colour, which is Flat Ebony. We are sure that the looks of the Vulcan would have been more enhanced if the bike were offered in Kawasaki's traditional lime green. As far as design is concerned, the Vulcan feels more muscular than the Street Rod. Our vote goes to the Vulcan, as far as the looks are concerned.
The Kawasaki Vulcan is powered by the same 649 cc parallel-twin engine which is present in the Ninja 650 and the Z650. It makes about 60 bhp at 7,500 rpm and 63 Nm at 6,600 rpm with the engine being mated to a 6-speed transmission. We have ridden the Ninja 650 and the Z650 and have experienced the butter-smooth performance that this particular engine has to offer. And we believe that the Vulcan S too will offer the same experience.
On other hand, the Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750 gets a 749 cc V-twin motor which makes 64 Nm at 4,000 rpm. Harley does not reveal the power figures of its bikes. The thing to notice here is that the peak torque on the Street Rod comes in much lower than that of the Vulcan. This means that there is more pulling power at lower revs, meaning more driveability in the city.
The Vulcan S gets this rather cool feature called the Ergo Fit, which allows riders to adjust the reach to the handlebars and the footpegs as required. The Vulcan S has a ground clearance of 130 mm as opposed to 205 mm of the Street Rod. This means that the Vulcan is more vulnerable to scraping its underbelly on large bumps/speed breakers. Both bikes have ABS as standard and that is the only electronics they get. The Harley gets twin 300 mm disc brakes upfront while the Vulcan gets a single 300 mm disc upfront. The seat height on the Vulcan is 705 mm and the Street Rod has seat height of 765 mm, meaning that the Kawasaki will be easier for shorter riders to sit and manoeuvre the bike.
As mentioned earlier, the Vulcan S is priced at ₹ 5.44 lakh (ex-showroom) while the Street Rod carries a sticker price of ₹ 6.08 lakh (ex-showroom), making the Street Rod more expensive by almost ₹ 64,000. Alternatively, one can also opt for the Harley-Davidson Street 750, which is priced at ₹ 5.15 lakh (ex-showroom). We cannot wait to get our hands on both bikes and carry out a proper, exhaustive road test so that we can tell you which one out of the two makes for a better proposition for your money. Till then, keep logging on to carandbike.com for the latest updates on the Indian auto space.