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Kawasaki VN2000 Custom Motorbike Review

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Kawasaki VN2000 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Cruising is all about having a relaxed mindset and there’s no better way to ease yourself into that state than the big Kawasaki Vulcan VN2000. It ticks all the right boxes – lots of black paint, lots of chrome, a huge 200-section rear tyre and, of course, a lolloping wildebeest of an engine.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

The Kawasaki VN2000's fuel-injected, V-twin, two-litre SOHC motor is terrific, with enormous, thudding power pulses that could propel you at least 50 yards with each cycle at tickover. It’s not quite of a par with a 1600cc Harley for sheer rip, but it’s not far off. Top pub fact: this pair of pistons are the biggest in motorcycling.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Kawasaki VN2000 is not to be rushed, with its soft suspension and low (read ‘non-existent’) ground clearance hurried cornering will cost you plenty in replacement footboards. Keep it smooth, keep it slow and keep your powder dry until the road opens up. Braking is average, like all customs the geometry weighs against it.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

There is a veritable smorgasbord of official bolt-ons to personalise your Kawasaki VN2000, with everything from tassles to tankbags, with most of it dripping in chrome.

Kawasaki VN2000 (2004-current)

Detail Value
New price £11,045
Engine size 2053 cc
Power 103 bhp
Top speed 120 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Value rating is 3 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

With its Japanese build quality, belt-drive and low state of engine tune the Kawasaki VN2000 should run forever. Keep its chrome away from winter salt or you’ll quickly wreck it.


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

If you like big cruiser-style bikes there’s a wide choice at this price point, new or used. For British buyers it would be hard to ignore Triumph’s Rocket III with its almighty 2.3 litre presence or any one of the big Harleys with their terrific residuals and credibility. Find a Kawasaki VN2000 for sale.


Insurance group: 15 of 17

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Model History

2004: Kawasaki VN2000 launched.

Other Versions



Top speed 120 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.4 secs
Max power 103 bhp
Max torque 131 ft-lb
Weight 340 kg
Seat height 680 mm
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 0 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 2053 cc
Engine specification 8v V-twin, 5 gears
Frame Steel double cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 200mm disc
Front tyre size 150/80 x 17
Rear tyre size 200/60 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(2 reviews)

  • defective chrome


    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    I bought a new 2009 kawasaki Vulcan 2000 with 1300 miles that is now 5 months old. The chroming on the stamped pieces sucks. The mirrors, brake fluid cover, fork covers are all popping rust through the chrome. I took it to the dealer and he agreed that it is a warranty issue. Kawasaki America shot it down. They claim it is from environmental causes, but will not define ” environmental causes” ( the planet you live on has oxygen in the atmosphere?). I was on the customer service line for an hour and explained how chrome is applied, and that on a 5 month old bike this is outrageous. They claim it is an environmental cause, even though the bike is garaged. The bad pieces are the Thailand mfg’d pieces, as all the other chrome is fine. All customer support will answer ” I don’t know, but it is environmental causes”. Crappy way to treat a customer.

    20 March 2011

  • VN2000ptolemyx's bike


    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    Bought new in may 04.16,000 miles without a single problem including a 4,000 mile tour of Spain.The torque is awesome, with a hypercharger intake, custom exhaust and Power Commander wheelspin in 3rd off the throttle up to an indicated 135! I find the handling surprisingly good for such a huge machine. Comfort is excellent, 300 plus mile days are easy. I've tried the big Suzuki and Honda cruisers and had a good look at the Yam, but still rate the VN2000 the best of them.I will not be changing. P.S. I rode Harleys for over a decade and personally find the VN2000 better in every respect, including the styling.

    24 January 2008


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 Funny article.

I had a 2004 model.  I sold it because I was disappointed by the lack of reasonable  cornering clearance and harsh rear suspension.  This bike laughs at cruising at well over 200 kph, will spin up the big tire on command, and go vertical off the throttle alone with a 100 lb passenger over the rear tire to keep it from spinning.
If you meant a Harley has more rip OFF than the Vulcan I agree.  You have to proof read your articles before posting them.  That line gave me a much needed belly laugh to start my day.

14 June 2014 12:18



This hooey about not being on par with a 1600 Hardley was likely inspired by a ride on a Vulcan 800, which would be close, NOT a Vulcan 2000. Only a VROD can even come close to the "sheer rip" available to the rider of a VN2K. I do not understand how a supposedly respected motorcycle site can post such rubbish about the largest production v twin ever sold. Get a clue MC News, stop writing reviews while you're high, and try actually riding the bikes that you write about!

23 October 2013 17:47

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