Kawasaki’s custom-style Mean Streak cruiser gets the bigger 1552cc engine from the VN1600 in its update for 2004.
But despite the extra 72cc over the outgoing 1470cc motor, its power stays unchanged at 71bhp. Where it does benefit is in torque – up from 84ftlb to 92ftlb and peaking 200rpm lower at 2800rpm.
The engine is basically the same as used in the 2003 VN1600A Classic, itself derived from the old VN1500. The Mean Streak’s version gets bigger 40mm throttle bodies and 37mm intake valves instead of the 33mm versions in the Classic. These changes increase peak power, and move the power band higher up the rev-range to give a sportier feel. The camshafts are also changed to help raise the power from the basic VN’s 65bhp.
The Mean Streak’s chassis and styling is only mildly tweaked for 2004. There’s a stiffer swingarm to cope with the extra torque, and the seat mountings are revised to reduce vibrations. There are new " chameleon " tank graphics, which change colour depending on the angle they’re seen from.
The VN1600 Mean Streak should cost around the same as the current version – £8390 – when it goes on sale early next year.