When most people think of big bagger motorcycles, they tend to think of American brands like Harley-Davidson or Indian—but you should never rule out Japenese-made bikes, and there’s no exception for this segment. The Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS has been proving that for years, and the 2022 model continues to live up to Team Green’s lofty standards.
With the Vaquero, Kawasaki set out to prove that they could make a big, bad, touring road cruiser just as good as the ones by Harley or Indian, and the results speak for themselves. The Vaq’ is powered by a 1700cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 8-valve V-twin engine that pumps out 81 HP @ 5,000 rpm and 107.6 lb-ft of torque @ 2,750 rpm. You get badass frame-mounted fairings too, which give the bike a Sons of Anarchy look on a Mayans M.C. budget.
That’s not to say it’s a cheap bike by any means—the 2022 Vaquero will run you at least $17,599 USD / $19,999 CAD—it’s just that Kawasaki is great at giving you more bike for less money than most of its cruiser-making competitors. With electronic cruise control, electronic throttle valves, and K-ACT (Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-Braking Technology) ABS, you get a surprising amount of bang for your buck here—not to mention the AM/FM/WB audio system compatible with your iPhone or Sirius XM Radio.
The Vaquero is one of the best all-around large displacement cruisers you can buy in the current lineup of Kawasaki motorcycles (or that of any other brand). This year’s model comes in a stern but sexy Metallic Graphene Steel Gray color scheme.
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new 2022 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS in one place.
Price: $17,599 USD / $19,999 CAD
Electronic cruise control & electronic throttle valves
6-speed with overdrive and positive neutral finder
45mm Showa telescopic fork/5.5 in
Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks, with 4-way rebound damping/3.1 in
Dual 300mm discs, dual four-piston calipers, K-ACT II ABS
Single 300mm disc, twin-piston caliper, K-ACT II ABS
Fuel Tank Capacity
Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray
TCBI w/ Electronic Advance
Kawasaki Protection Plus
12, 24, or 36 months
2022 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS Features
Electronic Cruise Control
Electronic Cruise Control allows a desired speed (engine rpm) to be maintained with the simple press of a button. Once activated, the rider does not have to constantly apply the throttle. This reduces stress on the right hand when traveling long distances, enabling relaxed cruising and contributing to a high level of riding comfort.
Dual Throttle Valves
Late-model sport bikes often use large-bore throttle bodies to generate high levels of power. However, with large diameter throttles, when a rider suddenly opens the throttle, the unrestricted torque response can be strong. Dual throttle valve technology was designed to tame engine response while contributing to performance.
On models with dual throttle valves, there are two throttle valves per cylinder: in addition to the main valves, which are physically linked to the throttle grip and controlled by the rider, a second set of valves, opened and closed by the ECU, precisely regulates intake airflow to ensure a natural, linear response. With the air passing through the throttle bodies becoming smoother, combustion efficiency is improved and power is increased.
At its heart, K-ACT ABS is an advanced anti-lock braking system, designed to keep tires from locking up during braking. But K-ACT ABS was designed to be used on touring models weighing in excess of 300 kg (661 lb) – and that is before adding a passenger and luggage.
Complementing its standard ABS function, K-ACT ABS links the front and rear brakes. It monitors the brake force the rider is exerting at both the front and rear, and takes into consideration vehicle speed to ensure highly effective braking while maintaining chassis stability.
For example, let’s say the rider pulls on the front brake lever. To keep the bike from pitching forward, the ABS ECU actuates the rear brake (via fluid pumps) to ensure that front-rear balance is maintained. Should the rider push the rear brake pedal, the system actuates the front brake as well to distribute the load more evenly so that the rear wheel does not lock up. Based on the vehicle speed, K-ACT decides the optimum hydraulic pressure to send to each caliper, ensuring that even with a heavy motorcycle, stable braking performance is possible.