Kawasaki Vulcan S (EN650, 2015+) Maintenance Schedule & Service Intervals

This is the maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Vulcan S, a middleweight motorcycle (or entry-level cruiser) from Kawasaki, revealed in 2014 for the 2015 model year.

Since 2015, Kawasaki has released a number of different variants for the Kawasaki Vulcan S, including the Cafe (little windshield/cowl) and Special Edition (two tone paint). They’re the same motorcycle, just with a few minor cosmetic differences, and the maintenance schedule is the same.

All versions of the Kawasaki Vulcan S are based around a 649cc DOHC parallel twin that you’ll also find in Kawasaki’s latest Ninja 650, Z650, and Versys 650 motorcycles. Through a number of internal variants, the engine is much more torque-forward than in the Ninja. It produces a peak of 45 kW (61 hp) at 7500 rpm, and peak torque of 63 Nm (47 ft-lb) at 6600 rpm — though the torque comes on a lot earlier.

Aside from revising the styling and making sure the Vulcan S is compliant with emissions regulations, the Kawasaki Vulcan S hasn’t been dramatically revised since launch.

In some markets, the Vulcan S is available predominantly (or basically only) as a learner-legal reduced-power model. This maintenance schedule is the same for those (e.g. the Aust/NZ LAMS models).

This post was originally published on August 17, 2021, but has since been significantly updated.

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Kawasaki Vulcan S Service Intervals

The Vulcan S has 7500 mi / 12000 km or annual service intervals.

At every service, you change the oil and air filter, and do a host of checks.

The major service for the Vulcan S is evry 15000 miles or 24000 km. The Vulcan S has an eight-valve parallel twin engine, so this service is not terribly difficult.

Every 2-4 years you have to do some fluid changes (brake fluid, coolant) regardless of distance.

In recent years Kawasaki simplified the schedule somewhat, reducing the frequency with which they think you need to check the evaporative emissions system.

What you need to service the Kawasaki Vulcan S 650

If you’re servicing the Kawasaki Vulcan S 650, firstly, you might need these common motorcycle maintenance tools (thinks like an oil filter wrench, catch pan, etc.).

But aside from that, you’ll need these specific items to maintain the Kawasaki Vulcan S

PartKawasaki Ninja Vulcan S Spec
OilYou need 1.8L (1.7 US qt) of SAE 10W-40 engine oil “with API SG, SH, SJ, SL or SM with JASO MA, MA1 or MA2 rating”, preferably Kawasaki 10W-40 Engine Oil, or a high quality alternative like Motul 7100 10W-40.

Kawasaki oil grade recommendation
Don’t over-torque the drain bolt (spec is 30 Nm/22 lb-ft per the manual) — use a torque wrench if you don’t have experience with how much torque is enough.
Oil filterOil filter is part 16097-0008, or you can use Hiflofiltro HF303RC. Torque for oil filter is 17.5 Nm (12.9 ft-lb) (use a torque wrench)
Front brake padsYou can get original OEM parts from a dealership, or double-sintered EBC brake pads for better bite and wear. Part numbers are FA226HH (you need two pairs). OEM front brake pads are part number 43082-0169.
Rear brake padsAs with the front brake pads, you can get original OEM parts from a dealership, or double-sintered EBC brake pads for better bite and wear. EBC part number is FA174HH. OEM rear brake pads are part number 43082-0155.
Spark plugsNGK CR9EIA-9, with a spark plug gap of 0.8-9.0mm (use a spark plug gapping tool), torqued to 13 Nm or 9 ft-lb (use a torque wrench)
Air filterFor all model years of the Vulcan S, the Kawasaki part number is 11013-0745.
Many Kawasaki Vulcan S owners like the after-market DNA air filter with part number P-K6N15-01.
Fuel filterPart number for the fuel filter kit is 99999-0525.
Cable lubricantRemember to lubricate your clutch cable (and brake cables if you have them) with a cable lubricant. Protect All Cable Life is a good general-purpose lubricant.
Chain lubricantThe chain needs to be lubricated every 600 km/400 miles (or more, if it gets wet/dirty). Motul chain paste is affordable and well-loved (and mess-free).
Brake fluidSpec is to use DOT-4 brake fluid like Castrol DOT 4.
CoolantUse nitrate-free, phosphate-free, ethylene glycol-based coolant with anti-corrosion inhibitors, e.g. Zerex Asian Vehicle blue coolant.
GreaseUse a lithium soap based grease for all the important greasing points.
BatteryDead battery on your Vulcan S? You need a Yuasa battery, type YTZ10.
Consumables for servicing the Kawasaki Vulcan S 650 (all years)

Maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Vulcan S 650

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Vulcan S 650.

Legend for the maintenance schedule:

  • I: Inspect (clean/replace/adjust as necessary)
  • R: Replace
  • L: Lubricate

The right-hand side of the schedule shows when you should periodically do things, e.g. “I,1” means “Inspect every 1 year”.

mi x 10000.67.51522.530Every
km x 1000112243648Year(s)
Perform standard annual service checklist (see below)
*Not all items have to be done at break-in — see below
Engine oil and oil filter (Kawasaki 10W-40 engine oil or Motul 7100 10W-40, + HF303RC oil filter)RRRRRR,1
Air filter (P-K6N15-01)RRRR
Spark plugs (CR9EIA-9)RRRR
Valve clearanceII
Fuel filter (99999-0525)RR
Coolant, water hoses, and O-rings (replace coolant with Zerex Asian Vehicle blue coolant)R,3
Brake fluid (front and rear)RRR,2
Brake hosesR,4
Rubber parts of brake master cylinder and caliperRR,4
Idle speedIIIII
Engine vacuum synchronisationIIII
Fuel hoseR,5
Evaporative emission control system (CA only)II
Lubrication of rear suspensionLL
Steering stem bearingsLLL,2
Air suction systemIIII
Clutch operation (play, engagement, disengagement)IIIII
Drive chain wearIIII
Drive chain guide wearIIII
Bolts, nuts, and fastenersIIIII
Kawasaki Vulcan S 650 Maintenance Schedule

Standard annual service checklist

Maintenance itemAt break-in Y/N
Throttle control system — Inspect (play, smooth return, no drag)Y
Fuel system — Inspect (for leaks, condition of hoses)Y
Coolant level — InspectY
Cooling system — Inspect (for leaks, condition of hoses)Y
Brake system — Check correct functionY
Brake operation (effectiveness, play, no drag)Y
Steering play — Check for no notches, smooth operationY
Tire air pressure — Check, adjust (see below)
Wheels and tires — Check for no damage
Wheel bearings — Check for smooth operation
Suspension system — Inspect for smooth operation front and rear, no leaks
Electrical system — Inspect function
Chassis parts — Lubricate
Kawasaki Vulcan S standard annual service checklist

Periodic maintenance (daily, short-term)

There are a number of daily and short-term bit of maintenance to do on your Vulcan 650. These are below.

Regular Checks
Fuel — Check adequate supply in tank, no leaks
Engine oil — check level is between level lines
Tires — check air pressure (when cold) and valve cap is installed
Tires — check wear
Drive chain slack — check/adjust every 1000 km (600 mi)
Drive chain — Lubricate every 600 km (400 mi) or if dry
Bolts, nuts, and fasteners — check for loose/missing bolts, nuts, and fasteners
Steering — check action smooth but not loose from lock to lock
Steering — check no binding of control cables
Brake pads — check wear is within spec
Brake fluid — check fluid level is between lines, and not leaking
Throttle — check free play is adequate
Clutch lever — check free play is adequate, and it operates smoothly
Coolant — check for no coolant leaks, and level is between lines
Electrical equipment — check all lights (head, city, turn signal, license plate, warning/indicator) and horn work
Engine stop switch — make sure it works (stops the engine)
Side stand — make sure it returns up to its position by spring tension, and that the spring is not weakened/damaged
Rear view mirrors — make sure they let you see
Kawasaki Vulcan S 650 regular checks

Tyre size and pressure for the Vulcan S 650

The Vulcan S ships with Dunlop Sportmax tyres. The manual recommends the following tyre sizes and pressures (when cold).

WheelTyre (Tire) sizeTyre (Tire) pressure
Front120/70R18 M/C 59H225 kPa/32 psi
Rear160/60R17 M/C 69H250 kPa/36 psi
Tyre sizes and pressures – Vulcan S

About the Kawasaki Vulcan S

The Kawasaki Vulcan S is a very versatile motorcycle. It’s a cruiser, but sporty (for a cruiser), with an engine that’s willing to rev, and lean angles that are not as shallow as your average cruiser.

Plus, it looks really good (subjective, but I think it does — always catches my eye). Reading comments around the internet, this isn’t a universal opinion — some people looking for a mid-size cruiser want something that looks like the Harley Davidson Street 750 or a Honda Shadow. But I really like it — the lines flow well, and that off-centre rear shock has always looked cool to me, whether in the Vulcan or in another of the 650 bikes.

The Kawasaki Vulcan S, also known as the EN 650, is a relaxed cruiser-style motorcycle that’s based on the engine platform familiar to us from the Ninja 650 (or ER-6F, ER-6N, etc.) and the Versys 650.

The engine is a 649mm DOHC liquid-cooled parallel twin that’s tuned for more midrange torque than its already midrange-heavy brethren.

The Vulcan S is in “cruiser” configuration, which means it’s a foot-forward, swept back bar kind of configuration. But it’s not as relaxed a cruiser as many others — you sit upright rather than back, and your feet aren’t way in front of you on floorboards. It’s best described as a “comfortable” bike.

Console and instrument cluster of Kawasaki Vulcan S 650

Where the Vulcan S distinguishes itself is in how much you can adjust the riding position.

Kawasaki calls this “Ergo-Fit”, and it’s amazing. The Vulcan S is already a very approachable bike for shorter riders as the seat is so close to the ground (compared to a sports bike).

Out of the box, Kawasaki lets you alter the handlebar, seat, and foot-peg position (either by adjustment or through replacing parts) to suit a variety of riders of different heights and proportions. All of them end up being pretty comfortable on the Vulcan S.

The Vulcan S’ 649cc parallel twin is one of those motors that’s “just right” for a wide variety of conditions. It has enough torque to make low-speed commuting fun, but enough power to take you over 100 mph should the situation demand it (does it?). I think a Vulcan S would make an unusual but interesting track bike, if I ever find a cheap one.

The instrumentation on the Vulcan S is also generous for a cruiser. You get a tachometer (a somewhat rarity) as well as a digital speedometer, and in more recent years you also get a gear indicator.

Eventually the panel will be replaced with a TFT display like on the latest Kawasaki motorcycles.

Steering the Vulcan S is another source of joy. It has “normal” tyre sizes, not too large or fat, and doing everyday commuter stuff like going around tight corners or roundabouts, or doing U-turns doesn’t mean automatically scraping, or having to do a bit of a dance to prevent it from happening.

Plus, being low to the ground means it’s just really easy to keep your balance while leaning the other way (at low speeds).

Manual for the Kawasaki Vulcan S

The above maintenance schedule came directly from the manual for the Kawasaki Vulcan S, consulting the manuals from model years 2015 through 2021.

You can see it online here.

The part numbers came from part fiches and looking around forums.

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