By 8 months it just wouldn't start sometimes, and I tried all positions of giving more gas, choke, etc.
Then I let it run out of gas once, it shut down, I put the reserve on, it cranked up, and a mile later just quit running. Afterwards it was harder and harder to start, even when warm. I let it sit for a couple of minutes, and it cranked up.
I took it to the shop, and they said it was the battery. I bought this bike brand new because my old bike was 25 years old and nothing but problems.
However 1 month after I started riding it the lock on the gas tank stopped working.
The dealer tried to convince me I was doing something wrong.
But when I presented them with the bike they could not open the lock. That was in May 2010 I am still awaiting a part from Kawasaki to finish fixing that problem.
Then about 2500 km in the bike stopped working at about 90km/hr on a highway, it slowed to 0 and then died on the highway, and lost all electrical. The dealership had it for 3 weeks and never found a problem.
After having it back for 10 days, it died again this time while I was in between two very large trucks and in front of a bus.
The dealership has now had it for 4 weeks, and can't find anything wrong. I am not sure how a gas cap explains the loss of electrical.
I agree with the reviews I've read, it is a little powerful bike and a smooth ride. I have a 2008 which I bought as the gas prices went up to save some money. I routinely keep up with the Gold wings and other big bikes on weekend group trips, unless the wife doubles up with me then I have to do some aggressive accelerations, but I make a lot less fuel stops than the big bikes do.
My bike is a lemon and I'm lucky so far to have not been killed on the faulty piece of crap. I have almost paid for the bike with my fuel savings. Although everything is felt after about 90 miles, but thats typical of any bike.
Last I saw it it had 3000km on it, it has spent 2.5 months in the shop. The Vulcan 500 LTD has great pick-up off the line and as a commuter it is as fun as any sport bike but twice comfortable.