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2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S Comparison Review

In our today’s article, we are going to cover the comparison review of 2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S. Both Honda and Kawasaki are known for making solid and reliable motorcycles. Japanese motorcycle manufacturers have a long history of building reliable vehicles and a dedicated following. Honda and Kawasaki, unlike Harley-Davidson, both produce a wide variety of motorcycles, including sports bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, adventure bikes, dual sports, and track racing models.

Honda has produced several popular cruisers in the Shadow range if only considering the cruiser lineup. The Honda Shadow Phantom is the only model in the Shadow series that is still being produced. It’s a basic entry-level cruiser with a bobber-inspired design and low seat height. Kawasaki, on the other hand, is more dedicated to its high-speed sports bikes, such as the Ninja series.

But the business has also added vintage and contemporary cruisers to the Kawasaki Vulcan inventory. Vintage-inspired cruisers from the Kawasaki Vulcan have long wheelbases, substantial fenders, and ergonomic comfort.

The Kawasaki Vulcan S, however, is significantly different from the company’s standard cruiser. It has a muscular appearance, sportier ergonomics, and engine and chassis designs that more closely resemble a bare bike. The Kawasaki Vulcan S is a specialized cruiser perfect for new riders. The complete comparison review of the 2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs the 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S is below.

2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S

2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S – Features Comparison


With no heavy components and no traces of a fuel tank, the Honda Shadow Phantom is a straightforward and frank motorcycle. It comes with a matte black finish and is offered in two direct single-tone color schemes: Metallic Matte Black and Adventure Green. The only chrome components on this bike are the two separate dual short exhaust pipes. A small round headlamp with a matte black nose, bullet-shaped front and rear turn signals, a front end that has been significantly blacked out, and other exterior features distinguish the Honda Shadow Phantom.

Also Read: 2023 Honda Shadow Phantom 750 vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan 900

Along with the teardrop-shaped air filter cover, the gearbox and engine components are covered completely in black. Additionally, the Honda Shadow Phantom has a two-up gunfighter seat that ensures a low seat height. It sports gauges mounted on the fuel tank, a Bobber-style front fender, and large Dunlap front and rear tires wrapped around wire-spoked wheels to complete the Bobber-inspired aesthetic.

An integrated tail/stop light and license plate holder kit are in the rear fender. The battery cover is blacked out with the Honda logo and is located under the driver’s seat. The Honda Shadow Phantom is a compact cruiser with a planted design for better handling and stability.

2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S

An unconventional cruiser with contemporary looks and sportier ergonomics is the Kawasaki Vulcan S. The 2023 model’s solo rider seat is a standard tuck-and-roll design. The Kawasaki Vulcan S has a low seat height and an excellent wheelbase despite the low-raked front end. A parallel twin with a radiator positioned in front of the engine and a smaller muffler on the right side of the two, it has an unusual chassis design.

The Kawasaki Vulcan S features attractive rear and front fenders in bobber style, as well as an extended assembly with a taillight, small rear turn signals, and a bracket for the license plate. It also features a retro-looking shield-shaped headlight aggressively housed in a blacked-out nacelle.

Simple, low-slung, semi-swept back handlebars are equipped with rectangular side mirrors and a digital and analog gauge cluster, and all these components are installed. The rear mono-shock of the Kawasaki Vulcan S is located under the seat and is visible from the right side of the bike. Additionally, it has attractive five-spoke wheels with colorful pinstripes like the rest of the bike, surrounded by some wider tires.

Engine and Performance

The entry-level motorcycle Honda Shadow Phantom’s 745cc 52° V-Twin engine produces 44.6 hp at 5,500 rpm and 64.94 Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm. The only modern innovation on this essential, unequipped cruiser is programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI).

The single throttle body guarantees smooth throttle response and low fuel consumption of 56 mpg. Its long-stroke engine design, smooth power delivery, and good low-end torque offer an enjoyable riding experience for novice riders.

2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S

To deliver seamless gear changes and a comfortable riding experience, the Honda Shadow Phantom features a wide-ratio five-speed transmission and a cleaner final shaft drive. A decent amount of wheel travel from the 41mm front fork suspension helps with neutral handling and cornering.

The long wheelbase and low center of gravity further enhance handling. The 3.5-inch wheel travel and five-position preload adjustable spring of the dual rear shocks guarantee a comfortable ride on smooth and uneven terrains.

The Kawasaki Vulcan S is a well-liked cruiser suitable for beginners as it is underpowered and comfortable. It is powered by a small 649 cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine that produces 62.77 Nm of torque at 6,600 rpm and 60.14 hp at 7,500 rpm. For beginner and intermediate riders, the Kawasaki Vulcan S is a muscle cruiser with quick acceleration, quick throttle response, and uninterrupted power delivery at all gear levels.

The Kawasaki Vulcan S includes several features, including front brake levers and a five-position adjustable clutch that guarantees smooth gear changes and smooth clutch action. Although it has a small displacement engine, it has a six-speed gearbox with a positive, neutral finder that sends power from the engine to the rear wheels via a sealed chain drive.

Along with twin throttle bodies and sub-throttle valves, the Digital Fuel Injection (DFI) technology on the Kawasaki Vulcan S offers the engine superior fuel delivery and fuel economy of 57.32 mpg. The exhaust emits a soul-soothing sound thanks to the parallel-twin engine and stock two-to-one exhaust pipe.

The Kawasaki Vulcan S features a single late-offset shock absorber with linkage and preload adjustable that enhances long-distance ride comfort and a 41mm telescopic front fork. It can’t bend or lean like a sports bike, yet it can maintain good handling and stability when traveling at high speeds.

Wheel travel for the single lay-down rear shock is 3.2 inches, compared to 5.1 inches for the telescopic front fork. Due to its reliable braking system, which includes its 300mm single front disc and 250mm single rear disc Nisson brakes, and an optional ABS, the Kawasaki Vulcan S provides a safe riding experience.

2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S

Comfort and Ergonomics

The Honda Shadow Phantom is one of the lightest and most comfortable cruisers in the Honda Cruiser family, weighing just 249 kg. Its long wheelbase and raked-out front end give it a low center of gravity and a seat height of just 25.8 inches. Despite being a small motorcycle, it is suitable for short and tall riders as the foot controls are located at the front, with plenty of room for their legs.

A comfortable riding triangle, an upright back, and a comfortable seating position are guaranteed by the low seat height, forward foot control, and handlebar position. The low-mounted, semi-swept back handlebars should be reached by a shorter rider, who must lean forward in their seat.

An excellent entry-level motorcycle for commuting, city touring, and highway touring is the Honda Shadow Phantom. Longer journeys will be more comfortable if the windshield, saddlebags, and backrest are installed.

The Kawasaki Vulcan S is a sporty cruiser with bold looks and adjustable ergonomics for a comfortable riding experience. It features clever Ergo-Fit technology designed by Kawasaki to enhance rider safety and comfort. Riders can modify the ergonomics and rider triangle using the Ergo-Fit tool to fit their tastes better. You can make the ride more comfortable for short, average, and tall riders by modifying the position of the handlebars, seat height and footrest location.

2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S

With its low seat height and foot controls, the Kawasaki Vulcan S offers plenty of legroom and an upright back position. However, you can modify the riding triangle if you want an aggressive style. Due to its low weight of 226 kg, the Kawasaki Vulcan S is the perfect motorcycle for daily commuting. It works best when traveling on open roads and passing through urban areas. The Kawasaki Vulcan S, however, can be customized with Saddlebags, a windscreen, and backrests for longer journeys. For a comfortable two-up ride, an aftermarket passenger seat can be installed.

2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S – FAQs

Is the Kawasaki Vulcan S a Fast Motorcycle?

The Kawasaki Vulcan S is a sporty cruiser with an aggressive design, but it’s not as fast as a sports bike. However, it is nimble and produces good acceleration and throttle response for a lightweight entry-level cruiser. The top speed of the Kawasaki Vulcan S is 105.6 mph.

2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S

2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S – Specifications Comparison

Specs \ Bikes 2023 Honda Shadow Phantom 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S

Engine and Performance

Displacement 745 cc / 45.46 cu in 649 cc / 39.6 cu in
Engine Design and Type 52° V-Twin, Four-Stroke Engine Four-Stroke, Parallel-Twin Engine
Cooling System Liquid-Cooled Liquid-Cooled
No. of Cylinders Two Two
Valves Per Cylinder Three Four
Horsepower 44.6 hp @ 5,500 rpm 60.14 hp @ 7,500 rpm
Torque 64.94 Nm @ 3,500 rpm 62.77 Nm @ 6,600 rpm
Stroke 76 mm / 3 in 60 mm / 2.36 in
Bore 79 mm / 3.11 in 83 mm / 3.27 in
Fuel Injection System Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI); 34 mm Throttle Body Digital Fuel Injection with Dual 38 mm Throttle Bodies and Sub-Throttle Valves
Compression Ratio 9.6:1 10.8:1
Transmission Wide-Ratio, Five-Speed Six-Speed with Positive Neutral Finder
Final Drive Shaft Sealed Chain
Clutch Wet, Multiplate Wet, Multi-Disc
Fuel Economy 56 mpg 57.32 mpg
Muffler Chrome, Separate Dual Mufflers Blacked-out Single Muffler
Exhaust Two-Into-Two Exhaust Two-Into-One Exhaust
Frame Steel Frame High-Tensile Steel Diamond Frame
Starter Electric Electric
Gauges Fuel Tank-Mounted Handlebars-Mounted

2023 Honda Shadow Phantom vs 2023 Kawasaki Vulcan S


Wheels Steel-Spoked Wheels with Black Rims Five-Spoke Alloy Wheels
Tires Front: Dunlop® 120/90 R17 64S
Rear: Dunlop® 160/80 R15 74S
Front: 120/70×18
Rear: 160/60×17


Front 296 mm Single Disc with Twin-Piston Caliper Nissin 300 mm Single Disc with Dual-Piston Caliper
Rear 180 mm Drum Nissin 250 mm Single Disc with Single-Piston Caliper
ABS No Optional


Front 41 mm Front Fork 41 mm Telescopic Front Fork
Rear Dual Shocks with Five-Position Spring-Preload Adjustability Preload-Adjustable Lay-Down Offset Shock Absorber with Linkage
Front Wheel Travel 116.84 mm / 4.6 in 129.54 mm / 5.1 in
Rear Wheel Travel 88.9 mm / 3.5 in 81.28 mm / 3.2 in

Dimensions and Weight

Trail 160 mm / 6.3 in 119.38 mm / 4.7 in
Rake 34° 31°
Fuel Tank Capacity 3.7 gal 3.7 gal
Ground Clearance 129.5 mm / 5.1 in 129.5 mm / 5.1 in
Width 825.5 mm / 32.5 in 878.84 mm / 34.6 in
Height 1089.7 mm / 42.9 in 1099.82 mm / 43.3 in
Length 2395.22 mm / 94.3 in 2308.86 mm / 90.9 in
Seat Height 655.32 mm / 25.8 in 706.12 mm / 27.8 in
Wheelbase 1640.8 mm / 64.6 in 1574.8 mm / 62 in
Wet Weight 549 lbs / 249 kg ABS: 498.3 lbs / 226 kg
Non-ABS: 491.7 lbs / 223 kg

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