Post Sale Update: This Vulcan Drifter sodl for $4,550 after 54 bids on eBay.
In 1994, Denny Berg worked with Cobra USA to take a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 and create an “American Classic” custom. It was a success on the show circuit, and the next year Kawi released a “Classic” version of the Vulcan. The next year, Kawasaki went back to Cobra, Denny, and Don Emde (son of the legendary racer Floyd Emde). Don wanted to build a bike that looked like an Indian Chief for a feature in Rider Magazine. Starting with a Vulcan Classic, the team came together with the thought of what Indian might build if they were building bikes in the mid 90s. It got such positive attention, that Kawi decided to make a limited production model called the Vulcan Drifter. The original idea was to build just 1 or 2 per dealership, though after the first year it became a full production run – and Kawasaki offered it in a 800cc displacement as well. This example stands out as it was customized by Bob Stark, also known as Mr. Indian, to look very close to a 40s Indian Chief.
The Vulcan Drifter became a cult bike because many riders found it to be the perfect compromise of 40s looks with modern technology. For all the information you could want on the Drifter, check out Vulcan Drifter Riders – truly one of the most comprehensive sites dedicated to one model I’ve ever seen. Click here for a promo video on the Drifter back in 1999.
This example (VIN: JKBVNCE115A010148) got several basic modifications – Indian badges on the tank, leather saddlebags, running lights, the Indian War Bonnet, and a few other touches. It looks like it was supposed to go up for sale at the Bonhams auction in Las Vegas last month but the lot was amended. Estimated sale price was $5,000-$6,000. Find this Chief lookalike for sale in Gardena, California with an unmet opening bid of $1,000