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2009 Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager First Ride

Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The 2009 Kawasaki Voyager looks sharp in its Candy Plasm Blue paint.
Kawasaki throws its hat into the full dress touring motorcycle ring with the release of the 2009 Vulcan Voyager.
“The new 1700 models are Kawasaki’s future in cruisers.” So said Kawasaki Product Manager Croft Long to a group of moto scribes at the 2009 Vulcan 1700 Cruisers intro in Mill Valley, California. We were here to experience Kawasaki’s 1700cc fuel injected future in the form of four new cruiser and touring V-Twins, including what is claimed to be the first metric V-Twin-powered full dress touring motorcycle, the 2009 Kawasaki Voyager. The next two days would be spent logging hundreds of miles along Hwy. 1 and over the Marin County hills including an unforgettable ascent up the Bay Area’s highest scenic overlook, Mt. Tamalpias.

Joining Kawasaki’s new luxury touring motorcycle are three models already imbedded in Vulcan lore, the Nomad, Classic, and Classic LT. Besides the obvious 100cc bump in displacement from 2008’s 1600cc Vulcan class, the new 1700 models now have a six-speed transmission, belt instead of shaft drive, and a new chassis. There’s enough variation in styling cues and touring amenities between the models to sate discriminatory riders, and touches of new bodywork and lots more chrome are included in the 2009 upgrades.

The new engine is based on the powerplant used in the Vulcan 2000, except the 1700 uses a single overhead cam in each cylinder head instead of the 2000’s push-rod actuated overhead valve arrangement. The 102mm X 104mm bore/stroke of the 103.7 cubic-inch engine is claimed to produce 108 ft-lb of torque. Compression is now 9.5:1, up 0.5 from the 1600. Kawasaki has worked hard to make sure
The 1700cc engine in the 2009 Vulcan Cruisers has a 102mm X 104mm bore stroke and pushes out a claimed 108 ft-lb of torque.
The 2009 Vulcan Cruisers have a 1700cc 52-degree V-Twin engine that is based on the big lump in the Vulcan 2000.
the engine is full of V-Twin character and twin counter-balancers help maintain the happy medium between too much vibes and too little.

The 52-degree V-Twin is mounted in a single backbone double cradle frame. The new chassis is more compact, shaving 13mm off the wheelbase. There are less castings, helping to knock off 4.4 lbs over the 2008 Vulcans, and Kawasaki claims the new arrangement is 40% more rigid than the old chassis. The seat to steering head distance is now shorter, and the rake has been brought in two degrees, with its new settings at 30-degrees with 6.7-in. travel. The rider’s triangle has also been compacted by bringing in the handlebars 30mm and the floorboards by 50mm.

The 2009 Vulcan 1700 Cruisers also benefit from what Kawasaki calls its ‘first fully electronic throttle valve system.’ It feels like a cable-actuated throttle, but is really a system of sensors and an ECU that are controlling the precious fuel flow. But there are cables. The throttle cable is connected to a throttle pulley, whose position is monitored by an accelerator position sensor. A separate cable runs to the throttle position sensor, with the information from both sensors being sent to the ECU. The ECU then translates the info and adjusts the throttle plates to control air intake, fuel and spark. The system adjusts for load, temperature, pressure, and throttle opening.
With 15 mph switchbacks  elevation changes  and some of the greenest hills around  Marin County was a perfect choice for testing the road-readiness of the 2009 line of Vulcan 1700 Cruisers.
With 15 mph switchbacks, elevation changes, and some of the greenest hills around, Marin County was a perfect choice for testing the road-readiness of the 2009 line of Vulcan 1700 Cruisers.

Bigger engine, smaller frame, new throttle system - with a list of attributes like this, I was eager to ride the new Vulcans. Though I had never ridden the old Inline-Four Voyager, its reputation as a manageable motorcycle precedes it. But like many, I wondered why Kawasaki was bringing the model back after a six-year absence. In response to this question, Kawasaki said that first the Voyager’s return was due in large part to customer response. Second, Kawasaki sees it as an opportunity to capitalize on a lack of alternatives. There are no other metric V-Twin full dress tourers with traditional styling. The final reason is the positive trend shown in the touring segment. The niche appeals to riders with higher disposable incomes, so why not try to tap into it?

The first thing I notice when throwing a leg over the 28.7-inch high seat is how compact the ergos are. It’s a short reach to the bars. The tank isn’t overly wide at 5.3 gallons, allowing me to snug in to the bike. The floorboards are in tight, too, and the seating position leaves me straight-backed, arms comfortably forward with a solid center of balance. It’s the most compact riding triangle of any luxury-touring bike around. Combine the rider-friendly ergos with a 65.6-inch wheelbase and you’ve got a big motorcycle that is easily manageable at low speeds from the get-go.

The 2009 Vulcan Cruisers have been switched from shaft to belt drive.
The 2009 Vulcan Cruisers have a narrow carbon fiber belt, switching over from shaft drive used in the 2008 models.
Rolling through the gears of the six-speed transmission, shifts are smooth and gears engage reliably. It is a lot less clunky than American V-Twins. I tap out first gear until it redlines at 42 mph, push second to its limit until it bogs at 68 mph. Third and fourth gears are the best, set wide with ample power through the rev range. Fifth and sixth are overdrive gears, and unless you’re revving high, it’s not going to give you much roll-on acceleration, so it’s good to wind fourth out before shifting up. When it’s time for logging long miles on cruise control though, you’ll be grateful for the efficiency of the overdrives and the wear and tear they’ll save in the long run.

As the turns along the Bohemian Hwy. leading into Occidental increased, so did opportunities for the Voyager’s brakes to shine. Equipped with Kawasaki’s Advanced Coactive Braking Technology (K-ACT), powerful brakes are mandatory when it comes time to stop an 886-lb motorcycle. The system works in conjunction with the ABS that is available as an option on the Voyager. It uses pressure and speed sensors that send info to the brake ECU which controls the motor-driven hydraulic pumps so they deliver the proper amount of pressure to the brake calipers. So when you give the front brake lever a good squeeze, the system will concurrently activate the right hand front caliper on the rear brake. Depressing the back brake likewise engages calipers on the twin 4-piston set-up up front. The system does not engage when braking below 12 mph, and ABS disengages at 4 mph. It took hard braking to get the ABS system to engage, recognizable by a small pulse at the
I love spring. Not only do the flowers bloom  but its also when I get to sample the newest motorcycles  like Kawasakis 2009 line of Vulcan 1700 Cruisers.
I love spring. Not only are the flowers bloom, but it's also when I get to sample the newest motorcycles, like Kawasaki's 2009 line of Vulcan 1700 Cruisers.
brake lever and pedal. The system facilitates keeping the bike upright and front end dive is less noticeable than on other big motorcycles.

The suspension is well-sorted for touring. It starts with a 45mm Showa hydraulic fork, 2mm larger than the other Vulcan models in order to support the fairing. Dual adjustable rear shocks with air-assisted (0-43 psi) 4-way rebound damping do the road-smoothing duties on the back. The default settings are at the second position and are for a rider in the 150 lb range, so unless you’re a flyweight, a click or two of rebound is in order.

Kawasaki did an excellent job of injecting the bike with plenty of V-Twin vibes felt in the saddle. I like the feel and the sound of the ride. But the front fairing on the Voyager I rode had a noticeable rattle at 2200-2300 rpm. At first I thought it was the windscreen, but I grabbed it firmly while riding and the rattle continued. It sounded like the housing for the gauges that fit inside the fairing needed to be bolted down tighter.

Cruise control comes standard on the 09 Vulcan Voyager.
Cruise control comes standard on the 2009 Vulcan Voyager. The housing is well-located and it is easy to operate.
The design of the frame-mounted front fairing is one of my favorite parts of the motorcycle, though. Which isn’t a surprise since the styling shapes of the headlights and the lines of the fairing itself borrow from American muscle cars of the 1960s. Classy, but edgy. The muscle car influence carries over to the intuitively designed cockpit. The dial gauges, speedo, tach, and digital display sit in an automotive-style dash board and are easy to see. The LCD is controlled by switches on the right handlebar and includes a gear position indicator, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, remaining range and average fuel consumption. And while the analog gauges are easily visible, the small gear indicator is challenging to locate at times. The front fairing and wind screen did provide plenty of protection though.

Auxiliary controls are housed on the left handlebar while cruise control is on the right. The top volume button is easy to reach with the throttle hand, but it’s a stretch to the next two buttons. I had no problems operating the cruise control with my right hand, though. The Voyager has an integrated audio system that can be upgraded with dual rear speakers. It has plug-ins to the main wiring harness for an iPod, rider-passenger intercom, dual rear speakers, XM radio and a CB, but they are all offered as upgrades.

The top case of the 2009 Voyager holds a claimed 13.2 gallons and passed the two helmet test.
The top case of the 2009 Voyager holds a claimed 13.2-gallons and passed the two helmet test.
Touring amenities include hard saddlebags and a top case. The lockable, color-matched, top-opening saddlebags have a 10-gallon storage capacity while the top case has 13.2 gallons of storage space and easily holds two full-face helmets. The bags and cases can be left unlocked and accessed without the key, a big improvement over Kawi’s last system that mandated the removal of the key every time a rider needed to get into the bags. The latches on the saddlebags are a little touchy and require a firm push to snap into place. Lower fairing leg shields add more touring comfort and have fresh air vents that are individually adjustable. Rider floorboards suit the motorcycle’s luxury touring styling but drag easily when you’ve got a chassis that is as rider-friendly as the Voyager’s.

One factor sure to garner attention to the 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager is its $16,799 MSRP. Two color choices, Candy Plasma Blue/Metallic Diablo Black or Metallic Titanium/Metallic Diablo Black, are your current options. The Vulcan 1700 Voyager with ABS stickers for $17,899, and after experiencing the ride with and without the system, spending the extra dough is worth the sense of security.

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2009 Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager Specs
The cockpit of the Voyager is clean and practical and is layed out similar to an automotives dash.
Engine: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valve per cylinder, 52° V-twin
Displacement: 1700cc / 103.7ci
Bore x stroke: 102 x 104mm
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Maximum Torque: 108 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
Cooling: Liquid, plus cooling fins
Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance
Induction: Digital fuel injection, dual 42mm throttle bodies
Transmission: Six-speed with overdrive
Frame: Steel, double-cradle with box-section single-tube backbone
Rake / trail: 30° / 7.0 in.
Front Suspension: / 45mm hydraulic fork / 5.5 in. travel 
Rear Suspension: / Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks, with 4-way rebound damping / 3.1 in. travel
Tire, front: 130/90x16
Tire, rear: 170/70x16
Brakes, front: Dual 300 mm discs, dual twin-piston calipers rear: Single 300 mm disc, twin-piston caliper
Overall length: 100.8 in.
Overall width: 39.2 in.
Overall height: 61.0 in.
Seat height: 28.7 in.
Curb weight: 886.4 lb / 895.2 lb (ABS)
Wheelbase: 65.6 in.
Fuel capacity: 5.3 gal.
Colors: Candy Plasma Blue / Metallic Diablo Black , Metallic Titanium / Metallic Diablo Black
MSRP: $16,799 / $17,899 (ABS)
Warranty: 36 months

2009 Vulcan 1700 Cruisers Gear Bag
The return of the Voyager may be the biggest news in the Kawasaki cruiser camp  but the Nomad is a worthy road bike in its own right.

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randy -competition  December 23, 2010 05:19 PM
can"t hear pipes over musit
ron -different bikes  December 6, 2010 11:17 PM
I havs two harleys, an 05 road king and 03 softtail. both bikes are very confortable and nice to ride. I also have an 09 gold wing and 2010 vulcan 1700 kawasaki. dam i can ride those two bikes to heaven and back. They are the supreme bikes of all the bikes i ever owned. I think that it is very nice when you experience differnet bikes.
Slawomir -New happy Vulcan user  July 2, 2010 06:21 AM
Hi Guys, I have my own Vulcan 1700 Nomad for two weeks :) In Europe Kavi call it VN1700 Classic Tourer, but for me Vulcan sounds better... I have 1500 miles now and tomorrow with my wife we plan to turn next 400miles. I love it (regardless of the heat on traffic jam). greetings from Poland
Treetopp -2009 Voyager  June 17, 2010 08:01 PM
Just found this page, very good reading. I bought my Voyager last July. I have 18,000 miles on it as of this writing. I really enjoy this bike till I have to stop in traffic. Then I get my inner thighs roasted. The week after I bought it I rode 600 miles over to the Dragon to break it in. I was really surprised how the bike took the curves coming and going. My only complaint would be the seat. Doesn't hold me where I want to be held. A back rest might take care of that but the $315.00 price tag keeps me from buying it. Lost my attena also. Screws out while you ride. Milage, bout 35 mpg, nevr again will a Bridgestone tire be on the rear, 6500 miles and it was gone. Wife likes it too. Got the clank between gears, dealer said AMSWAY OIL would stop it. Five quarts and $75.00 later I still got the clank. Don't use the dealer anymore. I love riding!!!!
Charles Hook -Doc  May 30, 2010 05:25 AM
I have noticed the rattle in my 2008 Nomad but I also noticed that it did not rattle when the gas tank is full. Could that be the be the crome tank strap that was referred to by Jarhead Oct.17, 2009.
2007 kawasaki nomad -Riding the new Voyager  May 15, 2010 11:18 PM
I have a 07 Nomad. We took to South Dakota last sumer. With my wife and anether couple. The other couple had a HD Road King. They complained about the seat. They got better gas miliage then I did. And they come to the conculion that loud pipes were'nt the best for a 900 mile trip. My bike was harder on the bill fold,as having to get gas every 300 miles. But having a good cooling system was nice. He said the his HD was hot driving it in the city. And It was hard to take off in stop and go traffic. I had a some problems stopping in the city traffic with my breaks. So I learned alot about my bike and how it handles.
Flash to last week. I took mine into The dealership after some lady backed into it in a parking lot. The salesmen came over to me and asked about trying out the new voyager. I didn't want to at first. But just to get away from him I did. I got on it and headed out for the highway. My first impressions was that the handle bars were alot closer to gether then my bike. And the shifter was a little bit more cluckier to shift. And it was alot bigger and heaver bike then mine. I think it is about a hundred pounds. I didn't feel it until I motored around town. It got hot and seamed to kick on the cooling fan alot. And there was some power drop that I felt. The bike road nice, and had a better feel while in a parking lot. It did move around and cornered nice at slow speeds with easlier hanling. There was some buzzing at different speeds. Both at highway and city driving. I think if you would just trun on the radio up they would go away.:) Even on a cold 60 degree day with the leg vents open the heat from the engine came up and hit me in the face. This was good for the highway and kind of hot in town though. I wonder what it would be like in the hot summer? Anyways a got back and told the sales men that it was alright for a big highway bike. But I think I'll stick to what I have for now.


Larry P -Kawasaki Voyager  March 18, 2010 07:25 PM
I bought my 2009 Voyager about 9 months ago, and I have about 2500 miles on it. It is a step down from the 2000 Vulcan but it is way more comfortable and I really like the looks. The heat coming off of the motor was exteme and hard to take in the summer, so I wrote Kawasaki a letter hoping for a fix. They did come out with some heat shields and this has really helped a lot. Now the heat is nowhere as bad as it was. I am looking forward to putting a lot of miles on it this summer.
Mark H -If only MB would build a bike  January 27, 2010 06:03 PM
I wish Mercedes Benz would build a bike and apply the quality and styling of their 80's vintage cars. It is a shame that they never applied their extreme over-built engineering to this subject. They could show them all how it's done. MB...at least in the past; engineered for worst environments...not average environments.
I dont appreciate the fact that riders of most bikes live with various compromises such as squeaks, rattles and non-highway overheating. I too love my bike but have to admit that there are shortcomings. I want a bike that is engineered to take care of itself...not something that constantly causes me to wonder if a problem is on the way. I dont mind extra tubing running around to insure proper cooling and lubrication...it is not all about looks but well thought out engineering is beautiful in itself!
The fact that riders have to re-engineer with "bits of rubber" and aftermarket mods just to attain an acceptable level of comfort/performance/reliability (with compromise) seems pretty ridiculous.
I want a bike that keeps it's cool no matter what... and it dosent matter to me if it looks like a sophisticated tractor!
Show me a bike that can go 0.25 million miles with proper maintenance....and then be rebuilt.
By proper maintenance I mean regular but minimal maintenance.
I dont even care so much about chrome plating... I want strength!
Paint it a dull engine red, tractor green, machine grey or whatever...just dont build disposable crap!
By the way, what is the average odometer reading of a "parts bike"?
I'd bet that Vespas go farther than many other two wheelers!

Mark H -Kawi Noises  November 14, 2009 07:43 PM
The Bigger cruisers do have a definite clunk moving between gears.
The good news is, it is no different than a big car changing gears...with the exception that in a car, you are not exposed to the noise.
Re: Belt Whine:
I spray a little shot of a dry-silicone product on the left side of the belt that is supposed to be "rubber friendly"... man, that almosts sounds erotic dosent it?
Supposedly, if you have the belt de-tensioned to the low end of the factory specification, the whine will be minimized but not eleminated.
Another metallic buzz you may get on a big cruizer is the headlight enclosure.
Occasionally, it will set up a sympathetic resonance and the two pieces sound like a fly trapped between the window and the curtain.
Kawi should offer up a replacement front drive pulley for the belt with some sort of left side slip ring or bearing to allow the belt to glide by...but dont count on that.
Did you ever think you would have to "lube" a belt drive?
If and when I get around to it, I might just disassemble the headlight and run a film of silicone rubber around the mating surfaces, allow it to dry and reassemble it.

Kevin -09 Voyager  November 1, 2009 02:01 PM
I too had a concern with the loud change of gears 1-2-3. Many articles I have read and the folks at the local Kawi dealership have said that this is normal for the bike. My 03 1600 never made such noise but a bigger/different bike will make new noises to get used to.It does run a tad on the warm side around town but not noted on the highway. Mine has not made any coughing into the airbox as you say. My only concerns thus far, and I have about 6000miles on mine so far this year, are mostly cosmetic in nature. The side air intake covers are flakeing off and there is/was a harsh rattle at 2500rpm that may have been fixed with the help of Jarhead. Hope you enjoy your new ride. Keep safe
Paul -09 kawasaki 1700cc vulcan  October 25, 2009 05:02 PM
Are you people riding the same bike i have. I had a 05 1600cc kawa.my 09 has a bang from 1to2to3 that sounds like the tranny is going to fall out. The belt has a whine from 2to3 & right at 30 mph.The bike runs hot hot & at times coughs in the air box like a harley.This bike has plenty of power & can handel very well for it's size.Made for the highway not for around town.This to me is not a improvement & has plenty of plastic not metal.I had plenty of kawasakis & one of the best is the 05 1600cc Vulcan. My 09 has 3,500 miles on it in 2 months i called kawasaki & they said it's normal. i have been riding for about 35 years Thanks Paul
Jarhead -Rattle  October 17, 2009 09:18 AM
It is the chrome Gas tank Strap. Follow it to the forks where it touches the fork lock. There is no attaching point for the strap so it taps on the metal during vibration. I only found it because I was pushing down on it when the rattling happened. One other bit of advice check your Antenna. I lost mine going to work, it just unscrewed.... to the tune of $104!!!!!!! This one is getting lock-tited in.
kevin -front end rattle  September 28, 2009 07:32 AM
please tell me more on where this rattle is from. Not much of a wrench, but this noise is driveing me bonkers
Dana -Rattle  September 23, 2009 08:54 AM
Thanks for the tip on the rattle - a piece of well placed rubber under the tank strap and it is quiet as a mouse!
Dana -Rattle  September 23, 2009 08:52 AM
Thanks for the tip on the rattle - a piece of well placed rubber under the tank strap and it is quiet as a mouse!
Dana -Rattle  September 23, 2009 08:51 AM
Thanks for the tip on the rattle - a piece of well placed rubber under the tank strap and it is quiet as a mouse!
Jarhead -Fuel Mileage  September 19, 2009 08:00 AM
I have about 3000 on mine now. Have found the mileage to average about 35 MPG. However, I am keeping up with traffic (70-80) alot 6th gear about 2900 rpm. As with everything touring around 2up around 60 it goes up to about 40 MPG. I did get a notice in the mail about the Throttle to start it an not touch the throttle for 12 sec. to allow it to set. I did lose my antena on the way to work the other day, just unscrewed ($104!!!). I have purchased the saddle bag inserts and I am waiting for the hook ups for the Ipod/Mp3 player. As for the heat it is only noticeable when you are in the heat and moving slow. And lastly the fuel low indicator starting to flash at 1.3 left can be a little distracting however a flick of the thumb on the switch and it switches back to the OD. I had a 2003 Nomad for 4 yrs and 18000 before this bike I can say enough good thing about it and the better half loves the ride.
Jerry -responce to lightning  September 18, 2009 10:45 PM
It is like all the other bikes i've had, all i had to go by is trip meter, when we go about 100 miles we are ready to stop for a minute or two anyway and we always fill up then so that is not an issue.hope you get your wife back on the bike, my wife rode her own for several years and still would but on long trips i like her to be on the bike with me. anyway thanks for all the info, i am going up tomorrow to maybe close the deal on a voyager maybe we'll see u guys on the road somewhere. Happy Rideing and watch out for the 4 wheelers cause their not watching for u.
lightning -continued response to Jerry  September 18, 2009 07:51 AM
Jerry, I rode a 1997 Vulcan Classic for 11 years, and it didn't have the mileage indicator, so I learned for various scenarios what the total range was on that particular bike. You need to do the same with the Voyager. One thing that is interesting on mileage indicator, is that when you get to the magic 1.3 gallons left in the tank, the mileage and instant indicator cease to function, and a "Fuel Low" is shown on the display. Just have to know your bike I guess. I never once ran out of fuel in the 11 years of riding the Classic (85,000+ miles) including some long stretches in the desert. I have found that this particular bike, at least now, prefers the 2,000-2,300 rpm range for optimum mileage. So if I am running at 55 mph, it is more fuel efficient to leave it in 5th rather than upshift to 6th. Again, know your machine. I am very happy with it, and can't wait to ride two up. My wife is not up to riding yet since the accident, and probably won't until next spring, which is why the low miles.
lightning -Response to Jerry  September 18, 2009 06:30 AM
Jerry, As with any mechanical device, you must remain smarter than the machine, so the mileage device is just a suggestion, instant mileage changes, like, instantly :-) As far as the heat, it is there, but not really detrimental to the performance of the bike. It can be uncomfortable when in very warm weather, but then warm weather is uncomfortable anyway. I haven't had any problems with the belt, but then only 1500 miles as of yet. The seat is very comfortable for the long rides and the suspension is very nicely adjustable, while tracking extremely well. I think you will greatly enjoy it!
Jerry -just gettn info  September 16, 2009 07:25 PM
I have read the heat was really bad on the right side, i have read that the gas milage meter would leave u stranded out of gas, i have read the belt squeels really bad at times, how does the bike that u have fair up to all this? i am really looking at the voyager, it is a really nice looking bike. my wife and i are getting ready to take a trip from conway ar. to hwy 1 oregon coast to san francisco then back through route 66 so i really want a good smooth ride and dependability, the belt really does'nt bother me my victory i ride right now has a little squeel when the weather is damp. but the belt gives that extra torque. my king pin is a six speed also so there would'nt be much to get used to there, the voyager up and down gears sound the same. anyway i agree with u i love to ride and could care less what anybody rides brothers all the way down the highway. happy riden and thanks for the info.
Lightning -2009 Voyager  September 16, 2009 01:12 PM
I lurked this site for a long time trying to find info on the 2009 Voyager. I put my deposit down in January, and mine was delivered in July. It actually would have been in June, but some guy decided to run into the rear of my 1997 Vulcan Classic on the freeway while I was doing 70mph. Anyway, my voyager is a great bike. I have 1500 miles on it, and the best mileage so far has been 44.5, it is a great touring machine, 2100 rpm at 60 mph, sixth gear is a fairly high, but fifth and fourth can both be used at normal road speeds (this coming from a previous four speed owner) , the cruise control is very accurate both up and down hill, and in short it is everything I expected. I don't get into brand name arguments, as if you are on two wheels, you are a brother on the road. If you want to know more, let me know. Lightning SOGMC
JERRY -JUST GETTING INFO  September 13, 2009 08:10 AM
jarhead -1700 voyager  August 23, 2009 10:12 AM
I have had mine for about a month or so. I love it. Had a rattle which I thought was coming from my fairing turns out it was the chrome tank strap tapping on the fork lock. A small piece of rubber hose cut in half problem solved. Biggest problem getting Acc.
Richard McGrath -Kawasaki Voyager  August 16, 2009 10:01 AM
I just Bought the New Voyager, and all I can say is where has it been all my life I simply love it. it is a brute of a bike but so easy to handle. and the power is something else, Just simply a pleasure to ride and good value for money
Mark H. -Be happy  August 8, 2009 05:37 PM
How about this concept...
Ride what you like and like what you ride or trade it in.
It does not bother me in the least to ride with an assortment of other brands.
As somebody who started out with a whalloping 1/2 hp engine 45 years ago, I have an appreciation for just about anything that moves you down the road...and if it is on two wheels, that is even better.
Certainly, it is possible to invest foolishly but if you got what you wanted...who cares?
For me, its not all about performance or looks but I do appreciate a good looking bike...almost as much as I appreciate mechanical monsters.
Nonetheless, when it all comes together...the looks, the power and the perfomance, it is a beautiful thing.
If you ever happen upon a bike that you cannot muster up a complaint about, dont ever let it go...but dont hold your breath waiting for it to materialize.
And finally, consider the fact that each bike is unique...even within the same models.
Some are rolling perfection, some are questionable and some are junk.

david phillips -1700 voyager  August 8, 2009 04:40 PM
My local dealer got a voyager in in july. I went to look at it, Ilike the bike. I have a 2003 nomad with 37k miles and no trouble with it. I have a batwing fairing, trunck and many other acc, around 4000.00 worth. When i talked trade I found that my bike with all these ass. had lost 60-70% of its value. At this rate the voyager in five years will be worth 5-6 thousland. I think I will get a harley that holds its value
Greg -HD vs. Jap  August 6, 2009 02:30 PM
I'm not sure where some of you guys get your ideas about Harley riders and owners. I too have been riding for many years, have owned Jap sport bikes, cruisers, dirt bikes etc. I bought my first Harley in 05. It was a Sportster, and I have upgraded since. I have ridden with many groups, and I have never been where they sit and admire the new chrome, nor have I heard much bashing of other types of bikes. My experience has been for the most part positive. Maybe I'm different because I will wave at anyone on a bike from a Sport bike, to a metric cruiser, or dual sport. I too don't really see myself as a "biker" but an "enthusiast" I just checked out this new Voyager and think its a bitchen bike, and may purchase one. I just wanted to clear up the for the most part HD riders aren't like what you may think!
Nick -Why argue!!  August 4, 2009 03:13 AM
Most HD owners are prejudists, they'll never accept that any other maker can make better bikes than HD's rattling stone age dinosaurs, except V-rods, thanks to Porsche for bringing HD to the new millennium. The Japs have superior quality at lesser price with on par or better performance & their bikes look new for a change.. not like Harley's chromed out oldies! I own a Honda Valkyrie Rune & it kicks hell out of Harley's on freeways & in city & looks better too, I'll loose it free the day "The Motor Company" can make a bike like it!!
mark -no brainer  August 2, 2009 06:02 PM
its pretty simple.......my brother has a Harley, which he will upgrade in a year or two for another Harley and then after that he'll get another Harley....and when i asked why he said cause its a Harley and did you shop araound he says no......now i had a Honda Sabre ... because it handled better and cost less then the soft tail....i got after market hard bags, backrest,light bar and a windshield and it still cost less and was much nicer then the road king.... and now i'm going to get a Voyager...not because I have anything against Harley, but because Its better quality for a lower price......there is nothing you can say to argue that point....harley's are just over priced because your paying for a name and a symbol.....i'd rather pay for better quality. thank you
Mike -Maui Jim's bad math  July 29, 2009 06:43 AM
You'll respond allright, just under another name. Now, I know things are higher in Canada but that's just crazy. Doesn't matter though, resale value is based on the PERCENTAGE of the published msrp that is realized after sale or trade. When the terms " higher resale value" or " Holds it value" are used it means the return percentage average was higher than the competitors average, which could be 1% and still be true. Different models in different makes have higher or less returns but the overall average is used. When it's all said it done it may not add up to enough to matter but people like NADA and KBB report values based on actual sales not opinions. So, where did your sportster purchase/sale fall as far as return percentage compared to other compitetion?... That's right, you don't know. Let's look at that Sportster purchase. Why didn't you know what the bike cost new? Why did you mention labor cost on the carb re-jet? You never include labor costs during sell/buy, besides seller could have done it himself,I did mine, 3 bucks for the jet, that's it, total cost plus my time, too easy. Chrome side covers? the engine is already chromed out, so primary and timer covers? 30-50 bucks? K&N makes filter elements only, so what was the cover and the cost? Spoke rear wheel, was that fancy aftermarket or more like stock. If like stock, no extra cost should be added, he could have bent the old one or traded so the seller eats that cost. Now you spent 700 on a new seat? Why? Ever heard of a Airhawk? 150 bucks, straps on any seat and has 60 day money back guarantee. You should know since you have been riding since you were 6 (I was 15 when you were 6 and on my 3rd bike but I can't say I ride every day though)that every stock seat on a cruiser will hurt your butt when in the saddle for 50-100 miles non-stop and I mean not lifting your butt off the seat, not one time. You should have already had a better solution to the problem. Why did you sell in this bad economy? If you had to, I understand, if you didn't have to it's your own fault. Now to the " Real Biker" stuff, now I know I ruffled You and Tom's feathers when I said " why are a lot of metric owners so bitter" maybe I should have said I have met some, instead. But just like you don't like HD owners that say metric riders aren't " Real Bikers" I don't like metric owners that start trashing HD's when they never have owned one and only repeat what they hear. I don't consider myself a "Real Biker" I think enthusiast best describes it. Serious rider or seasoned rider would describe an experienced rider also. Oh, I do wave but find the euro-tourer type and gold wing bunch not as friendly. I wear a modular helmet with a dark shield and a mesh jacket sometimes, this realy throws everyone off, the HD guys don't like it, the sportbike guys think I'm one of them. Anyway not trashing metric owners just trying to stick to the facts.
Mark H. -Oil Pan VN2K  July 16, 2009 08:35 PM
It seems to me that little more than an oil pan enhancement could make one heck of a difference in engine temperature.
I am thinking an after-market pan with perhaps a slight bit more capacity and internal/external channels (fins) to increase surface area.
Does anybody offer such an "Arizona" aftermarket mod?

Mark H. -Vulcan 2000 Cooling  July 14, 2009 06:33 PM
I dont seem to be able to find any info on cooling enhancements for the VN2000. More specifically, as I live in Arizona, I have noticed that the engine cooling cant keep up at 100 plus degrees ambient temperature. An oil cooling system could be a great addition as the head fins dont seem to be quite enough...and for the lower half, that seems to be about all it has got. Above 100 degrees, power is down and pre-ignition is very likely under acceleration and has to be rolled on gradually. On a cold day, it has the balls of a prize bull! I have even added octane boost (to premium gas) to try to curb detonation but on a hot day, it dosent seem to matter. Also, the final drive belt screams unless some silicone is added to it's left side...but only during hot weather or extremely long rides during cool weather. If the core temp of the bottom half could be better controlled, the singing pulley (the front one) might also be less likely to become "vocal". I'm running Amsoil pure synthetic but I still think something is definately lacking for the lower half. As a side note, the singing drive belt sent me on quite the wild goose chase. If your VN2000 sounds like it has spun a bearing race, chances are it is just the belt. Nonetheless, I learned a couple things. 1. The belt does indeed turn out to be the problem and my first proof came from a tiny shot of Pledge furniture polish on the belt which immediately but temporaily quenched it. 2. The oil level is very critical...take your time. An ounce or two too much will cause foaming which can be easily observed by shining a flashlight into the dipstick hole following a short run. This was far worse with one brand of "wet clutch safe" motorcycle oil than what I am currently running. At any rate, I would really like to find some means to add a cooler (or coolers) without drilling holes or compromising lubrication in general. Unfortunately, there arent many machines that are actually designed for the desert...and this isn't one of them. Beyond these unrideable intervals, I'm very happy with the bike. Any suggestions?
Maui Jim -Bad math & Owning a Harley  July 14, 2009 02:41 AM
Wow, reading at my own comment (below) I realized I lost 1700. Maybe owning a Harley really does affect ones ability to do basic math! LOL MJ
Maui Jim -Sorry been out riding, looks like time to chime in  July 14, 2009 01:14 AM
Well now where to start... OK Mike has me, I did not give the exact figures for my HD buddy but here they are- Gods honest truth... Bought in 2001 a 2000 HD Roadking used with a few nick nacks, paid 30K Canadian that’s right 30K!! Put aprox 7K worth of upgrades including chroming everything & whatever stage performance kit etc etc. Then proceeded to throw good money after bad trying to fix a wobble that it would get into in corners, all the time being true to the make, that it is the best blah blah. Well fast forward to this year (by now I guarantee he was into it for 40K) he traded it in on a new Roadking he paid 18K they gave him 9K (but he says he took a bunch of parts off it) so here we go.. 40K-9K (I'll be generous and say he took 1K of goodies off)= 30k(loss), his math had him buying it for 24K (don't know how the original cost dropped), and he figured he took 3K worth of gear (I guess he removed the engine performance parts?) and so he figures it only cost 12K- Either way it’s a (loss). Now Mike I know I can't send you the receipts, so why don't I tell you about me... That's right Mike I own(ed) a 2004 XL1200C Sportster. I bought it 1.5 years ago for 7400 USD (I live in the US) with 2500miles. What they went for in 04 I don't know but I'm pretty sure it was more than 7400. The guy put vance & Hines shorty headers, K&N filter- not a hyper charger but like it. Straight bars, forward controls chrome side covers a spoked rear wheel(why?)& other various chrome bits- say 1300 total when you add in shop time to rejet the carbs. Now, I bought a Corbin seat & back rest for it (the Harley seat sucked) and this cost me 700 delivered. I just sold the bike for $6400. OK here we go Mike 7400+700= 8100. Now you minus that from what I got for it...8100-6400=1600(Loss). Ok now that that’s out of the way and before you wear out your eraser trying to keep up Mike Let me tell you what most bugs me about the Harley Davidson... Nothing they are kinda crude & fun. No it’s not the bike that I don't like, it’s the riders some are good guys but the majority sit at Starbucks compare what new & shiny things they bought since they all last got together & watch all the 'non Harley' riders go by and diss every one of them because they are not 'true bikers'. Before you get your underwear in a knot Mike remember I spent time with you guys, I was in the inner circle. See, sitting at Starbucks listening to you mike, this is when I decided that I would not fit into your click, you see I think the real motorcycle riders don't care what you ride the important thing is you ride, I wave a people on mopeds as they pass by and will talk to anyone who rides regardless of what make thier bike is. Do You? No, truth be told the HD is kind of fun. They have improved but they have a long way to go as well. But Mike, guys like you made me realise that I am not a Biker I am a Motorcyclist. By the way Mike I am 44 years old and started riding motorcyles when I was 6 years old and have ridden almost every day of my life since. So before questioning if I am a true motorcyclist do the math on how long I've been behind the bars....oops maybe not! PS I will not be responding to any of the inevitable rants that are sure to show up. Truth is I grow weary of this so I will likely be out on the road. Malaho, MJ
chris criddle -Good performer.  July 6, 2009 06:23 AM
Had mine for 5 weeks now and have clocked up 4000k +. Good handler, doesnt track in grooves. I agree with the heat thing, seems to get quite hot around the right thigh if you are travelling a lot. City traffic does tend to make the temperature increase but comes down quickly when you get moving. Having problems getting ipod and inter helmet comms parts. Seems that these have not been made yet!! This is quite frustrating!! kpl or mpg is a vast improvement on the xvz1300, as is the stability. Have noticed a lot of vibration in the fairing. Speakers have a tendancy to crackle (not sure if this is the station or not). Would have been nice to have an additional rack on the top of the top box to tie down a large bag or something. The mileage estimator is next to useless it appears as it re-evaluates your useage every 10 seconds, the fluctuation gives an uneasy feeling when the tank has 4 litres left and tells you there is 120k left. Not sure if I have enough confidence in this just at this moment. Only time will tell. Maybe this should be a learning system that uses an average over a larger period of time (say 2 weeks ) for it to be truly reliable and useful. Gearbox seems to thump through the gears but is very positive. Not sure but the cruise control seems to surge (only happened twice so far). The keys and locks on my machine leave a lot to be desired. Does anyone know where the auxilary power connection is by the battery. Seems that the repair place had no idea :-\ Whilst I have told you of all the bad things, the seat is surprisingly good on a long run (1000k), the seating position great. Power is responsive and it handles itself well in extreme conditions. Have not had a false neutral yet. Weight is not a particular problem as it is relatively easy to handle. Overall, a stable, reliable work horse that does not seem to throw to many surprises (yet!!)
I ride motorcycles because, except for a few I,ve owned, they have personalities, like good friends. I'm 67 years young and have been riding motorcycles for 47 years. The ones I liked the least were the ones that were perfect in most respects and the ones I liked the best had their faults. It doesn't matter what you ride, it's what you like.
Mike -Re: Bitter  June 22, 2009 11:04 PM
Now there you go again, got yourself all worked up over nothing and just look at your posting, bitter. You should go get your blood pressure checked and while you're out, you can replace your keyboard you broke from banging on the keys so hard. My posts are based on facts and real life experiences where yours just seems to be nothing but opinion, which is fine but it sure doesn't make me wrong and you right. I don't have to argue about anything and resale value would be the last one. I made a comment about it after you went to pieces over Milwaukee Mikes post and you just can't get over it. I don't care what you have or don't have(do you even have a bike?) but if you want to voluntarily add loser to bitter, that's your call. You said it, I didn't. Now go get your blood pressure checked before you have another hissy fit.
Tom -bitter?  June 22, 2009 01:20 PM
What are you on about? You're spewing subjective claims that turn out to be not all that optimistic when you get down to it. Oh, and you're the one raving on and on about resale value ALL THE TIME as your one and only argument. Apparently, there's no room for simple reason in your HD warped mind. ---- Bitter? Why are you always trying to place metric owners in the 'bitter'-'loser' corner? Does it make you feel better?? I don't need that patronising 'pity', not from a mindless HD drone like you. By pre-emptively trying to paint everyone that doesn't own a HD as 'bitter' you're sinking your credibility like the titanic. ----- Seriously, not everyone aspires a HD as their 'ultimate' ride. HD's being somehow better (on what planet?) is not a non debatable universal truth. I don't need to buy into a carefully crafted, commercial image to compensate for penile inadequacies and to feel like a 'rebel' on sunday, LOL. Get it through your head, not everyone WANTS a HD. To make it perfectly clear, even if a new HD cost 5000 dollar, I'd still NOT buy one. Can you grasp that? Or did you faint just there?
Mike -Resale value  June 22, 2009 10:59 AM
Settle down, settle down, no reason to shout and use that kind of language. No reason to use stock options language when were talking used bikes. Why are so many metric owners so bitter? Does the information in these posts come from actual experience or is it opinion? Do the people that post on here even own a motorcycle? How can you say I need a mechanic next door after 10 years of riding? The group I ride with consists of all softails, a 1998,2000, and 2 2001s. Mine is a 2001 and none of us have ever needed a mechanic and never will. The bikes are just too easy to maintain. Now if you do buy metric, make sure you find out what the maintenance schedule is and what it takes to do it. If you can't do it yourself, you'll spend more on service labor than what you saved not buying a HD.
Tom -Resale value  June 20, 2009 07:39 PM
Surprising to see how Harley guys always drone on and on about resale value. Boy, they sure must be eager to sell their bikes for some reason. Or maybe they need to keep up with every new model year, imagine not being the coolest kid on the block anymore with your 2007 HD. --- Some practical info here, to get our heads out of our asses. There's a big difference between asking price and striking price, buyers market or not. Those harley fanatics can ask what they want, because in their twisted perception, harleys should only depreciate 100 dollar per year. Right... then they are exposed to a second hand market who gives a lot less about this emotional arguments. And people wanting a harly usually can buy them new. (and if resale would only be 10-15% under retail, WHY WOULDN'T YOU buy new). Harley resellers are among the most optimistic (and misguided) ever. I can go up to every one of those ads, and get the price down another 2k, after they remove all the accessorie crap they've bolted on which makes the bike look hidious ----- Last point I'm going to make. I DON'T CARE ABOUT METRIC RESALE VALUE. I buy a bike to ride it, not to resell it. In my book, I would buy a metric, ride it for ten years, and not care about what it's worth then. BECAUSE I PAID MUCH LESS FOR IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. Everything has a commercial life span. Of course, those old harley bangers will still be on the road, but who wants a ten year old bike. (seriously, be practical and realistic, you'd have to live nextdoor to your mechanic)
E.T. -Hey Familyguy  June 17, 2009 09:20 PM
Had the vent on both sides wide open and still got hot. Temp gauge stays in normal range while riding on frwy, but surface streets about 30-40mph the guage climbs up just below the "H". Going to call the dealer tomorrow and ask if this is normal.
Mike -Bad math?  June 17, 2009 05:38 PM
A new 2009 super glide is $11,999 the full chrome engine kit ( part# 16327-01A) is $750, the most expensive accessory. Check your calculator.
Familyguy -New voyager question for ET  June 17, 2009 09:29 AM
ET Was thinking of ordering one of these and have read this before about the right side. Did you have the vent open? If this is an inherent problem I may have to re think.
Maui Jim -Bad math for Harley guys  June 17, 2009 09:25 AM
Yep, And yours will say someyjing like this: (These are from Craigslist) Only $13995-2005 Harley Davidson FXD Super Glide with 88 cu in carb'd motor in jet black paint. This bike has 27k miles and has just been fully serviced. The bike looks like new and rides like new and is in superb condition. Bike is loaded with thousands of dollars worth of gear as follows; - Engine has full HD chrome package - Dual shorty after market pipes - HD sissy bar / back rest with HD quick release system - HD Windshield with HD quick release system (click on / click off) - Upgraded Harley leather seat - Full factory Harley security system with keyless fob / audible alarm - Brand new leather saddle bags (these have never been installed) No free rides so serious enquiries only please. If a buyer didnt want the saddlebags I may be willing to reduce price a bit and sell without bags. Please email me for more details or call me at ***** Or Better yet... Purchased a new 2008 Ultra Classic last year and don't really like enjoy it like the Goldwing that I had in the past. I am sure someone out there is a Harley rider and has bought and tried a Goldwing that doesn't give them the pleasure their friends had described. This one has Sirius radio, 3 windshields, a windshield 3 pouch bag and 2 inch pull back handlebars. This is a comfortable bike for average to small riders and probably great for a female. I also have the parts, electronics, and maintenance manuals in paper form. The bike has 9000 miles on it. Randy at
Mike -Harley resale VS Voyager Maui Jim  June 16, 2009 08:03 AM
Sorry Jim but it's true, Harleys do hold their value better than metric cruisers.Problem now is that it's a buyers market with very few buyers to be found. Your friend sounds like he has money to burn and is not worried about losing any of it. ( I'm a little skeptical of your story)Most would return the bike back to stock or near stock and sell the extras on the side. You get that voyager and hang on to it for a long time and when you go to sell it, I'll look for your ad that will read " runs but needs work, $500 or best offer"
E.T. -HEY KC  June 15, 2009 08:38 AM
I also just purchesed the new Voyager Sat. Have you noticed excesive heat coming off the heads on the right side of the bike while riding? Riding to work yesterday even wearing jeans got very uncomfortable.
KC -Just Bought One  June 14, 2009 10:20 PM
Just picked up my Voyager yesterday. Have already put 200 miles on it. Great bike! Handles well at highway speeds and in the parking lot.
Maui Jim -Voyager Vs Harley resale  June 14, 2009 02:14 PM
The one and only thing I have to say about the very old & tired argument on resale of Harley's is that EVERY Harley owner stuffs 1000's of dollars into their bikes from stage 1,2 & 3 kits, custom seats, headers to the scull motif. (By the way, if the Harley is so perfect, why would you need to add anything?.. but I digress) I have a Harley buddy & when I told him I was selling my metric bike for 9K after buying it for 12K his comment was that that is the problem with metric is the resale sucks… Excuse me?? This is the same guy who bought a new Harley for 24K; puts in another 16K in 'Improvements' then sells it for 18K and tells me that he only lost 6K. For you Harley guys I'll do the math for you... 24K + 16K = 40K (total investment) 40K - 18K = 22K (net LOSS!!) Bottom line, you can tell me that,in your opinion,the Harley is the best thing since sliced bread and that when you ride a Harley it is like sitting on a big puffy cloud etc etc. but don’t bring up the ‘it holds its value' BS.
Mike ( not MM) -Tom's comments  June 7, 2009 09:37 AM
Tom, I think what MM and everybody else means when they say "higher resale" is that you can still get parts for an old Harley but not for an old metric whic makes the HD worth more. Ever see an ad for an old Harley that says " runs but needs work, $500 or BO? you won't but you see that on old metrics all the time. You don't need to spend SEVERAL THOUSAND on performance,a pair of cams and head work will do wonders. Delivery cost? some dealers charge tax and license fee only. More for two-tone paint? You have 12 different color options on the Ultra, now what would Kawasaki charge if they gave you a choice of 12 QUALITY color options? Why don't they give you this option? Parts more expensive? Please, jap parts are higher. Shorter service intervals? I'm sure you'll have to service the radiator more often on the Harley than the Kawasaki. Change fluids, adjust and lube cables, check spark pulgs, why is this more often on a Harley than a Kawasaki? Does the Kawsaki require the valve check/adjustment every 10K like some of the Hondas? No way I would want to deal with that. Not defending MM but some of your comments were off base to.
Tom -optional extras  May 29, 2009 06:59 AM
Not to mention that every two tone color for a HD is an optional extra that costs more, as is the cruise control. Two tone: +900 dollar, cruise control: +270 dollar. That's 1170 dollar in options alone that come standard with the voyager (on top of the initial price difference of more or less 2000 dollar.) - Then we didn't even get to the fact that to have the same power you need to spend several thousands of dollars more in screamin' eagle parts, to 'upgrade' that antiquated 1970 pushrod 3 valve/cylinder AIR cooled engine. So go figure. - That being said, I respect every bike. I even like and understand the "culture" and sentiment surrounding harley's. Most of their bikes ARE beautiful. But besides nostalgic design and sentiment, there's not much there for me. Don't get me wrong, I LIKE HARLEY'S!!! But with my own money, I wouldn't... Maybe a second hand one, just for fun on a sunday. So everyone: BUY WHAT YOU LIKE, and ride what you like, no matter what other people think. But arguing with made up facts like Milwaukee Mike does, is just stupid. Everyone can google these prices, and facts don't lie!! It's a pretty desperate thing to deliberately misinform just to state a case that can only be based on emotion and preference (nothing wrong with that, but don't go saying dumb things)
Tom -"HD sell for less" - "Resale value"  May 29, 2009 06:44 AM
That Milwaukee Mike really is an imbecile (sorry, don't know how else to put it). In WHAT WORLD is a HD less expensive than these Vulcans? - Yes, a basic softail will be less expensive than a full dressed Vulcan Voyager O_o but what's the point he wants to make with that. - The 'cheapest' HD tourer is the road king at 16999, whereas the Voyager sets you back 16799. And in all fairness, the road king isn't exactly the match for this Voyager. That would be more an electra glide classic at 18999. In my opinion that electra glide is even way more ugly, but that's not the point either. Add the extra delivery costs at the dealer (more expensive at HD than Kawa), add the shorter service intervals and the more expensive parts/maintenance, and you know you get a lot more for your money with Kawa. Hell, even if they were equally priced (which they are not), you get MORE power, MORE torque and a cooler engine for the same price, or less. I know which one I want. - Oh, and the 1700 classic sells for 12299, the equivalent fat boy for 15999. That' more than 3000 dollar! I can buy a second hand sportsbike for that. What do you mean, "costs less"... - About resale value: first of all: we buy bikes to ride them, NOT TO SELL THEM. Maybe HD owners feel te need to upsell their bikes every 3 years when a new modelyear comes along, but I'd be perfectly happy riding a kawa for 10 years. I never understood the 'resale value thing'. And let me tell you, it's not that spectacular as he wants you to think either. There's a difference in what these bozo's are ASKING for their bikes, and what they will get for their bike. Besides, it better have a good resale value: IT COST YOU 3000 dollar MORE to begin with? A kawa can take a major hit in depreciation before reaching that 3000 dollar 'break even point'
Chris criddle -Bought one.  May 24, 2009 01:47 AM
Two days old, so far so good. Compared to xvz1300 the experience is awesome. Seems to have better handling characteristics around corners and at the lower speeds. Only done 250kms so only time will tell I guess. Having trouble locating the accessories (helmet comms and ipod interface) but will keep trying.
Mike -comments about comments  May 17, 2009 10:04 AM
Found this article after someone posted a picture on a HD tech site of a voyager with HD on the tank. No one on the site thought it was a HD. Now about the comments: Rocker, 30 grand? Hey I can get you a sportster for 20K! Chrome Horse Rider: Several Thousand? you can get more HP and torque without going over 96ci and spending SEVERAL thousand. " Many parts made in china" How many? All engine and performance parts are USA. JOSS, HD market share increased 10% last quarter, it's up to 58%, that leaves 42% share for Kawi Suz Honda Yami and everybody else. Tim Kelly, water cooled means less wrenching? I use synthetic oil, don't need water cooled or a wrench. Rick, constantly repairing? I'd like to hear the details on this. I've been on a tech board for 4 years now and I can't recall a single poster that was " constantly repairing" their motorcycle(any brand) I would believe you if it was an AMF bike.
Rick -Metric cruisers  May 13, 2009 10:44 AM
My son owns a Harley. Nice bike, but he is constantly repairing it, even though it is seven years newer than my "99 Nomad, which has 64,000 miles. With the exception of a plastic oil pump gear (very bad design choice) it has required only routing maintenance. While I've owned Harley's in the past (unfortunately AMF) and I really like the Harley cruisers, my next upgrade will be the new 1700 Voyager. Certainly a very nice bike for under $18,000 (and with a longer warranty).
Tim -2009 Voyager  May 10, 2009 10:47 AM
Them swithching from shaft drive and the price I am definitly going to Harley. I have a 2001 nomad and I love it but now they gone backwards. Shaft drive is the best technology they ever had for a bib bagger. No maintenance for the life of the bike.
Noel Dunnavan -Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Nomad vs VN 1700 Nomad  May 6, 2009 01:00 PM
I recently purchased a brand new 2008 Kawaski Vulcan 1600 Nomad last Fall after having traded-in my pristine 1988 Harley-Davidson Electraglide "Sport" 1340, which I had owned since new. I decided to go "metric" after much soul-searching and much comparison shopping for several reasons: the most important being the availability of water-cooling, shaft-drive and the gear-driven engine counter-balancers of the Nomad. Things that are currently not available on the Harley-Davidson RoadKing (the other bike I was considering) Having worked in the motorcycle industry for a time both in sales & service departments at several dealerships, I am aware of the relative advantages & detriments of chain, belt & shaft-drives and the inherent maintenance issues they entail . Belt drives are better than chain drives without a doubt: but having said that: I'll take the freedom of the open road whether it be on crushed gravel or asphalt on a shaft-driven machine any day! Belt-driven Harley Big Twins are a bitch to change! ('Been there done that!) A propeller shaft & universals spinning in a sealed steel swing-arm are basically "bullet-proof" and are impervious to road debris and should last the life of the bike! Belts will fail eventually after a given number of debris "hits' and that are unavoidable. When Kawasaki announced the introduction of the new 2009 VN-1700 Classic, Nomad and Voyager but with a belt drive: I was flabbergasted. What-in-the hell were THEY thinking? They now have taken a machine that was unique in the "big bagger" market and made it an "Also-Ran" clone pretty much of an H-D Ultra-Tourglide Classic based upon the FLT platform bike, but without neither the "Bling" factor or "exclusivity penache of the Milwaukee brand! They also have let the Kawasaki "Bean-counters" have their way in cheapening the new machines. The new bikes have slathers of chrome-plated plastic (check the new 1700's left-hand engine side cover, chrome speedometer surround) miscellaneous brite bits here & there (all plastic) Last Years 2008 Shaft-drive bikes had chromed steel & alloy ! Shame on Kawsaki for their paucity & cheapness. Granted more power & a sixth speed can be successfully argued ~as definite improvements; BUT in view of how much VALUE they've taken out of the product: substituting a belt for a ring & Pinion gearset/Shaft-drive, plastic for real chrome-plated metal, cheap single-walled, flimsy top loading saddle bags in lieu of the heavier, much sturdier (side-loading) quality pieces on previous Nomads. ~ I think you too will be as unimpressed and disappointed as myself in the direction Kawasaki has gone with their latest offerings! Noel L. Dunnavan Tool Engineering The Boeing Company
Rocker -oh man this is funny  April 17, 2009 11:52 AM
Hey look " a bike with two wheels" They stoled it from HD.....get a life HD...comp is good... if HD was the only two wheel criuser out there, we would pay 30 grand for a bike...oh wait...we do for a HD...get a life bro...I will spend my money where I want...you spend yours where you want ..and call it a day.
Tim Kelley -Before the Voyager  April 16, 2009 07:54 PM
Just got my 79 KZ 1300 back up to running condition and was looking at other Kawasaki sites and came upon the 1700 Voyager. I can tell you that Kawasaki makes an excellent engine (had some electrical issues) and the water cooling keeps the maintenance down. HD has done major improvements since the AMF fiasco and makes a quality machine, but if you want to ride and not wrench turn then stick with the water cooled machines! If you want to rumble and pay extra then you know what to buy!
Tony -Belt Drive  April 15, 2009 04:08 PM
The belt is a far better in terms of maintenance and represents the way of cruisers. Shaft feels more like CVT to me and last but not least we do hear the whirl caused by a shaft.
Ken Williams -Why Belt Drive?  April 15, 2009 12:22 PM
I have a follow-up question; Why did Kawasaki switch to belt drive. One thing I like about my Nomad, and on other shaft bikes I rode, is that the shaft-drive bikes felt like they responded quicker without a hesitant little jerk when accelerating that I felt was present with belt-drives.... Thanks, again.
Tony -Re The Vulcans  April 15, 2009 12:18 PM
Well said Hog. Buying North American means any of brands qualify. Harley is building offshore too, just like Ford, Chev and Chrysler. Folks just don't seem to understand that this is about reliability. Why are Honda and Toyota doing so well and have been rated #1 ten years running. My 05 Road Star Silverado is one of the last of the carbed, air cooled baggers out there.
Ken Williams -'09 Pieces on '08 Nomad?  April 15, 2009 12:17 PM
First to the Harley afficionados - Harley is a great bike and the grandfather of just about everything on two-wheels. That said, some Harley owners think that everything on two-wheels has ripped-off Harley in design - get over it, there are other motorcycles in the world. After riding and comparing several rides, including Harley, I ride an '08 Nomad. It's a quality bike with great lines and performance. One question; I have looked around (unsuccessfully) for a trunk to add and match the bags when touring. Would the trunk from the Voyager be able to bolt onto an '08 Nomad? Thanks!
HogHeaven -Correction  April 15, 2009 07:25 AM
I apologize, Jim, that should have been "their bikes", "there bikes". Just a problem with my proofing!!
HogHeaven -The Vulcans  April 15, 2009 07:16 AM
Joss - NENTGAL Funny! I have a 1997 1500 Classic with in excess of 81,000 miles on it. It is a great bike, and I ride it a little. Is it bullet proof? NO. It has left me stranded once in Eastern Arkansas (not a good place to be left stranded) with a broken (plastic) oil pump impeller. Other than that, I have been all over the US, ridden hard (1219 miles in 25 hours), ridden hot (Phoenix 110 degrees), ridden high (Rockies) and low (Myrtle Beach), and with the exception of small problems that are associated with mechanical devices, I am satisfied with it. It has not given me as much problems as the folks I ride with, nor there bikes. Most of my riding buddies have Harleys, and though they tell me they have not been in the shop, they tear them apart at home all the time. Well, I am not a wrench, so I would rather ride, and I know that when I walk to the garage and hit the starter, I can go to the corner store, or across the country. I have been looking at touring bikes as I am getting older and Mom likes to ride, and I put my money down for a Voyager. I have ridden the 1700 Classic with the six speed and belt drive, and I love how smooth and powerful it is. I usually do not jump at first year products, but I am making an exception for the Voyager for two reasons: 1)a six year warranty and 2)my dealers mechanics and shop. I have no doubt in my mind that my Japanese Ultra is the right decision, even after looking at many of the US Ultras. I am supporting American jobs, probably as much as if I would "buy American", and in my humble opinion, I am getting a better bike, for less. Resale value? I want to ride, not sell. Silly yuppie, trailers are for boats!
Joss -Milwaukee Mike  April 14, 2009 11:39 AM
Milwaukee Mike suffers from “NENTGAL” (not educated needs to get a life). In times like we have today when the American economy is weak, people like Milwaukee Mike (MM) get panicked especially when they see “the motor company” losing money and market share every month to their competition. So he has no choice, at least in his mind, but to say uneducated things like “And then the price,....sounds like the real thing is a better alternative already” And because MM’s own bike, culture and life for that matter are losing value at an alarming and steady rate he has to put down on other peoples choice by saying things like this “Anyone with a few working brain cells won't buy the Kaw when American made Harleys sell for as much or less and keep American jobs here”. MM, only someone with no brain cells would think Harleys are ALL American made. Because of NENTGALs like MM I would rather stop riding than ride or own a Harley.
Jim Emond -Kawi vs. HD  April 13, 2009 09:00 AM
I don't understand this constant need on the part of HD owners to trash metric bikes. If you're happy with your bike, great. Spend your time riding it instead of spending it trolling metric sites. What's that about? I'm a very happy owner of a Vulcan 1500 Classic, and my next bike will most certainly be the 1700 Vulcan--not because I can't afford a Harley, but because, simply put, the Vulcan is a better bike and for thousands less, which at some level Milwaukee Mike knows, otherwise he wouldn't be spending his time here.
Tony -Small fit  April 13, 2009 05:16 AM
The small triangle ergonomics would put me off the list as a owner of this bike. It may be great for a 150lb person but at 6ft 230lbs, I like to stretch out while having support. I sat on the Harley and felt the same way. I currently own a roadstar and it fits really well. My second choice for ergonomics (not too tight) would be the Suzuki. It is not my favourite look but is certainly stretched enough.
Jim -grammar  April 11, 2009 11:22 AM
Is being illiterate a requirement to owning a motorcycle? One would think so after reading a few dozen biker threads. Morons is the word that comes to my mind. If you can't spell; if you don't know the difference between your and you're, to and too, then and than, road and rode, its and it's, the list goes on, STAY THE HELL OFF THE FORUMS.
Chrome Horse Rider -HD vs. Kawasaki  April 10, 2009 10:01 PM
This is commenting for the comments of Milwaukee Mike. As owner of a HD Softail Deuce for over 7 years, I do not believe some statements made were true. Kawasaki models are priced quite a bit lower than the equivalent models of HD. If you want to bring the HD 96ci engine to the same capacity of Kawasaki, not only that you will have to fork out several more thousand dollars, but you will also end up with a bunch of engine parts in your garage. If you shop around for genuine HD parts at dealers, you will find so many of them have “Made in China” printed on the packaging box.
Chas -Water cooled motorcycles  April 10, 2009 07:32 PM
I have had alot of motorcycles in my 62 years From England to the USA and also from Japan and as long as a motor has a water jacket it well last alot longer just because it runs cooler,so I have been rideing Kaw 1500 Classic for the last 7 years with no problems with the engine. Infact Harley's well be comming out with a water cooled motor in a cupple of years and that's when I well take another long look at them. But for now I love the Jap Bikes because of all of the inprovements that they have done in the last 10 years.
milwaukee mike -Why can't they come up with a non-harley clone?  April 10, 2009 06:06 PM
Those japs are copycats and they will never get it right. Lets see now: Fuel injected 1700cc V-twin, twin counter balancers, six speed trans, belt drive,....sounds like a HD copy. And then the price,....sounds like the real thing is a better alternative already. And I wonder what the residual value will be in two years. Sorry but not for me! Oh,....just check out the warranty compared to a real American bike. Anyone with a few working brain cells won't buy the Kaw when American made Harleys sell for as much or less and keep American jobs here.
Grumbler -1700 Classic  April 10, 2009 02:18 PM
Have owned my '01 1500 Classic FI for 7-years and, despite the debut of the 1700 Classic, is a keeper. While the 1700 Classic has a 230cc displacment advantage, it's also 100-lbs heavier. I sit *in* my 1500 behind the gas tank, but the 1700 has me sitting *on* it over the gas tank. Very disconcerting to say the least as I'm a big dude. In addition, the 1700 has what I'd call generic metric cruiser styling while my 1500 looks more like a stripped Harley-Davidson FLH1200 (used to own a 1975 FLH1200). OTOH, am looking forward to seeing the new Triumph Thunderbird 1600 in June.
Paul Groben -New voyager versus the Real voyager  April 10, 2009 07:17 AM
Sorry Kawasaki, you spoiled me rotten with the original voyager, and the new one does nothing for me. Why in the world did they do away with as near a perfect machine as I ever had,and replace it with a great big V twin with less power, more vibration, heavier, cheesy trunk construction, potentially a machine that will need much more maintainance than the original voyager,just to satisfy riders who like the retro look of the primative big V twin? Not for me, thank you.
larrymoto -Thank you  April 8, 2009 05:27 PM
for the good work that you do on your reviews, it is much appreciated. However, I suggest that you turn the music way down or flat out get rid of it. I love the sound of motorcycles and don't need the music that for whatever reason is placed in your videos. Thanks
Russ -Feeling  April 8, 2009 05:16 PM
I sat on it at the NYC show. It is heavy...period. Nice looking bike BUT just like the article states, the 1700 classic feels better. It's a good start, now improve. The classic styling is being diluted and many of the bikes now a days look the same regardless of make...Except,,,, Victory.
Jim Bruce -Thanks for the reply, Bryan...  April 8, 2009 03:38 PM
...much appreciated.
Joss -Better than just a Harley copy  April 8, 2009 03:04 PM
Although the Voyager has some similar styling cues in common with some Harleys, I wouldn’t call it a copy. The Voyager has enough tasteful and distinct lines to make it stand out in a crowd. Besides, since when did Harley or any manufacturer own the patent on classic or conventional cruiser styling? Also, anytime a manufacturer does step outside the box with styling like say Victory with its newest model the “Vision”, people say how strange and unusual it looks leaving about 8 out of 10 onlookers saying its looks are unappealing. Kawasaki did a good job with this bike. Plus most people regard Harleys as being beautiful motorcycles so saying this bike looks a lot like a beautiful bike is a wonderful compliment.
Mike T -The Top Case  April 8, 2009 11:58 AM
Is the top case removable? and the rear passenger arm rest? Would be nice if it was removable for solo riding.
Tim B -A Me Too  April 8, 2009 09:05 AM
Croft Long is his real name? Interesting to say the least. There's no doubt Kawi took some Harley styling cues. If not for the cheap, plastic look it could pass for an updated Harley. It seems like a nice attempt, but why not try something new instead of make another clone?
bryan harley -new engine  April 8, 2009 08:43 AM
I didn't ride the 1600, so I can't make that comparison. They've got it tuned so you get good vibes in the saddle. The stock pipes have a good rumble and add to the riding experience. I liked the tuning of the 1700 in the Classic the best because you get more power early in the rev range. But if you've ridden the 1600, then having a 100 cubes more to play can't be bad, right? The seat is plenty comfy with ample padding. At six-feet-tall, the tight ergos had me sitting upright and where the front of the passenger seat rested on my lower back started to feel a little sore. The stereo has plenty of volume at speed. The speakers aren't top-shelf, but I hooked up my iPod and cranked it up on the freeway and listened to some of my favorite Bay Area radio stations until they started breaking up in the Marin County hills.
x2468 -HD carbon copy  April 7, 2009 09:54 PM
It looks like a clone of my dads Harley Ultra Gluide.
Trent Hancock -Voyager  April 7, 2009 07:16 PM
TURN THE MUSIC OFF ON THE VIDEO ! We want to hear the exhaust note and noise level at speed !
Jim Bruce -But, did you like it?  April 7, 2009 03:20 PM
How does the new engine feel significantly different than the 1600? How so? Does the stereo have good volume / sound at speed? Is the new seat comfortable?
Steve W -HP Number  April 7, 2009 12:06 PM
Kawasaki US hasn't published a HP number, but Kawasaki Canada states 82 HP on their Web site, www.kawasaki.ca, for the Voyager.
bryan harley -no hp numbers released yet  April 7, 2009 11:57 AM
Unfortunately, we weren't privy to any Hp numbers at the intro. And yes, there's already plenty of aftermarket goodies for it, including pillow top gel seats and passenger backrest, a trunk rack, saddlebag trim, a billet GPS mount, trunk and saddlebag liners and more. The ABS model lists at $17,899, but to find out the price of a fully-loaded Voyager I would suggest clicking on our Dealer Locater and finding the number to the nearest Kawi rep.
Tont Mitchell -Kawasaki Voyager  April 7, 2009 11:38 AM
How many HP does this bike have and will kawi have aftermarket accessories for this bike soon? Where can you get a price on a complete pricing fully dressed out?