Drag site icon to your taskbar to pin site. Learn More

2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Cruisers First Ride

Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Nomad has color-matched hard saddlebags that look sharp in two-tone paint.
The 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Nomad is identifiable by its color-matched hard saddlebags that look sharp in two-tone paint and by the crash guards on the front and rear.
Though the 2009 Vulcan Voyager now represents the flagship touring motorcycle for Kawasaki, the 2009 Vulcan Nomad is a worthy touring mount in its own right. The Nomad comes fully outfitted with top-opening hard saddlebags that are weatherproofed and continue the round lines established by the tank. An adjustable windshield and lower fork-leg wind deflectors prevent the wind from putting the beat-down on you, but the gusting winds coming off the Pacific Ocean proved that the Voyager’s front fairing and windscreen do a better job. The black leather saddle is bucket-shaped, plushly padded, and ergonomically designed. The passenger seat does form a slight lip that applies more pressure on the lower back than the seat of the Classics. Spacious floorboards give riders a little leeway to slide their feet back when you hit the open road. Chrome engine guards in front and back come standard and offer another place to kick the feet up during long hauls.

This here a one-horse town  hombre  and my steed just happens to be the 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic.
This here is a one-horse town, hombre, and my steed just happens to be the 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic.
The Nomad is more than prepped for a passenger to climb aboard, highlighted by a separate rear back seat that comes complete with a back rest, a bar to grip tight, and floorboards. Lockable, color-matched, top-opening saddlebags are standard (the same 10-gallon hard side-cases that are on the Voyager). The 1700cc engine has more than enough power to propel both passenger and rider. The engines in both the Nomad and Voyager are tuned to provide more torque at higher rpm, with the full 108 lb-ft delivered at 2750 rpm. At the throttle, you feel the motorcycle builds power a tad slower than the Classic or Classic LT, which are tuned so that peak torque comes on at 2250 rpm. Peak horsepower, a number Kawasaki did not release at the intro, is claimed to be at @ 5000 rpm. Differences in ECU mapping and pipes contribute to the differences in power delivery, with the Nomad’s dual slash cut exhaust tuned for touring.

The digital fuel injection system, which now uses one sensor in place of three, is also tuned to deliver peak
The speedo on the Nomad sits on the 5.3 gallon tank and is easy to read at speed.
The speedo on the Nomad sits high on the 5.3-gallon tank and is easy to read at speed. The LED display just below the speedo's big, round gauge is a little trickier to see.
torque and hp at higher rpm. It is the same fuel-injection system used in the Kawasaki Ninja 650R and Vulcan 900 motorcycles. The advantages of switching to one sensor include the system’s ability to automatically adjust for altitude changes and to improve fuel economy. During my tenure on the Nomad, fuel delivery was even and hiccup-free.

When questioned about the switch to belt drive, Kawasaki expounded on the merits of the carbon fiber belt drive. At only 28mm wide, it helps keep the width of the motorcycle down. The carbon fiber belt is claimed to offer 40% higher tensile strength than a Kevlar belt of the same width. It gives the Vulcan 1700s a final drive belt that is strong, light and thin, and hard downshifts and aggressive throttle stabs did nothing to deter it from performing without any backlash.

Stopping the 833-lb Nomad is the job of dual 300mm discs with dual twin-piston calipers on the front while a single 300mm disc with a single twin-piston caliper does duty out back. The front brakes are powerful and have a progressive feel, while the rear locks without mashing on the brake pedal too hard. Going directly from riding the Voyager to the Nomad demonstrated how well the Voyagers K-ACT system really works. Installing the system standard in all Vulcan 1700 models would be a good move.

Wind protection on a motorcycle can be a good thing  especially when riding through tempermental Pacific coast weather
The big windshield of the 2009 Vulcan Nomad provides plenty of protection against wind and debris, but after riding the Nomad and Voyager back-to-back, you'll notice that the fixed fairing and windscreen on the Voyager does an even better job.
The Vulcan 1700 Nomad also features a water-cooled alternator with rare-earth magnets that produce 48.5 amps of electrical output, enough to easily power assorted electronic accessories. So if you’re looking to dig into the Kawasaki Genuine Accessories goodie bag and throw on the aftermarket light bar or billet mini-tachometer, providing juice to the new electronics isn’t an issue.

The Nomad is 2.4-inches shorter and 52-lbs lighter than the Voyager, but handling is comparable between the two. The 2009 Vulcan Nomad lists for a couple grand cheaper, with an MSRP of $14,399. That price will get you a Nomad in Metallic Diablo Black (with gold pinstripe) while for $300 more you can roll away with the Candy Diamond Red/ Pearl Luster Beige paint scheme.

With a day in the saddle of Kawasaki’s V-Twin touring motorcycles under my belt, it was time to turn my attention to the big, traditionally styled cruiser, the 2009 Vulcan 1700 Classic. It is safe to say that none of the four Vulcan 1700 Cruisers benefitted more from the 100cc bump in displacement than the 2009 Classic. With a curb weight 126-lbs
The new  bigger engine in the 2009 Vulcan Classic helped get the good times rolling.
The 2009 Vulcan 1700 Classic has the big-boned styling chops of a classic cruiser and a healthy V-Twin engine doling out the power.
lighter than the Voyager, the liquid cooled 4-stroke engine sets the bike in motion with greater gusto. Kawasaki claims that the new mill puts out 15% more torque than the Vulcan 1600. With dual staggered mufflers and different ECU mapping, the power is much more noticeable lower in the rpm range than on the other two motorcycles and even feels livelier at the throttle.

The tweaks to the fit and finish of the 2009 Vulcan Classic give it more curb appeal. The motorcycle features steel fenders and are the first Kawasaki cruisers with a LED taillight. More chrome is sprinkled throughout the bike, including light stays, fork covers, rear fender stays, instrument nacelle, shock covers, exhaust and engine. The edges of the cooling fins have even received a special NC treatment to add to its luster. To make them stand out even more, the other engine parts that aren’t chrome have a matte black finish. The engine covers are some of the biggest around and conceal part of the engine’s machined heads.

The 28.3-inch-high seat of the 2009 Vulcan Classic suited me better than the Voyagers. It doesn’t put pressure in the same spot of my lower back as the bucket-style seat of the touring motorcycles. It also felt like my legs sat out a little more forward, but the reach to the handlebars is the same.

Floorboards and heel toe shifters are functional and stylish.
Floorboards and heel/toe shifters are functional and stylish.
The speedometer is mounted high on the tank and is easy to see while in motion. Control switches on the right handlebar let you flip through the trip meters, fuel gauge, clock, odometer, and average fuel consumption. But the feature I like most is the ‘remaining range’ indicator because I’ve run out of gas more than my share of times. The LEDs location below the round gauge of the speedo means getting a reading requires taking your eyes off the road momentarily.

I love bombing around on a brawny classic cruiser, arms tightening to hold on with every twist of the throttle. But the freedom of having an unobstructed view of the road comes with a price as wind blast smacks me about mid-chest on the Vulcan Classic as we circle Tomales Bay.

Bigger engine, tighter chassis, more gears, new final drive,
The 2009 Vulcan Classic LT features a big acrylic windshield  studded leather rider and passenger seats and leather bags.
The 2009 Vulcan Classic LT features a big acrylic windshield, studded leather rider and passenger seats, and studded leather saddlebags.
and more chrome make the 2009 Vulcan 1700 Classic a viable competitor in the classic cruiser class. A MSRP of $12,299 and Metallic Diablo Black paint make the package that more appealing. There’s also a Classic LT version that is factory-equipped with a height-adjustable windshield, studded rider and passenger seats, passenger backrest, and leather saddlebags. Two-tone paint on the fenders and tank and a new 1700 Vulcan Classic LT tank badge also set it apart from the standard Classic. The 2009 Classic LT with its touring options lists for $13,799, but chew on this. If you wanted to do it all yourself and bought all of the accessories that come standard on the Classic LT individually, it’d cost you an extra $1260. Kawasaki throws in a 24-month warranty to boot, twice as much coverage as you’ll get on the Classic. The 2009 Vulcan 1700 Cruisers provide four different ways for riders to continue to “Let the good times roll.”

VideosOur Sponsor
2009 Vulcan Voyager First Ride Video
Click to view video
Photo Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Slideshow
Recent Cruiser Reviews
2015 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler First Ride
Harley-Davidson expands its trike offerings with the all-new 2015 Freewheeler and MotoUSA takes a ride.
2004 Sportster Project: RSD ProStep Bars
We remedy the old-look of our 2004 Sportster 1200 by installing RSD ProStep Handlbars, Nostalgia 4-Bolt Risers, Avenger Levers and Tracker Billet Grips.
Harley Sportster Chopped Rear Fender Install
The stock back end of our '04 Sportster 1200 project bike was big and bulky, so we cleaned it up by installing a Harley Chopped Rear Fender and Side-Mount License Plate Kit.
Kawasaki Vulcan Dealer Locator
2009 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic Specs
The 2009 Vulcan Classic benefits the most by the bump in displacement among the 1700 Kawasaki cruisers.
Engine: Four-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 @ 2250
Cooling: Liquid, plus cooling fins
Induction: Digital fuel injection, dual 42mm throttle bodies
Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance
Transmission: Six-speed with overdrive
Frame: Steel, double-cradle with box-section single-tube backbone
Rake / trail: 30° / 6.7 in.
Front Suspension / wheel travel: 43mm hydraulic fork / 5.5 in.
Rear Suspension / wheel travel: Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks, with 4-way rebound damping / 3.1 in.
Tire, front: 130/90x16
Tire, rear: 170/70x16
Brakes, front / rear: Dual 300 mm discs, dual twin-piston calipers / Single 300 mm disc, twin-piston caliper
Overall length: 98.4 in.
Overall width: 40.4 in.
Overall height: 45.5 in.
Seat height: 28.3 in.
Curb weight: 760.7 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 5.3 gal.
Wheelbase: 65.6 in.
Colors: Metallic Diablo Black
Warranty: 12 months

Login or sign up to comment.

GreyShadow   April 5, 2012 06:19 PM
I guess this posting is getting old. Last post was Sept, 2011. So, here's my opinion. Just bought a 2011 1700 Nomad after owning a 2003 1500 Nomad. There was gear whine in the 2003 Nomad but not as loud as the 2011. Two summers ago I bought a 2006 Harley Davidson Road King and took it on a 1200 mile trip. Came back and sold it and just kept driving my 2003 Nomad. Guess what, the 2006 H-D transmission shifts were clunky (just like the 1700 Nomad). I took that to mean both were heavy duty transmissions compared to the snickety-snick shifting on the 2003 Nomad. No problem as far as I'm concerned to have something heavy duty that will last and take the two or three week 2000 miles rides without a glitch. The 1700 Nomad felt lighter in handling compared with the 1500 Nomad, but was almost just like riding the H-D Road King. Gear whine is there in the 1700 Nomad (if you're going 30 mph or less, so if boulevard cruising poseur looking cool is your thing, it may not be the bike for you). But at 60+ mph, you don't hear a whine at all (so if serious long distance highway cruising is your thing, foogetaboutit. It's no big deal). For those that want to look cool driving up and down the same old main street in your quiet otherwise boring town, buy a Big Dog custom with some loud pipes. That way, you'll never hear any gear whine. For that matter, probably a pair of Vance & Hines will drown out any gear noise if anyone really cares (replace one noise with the other and foogetaboutit). You'll look coooool no matter what, and maybe that's all you poseurs care about.
letsgobikin   September 4, 2011 04:39 AM
To DAN, Hey brother, I ride Jap bikes, you ride American bikes, I'm readin all the comments on here and to all of you people on here, QUIT CRACKIN ON DAN. If he prefers Harley and that's what he wants then so be it. We are all lucky enough to live in a country where we can ride our motorcycles and live free. From Goldwings assembled in Marion Ohio who employ AMERICAN workers, or if it's a Harley Davidson that has some parts that are made in Japan, they still employ AMERICAN workers. Does it really matter in the end what name is on the tank emblem? To you Dan, I am proud to ride a Jap bike, but more proud that you stood up for what you are passionate about and told it like it is. Someday maybe I will get to ride beside you and I will do it with pride, and I would look at your Harley and give you a bog ol thumbs up brother.
Mark Anderstorfer   February 5, 2011 04:10 AM
Speaking of clunk, ride a 2010 Ultra, loudest clunk you will ever hear in a tranny. Ultra Handles like a tank and fit and finish don't compare to the Voyager. There is as much "plastic" on the Ultra as the Voyager. Why pay twice the price for an HD for a 3rd of the performance and half the reliability of the Kaw ? I apparently don't "get it"
Jim in the GTA -1700 Vulcan Nomad  September 20, 2010 03:42 PM
I just traded my 1985 honda shadow 1100 in on 2009 Vulcan Nomad. The nomad has 3000 km on it. Love the bike. However the transmisson is very clunky especially going into second. My wife for Gods sake commented on the noisy shifting. The old 1100 shifted much smoother than this bike. I can live with the rough shifting as long as it doesn't harm the transmission over the long term. Every other aspect of this bike is over the top. If that transmisson was smoother there won't be a bike on this planet that could match it.
dan -scott  August 20, 2010 05:25 PM
sorry about your friends scott..always watch the other driver..every day someone pulls out in front of me...
Scott -35+ Years of riding  August 19, 2010 06:48 PM
I've been reading these comments and find a lot of them to be really childish. I've had lots of bikes Suzuki 500 titan, Suzuki 750 water buffalo, Triumph Bonneville, Honda 750 Shadow and an AMF 1978 Harley Davidson Super Glide 74 cubic inch (78 they had an early and late model) The Harley was the prettiest (Chestnut brown with a brown leather seat) The Honda Shadow was the most dependable. I just purchased a 2001 Kawasaki 1500 Classic fi with only 4,300 miles on it. It's looks rival the old super glide's. I won't get much riding in this year ... but next year, oh yeah. I love all bikes and love to ride with all non-crazy riders. Lost 4 friends over the years and all but 1 was an insane rider. The other one got head-on with a drunk driver.
DAN -JAP CRAP  July 23, 2010 04:15 AM
Don Peppino -Rider  July 21, 2010 02:38 PM
Dan, I'd be willing to bet you don't even have a bike, muchless a Harley. I have two H-Ds, plus Jap and Italian bikes. The Italian is in a class by itself, and no one, especially a Harley can touch it. In fact, most Harley riders admire it greatly. But the most bashing I hear comes from riders of Jap bikes about Harleys, and very seldom from Harley riders about Jap bikes. So basically, I think you're full of crap becasue if you had a Harley, you would really have no reason to bash anyone else.
Dan -vroom  July 6, 2010 12:09 PM
lol...go live in japan loser...
BOB -Vroom  July 3, 2010 06:30 PM
Just bought an 09 Nomad, love the bike----except the tranny/belt drive noise. Seems to be getting better, or i'm just getting used to it. An awful lot of "whinning from the HD crowd- must be looking for another bike because they're sick of carrying around their HD in the back of a pick-up" Get over it, typical American attitude--they think they're the only ones out there!
Dan -k vs h  May 21, 2010 08:43 AM
so what..go harley...what about toyota..lol great car...not ..junk all the way....buy american..USA..all the way ..so all you jap lovers out there move to japan!!!!
bennett cowper -h vs K  May 17, 2010 06:32 PM
i have 34,732miles KAW. 1500 classic 2004 year. been in shop 1 time wreck bent tank couple more things. just got harley ultra in feb.it is already in shop LEAKING OIL they have split cases 5000 miles on bike.
DAN -HARLEY  May 13, 2010 03:13 PM
Chillie66 -Sir!  May 12, 2010 04:05 PM
I am in the market for a new bike in 2011, being in the U.K. ...I can tell you, the difference in price from a Nomad to a Harley equivilent (roadking) is almost double!!! To my eyes, the Nomad is the first cruiser I've seen , where the panniers actually 'look' like they flow with the lines of the bike! the bike has good 'proportions' and will do me fine, with the money 'left-over ' from NOT buying a Road-king ..I can do a 6 week tour of Europe !! I love Harleys.But I'm not rich, so I buy 'accordingly'. I am also a 'real' biker not some weekend warrior who rides his 'hog' two weeks a year , so the real test is ..can the Nomad handle 10 british winters in a row?
Rick -Voyager 2010  April 17, 2010 06:56 AM
The new Voyager is everything i am looking for, I like the six speed, the cruise, the stereo system, the ride is awesome. I traded an 05 1600 nomad and loved it, the shaft drive is much quiter then the belt drive, i can get over this noise but i was told the belt was quiter, i say if it aint broke don't fix it, i like the shaft drive. The shifting is also noisy, I am short so shortening the bike helps me. I would like it to be lowered about 1" if anyone knows where to get a lowering kit please let me know.

Thanks, Rick
Hollis -Harley Deluxe  April 10, 2010 06:47 AM
There are 2 types of bikers. Those who ride Harleys and those who wished they did!!11
dan -buy american  March 25, 2010 02:45 PM
lol at jap shit..let them burn
don belles -kawasaki voyager 1700  March 24, 2010 06:39 PM
have a 2009 voyager and got burned on the calf on the right side. this was after having the dealership call kawasaki in Jun 2009 and ask if there were any known heat problems. kawasaki said no problems. month later got second degree burns on a 2500 mile road trip. then kawasaki denied knowing about a heat problem. they even hired a team of lawyers to beat me down.
last month i got a notification of a class action fraud lawsuit against kawasaki taking place in oregon. seems kawasaki installed a device that showed more miles on the bikes than they really had. this is not like the old kawasaki i knew from years ago. i am wondering what else they have lied about and what else they have cheated the customers on.
seems like toyota and the prius is not the only company lying and cheating the USA consumer. I am wondering who else has had problems with the heat problem that did not exist. Note the problem occurred in fast and slow traffic.
also the electronic fuel system showed plenty of fuel and the engine died of gas starvation on a busy freeway. kawasaki said there was no problem that everything was fine. 2 months later the dealership replaced the fuel pump which contained a small chip that regulated the flow and monitored the fuel flow and the problem that did not exist went away.
what else are they stonewalling on that could cost a biker's life on a busy freeway in heavy traffic. I would avoid kawasaki like the plague until they come clean about their products.
rimfire -harley  March 18, 2010 10:36 AM
ibought a new harley in 2007 road king worst bike i ever had will never buy another one started leaking oil parts vibrating loose clutch went out sold it after 1 year bought a 2008 vulcan nomad have had it 2 years not one single problem harleys are still junk
G. Edwards -2009 Vulcan 1700 LT  January 23, 2010 02:25 PM
Bike looks great and rode great. but after about 5 minutes of riding the heat that comes off of the left side is horrible. (in the summer) I put 1600 miles on the bike and already had to take it to the shop to get it fixed (front lifters). They have had it for 2 months (pathetic) short of telling them to repo it and screwing up my credit I got no other choice. Edge Kawasaki (El Paso) doesnt care how long it takes they keep putting it back on Kawasaki and if you call Kawasaki customer service they could give a rats ass about your problem. As soon as I can I am getting another bike.
amlfin -2009 Nomad  January 22, 2010 04:49 PM
I, too, clunk and howl but a friend bought the same bike and hers doesn't whine or howl like many of ours do. This is not a problem with all the 09 Nomads for sure. The dealer is really working with me to fix it. Overall, I love the bike. I feel I'm a part of it rather than sitting on it (like I did on my two V Stars). I don't have to stop every 70 mi. for a butt break. 250 mi. is the furthest I've run non stop with it...felt fresh getting off. It handles extremely well. 80 mph seems to be the sweet spot for me. The acceleration is awesome. Love the cruise control. I bought the bike for some planned 2k+ rides. I think I'm gonna love it. No insults here on any other manufactures out there. I do have to mention, however, the trade in lot had more HDs than any of the others...Hmmmm
Paul From Long Island -09 kawasaki 1700cc vulcan  January 4, 2010 09:22 AM
I own this bike & I am very disatfied with it. Whine from the belt drive & a bang from the trans. 1 to 2 to 3 what where they thinking & plenty of plastic have 3,500 miles nothing is changing we should all get together & file a class action law suite & also bike runs very very hot. I have owened many bikes one of the best for me was a 05 1600cc vulcan classic very quiet. Called Kawasaki they say this is normal its a big bike.
piman001 -1700 Vulcan Nomad  November 30, 2009 07:36 PM
As one that has owned just about heavy cruiser made, including Harley Davidson, for the past 40 years of riding I can state that, for the price and what you get, the 1700, which has it's flaws, is one of the best bikes on the market. I ride long, ride hard, and ride often and with one year under my belt I am pleased overall. It certainly has the size, weight, power and the looks to pull it off and i got mine for under 14.000 which is a bonus.

I like the red/gold color and have not seen another one since i bought mine early this year so it is distinctive to say the least. The good outways the bad and , while not knocking other bikes, this for me does it.

If you want to get a heavy cruiser for the bang for your buck buy the 2010 as I am told some of the flaws have been taken care of but the color is limited and the price went up but you should be able to get one for just around 14000 and change.

I ride with several clubs and guys are always asking to ride it down the road and , thus far, no complaints.
sammy -1700/1600 Nomad's  November 3, 2009 12:30 PM
I am looking for the best road/touring bike for me and my wife. We are late 50's, I have ridden since I was 14, she as pasenger with me. Own two now, one 03 Sporty, one 06 800 Zook. We have done a lot of touring on the Zook with most of our friends on HD dressers. Both of my bikes have over 37K on them now. I want something we can ride together for 3 to 5 hundred miles a day, 3 to 7 days at a time. Will be selling the Zook. Don't like full dressers--too much like half of a motorhome, don't like dashboards, televisions, GPS systems, airbags, coffee makers, or other junk bolted to my bikes. Ridden a bunch of FL's, good bikes, but not crazy about them. I like HD, like their Sporty's and their Dyna's anyway, but you can't ride two up on a Dyna. Okay for me, my longest day ride was from Lake Tahoe CA to Queen Creek AZ. Over 850 miles and I did it on a Sporty and no freeways. But not for her. HD-FL roadbikes have short wheelbases--63 inches, want something bigger. More leg room for her. Want a Nomad or a Yamaha 1800 Strat. Can't handle the new 1700 Nomad, too much plastic. Really like the older 1600 Nomads. Super dependable track record and low maintenance record and very little plastic. I really enjoyed most of the comments here except from the nut-jobs with bad attitudes. Really like the new Triumph T-bird, beautiful sound, smooooth as a baby's butt, but too short as well. Really would like your opinion as to what you think about the 1600 Noman or the Yamaha 1800 Stratoliner or someother bike you think I should consider. sam
Debbie L. Lutz -on line survey  October 17, 2009 12:03 PM
I was sent another online survey by Kawasaki. I could not get to http://www.kawasaki-research.com/VN1700 website. I filled out the first survey and did not receive the promised promotion. Now I can't fill out this survey. I like the motorcycle, but your promotions for feedback have much to be desired. Thanks for nothing but a nice ride.
milwaukee mike -Bikerboy  October 14, 2009 04:44 PM
Get rid of that crap and buy a Harley!
Bikerboy -1700 Nomad Calssic Tourer owner update  October 13, 2009 05:35 AM
4 months ownership, 3000 miles. Well, the first thing to say is the bike is back with Kawasaki. The second is, I am missing her.
The transmission noise I mentioned back in June has progressively become worse in all gears above second whilst accelerating and decelerating. I am not the first to complain about this problem and the dealer and Kawasaki haver taken it for an(independant) test. I have researched this transmission whine on the web and it appears a number of riders share this annoying 'Old Ford Transit Van' gearbox whine.
Here is my experience in other areas which might be of interest.
1. Accidentally knocked the gear change away from Neutral on dismounting (didn't realise that was possible), on returning to start it, a computer error appeared and the starter would not engage. Took me a while to solve this one.
2. After it rains the luggage locks become difficult to insert a key into. (I know a bit of WD40 does te trick)
3. After the engine is at full operating temperature there is a small but just noticable flat spot when accelerating slowly. With the web at my fingertips I found a reference in America to the ECU being at fault on this one.
4. Two up obviously makes the front end lighter and higher, so, the screen height set correctly for one up becomes too high for two up. Common sense really, but not mentioned very often in the Biking press.
5. Accessories, what accessories? New model equals no accessories. This Bike was launched in America earlier than the UK and they have been moaning about it as well.
6. Hey it's not all bad! The bike handles well. It is as smooth as a V twin can be and very enjoyable to own. (provide Kawa sortout the trany whine)
7. Would I recommend one? Yes and No. I would watch and wait until the trany issue is resolved. I don't think I could sell my bike secondhand with this noise. Be warned, ordinarily you can't test ride these bikes from new.
After your purchase you could reject it as 'Not Fit For Purpose' but that is such a painful process to have to go through.
Dan -skeeter  October 11, 2009 05:55 PM
go skeeter...tell it like it is....
skeeter -Harley-Davidsons are the best!  October 10, 2009 10:35 AM
All of you stupid latte-drinking metrosexual yuppies need to accept that that Harleys are superior. Get over the fact that we don't wave to you, and that we kicked your a**es back in high school. Stay out of our way, and stop wearing Harley t-shirts underneath your his & hers matching gear!
Tk -1700 vulcan nomad  September 29, 2009 03:12 PM
I've got 2500 miles on mine , the tranny noise is gone [ at about 1200 miles ] and the clunk when shifting is better when you figure out the shift points I'm 6'1'' 250 # and it fits better than anything I looked at and I looked at everything. I like the power, ride, looks and it is SMOOTH. The only thing I don't like is the seat covering, it's comfy but scuffs easily. And the one thing everyone fails to talk about is passenger comfort, no complaints from my wife she likes the ride also. I would buy it again...
Al -2009 VN 1700 Nomad  September 20, 2009 04:37 PM
I have done quite a bit of research on motorcyles and drive systems. I'm not sure that the belt drive on the Nomad is as good as a shaft drive. And then you hear about the whining and noise presumable from the belt drive. The hard saddle bags . . . well I wonder how well constructed they are especially the top opening lid. It seems a bit flimsy to me. For the money they are asking, I think there is a better value out there. I would be interested to hear some other opinions.
Charlie on Long Island -Kawasaki 1700 Nomad Noisy shifting in first & second gear Sept 18, 2009  September 18, 2009 07:52 PM
Do all of the 1700 cruisers shift so noisy \?
Hauk -Nomad 1700 Seats  August 12, 2009 07:45 AM
Bought a 2009 Nomad, and love everything about the bike EXCEPT for the cramped seat.... waiting for Mustang to come through! I've also ridden a lot of harleys, etc. and also enjoyed them. This Vulcan is the smoothest thing I've ever ridden, but what terrible seats, as the front of the passenger seat bites into my lower back. Didn't they test ride this further than 5 miles? (My dealer didn't allow test rides.) Hauk
DAN -MR WEST  August 8, 2009 11:56 AM
William West -Japanese Harley  August 7, 2009 08:29 PM
quote: "Dan - harleys June 29, 2009 02:08 PM
wow so angry..tim..im 50 been riding since 5 ..you ride jap i ride american..so what..get over it...later!!!"

Can you name the parts on Harley that are NOT made in japan or China?? The Harley may be assembled in America but you are a fool if you think it is "MADE IN AMERICA". LOL you guys are riding a bike that needs a tagolong mechanic.

F.N EDWARDS -KAWASAKI CLASSIC 1700  August 1, 2009 02:38 PM
I am a V17 Classic owner and love the new tech, and refinement and power.I think Kawasaki wanted to emplement a more rider focus seating and it adds more visabilty! Im 6'2 and ride comfortable,but the V2K is Godzilla! There is not a motorcycle on the planet that big! Riding
this V17 its actually little more bike than V2K Overall.One thing I want to say is every manufactor has got great bikes,Harley respects
Kawasaki and Kawasaki does the same!Its a culture or life style!
Lets get everbody together and ride across this beautiful country!
Freedom and Liberty! Let everybodys good times roll!
Rusty Fender -Vulcan 1700's size  August 1, 2009 10:28 AM
Can someone that owns or has riden a VN 1700 and say they are cramped
mention there physical size. I'm 6'2" 275 lbs.
Would this bike be too small for me?
Is there a HD made that is any bigger then the VN1700?
From the specs I've read they shortend the Wheel Base 13mm
Pulled the Handle bars back 30mm and moved the Floorboards back 50mm
this in comparion to the VN 2000 specs.
From what I've read about the VN 2000 many were bitching about it being too large and having to "reach the shifters and lean forward to reach the bars"
25mm = 1 inch. The size reduction seems pretty minimal to me.
squiber -1700 nomad  July 29, 2009 04:13 AM
love the ride but accessories should be a priority luggage rack is a must for vacation plans again KUDOS kawasaki and get er done
Wheels -Kawa mayheim  July 19, 2009 08:58 PM
Reading all the pro's and con's and realizing that in the end.. Who gives a #$@^.. If the ride is good and the bike makes you feel like you have found the perfect escape, then to me thats the ultimate goal. I ride a dressed up 97 Vulcan Classic and every mile put on that thing has been a joy. Like most others, I have ridden them all. They all have unique character.. but in the end.. ride ride ride.. it just doesnt matter.. Peace out kids..
Tom Buchanan -2009 Voyager  July 16, 2009 09:58 AM
I find myself very dissapointed with my recent purchase of Kawasaki's 1700 Voyager. My previous bike was a Vulcan Nomad 1600 which I had accessorized with Audio, CB, chrome,all of which enhanced my riding experience or made the bike look good. I purchased the Voyager hoping this would be an upgrade but boy was I wrong! Even though Kawasaki advertises that a CB, IPod, XM Radio are available as upgrades these items ARE NOT AVAILABLE and NO ONE INCLUDING Kawasaki customer service has any idea when and if they will be. This is the response I have gotten from the dealer and Kawasaki customer service. I find it hard to belive that Kawasaki thinks that they can get into the compettion for the full dresser market with a bare bones product and no avaiable upgrades or accessories. I now have a product that Kawasaki touts as Top of the line but has found it acceptable to not support the needs and wants of the riding segment that this product is targeted for.
Dan -harleys  June 29, 2009 02:08 PM
wow so angry..tim..im 50 been riding since 5 ..you ride jap i ride american..so what..get over it...later!!!
tim marshall -kawasaki nomad fi 2003  June 28, 2009 08:15 AM
Ive had this bike since o3 new, It's got 86,000 miles on it, It's never been in the shop for repair, only to change tires,and brake pads, I do my own oil and filter. Ive had three harley's over the years and if i had all the money I spent for repair I could have had a new bike, and I have all the log books to prove it. I have been a biker since I was 14, Im 62 now. kawasaki makes a great bike Ill never ride anything else, so stick it up your ass harley.
F.N EDWARDS -KAWASAKI CLASSIC 1700  June 25, 2009 06:24 AM
Bikerboy -Nomad noise  June 23, 2009 06:59 AM
I get a high pitched scream coming from the engine, presume cam noise, at certain revs and in gear 3 and 4. This is slowly quitening down as the miles pass. Relying on the engine proving to be bullet proof I will ignore this for the time being.More importantly I am desperate to get a luggage rack to stow the tent and gear on. There is nothing listed in the official Kawa site. I know it's a new design/bike but why o'h why do we have to wait for the shiney goodies and essentials? The custom chrome suppliers also are slow to supply anything for the VN1700. Any comments welcome.
Guitar Man -2009 Vulcan nomad  June 17, 2009 11:59 AM
I have never riden a belt drivin bike before I've got some low speed noise in my new Vulcan Nomad Very noticable around 30to40mph Kinda loud at times is this normal? The Dealer says it should fade with a few miles on it. After 700miles noise is still noticable. between 50 and 80mph noise is not there? Don't know maybe i'll become amune and not pay attention later on. Appreciate all feedback...
Bikerboy -VN1700 Classic Tourer  June 17, 2009 03:23 AM
Interesting reading the past comments on the Vn1700. Three weeks into ownership and I have mixed feelings. The good, once cruising with cruise control on it is brill. The bad, getting there through the clunky gearbox. Reaching the buttons is not easy. Difficult seeing the clock and numbers on the tank with a full face helmet, you look like a nodding donkey. But, I have to say the whole experience is bloody marvellous. I chopped in my ST1100 which is quite a change from smooth and bland to semi-rough and shiney. The wife loves the new bike and can shout her orders which I can hear clearly at mmost speeds. Could take the screen off to fix this problem. 3 day trip away meant restricted pannier limitation shopping by her who can be heard over the roar of a V twin. Come in guys and gals whatever we write or ride we can all find fault. So, 600 mile service being done as I write. 4000 mile to the next service, yes a bit short. Also watch out for that sticker Kawasaki send you seperately in the post to stick in your service book. Without it the 2 year warranty is not valid. O'h and use a hair dryer to remove the unwanted dos and dont stickers on the tank and panniers.
RG -2009 Vulcan's Accesories  June 15, 2009 07:56 PM
Vulcanman, have you checked out the KawaNow website? There are a few accesories for the 2009 line, and they have some of the liks to their websites. Ride with joy!!
RG -2009 Nomad  June 15, 2009 07:45 PM
We got our 2009 Nomad in mid may, have now over 1k miles on it. Can't be more pleased with the bike. Having owned many bikes over the years, of all brands, and belonging to a couple of riding groups; can't be more pleased with the Nomad. I have yet to meet a single HD rider put the Nomad down for any reason, and either ride mine and change their minds, or hit the road with us and have to put up with the Nomad smoking the best souped up ride I have yet to encounter anywhere. Ours doesn't have any engine upgrades yet. Just wait!!! I respect HD's. They are an icon of times past, just as my elders. The look good, sound good, and are way to expensive for what they deliver. You like them,buy them!! Why should I pay extra money for a "want to be" icon attitude? Now days, it is about riding and enjoying doing so. If you are so stucked up on what you and others ride, good for you, you are way "smarter" than some of us. Pay the price for those smarts!! I rather cruise on my Nomad, enjoying the open road, and letting the "wanna be's" behind, while still having all the joy, comfort and extra money to spend on my free time. Keep up or move put of the way...Comfy Nomad coming thru!!!!
Big Jon -It's not what you ride  June 7, 2009 05:45 PM
I've been riding motorcycles for over 50 years ... From American, British, German, Italian ... etc. The essence of being "Cool", is just being a safe motorcyclist and brother motor straddler. There is absolutely no "One & Only" manufacturer. There are, however, One & only attitudes which are usually expressed by those with limited experience. If you want "Bling" , buy from any manufacturer and open the wallet and add away. If you want dependability ... practice proper maintenance & cleaning. If you want to look like a leather clad pirate ... go for it, but don't feel that the costume impresses anyone who is a TRUE motorcyclist. If I have learned anything from my 50 plus years of experience, it's been that "Once you meet a "TRUE" motorcycle enthusiast, you will not hear anything demeaning about what others ride. Harley may have coined the phrase "Live To Ride & Ride To Live" ... but I say ... "Love the ride & Ride The Love"
ted alley -why I don't like the new vulcans.  June 4, 2009 06:36 AM
I was so excited to hear that kawasaki was comeing out with a new nomad. Well I rode one. And was disapointed with the fit and finish and the way the bike was laid out, I'm 6' and I thought it was made for short people. The handle bar wear to narrow and the floor boards were to far back. There was not enuff chrome in the handle bar section. what lost to be chrome is now black plastic. Like around the turn signles and all other switches. I thought that the plastic chrome decals were cheap and tacky. The bike moved out good and had a nice even smooth ride. If you can get around the cramped ride style. And the little sadle bags get real. The old style bag is bigger and easyier to get stuff in and out of it. I love the old style nomad and I guese I'l keep this one and get some other bike for my next bike.
Dan -harleys  May 29, 2009 04:38 AM
like i said i like harleys im not putting anyone down if they ride other bikes i went on a bike run the other day..all kinds of bikes rode...loved it..so dont hate me for liking harleys if you got the cash.go for it...
Nomad Phil -2009 Nomad 1700  May 28, 2009 08:10 AM
Just bought a 1700 Nomad and absolutely love it. I thoroghly research several bikes including several Harleys. The Vulcan line seemed superior in every aspect. All it matters is that you ride!! I a "certain group"of people "look down" at me, I'm sorry that they feel the way they do. I just didnt want to spend 5 to 6 thousand dollars more for yesterdays technology. Kudos to Kawasaki for a fantastic product!!
Tom -Vulcan-road star-Hd-...  May 28, 2009 06:41 AM
What a load of utter BS on this message boards. Buy and ride what you like, without being a HD elitist or looking down at others. We're all riders. And forgive me for not wanting to buy overpriced, aircooled, technically dated, poser bikes? All very nice, but I prefer good mechanics and long maintenance intervals. (and cheap maintenance as well...) - "Vulcans small and harleys big?" I've been on a harley recently, and they're TINY little bikes compared to some Jap Cruisers. - 'Vulcan 2000 ugly, roadliner beautiful??!" Uhm, say again? Road star is a hate it or love it bike. Not by any means a bike that will universally be regarded as beautiful by everyone. I personally hate that stupid '30s 'art nouveau' granny retro styling. The speedo alone is pretty repulsive. As is the left side of the engine. The roadliner definately needs an upgrade (long overdue). ----- For me, if I had to buy a cruiser one of these days (and I will) it will be a vulcan 1700-2000 or a triumph thunderbird. Whatever suits me bests at that time. The kind of money these two cost, wouldn't even buy me the base line softail. Go figure!
VulcanMan -2009 Vulcan Accessories  May 27, 2009 05:52 PM
"Ride what you like" about covers it. Anyone have a clue when Genuine Kawasaki accessories will be available for 2009 Classic and Classic LT? Gotta have crash bars, but I don't want to mess with my warranty. By the way, I love my Classic LT and my stepdad's RoadStar. Both great bikes; very different bikes in some ways. He doesn't bust mine, and I don't bust his.
Guitar man -2009 Vulcan nomad  May 21, 2009 01:09 PM
I just purchased the new Nomad 2tone Candy Red and pearl beige. It is a fantastic ride but could use some chrome (not avalible yet) The shifting is smooth and the ballance is awesome, corners great and when on the open highway it has no problem pulling away from traffic with ease. I'ts hard to keep the speed contained so the cruise is a great option on this motorcycle. When carring a passenger the bike stills performs very well and rides very smooth. I looked at several different motorcycles The bike is very attractive as well as the price. Ride Safe
Matt -Nomad  May 21, 2009 10:08 AM
1700cc FI v-twin engine, 6 gear transmission, cruise control, electronic gear fuel range indicator, light handling, Belt Drive, & lockable hard bags for under 15k. This is pretty much the wish list of features I have been looking for in my next bike and if it is half as reliable as my Vulcan 900 has been through the years then I can forgive some plastic dressing and a few "Harley-ish" style ques. I ride to see the road, not to be seen on it. =)
DAN -VULCON  May 11, 2009 04:22 PM
heubetchacan -Who cares if they hold their value?  May 11, 2009 09:49 AM
Dan - I've owned Kawasakis, Harleys, Hondas, and Yamahas in 40 years of riding. I say that just to prove I'm not stuck on any one brand. While it might be true Harleys hold their value, some of us buy bikes to ride them - not to resell them. The Voyager 1700 as competition for the Ultra Classic at a price below $18K is a very good thing. With no competition, the Motor Company everyone seems to love could simply gouge its customers with ever increasing prices.
Nomad 1600 -To each their own,  May 4, 2009 03:04 PM
I guess that's why they make so many different kind of bikes. Buy want you like, you're the one who is going to ride it.
Dan -vulcan  May 1, 2009 06:38 PM
great choice krankor
Krankor -Ergonomics  April 28, 2009 06:35 PM
For years, I avoided Japanese bikes because the ergonomics were simply too tight. I want to stretch out on a cruiser. Finally, the Japanese manufacturers saw the light and I bought a 2001 1500 Drifter, which feels like a real cruiser. Now, for 2009, they have once again compressed the rider ergonomics and made the bike more cramped. I guess it's time to look at Harley's.
Chrome Horse Rider -Who cares you think HD or Road Star is better  April 20, 2009 06:09 PM
I will say it again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and on top of that as bikers are still the minority, can we all live together peacefully? I have been riding with different HOG chapters and met the nicest persons on HDs, so I could not understand the reason some hold negative feelings against HOG members when I first started browsing the motorcycle blogs. Now I understand that it is the few arrogant people that ruin the reputation of the majority innocent people. I have been to Laughlin River Run twice. I thought once was more than enough after the first time, but then my son wanted to experience it. Some think owning a HD gives them right to look down on others. As matter of fact, there are so many HD owners out there, as HD supply has exceeded the demand in the past few years; HD not longer retains value as use to be. So big deal if you own a HD, so is several millions of others. How do you feel when those who ride custom bikes look down on you? For those who live within distance of LA, a trip to Bert’s Mega Mall’s 2nd hand bike department can verify what I said; their price is way below the bluebook. This world needs more variety of bikes, even North Korea is gradually moving away from everyone wearing the same uniform, why do you expect everyone worship the same bike? I have been riding HD, and I am sick and tire of so many riding same bike and wearing similar outfits. The reason I am browsing around is I am determined that my next one will not be a HD. For Japanese bike rider to be arrogant like some HD riders, it is even more pointless.
Dan -vulcon  April 20, 2009 01:23 PM
thats your opinion keepinreal ...kawas dont keep there value...sorry but true..Dan
KeepnItReal -2009  April 19, 2009 05:37 PM
Dan, This bike looks better than any Harley ever built, of course they've looked the same for the last 50 years. It will take Harley another 20 years the build something this good!
Chrome Horse Rider -Triumph 1600 Thunderbird  April 16, 2009 02:04 PM
Grumbler – I appreciate your comments and being gentleman about it. Till my reentrant into riding in 2000, I spent the second half of 60s and the 70s riding small Japanese bikes, a singer cylinder BSA and graduated into Japanese and Triumph parallel twins. I always wish one day more of the old marques will comeback and give the aging baby boomers more alternatives in bike selection. The Excelsior Henderson and the previous round of resurrecting Indian brand were like soap operas at best, Norton’s effort ran out of funding and is recently back into hands of Brits. So there is not that many around who is nostalgic while having a fairer chance of success than Triumph. I sincerely wish Triumph do all things right and make a stronger presence in the biking community. It was easy to tell the difference in sound between Parallel-Twin and V-Twin in the old day. V-Twin gets the distinctive potato-potato-potato sound because V-Twin and Single Crank-Pin result in a imbalanced firing interval. Parallel-Twin traditionally has both piston going up and down together in sync, while being 4 cycle each cylinder firing in alternating with the other result in perfectly balanced firing interval. As the mass of piston, rings, pins, connecting rods of the two cylinders going up and down together, this is where the vibration coming from, the most recent BMW 800cc engine has taken a page from Japanese scooter design and has a Balancing Arm to counter the vibration and I heard it work rather well as the TC-88B and TC-96B of HD design. The previous modern Triumph models proofs that there is no benefit but actually giving grounds in sense of Torque and HP changing from balanced to imbalanced firing interval, while inducing more vibrations. So my comment came from the only benefit is making a Parallel-Twin sounds like a V-Twin, while Parallel-Twin seems the only distinction of it from other V-Twins, and therefore could not stop wondering why?
BSD -The Kawi Experience  April 16, 2009 06:52 AM
Long time rider, multi bike owner, multi continental. Kawi makes very good cruisers.The basics are quite sound. Buy it right,low maintenance. I am a minimalist who is power hungry so I modify,it will handle, brake too, comfort for my ergos.I add hard bags as needed, fairing too/with backrest.Keep the weight low,my 06 Mean Streak (discontinued) is what I wanted ..I make more but but less weight. Make mine 115 HP, 120 TK.720 lbs wet.
Road Star -09 Vulcan  April 16, 2009 04:57 AM
Could Kawasaki make an uglier bike than the Vulcan 2000? It is butt ugly and does not have near the following as a Road Star. Aftermarket parts are limited compared to the Road Star and it eats tires like a hungry pit bull.
DAN -VULCAN  April 15, 2009 04:53 PM
Dan -vulcan  April 15, 2009 04:51 PM
harleys are so much better....my opinion...
Shibumi69 -Comparing  April 15, 2009 12:59 PM
I still feel Kawasaki is missing the boat on outfitting the V2000 as a Nomad. Perfect all around powerhouse.
steveinsandiego -09 vulcans  April 14, 2009 06:53 PM
i bought a new 05 1600 classic in february 05. i have enjoyed it for 55k miles. last week i sat on an 09 LT. yes, the floorboards are a bit more forward than on my 05. i'm not interested in the voyager, as i do not ride long - 380 miles is my personal record for one day, and i'm not all that interested in multi-day excursions. well, there might be more chrome in some places on the 09s, but now the reservoirs and handlebar controls are black - sigh. i sure would like to try out a new vulcan 2000 :-)
john b -1700 cruiser  April 13, 2009 04:08 PM
well with all the antipation of a first ride review, your was pretty darn lame. re-verbaged kawa marketing drival. nothing about the engine etc. i bet you did not even ride it. and if you did... read it again and compare it to kawa-ad verbage. wow
Grumbler -Triumph 1600 Thunderbird  April 12, 2009 03:37 PM
Chrome Horse Rider - I used to own Triumph 650/750 twins with oldest a '67 TR6R and newest a '73 T140RV. Those parallel twins transmitted too much high frequency vibration which made longer road trips an ordeal at times. Have not tried any of the current Bonneville twins. My first Harley-Davidson, a used '75 FLH1200, evolved into a paintshaker at freeway speeds. Have not seen (other than pics), heard nor ridden the Triumph 1600 Thunderbird due in June so, regardless of your viewpoint as it pertains to parallel twins masquerading as v-twins, am sure that Triumph knows what they're doing. It definitely won't appeal to everyone, but have no doubts that there's going to be a lot of happy owners.
Chrome Horse Rider -2009 Vulcan Nomad  April 10, 2009 09:37 PM
First I agree to the old saying of beautiful is in the eye of the beholder, so it is really to the individuals, and I will not try to impose my personal favors onto others. However, since Triumph 1600 Thunderbird is mentioned in the section of reviewing the Voyager, I believe first of all trying to make Parallel-Twin sound unbalanced like V-Twin really gives me the feeling of lacking of confidence. Secondly, I cannot feel the efforts in ID design; it appears to me as the sum of the collective parts from the parts bin of other manufacturers who make V-Twin bikes. The fully dressed Voyager is nice for 500+ miles a day tour, however, I only get the chance of doing it once a year. For anything other than 500+ miles a day tour, I rather not having so much weight on the bike, so Nomad will be more attractive to me. I am anxious to seeing it at my local deal, I was told that a few are scheduled to come in towards the end of this month. Two areas I will pay particular attentions. 1, If viewing from behind, will the hard bags give it a pregnant appearance? 2, The part around the left rider peg/floor board appears to be unfinished with pipe and parts, will it damage the image of otherwise clean design.
Jay Mack -V1700  April 9, 2009 12:18 PM
I guess it's nice. I think I still prefer the V2K though. I don't care for what is a cramped riding position, like o the Harley Ultra CLassic and this Vulcan. I like to streatch out, especially on a big motorcycle like a cruiser. ANd it isn't quite so much torque as the 142 ft/lbs on the V2K. It is definately nice looking. Nice looking engine.