2009 Kawasaki 1700 Voyager 1st Look

September 21, 2008
Ken Hutchison
Ken Hutchison
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The ulcers keep piling on for the warden of the MotoUSA asylum. With the inmates running rampant around the globe, Hutch has opted to get in on the madness more these days than in years past and is back in the saddle again.

The Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager returns to the lineup for 2009. The Voyager gives Kawasaki fans a full-dress touring option that is destined to be a hit.
The Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager returns to the lineup for 2009. The Voyager gives Kawasaki fans a full-dress touring option that is destined to be a hit.

Of all the motorcycles released this weekend the Full-dress 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager 1700 received the loudest applause from the attending dealers. Apparently the need for a full blown touring machine is an offering they have been anxiously awaiting. The bike looks great with muscle-car-era influence being applied to the design. The lines of the bike are stylish with a slightly retro look that starts with the massive front fairing, the sculpted tank, corresponding lines of the bags and liberal amounts of chrome.

The Voyager is packed with technological goodies like electronic cruise control with switchgear located on the right side next to the throttle, iPod and MP3 compatible audio system, new fuel-injected, fly-by-wire Electronic Throttle Valve (ETV) and Kawasaki Advanced Coactive Braking Technology (K-ACT) or linked braking system. ABS is available as an option. Taking the technology one step further than the competition, the K-ACT disengages below 12mpg and the ABS disengages at speeds less than 4 mph in an effort to alleviate one of the complaints of linked and ABS braking systems.

At the heart of the Voyager is the same single overhead cam 1700cc liquid-cooled V-Twin found on all the new Vulcan cruisers and a 6-speed transmission. Kawasaki claims 108 lb-ft of torque at 1750 rpm for some serious grunt from the long stroke Twin. The frame is a single-backbone double-cradle design with dual adjustable air shocks and a 45mm four-way adjustable fork. It rolls on wide 130/90 front and 170/70 rear tires mounted to 9-spoke 16-inch cast wheels.

The look of the Voyager draws cues from the 1960s-era muscle cars and with over 100 lb-ft of torque on tap it should be able to give any of those hot rods a run for their money too.
The look of the Voyager draws cues from the 1960s-era muscle cars and with over 100 lb-ft of torque on tap it should be able to give any of those hot rods a run for their money too.

Rider and passenger accommodations include large floorboards front and rear, a trio of massive luggage compartments, lockable glove boxes, good looking seat with passenger backrest and grab bars. The stylish front fairing is mounted to the frame rather than the bars in an effort reduce the effects of wind on the rider in an effort to reduce fatigue over the long haul. A trio of headlamps should light-up the road ahead. The dash follows the retro theme with a quartet of large analog dials with a centrally located LCD display.

The bodywork and bags are sculpted nicely with the rear trunk offering enough space (13.2 gallons) for two full face helmets with the side bags providing another 8.6-gallon each. All three are lockable. Adding to the touring appeal is a powerful 48.5 amp alternator to support a variety of popular touring amenities like GPS units and heated gear.

The 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager will be available in Candy Red, Two-tone Blue/Black or Titanium/Black color schemes. Pricing was not disclosed.

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