kawasaki voyager

Posted at 3/26/2012 5:50:41 AM

jclax01

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kawasaki voyager

I was out and about this weekend and a dealer Big St. Charles motorsports, had a kaw voyager. never rode one before so what the heck. MY GOD IS THAT A HEAVY BIKE. If anyone has ever ridden a kaw vulcan 2000, the voyager feels at least as heavy if not more. more ammo for a vaquario when I decide to get a new scoot. i think it may actually weigh less than a ultra classic, I wonder if its because the center of gravity on the bike.

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Posted at 3/26/2012 7:12:31 AM

martinjmpr

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Is there a new V-twin Voyager or are you talking about one of the old Voyager 12's from the 1980's? IIRC there were two different engine configurations of the Voyager, one was a 4 cyl and the other was a 6 (Kawasaki being the only compay other than Honda to offer an across-the-frame 6 at that time.)

I know the 6 was water cooled (makes sense because Honda's air-cooled CBX had problems with cooling on the inner cylinders) and I think the 4 cyl was water cooled as well but I can't quite remember.

That time period of about 1981 - 86 was a very interesting time for motorcycles, seemed like all of the big 4 were trying to compete in the same markets. The Voyager was made to take on the Gold Wing in the "Big Dresser Touring Bike" market, as was the Suzuki Cavalcade and the Yamaha Venture. The Cavalcade and Venture disappeared shortly thereafter but the Voyager hung on for a few years, I think until 1990 or maybe even later, though I could be wrong on that.

Posted at 3/26/2012 7:27:36 AM

kz1000st

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Before Desmo says it Benelli also made a six cylinder transverse bike at that time too. Another magazine did an article last year on just that subject.
I'm sure Clax is referring to the 1700cc Hog copy complete with useless belt drive instead of a eternal lasting shaft that the better, earlier, LIGHTER, Vulcan 1500 and 1600s had.

Around longer than 1990, that's for sure.

I have an opportunity to purchase a 2002 Voyager XII with 4,700 miles on it.
Edited by kz1000st at 3/26/2012 7:30:28 AM

Posted at 3/26/2012 7:41:40 AM

jclax01

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Im talking about the 1700 v twin.

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Posted at 3/26/2012 6:00:38 PM

desmolicious

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jclax01 said:If anyone has ever ridden a kaw vulcan 2000, the voyager feels at least as heavy if not more.


I've owned a Wing 1800, and that felt like a lightweight picking it up off its side stand compared to a Vulcan 2000. That bike is just ridiculous.
Thing is it may or may not be heavier, it's just that the weight is carried so poorly. It must be high up.

It would seem a Vaquero would be similar to a Voyager, given they are basicically the same bike. But maybe it has lowered suspension? The lack of a travel trunk would make a difference too.

Posted at 3/26/2012 10:48:58 PM

jclax01

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I sat on the vaquero and it did not feel near as heavy. its got to be the top travel trunk and the center of gravity.

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Posted at 3/27/2012 1:48:00 AM

Sober1

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complete with useless belt drive instead of a eternal lasting shaft that the better, earlier, LIGHTER, Vulcan 1500 and 1600s had.


What is their thinking on final drive? I was looking at the past few years of Vulcans. They had a 500 with chain, the 750 with shaft, the 900 with belt and the 1600 with shaft all in the same year.:saywut:

I sold my 2003 Vulcan Classic 800 last year, great bike (had to replace the chain the year before)
I love my shaft drive 2008 C50T but the Kaw. was quicker.

2012 Concours is shaft but the other 1700's are belt.

Can anyone tell me what the thinking is on final drive? Pros and cons?

Edited by Sober1 at 3/27/2012 1:49:43 AM

Posted at 3/27/2012 5:56:44 AM

jclax01

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I prefer a shaft drive, but it does weigh a little more than a belt drive. one thing you get with shaft drive is "jacking" to the side of the shaft. To me its not a big deal at all. All things considered, a belt drive is probably less expensive to make than a shaft drive. and there is little oppurtunity for the manufacturer to make money on a shaft drive (they usually out last the bike). Belts have to be replaced ever so often (cha-ching)

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Posted at 3/27/2012 7:46:31 AM

martinjmpr

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Sober1 said:
2012 Concours is shaft but the other 1700's are belt.

Can anyone tell me what the thinking is on final drive? Pros and cons?



It's two things, really: Cost and "authenticity"

The cost factor is probably the most important. Back in the 80's when all the Japanese companies were fighting for market share, they loaded up their bikes with lots of "extras" to try and beat the competition. That's why bikes back then had full instruments (including in some cases, gear indicators), center stands, shaft drive, cast wheels, low- or no-maintenance valves, etc.

But then the market crashed and they were put in a position of trying to stay afloat amidst sinking sales, so they started cutting corners wherever they could. Chain drive is cheaper and easier to make than shaft, so a lot of the new bikes went back to chains, even in some cases where the previous models had shafts (Honda Magna, for example.) We also saw the disappearance of center stands and (at least on the cruiser bikes) full instruments - a lot of the modern cruisers have a speedo only, no tach, fuel gauge or other instruments.

The other factor is "authenticity." In the Cruiser market, "Authentic" can be translated to "Looks like a Harley." Since Harleys have belt drive, the big metric cruisers have been going to belts, too.

A final point on the cost issue: If you think about it, the manufacturer only makes money when the bike is sold new. They get squat from the second and subsequent buyers. So, if they make a motorcycle with features that will last 50,000 miles, and the first buyer is only going to keep it for 10,000, then all the money the manufacturer put into making it a 50,000 mile bike was wasted.

Shaft drives are low maintenance and can go long distances without any replacing or even fiddling with (which is why Gold Wings and BMWs have them.) Chains and belts do occasionally need to be replaced, but here's the kicker: I don't know about belts, but you can generally get 20,000+ miles on a chain (except maybe for a hot sportbike - not sure how long those last.) So, going back to what I said above, if the first buyer isn't going to wear out the chain or belt (and if it's a cruiser, chances are he's not), then why should the manufacturer waste money on a shaft?

They aren't going to derive any advantage over chain/belt driven bikes because by the time that chain or belt wears out, the bike will be on its second owner, that is, the person that the manufacturer didn't get one thin dime from.

Edited by martinjmpr at 3/27/2012 7:46:53 AM

Posted at 3/29/2012 1:33:42 PM

RaptorFA

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jclax01 said:I was out and about this weekend and a dealer Big St. Charles motorsports, had a kaw voyager. never rode one before so what the heck. MY GOD IS THAT A HEAVY BIKE. If anyone has ever ridden a kaw vulcan 2000, the voyager feels at least as heavy if not more. more ammo for a vaquario when I decide to get a new scoot. i think it may actually weigh less than a ultra classic, I wonder if its because the center of gravity on the bike.


That is a big ol' machine, Clax. I just looked it up. Almost 900 pounds. And then you load the bags and add a possible passenger and that is one heavy ride. Desmo is most likely correct about the top travel trunk adding weight and changing the CG vs the Vaquero. I sorta like the look of no travel trunk better anyway.

I'm not a huge fan of belt drive, but they are not bad, either. They seem to be very reliable, which is good. I still think that for touring you can't beat a shaft, but that's just my thought on the matter. I'm sure there are others that have different opinions.

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