2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager/Nomad Review

May 31, 2009 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Motorcycle.com

If the slumping economy's got you down, maybe it's time to pack up a motorcycle and head out for a soul-satisfying road trip.

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BILL

United States

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#1
Jun 7, 2009
 
What was Kawasaki thinking when they came up with this design? The Vulcan 1700 looks and sounds like a HD want-a-be. I work for a Kawasaki dealership and have had the opertunity to drive one. Kawasaki should have stuck with the in line four.
VoyagerYeh

Farmington, NM

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#2
Jun 9, 2009
 

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Bill you obviously didn't drive it far enough. Got one last week, put almost 1000 miles on it driving it home. Your right this bike is no Harley, its way, way better! The bike is smooth and has lots of grunt. Doesn't over heat like the Roadstar I traded in, and probably most Harleys. I'm guessing you own a Harley!? I shift into 6th gear about 70 mph, great on the freeway, the cruse works wonderfully, The seat is fantastic, radio / speakers are loud, and it looks better than any Harley every made. It's not square. Paid for extended warranty because I know I will own this thing for a long time, what a great bike!
HABERZAK

United States

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#3
Jun 11, 2009
 

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BILL wrote:
What was Kawasaki thinking when they came up with this design? The Vulcan 1700 looks and sounds like a HD want-a-be. I work for a Kawasaki dealership and have had the opertunity to drive one. Kawasaki should have stuck with the in line four.
Bill if you worked for my Kawasaki store and could'nt keep your neg voice to yourself ,you would be working at a Harley store. The bike is super!!! Harleys are wanabe Kawasaki's
Jim

North Bay, Canada

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#4
Aug 9, 2009
 
Just purchased one . Pick it up Tuesday. it is replacing my 1991 Connie with 84500 k. I'm sure the Voyager will be just as trouble free.
Noel L Dunnavan

Bothell, WA

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#5
Aug 21, 2009
 

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Kawasaki has in their infinite (lack) of wisdom, decided that they could garner more market share by dropping their popular Vulcan 1600 Classic & Nomad models in favor of a 1700 belt drive featuring six speeds and aimed at the "heart" of Harley's Ultra TourGlide Classic with the new Voyager 1700, Classic & Nomad models. In so doing, they apparently gave their corporate "bean counters" a significant say in how to cut manufacturing costs to the bone. They did so, by tossing out the shaft drive an attendant ring & pinion gear sets & housings, no maintenance gear-driven engine counter balancers, lovely chrome plated (metal) engine and valve covers in favor of an engine that is based upon the Vulcan 2000 but retaining the vulcans overhead camshafts but chain-driving the balance weights rather than with gears; Substituting chrome plated plastic on the L/H engine cover, valve covers and miscellaneous bright work sprinkled throughout the machine. The saddle bags now are bulbous and ugly on the Voyager and Nomad and of single wall construction on the lids and very flimsy at that. Overall, the net effect is a tremendous let down both in looks and perceived cheapness of manufacture. Surley Kawasaki must realize the the uniqueness of their Shaft-Driven, 1600 Nomads and classics stood out from the competition in terms of quality and value? What they now have achieved is jumping into the frey of a waunnabee Harley imitation that is neither unique or as an attractive a piece; but a cheaper imitation of a myriad of other Harley clones!
Alex

Carstairs, Canada

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#6
Sep 7, 2009
 

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I have researched motorbikes thoroughly and I have to say the 2009 kawasaki 1700 nomad is one beautiful machine. I'm picking mine up on Saturday.
brian

Shrewsbury, MA

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#7
Sep 11, 2009
 
I just bought a 1700 voyager and the bike is great.
But I've got a noise the dealer is telling me coming from the trans. a skreeching at low rpms in 2nd thru 4th. can anybody shed some light on this. thanks. Brian. e-mail race374@aol.com
Jim

Levittown, PA

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#8
Oct 6, 2009
 
brian wrote:
I just bought a 1700 voyager and the bike is great.
But I've got a noise the dealer is telling me coming from the trans. a skreeching at low rpms in 2nd thru 4th. can anybody shed some light on this. thanks. Brian. e-mail race374@aol.com
Brian,

Just got mine this past Saturday. Love the bike but have the same gear noise. Took it back to the dealer. They're not sure what it is. Said they will contact Kawasaki. Keep me posted, I'll do the same.

Jim
Jim

Levittown, PA

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#9
Oct 6, 2009
 
Got tired of waiting for the dealer to get back to me. Contacted Kawasaki directly. Guy in customer service said he was aware of the tranny noise issues on the 1700 Nomad. I was told the noise will quiet down after the tranny gets a couple of hundred miles on it. I'm skeptical but we'll see. Customer Service assures me it's okay to continue to operate.
Mac

Lincolnton, NC

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#10
Oct 22, 2009
 
Did a demo ride at Dayton on a 2009 Voyager, stopped half way and cooked a steak and roasted two chickens with the heat coming off the engine on the right side, this not what I have come to expect from Kawasaki products and I have 3 sitting in my garage. Had all intentions of getting rid of a 2008 Gold Wing for a new Voyager, after the demo ride it's not going to happen. Looks like they will force me to go to Harley for a cruiser.
Jim

Levittown, PA

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#11
Nov 2, 2009
 
Took the new Nomad back to the dealer for the third time on the noise issue. They finally heard the noise. After two days they adjusted the drive belt, 95% of the noise is gone. Apparently the factory is shipping the bikes with the belts set wat too tight ( minimum deflection). Should be set to maximum deflection
Joe

Oklahoma City, OK

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#12
Nov 6, 2009
 

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I bought a 2009 1700 Nomad after riding an 03 V-Star 1100 (63,545 miles) and never had a problem with it - just loved the looks of the Nomad. I took the Nomad back after one week due to a small coolant leak coming from the rear cylinder. Service department said probably just an O ring and they would fix it when I brought it in for the 1000 mile oil change and service. Turns out the leak was due to a "porous" cylinder caused during casting. Kawasaki has still not approved the repair and they have been asking me about my riding habits, etc. I am 57 and my wife rides with me. I have gone through the breakin as instructed and am very concerned about the quality control at Kawasaki to have allowed this cylinder out the door. Has anyone else had this happen to them?

Since: Oct 09

Location hidden

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#13
Dec 27, 2009
 
Noel L Dunnavan wrote:
Kawasaki has in their infinite (lack) of wisdom, decided that they could garner more market share by dropping their popular Vulcan 1600 Classic & Nomad models in favor of a 1700 belt drive featuring six speeds and aimed at the "heart" of Harley's Ultra TourGlide Classic with the new Voyager 1700, Classic & Nomad models. In so doing, they apparently gave their corporate "bean counters" a significant say in how to cut manufacturing costs to the bone. They did so, by tossing out the shaft drive an attendant ring & pinion gear sets & housings, no maintenance gear-driven engine counter balancers, lovely chrome plated (metal) engine and valve covers in favor of an engine that is based upon the Vulcan 2000 but retaining the vulcans overhead camshafts but chain-driving the balance weights rather than with gears; Substituting chrome plated plastic on the L/H engine cover, valve covers and miscellaneous bright work sprinkled throughout the machine. The saddle bags now are bulbous and ugly on the Voyager and Nomad and of single wall construction on the lids and very flimsy at that. Overall, the net effect is a tremendous let down both in looks and perceived cheapness of manufacture. Surley Kawasaki must realize the the uniqueness of their Shaft-Driven, 1600 Nomads and classics stood out from the competition in terms of quality and value? What they now have achieved is jumping into the frey of a waunnabee Harley imitation that is neither unique or as an attractive a piece; but a cheaper imitation of a myriad of other Harley clones!
Well said...I agree. Owner of '02 Vulcan Nomad and '03 Vulcan 750.

Since: Oct 09

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#14
Dec 27, 2009
 
Oops I actually own an '05 Nomad (blue/silver) and an '03 Vulcan 750 (red/gray)...typo above.
dmc

Tampa, FL

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#15
Dec 28, 2009
 

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The first poster said the new Vulcan Voyager looked like a HD wannabe. All I can say is that he apparently has never looked at a HD. The Kawi has the primary on the right, the HD on the left; the Kawi has a 103 ci engine, the HD has a 96; the Kawi engine is a 52 degree, the HD is a 45; no one could mistake the curvy lines of the Kawi for an HD; the Kawi's fairing is not a "bat wing" and is frame-mounted, not fork-mounted; the Kawi is liquid-cooled (radiator up front), the HD is air-cooled. Look closer (inside) and you'll see better engineering on the Kawi, like a forged 1-piece crankshaft (do a Google search on HD crankshaft runout). Maybe he meant that, like the HD, the Kawi has only two wheels. Past that, the similarities disappear quickly.
ward0802

Corpus Christi, TX

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#16
Jan 24, 2010
 

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I have an 09 Voyager and after a 600 mile plus trip I have coolant leaking from the left side of the engine. I have smelled coolant since I bought the bike but never could find even a trace of a leak and I haven't had to add coolant to it ever. I'm about to take it in and have it checked. The engine gets awfully hot and runs 3/4 to near red hot all the time. I thought it was overflow at first but I'll see here pretty quick.
Joe wrote:
I bought a 2009 1700 Nomad after riding an 03 V-Star 1100 (63,545 miles) and never had a problem with it - just loved the looks of the Nomad. I took the Nomad back after one week due to a small coolant leak coming from the rear cylinder. Service department said probably just an O ring and they would fix it when I brought it in for the 1000 mile oil change and service. Turns out the leak was due to a "porous" cylinder caused during casting. Kawasaki has still not approved the repair and they have been asking me about my riding habits, etc. I am 57 and my wife rides with me. I have gone through the breakin as instructed and am very concerned about the quality control at Kawasaki to have allowed this cylinder out the door. Has anyone else had this happen to them?
Bulldog Tennessee

Dickinson, TX

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#17
May 6, 2010
 
Can you get the 2000 motor in a Vulcan Voyager? If not, why not? Why the big motor is the lighter bike but not an option in the heavier touring model?
Mike

Cleveland, OH

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#20
Jun 29, 2010
 
brian wrote:
I just bought a 1700 voyager and the bike is great.
But I've got a noise the dealer is telling me coming from the trans. a skreeching at low rpms in 2nd thru 4th. can anybody shed some light on this. thanks. Brian. e-mail race374@aol.com
I have several noises coming from my 09 nomad. Seems to be getting worse the more miles I log. I have reached 7,000 miles this week and had it into the dealer yesterday once again for a new noise. My belt/Transmission has been making a wining noise and it is in all gears now. The second noise that sounds like a lifter going bad is normal so I'm told. Intake noise is what they say it is. The newest noise is a high pitched rattle and the dealer thinks it could be a barring going bad. Does anyone out their have the same rattle noise?
I love the looks and ride of the bike but hate the noises. I sure hope they stand behind their product.
norm

Detroit, MI

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#21
Jul 14, 2010
 
i have a kawasaki vulcan nomad its a great bike. very smooth very nice. i don't want a harley . i know people that have harley and many are trading their harley for vulcan nomads and honda vtx and yamaha road stars
Rick

Temple, TX

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#22
Oct 9, 2010
 
Hope no 1's 1700 has the annoying belt squeal I can't get rid of on my VN2K. Wish I still had my GL1800

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