2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager/Nom...

2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager/Nomad Review

There are 38 comments on the Motorcycle.com story from May 31, 2009, titled 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager/Nomad Review. In it, Motorcycle.com reports that:

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.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Motorcycle.com.

First Prev
of 2
Next Last
John

United States

#23 Oct 16, 2010
Love my 1997 Vulcan Classic 1500 and am tempted by the new Voyager but will probably go with a 2008 red Nomad (last of the shafties). The belt disturbs me as rocks can damage it and, in the absence of a master link, the dealer wants $1,200 to replace it every 15,000 miles although I'd expect 50,000 miles, same as a Harley. Looking at an Ultra Harley, those are so cheap! Long ago, I bought a panhead in a basket and rode it to school doing the lower end twice myself. The 2010 Harleys are pretty much the same with the gas gauge in the gas cap except for the Ultra's electric. The Harley dealer is all overhead with gonzo floor space and mass personel. This must be paid for by the bikes which are kinda small with large plastic boxes and protrusions to make them look big like a scared animal but the same Briggs and Stratton technology. There is a new frame to route the rear pipe and catalytic converter under the bike (and reduce the cost of belt replacement). The heat on the Harley and the Vulcan is caused by a reaction in the converter which is eliminated when the converter is gutted (a ceramic matrix which self destructs after one injury). I'm glad Vulcans sound like Harleys with both rods on one throw mimicing the Harley 315-405-315 degree firing pattern! I'll stick with the shaft and am dismayed to hear about plastic parts and the chain drive on the balance shafts isn't wonderful. You know, I would not wish to be mistaken for a member of the current crop of customers I observed at the Harley shop; the living dead are smarter, less gullible and more mechanically inclined.
jeff

Overland Park, KS

#24 May 10, 2011
Had my vn1700 for over a year. Loggong 10,000. Been in shop twice for computer but other wise no problems. Love the bike.Had an 03 nomad. Loved it. Hoping for some bolt ons.
bikerboy

London, UK

#25 May 11, 2011
jeff wrote:
Had my vn1700 for over a year. Loggong 10,000. Been in shop twice for computer but other wise no problems. Love the bike.Had an 03 nomad. Loved it. Hoping for some bolt ons.
I have had my 1700 Classic Tourer for 2 years and clocked 7000 miles. Only accessory added is a luggage rack purchased from irons in the fire from America, pricey, esoecially with the import tax but it looks cool. Unfortunately the bike is now going into the shop for a leaking gasket on the front cylinder . Diagnosed 16 days before the warrenty expires. Phew!. This task is an engine out job and would be very expensive if not covered under warranty. Am I lucky or unlucky? Bridgestone Rear tyre fitted at 6700 miles. Front will probably do double, lets hope the engine does better. The ecu has been changed under warranty along with 2 right hand side engine covers due to discolouring. Also had the exhaust heat kit and heat deflector fitted as a free upgrade.
Been through the whining gearbox thing and it has quitened down over time. Clunky gearchange can be resolved by preloading the gear change with your foot before changing, try it, it works. Handling is brilliant and fuel consumption is registereing 39.5mpg on the computer. My dealer has been excellent dealing with any issues under warranty but after the 24th May I am on my own with my wallet.
Steve

Perrysburg, OH

#26 Sep 24, 2011
Bought my Vulcan Voyager, Feb. of 2010. Now have over 11,500 miles on it. The rear tire was replaced at 6400 miles. The engine!!! Nothing but noise and heat. Have to let the bike warm up on a summer day to help it build up oil pressure so it doesn't sound like it is coming apart. I have never heard a twin cylinder with so much noise, makes me want to get off of it as soon as possible. Wanting to trade it in for anything else. Would not and will not by another Kawasaki.
Randy

United States

#27 Sep 25, 2011
No issues with my 1700 Nomad in the first 2500 miles. Is very clunky shifting from 1st to 2nd but other than that fine. Personally love the looks you can call it a HD wannabe if you like and IMHO it does have that classic american cruiser styling but is just a little different and a little better. Fit and finish is very good! Many longtime Nomad owners of 2008 and older don't like the style of the new hard bags but I do think they are distinctive. Plenty of power very flat tourque curve may not feel like allot of go but then look at the speedo and ....... oh my!
Lance

Seymour, CT

#28 Nov 9, 2011
I bought a 2010 Grey Voyager. I did all the research before buying. I wanted a gold wing but refused to pay the outlandish price. The voyager was my second choice and more in my price range. It had 6600 miles on it after only 1 year. I bought it used at a Harley dealer. I love the bike!
There is now 8700 miles on it and I am preparing it for winter storage. There is a noise comming from, what appears to be, the cylinders. My thinking is the cam chains are loose. I intend to have the dealer adjust the tension. other than that, I am happy with it and I am glad I didn't buy the GoldWing. Keep it up Kawi!
stmoves

Chattanooga, TN

#29 Jun 17, 2013
I get so tired about the harley wannabe crap,like there's something mystical about a hd that no one else can seem to capture.The reason there not quite like a hd is because theres something a little different that usually makes it a little better I.e.a more modern,more powerful,more durable.smoother lower maintainence.Hd's greatest innovations= rubber motor mounts,loctite,fuel injection,slick marketing,liberal financing policies and the uncanny ability to introduce an anniversary edition every 6 months.
Andy Townsville Australia

Brisbane, Australia

#30 Feb 16, 2014
My 2009 nomad has 42,000kms on it and it appears that a lifter has malfunctioned. Kawasaki has told me that this is not normal and that I should let the dealership strip the engine down(at my expense), and IF the problem is a manufacturing problem, they might think about helping me out regarding the repair costs.I have sent them my service records and jumped through the hoops that they have set before me. They have re-iterated the fact that my bike is 2 years out of warranty, but then again I have told them that there is an expectation that a $24,000 machine should last a lot longer than what it has. Anyone else with this problem regarding the engine? Oil changes were carried out every 5,000km.
scott

New York, NY

#31 Apr 6, 2014
Andy Townsville Australia wrote:
My 2009 nomad has 42,000kms on it and it appears that a lifter has malfunctioned. Kawasaki has told me that this is not normal and that I should let the dealership strip the engine down(at my expense), and IF the problem is a manufacturing problem, they might think about helping me out regarding the repair costs.I have sent them my service records and jumped through the hoops that they have set before me. They have re-iterated the fact that my bike is 2 years out of warranty, but then again I have told them that there is an expectation that a $24,000 machine should last a lot longer than what it has. Anyone else with this problem regarding the engine? Oil changes were carried out every 5,000km.
I got a new 2012 voyager in june of 2013. I have 1200 hundred miles on it and the motor is making a lot of noise. taping. the dealer told me that it is a lifter and it will stop making noise soon. I am going back one more time if they do not fix it,I am going to get rid of it.
Goggle Boy

London, UK

#34 Apr 22, 2014
I cannot understand why Vulcan dropped shaft drive. Shaft drive is a big reason why I bought a 2005 Nomad. Belt drive to me is a throwback to 1900, and just because Harley does it is NOT a good reason to follow. Now is it only Suzuki who make a big cruiser with shaft drive? Belts are much worse than chains as they can be vandalised so easily or pick up oil leaking from a harley engine.
red

Milwaukee, WI

#36 Nov 27, 2014
Mike wrote:
<quoted text>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.
That noise could be tje shaft has snapped. I have a 2002 kawasaki drifter that had that loud lifter sounds. Its a quicl fix about 750 bucks. Now my bike handle so smooth.
Traveller2008

Berwick, Canada

#37 Apr 12, 2015
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 I am glad I don't have such a negative view on an affordable beautiful riding, performing and handling bike. I had a Harley Ultra and I would not trade my Voyager even for a new Ultra. I can ride this thing for 12 hours get off and still walk. I was at a bike show in Halifax a couple weeks ago and the Harley prices are stupid crazy. They are a status symbol and nothing more and if all you want to do is get out and travel the open road on a motorcycle then the Kawi Voyager is the way to go. I unlike some that post on here do not work for, or even know anyone that works for Kawi and it's my honest opinion.
Hey for those that can afford a Harley go for it, we need people like you to keep the economy going...oh by the way do you know how much of Harley is owned by the Japanese....I do.
juice57man

Courtenay, Canada

#38 Aug 24, 2015
1700cc Vulcan Voyager 2009 --Does anyone wlse have problems with hesitation between 3000 and 4000 rpm. On my bike, the engine is hesitating like it is starving -- for air or fuel? Has anyone else experienced this situation?!
Xavier Lewis

Wichita, KS

#39 Aug 26, 2015
Jim wrote:
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.
I had my Vulcan 1700 Nomad for about 5 years and the noise will not go away. I should have stayed with Honda, the shaft driven is a lot smoother and dependablee. The transmission is gone now so i am debating on fixing it or trading it for a new Honda.
Bikers sux

Tobyhanna, PA

#40 Aug 30, 2015
What's it like having no p**is?
Warrbucks

Chesapeake, VA

#41 Nov 3, 2015
Bought my '12 1700 Nomad 2/13 now with 17,590 miles driven like I stole it. My 4th & best bike in 43 years riding. Best handling & ride. Thought it was slow off the line until I got used to it & started using Shell hi test. Now gets it faster each gear, crazy quick, monster on the hiway. Does clunk shift and sounds grindy at times, but only backing down. Hard on rear tires: 8k on Bridgestone, 9k on Dunlop 206, now trying Michelin Commander 2. Front lasted double, so I do most braking with front now, less downshifting. Use liquid purple oil. NO problems whatsoever. Never had a rear whine, tho tranny can be noisy. Get on it & all goes away. Quit baying it.
BigDaddy

Los Angeles, CA

#42 Nov 4, 2015
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.
Hey Bill. So the Kawasaki Volcan looks and sounds like a Harley ? Big deal. I like it, NO... I LOVE it. Take a chill pill Bill.
BigDaddy

Los Angeles, CA

#43 Nov 4, 2015
Bikers sux wrote:
What's it like having no p**is?
I don't know, but I'll ask your dad.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 2
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Motorcycles Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Big dog spits oil when I accelerate hard. Mon Mickduff 1
News Trump Goes Back To Original Immigration Positio... Sun Nopal 6
News Lifan Motorcycle Owners Unite! (Sep '07) Aug 20 Hank V 270
News Biker angered at huge repair bill after Harley ... (Sep '09) Aug 5 Brahma 62
News Motorcycle Review The 2008 Triumph Bonneville B... (Aug '08) Aug 1 Gary Lindenberg 18
News Keanu Reeves' side project: Building $100k moto... Jul '16 Anna Romanovskaja 1
What is the best dating app for biker singles a... Jul '16 bikerdatingapp 1
More from around the web