2009 Kawasaki 1700 Voyager 1st Look

2009 Kawasaki 1700 Voyager 1st Look

There are 7 comments on the Motorcycle USA story from Sep 21, 2008, titled 2009 Kawasaki 1700 Voyager 1st Look. In it, Motorcycle USA reports that:

Apparently the need for a full blown touring machine is an offering they have been anxiously awaiting.

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


Colchester, CT

#1 Sep 30, 2008
Can't wait to see and ride it. It appears to be a genuine alternative to the HD Ultra, but with a frame mounted fairing like the Road Glide. With ABS and a 6-speed tranny it should be a great highway/touring bike. Shorter distance to the steering head from the seat means an easier reach to the bars and hopefully better low speed handling. We should see it in the late summer or early fall of 2009. The only problem with it that I see is that they didn't increase the fuel tank capacity over the other 1700 models. Instead they leave it at 5.3gal which is down compared to the 6 gallon tanks offered on the Yamaha and HD dresser bikes.
Owen Williams


#2 Oct 9, 2008
Looks good will be interesting to see what the cost is going to be. Hope Kawasaki don't out price themselves. The one down side that has been mentioned is the lack of size on the fuel tank compared to some of the other makes of bike and can be frustrating when touring long distances.
Rolfe AustinTexas

Austin, TX

#3 Oct 16, 2008
Looks Like a Super Bike , It may be to much for me since my frame is 5'7" . Also I am curious as to the cost. I would assume by guessing only that the retail price would be about $17,000 they have to compete with "HARLEY DAVIDSON" when you get into the high end area it comes down to Dollar Numbers and Name . I think they could have gone with a smaller CC engine but I am sure I will get negative feedback on my thoughts.
But still the Voyager 1700 its one that wont stay down.
Noel Dunnavan

Seattle, WA

#4 Nov 4, 2008
Having just purchased a brand new 2008 Blue & Silver Vulcan 1600 "Nomad" after having traded-in the same big twin H-D ('88 1340 Electraglide "Sport")~that I have ridden since new; I was surprised at the announcement of the new 1700 Nomad/Voyager.
Coming from a background in manufacturing engineering I was struck by an obvious attempt by Kawasaki to "value engineer" their new model to reduce manufacturing costs whilst still giving the appearance of offering more bike with some cosmetic and performance enhancements? The fact that the shaft drive feature was dropped in favor of a belt was a big turnoff to my way of thinking~ having traded the Harley in for that very feature along with liquid cooling etc.
When given close scrutiny to the new Vulcan 1700;
many subtle but cosmetic changes have been made including elimination of the additional chrome on the bike such as the passenger footboards, rear brake master cylinder cover , Chrome Vulcan Nomad logo on the rear of the backrest etc.
Bright work costs money, so does two 90 degree bevel drives, universal joint and a splined driveshaft, ring & pinion gear set and cast housing, seals and careful fitment of said related components.
Personally I'm thankful to have purchased the last of the breed before it was changed to follow
in the footsteps and mimic many of the features of Harley Davidson's big twins.
I would hope that owners of the 2008 Nomads and earlier Vulcans will realize that they have in fact, garnered ownership of instant classics and not "me-Too" motorcycles?
N. L. Dunnavan
Tool Engineering
The Boeing Company
Stevie B


#5 Nov 22, 2008
I do wonder if Kawasaki are trying to loose all the customers who have bought nomads in the past! Two main reasons for me buying a nomad,(a "classic tourer" here in europe) were shaft drive and a long wheel base. When you're touring you need reliability and room to move around for you and your passenger. Belt drives are smoother (and a whole lot cheaper to manufacture) but are prone to damage and abuse. Does Kawasaki expect long distance bikers to carry a spare belt or maybe it's just a sign of the times when a lot of folk just don't know how to fix their rides and rely on the breakdown truck! Belts also become an expensive service item whilst shafts are a lube job! I can't get my head around the electronic throttle actuation. Apparantly there are still throttle cables but they just work a TPS rheostat. The FI CPU then opens the throttle plates with a servo motor. I'm sure theres an easier way of building in cruise control.(that's the only reason I can think of for the strange set up). One main gripe with the old Nomad is the windscreen buffeting which showed that Kawasaki didn't do any wind tunnel tests or listen to their bike's owners as the same windscreen was carried over from the 1500 to the 1600. And now the very same one seems to be on the 1700! I await the results of the "proper" reviews. I bought my nomad because it had things Harleys didn't have - shaft drive, liquid cooling, stretch chassis, good seats. I fear that Kawasaki may just have wandered to far from the shore this time!
Dirk VD - Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

#6 Feb 8, 2009
Dear Stevie B
I want to thank you for your article that influenced my choice of motorcycle. I wanted to upgrade from a Vulcan 800 and I thought that waiting for the new 1700 would be the thing to do. But your praise of the 1600 convinced me to buy this type. I only hope now that this great machine will live up to my expectations.
Greetings from Europe!
Dirk VD
Been there done that

United States

#7 Mar 28, 2009
I bought a Vulcan 1500 Classic new in 1999 and love it still. Also bought a new 2003 Voyager, one of the last ones made. Kept the Voyager until spring of '07 and sold it. Was a good bike with lots of protection, cruise and all but I liked the Vulcan better. Still have it, still love it. From what I hear I'm glad I kept the Vulcan and will probably own it when I die. Plan on a trip to Yellowsone on it this summer.

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