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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John

United States

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#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

Kansas City, MO

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#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

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#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

Lima, OH

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#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

Lewistown, IL

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#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

Oxford, CT

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#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

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#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

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#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

Peekskill, NY

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#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

UK

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#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.

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