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Old 11-25-2010, 10:18 AM   #1
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Default 2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager Review


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2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager Review

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Old 11-25-2010, 01:21 PM   #2
macmanjim
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I used to own a 2007 1600 Nomad. I always wanted a BMW, but since I have owned a lot of Kawasaki's, I figured I would give the Voyager a try. I will preface this by saying I also test rode an EG Ultra before this. Anyway, the Voyager didn't have a lot more stonk compared to my 1600. It seemed to have more vibration and it didn't shift as smooth either. Brakes were somewhat better, but not world class. Better handling at low speed, but the EG was the best handling out of those three, although the 96 is a dog of an engine. From my perspective, Kawasaki wanted to make a bike that was more like a HD than the bikes John Hoover envisioned. This is a shame. My 1600 was a smoother bike and more original in execution. I am not saying the VV is a bad bike, and certainly it is a better value than the EG Ultra, but I came to the conclusion that my money could be better spent. I ended up buying a R1200RT, with the 49L topcase. Storage is just as good, so is load capacity and it's 300lbs lighter. It's also quicker, faster, handles better and stops a lot better. With the 7.1 gallon tank, 300 miles on a tank isn't an issue. I love Kawasaki bikes, but I think they went in the wrong direction with the Voyager. If they wanted the V-Twin, they should have used the V2K engine or breathed a little ninja technology on the 1700, it's a slug. Or they should have used the C14 as a touring platform, may be adding 100CCs and making it something like the forthcoming K1600GTL. Instead, we get a cheap rehash of what comes from Milwaukee. John Hoover must be shaking his head.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:38 PM   #3
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How is it Star gets so much more power out of it's engine? The Strat bagger is bare bones compared to this bike, but it has an awesome engine. 66hp vs. 800 some odd pounds. Not exactly awe inspiring.
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duken4evr View Post
How is it Star gets so much more power out of it's engine? The Strat bagger is bare bones compared to this bike, but it has an awesome engine. 66hp vs. 800 some odd pounds. Not exactly awe inspiring.
The star is about 20 more HP. That's quite a bit. When you consider it's 1700CCs, the voyager is fairly pitiful. The RT has been dyno'd at 101HP and 81 ft lbs of torque. That's a 1200...Kawasaki needs to put some of that tech that goes into the ZX14 into the Vulcan line.
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmanjim View Post
The star is about 20 more HP. That's quite a bit. When you consider it's 1700CCs, the voyager is fairly pitiful. The RT has been dyno'd at 101HP and 81 ft lbs of torque. That's a 1200...Kawasaki needs to put some of that tech that goes into the ZX14 into the Vulcan line.

Sure they could give the Vulcan 1700's inline 4 engines and lightweight sport chasis but then you would just have something like another C14, witch I certainly wouldn't mind owning as well but when I am taking a high millage, week long trip with a fair amount of luggage and a picky passenger my 1700 Nomad is just better suited for the job. And as far as tech goes it won't give a VN1700 any more HP then it would give an ZX14 more torque. Although maybe someday it might be nice to see Kawasaki combine the two touring classes when it comes to electronic features and give the Vulcan's some sort of traction control while giving the C14's cruise control.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmanjim View Post
I used to own a 2007 1600 Nomad.... John Hoover must be shaking his head.
Who is John Hoover?
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:15 AM   #7
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" A 2010 edition retails at $17,299, while an ’11 costs $200 more. You’ll have to pay around $23K for a comparable Road Glide Ultra. "

$5-6K will buy a lot of conchos. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
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" A 2010 edition retails at $17,299, while an ’11 costs $200 more. You’ll have to pay around $23K for a comparable Road Glide Ultra. "

$5-6K will buy a lot of conchos. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
Need more then conchos. Have to put a horsepower filter in the drivetrain somewhere too.... THAT can cost thousands alone.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbo the Destroyer View Post
Who is John Hoover?
Hoover was KMC-USA's product manager for many years and was well-respected in the industry. I've spoken with him several times, and you could tell he had a good head on his shoulders. He brought American-style influence to Kawasaki's cruisers, among the other bikes in the lineup. He retired in 2004. Here's a nice little bio I found: Motorcycle Production - Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:53 PM   #10
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What makes you think a lighter weight bike isn't as good for touring? My RT has a higher load rating than the Voyager and it's 300lbs lighter. I got rid of my 1600 Nomad because it was long in the tooth, unsophisticated and pokey. Not a bad bike, but a bear at low speeds and slug at higher ones. For what it's worth, the Voyager was dyno'd at 86 ft lbs of torque. The RT has been dyno'd stock at 81. A C14 more than the Voyager. My point is, the engine is unsophisticated and ho hum. I think they could have done better.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt7even View Post
Sure they could give the Vulcan 1700's inline 4 engines and lightweight sport chasis but then you would just have something like another C14, witch I certainly wouldn't mind owning as well but when I am taking a high millage, week long trip with a fair amount of luggage and a picky passenger my 1700 Nomad is just better suited for the job. And as far as tech goes it won't give a VN1700 any more HP then it would give an ZX14 more torque. Although maybe someday it might be nice to see Kawasaki combine the two touring classes when it comes to electronic features and give the Vulcan's some sort of traction control while giving the C14's cruise control.
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