New Voyager?
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  1. #1
    Newbie Wandering Man's Avatar
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    Default New Voyager?

    I'm on the verge of selling my 2006 Suzuki M50 and buying a new Voyager 1700.

    What I'm looking for is a bike that I can take on the highway once or twice a week for a 140 mile round trip (part-time job) that won't leave me feelling worn out once I arrive at the job.

    I also want a bike that my wife can ride on with me without having to stand on the pegs everytime we come to a small bump ... she has back problems.

    Sitting on the show room floor, the Voyager fits her back the best. The Harley was a nice fit, too, but I don't want to spend the extra $6,000 for a new Harley. The Yamaha and Victory didn't make the cut. None of the local (or distant) Suzuki dealerships had anything looking like a cruiser.

    I could possibly go with a smaller bike and forgo the fairing, but by the time I added a trunk with back rest and saddle bags, I think I'd end up with a bike almost as heavy, jsut as pricey, and probably less comfortable.

    What I'm wondering is, what am I giving up by going with such a bigger bike? Did those of you who stepped up from a smaller bike have any (major) regrets?

    Thanks for any input/advice.

    -WM

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  3. #2
    Ride it! 100% Poser BTK Intermediate cruiserV's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    I have ridden the Voyager. Nice traveling bike, and roadworthy. You will be giving up the ability to zip around as you would on a smaller lighter bike, but you'll be gaining in other areas, like comfort for your lady. Have you tried the Nomad? I ride one and it's all one could hope for. No trunk on the Nad, but thats doable with slight mods.
    08 1600 Nomad
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  4. #3
    Newbie Wandering Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    CruiserV,

    Yes, I have looked at the Nomad. That, I guess, is one of my questions. Whether that would make a good compromise between an all-out touring bike and the little bike I've got. What do I gain/give up by going that direction?

    -WM
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    I went from a Boulevard c50 to the Voyager 1700.

    The Voyager is instantly more comfortable on the open road (obviously). You really won't feel the bumps that used to send shockwaves through my spine on the c50.

    Storage is great, cruise etc is great - and a long as you don't get buffeting, the wind protection is fantastic. I solved my buffeting with a larger shield than stock. I have to look through it though... any lower and I get helmet buffeting.

    The m50 will be a lot more nimble. You'll scrape around corners on the voyager.
    Also the off-the-line power of your m50 will be a lot better. I know it seems counter intuitive but the big 1700 is sluggish in comparison to the light, sportier c50/m50 bikes.

    Fuel range will be only slightly better on the Voyager (230km on the c50 vs around 250-280km on the Voyager before you'll need to fill up).

    You may experience trans whine on the Voyager.. take a test ride, see what you think.

    It's a good step up IMHO. My partner falls asleep on the back. She woke up as I was going around a corner once, she looked at the road and it startled her awake with a jerk. Scared the hell out me mid way into a turn

    Just goes to show how comfortable the rear seat is on the voyager though!

  6. #5
    900 LT BTK Expert Ride4Life's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    The Harley was a nice fit, too, but I don't want to spend the extra $6,000 for a new Harley.
    First thing you need to do is find a new Harley dealership.

    The Electraglide Classic starts at 18,999 - the Voyager starts at 17,499

    Actually the Electraglide and the Sportster are the only 2 Harley models that are not over priced I rode the Voyager and i rode the Electraglide and truthfully theres no comparison on ride or passenger comfort for the extra 1500 bucks go for the Electraglide.
    bluegoose likes this.
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    Ride it! 100% Poser BTK Intermediate cruiserV's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    You might look at the Harley, but if you are tall, it won't work for you as the rider. They are short coupled and not comfortable for a taller individual. To answer your question, the Nomad is more comfortable than the Voyager, to me, Unless you are one of those "Brand Specific", riders, Explore all your options befor buying. Harleys do hold value better, but if you want a usable bike for a long time, consider the cost diferance up front. Not knocking HD's, just saying what it is is what it is. I don't think I have had a moment of regret in going from a HD to the Nomad.
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    Ride it! 100% Poser BTK Intermediate cruiserV's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    You might look at the Harley, but if you are tall, it won't work for you as the rider. They are short coupled and not comfortable for a taller individual. To answer your question, the Nomad is more comfortable than the Voyager, to me, Unless you are one of those "Brand Specific", riders, Explore all your options befor buying. Harleys do hold value better, but if you want a usable bike for a long time, consider the cost difference up front. Not knocking HD's, just saying what it is is what it is. I don't think I have had a moment of regret in going from a HD to the Nomad.
    08 1600 Nomad
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    Foil Inspector BTK Intermediate
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    I too recommend the Harley Davidson, especially the Road King, over the Voyager. The RK shares the same chassis etc. with H-D's other baggers, but it is actually more versatile since you can ride with the windshield off. Also a bit lighter and has more suspension travel as I recall. More grunt than a Voyager too.

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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    I got the 2010 Voyager, very comfortable on the road. Got the higher backrest for my wife, the stock one was hitting her right below the shoulder blades. Got this one as a left over 18K out the door. Stepped up from a 1500 Vulcan Classic. This bike is heavier but rides and handles well. I considered most of the other brands but this bike had what I wanted for the best price.

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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    When you add all the options the Voyager has on the Harley your looking at around $6K more... 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. @ 2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager Review - Motorcycle.com

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    900 LT BTK Expert Ride4Life's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    Quote Originally Posted by raw6464 View Post
    When you add all the options the Voyager has on the Harley your looking at around $6K more... 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. @ 2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager Review - Motorcycle.com
    Am i missing something here???? what options does a Voyager have that an Electraglide dont?????
    Everyday I beat my own previous record for number of consecutive days I have stayed alive!

  13. #12
    Wants better weather! BTK Expert Slow Ride's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    You just have to try them both out and see which one is for you. Mechanically not a huge difference, you pay more for the HD, but you get a huge dealer network, Kawasaki you get some added mechanical advantages, water cooled, ABS, two-tone paint. Not sure off the top of my head what else there is, oh, longer warranty. I am struggling right now which one I would like to get, but I like the V2K so much I may just stick with what I have now.

    I misstated they are not mechanically different. Yes I know water cooled v. aircooled, and a slew of other differences. What I should have said and meant to say was that visually there is not a huge difference, ride wise from what I have read there is not a huge difference. I mean both are afterall made for touring and big bikes. ( no I have not ridden both for a comparison, and yes I know there are differences) but both have mechanical issues despite what followers of each platform claim to be the superior bike. The thing that concernes me with the Voyager is service if I get a bad bike will I get any service from the dealer? I mean how many people on here write in about the great service from Kawasaki dealers, not many.
    Last edited by Slow Ride; 05-28-2011 at 07:08 AM.
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  14. #13
    Finally Got Into First Gear BTK Beginner DaveMc's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    Mechanically there is a HUGE difference. The Harley is a poorly-built bike, and that's just the fact. 3-piece pressed crankshaft = crankshaft runout = $$$ (the VV has a 1-piece forged crankshaft). All Harley owners report broken fairing support brackets at some point. Harley cam chain tensioners are plastic and wear quickly. Harley decided to use a cheap metal for the ECU pins; corrosion causes the connections to fail and puts the bike into limp mode. The engine mounts allow the engine to vibrate, but the exhaust mounts do not, which breaks the exhaust mounts. Harleys are designed with the primary drive and the final drive on the same side of the bike, which means the primary has to come off to change a belt = $$$. I'm not reporting anything here I haven't seen in person or seen reported repeatedly on the Harley discussion boards. Besides, the Vulcan Voyager and Electra Glide Classic is an apples to oranges comparison. The VV has a bigger engine (add at least $1000 to get the Harley to 103ci), hydraulic valve lifters, better storage, the Harley does not have cruise control (add another $300 not including installation), the Harley does not have vented lower fairings (add $650) or lights on the trunk (add $229 not including installation). So the comparable Classic is more like $21K. The closer comparison is with the Ultra Classic, which starts at $22K (with a two-tone paint job like the Voyager). Also, the Harley is smaller -- sit on one and you will see how cramped it feels compared to the VV. Buy the Harley and expect it to spend major time in the shop, buy the Kawasaki and expect it to give you no problems.
    MAGS likes this.
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    From: 2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero vs. 2011 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Custom - Motorcycle.com

    With the standard 96-inch engine, and in the black color scheme, the 2011 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Custom retails for $18,999. Moving up to the PowerPak in order to get the 103 engine, ABS and security system, requires an additional $1995; cruise control is another $295, colors other than black are $480 and a freight charge of $380 gets tacked on. This brings our Road Glide Custom in Cool Blue Pearl to $22,149 (add in another $200 if you live in California). Stroll into a Kawasaki dealer and you’ll pay $16,499 for the Vaquero, regardless of color, and cruise control is standard.

    HD is building a plant in India... will they still be asking $22K... tank you betty much...
    Last edited by raw6464; 05-19-2011 at 09:53 AM.

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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    I have the voyager. i only wish it had a lower seat and that is it. The after market is slow in doing different things. Like maps ofr when you change the intake and exhaust. but other wise I enjoy the bike

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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    Quote Originally Posted by mark franklin View Post
    I have the voyager. i only wish it had a lower seat and that is it. The after market is slow in doing different things. Like maps ofr when you change the intake and exhaust. but other wise I enjoy the bike
    You can lower the bike by installing shorter shocks. I did it to my Voyager... there are tradeoffs but having to be able to plant my feet makes all the tradeoffs insignificant... every stop used to be a controlled crash . Go here an scroll down to the custom shocks: Scootworks - Kawasaki Lowering Kits and Suspension Accessories

    Any questions just ask.
    Last edited by raw6464; 05-19-2011 at 09:57 AM.

  18. #17
    Newbie ALBoozer's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMc View Post
    Mechanically there is a HUGE difference. The Harley is a poorly-built bike, and that's just the fact. ... Buy the Harley and expect it to spend major time in the shop, buy the Kawasaki and expect it to give you no problems.
    I don't think I would say a Harley is poorly built but Harley carries a lot of what I would call poor design features. You try to address these issues and the hard core Harley folks would go crazy. You have a good list but the kickers for me is the Harley "rumble" which is just an out of balance engine and that is the main reason for the broke components you mentioned. Then there is no water cooling. When I ride with my Harley friends, we get stuck in traffic and their rear cylinder is overheating. Like I said if you try to address these "flaws" and the core Harley crowd would scream to high heaven.

    The excessive vibration + high heat = lots of maintenance ... really not anyway around it.

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    Forensic Bug Splatter Analyst BTK Expert OhSteelerfan's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    I got a used 2009 voyager a few weeks ago. It only had 3001 miles on it. I just got back from a 1800 mile vacation with it. It is fairly smooth on the highway and the cruise is nice. There are two big problems with this bike. One is the lack of throttle responce and NO roll on power and the other is a heat issue. It was in the 90's on this trip and I was cooking on this bike. There is way too much heat being produced and I don't think this 1700 is a huge mechanically better machine than the HD.

  20. #19
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    Smile Re: New Voyager?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMc View Post
    Mechanically there is a HUGE difference. The Harley is a poorly-built bike, and that's just the fact. 3-piece pressed crankshaft = crankshaft runout = $$$ (the VV has a 1-piece forged crankshaft). All Harley owners report broken fairing support brackets at some point. Harley cam chain tensioners are plastic and wear quickly. Harley decided to use a cheap metal for the ECU pins; corrosion causes the connections to fail and puts the bike into limp mode. The engine mounts allow the engine to vibrate, but the exhaust mounts do not, which breaks the exhaust mounts. Harleys are designed with the primary drive and the final drive on the same side of the bike, which means the primary has to come off to change a belt = $$$. I'm not reporting anything here I haven't seen in person or seen reported repeatedly on the Harley discussion boards. Besides, the Vulcan Voyager and Electra Glide Classic is an apples to oranges comparison. The VV has a bigger engine (add at least $1000 to get the Harley to 103ci), hydraulic valve lifters, better storage, the Harley does not have cruise control (add another $300 not including installation), the Harley does not have vented lower fairings (add $650) or lights on the trunk (add $229 not including installation). So the comparable Classic is more like $21K. The closer comparison is with the Ultra Classic, which starts at $22K (with a two-tone paint job like the Voyager). Also, the Harley is smaller -- sit on one and you will see how cramped it feels compared to the VV. Buy the Harley and expect it to spend major time in the shop, buy the Kawasaki and expect it to give you no problems.
    Dave, your profile says you are a teacher. You are flunking your homework assignment here and ought to be ashamed of your muddy thinking. I certainly hope you'd scold a student who turned in this "analysis."
    Yes, there are mechanical differences. And, yes, it's okay for you to conclude the Voyager is a better machine than a Harley and delivers more bang for the buck. But that's OPINION, not fact. So I won't take issue with your conclusion.
    However, you state Harley is a poorly built as a "fact" and say it will spend "major time in the shop." You offer no empirical evidence to support these "factual" claims. Based on my analysis, my opinion is you dislike Harleys and like to bash the brand.
    That's okay by me. You have a right to your OPINION. I'm merely calling you out on the use of "fact" without any hard evidence support your claim. As a Floridian, I hope you do a better job in the classroom.

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    Default Re: New Voyager?

    I have had both. I like the water cooled option along with others. I don't bash anything since it is up to those who to decide what they ride. Everyday I ride my voyager the more I get use to it and like it. But it is what it is.

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