Help the decision...PLEASE!? The Vulcan 1700 Nomad over the V-Star 1300T...yes? [Archive] - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums

Help the decision...PLEASE!? The Vulcan 1700 Nomad over the V-Star 1300T...yes?

Venice Will
07-25-2010, 06:53 PM
OK - this might be a familiar refrain...but for me, it's a quandry...

My wife opened the door to a new bike about a month ago..."how come you don't talk about motorcycles...?"

Well, that's all it took - I haven't been up in 20 years, my last one being a Honda 750 (before that a triumph 650 Bonneville).

I'm settlin' in on 2 bikes...2010 Yamaha Star V-Max 1300T and the Kawasaki 1700 Nomad...

Likely that I will be riding around town during the week runnin' errands... then we'll be 2-up on back highways around Florida weekends, holidays and short vacations. So a "light turing" bike would be perfect, but I always like to err on the BIG side

Is the Vulcan "reliable"...or will I be huntin' down advice for minor irratations, wierd sounds, and havin' it in the shop 2-3 times a year? Does the company stand behind their bikes...?

I LOVE the higher gearing for more power at higher speeds...needed on these INSANE roadways in FLA...

What are the strengths of the Nomad...? especially versus the V-Star...?

Re-sale good down the line...?


Thanks for any suggestions...I REALLY hope your fully convincing, 'cuz that Nomad is speaking to my "road soul"...

Dudester
07-25-2010, 08:21 PM
OK - I haven't been up in 20 years.

My sympathies to you and your wife ;) J/K

If it were me, even though I'm not crazy bout the new 1700's (still prefer my 1500 Classic), I'd have to say bang for buck, you'd probably be better off with the Nomad 1700. Yami's are nice, but they just don't feel right to me, and they seem physically unbalanced....but that's just me.
Good luck on whatever you choose, and I hope you'll let us know what you decide to buy. Just make sure YOU buy the bike YOU want, and not what some other biker tells you, you should buy. It's all about the feeling you get when you sit on a bike and ride it. If you become one with the bike, you'll know you've made the right choice for you. Just get out there and test drive as many as you can. Good luck. ;)

RCW
07-26-2010, 09:39 AM
When comparing cycles like these take the time to research the routine maintenance requirements such as valve adjustments. Evaluate your skills and what you will do versus what goes to the shop for completion. Then, if you are going to the shop for routine maintenance, get the rates and time requirements for each bike. I deal with a dealer that sells both Yamaha and Kawasaki, so get fair shop time comparisons.

I suspect you will find significant differences in cost of ownership, even though one may be a bit less expensive than the other in the initial purchase price.

Another thing, if you were riding standard or upright configuration motorcycles 20 years ago, take the cruiser type for at least an hour's ride in the type of terrain you expect to ride. Pay attention to the balance, control with both two up and one person riding, the control layout and natural foot placement in emergency braking situations. Watch how they handle in traffic and your comfort level. Then, try a standard and a sport touring type for the same conditions. Do the two up ride too.

I suspect you will find yourself in complete control and with natural balance on one type of bike and likely not the other.

I cannot count the number of guys that come by the shop and complain their bikes are set up wrong, when it is not the bike at all, but the rider has expectations for balance and control that the new bike just does not meet because it failed their expectations. Looked cool, but not suitable for the specific rider.

rbentnail
07-27-2010, 07:10 PM
My sympathies to you and your wife ;) J/K

If it were me, even though I'm not crazy bout the new 1700's (still prefer my 1500 Classic), I'd have to say bang for buck, you'd probably be better off with the Nomad 1700. Yami's are nice, but they just don't feel right to me, and they seem physically unbalanced....but that's just me.
Good luck on whatever you choose, and I hope you'll let us know what you decide to buy. Just make sure YOU buy the bike YOU want, and not what some other biker tells you, you should buy. It's all about the feeling you get when you sit on a bike and ride it. If you become one with the bike, you'll know you've made the right choice for you. Just get out there and test drive as many as you can. Good luck. ;)
I tend to lean the other way- the Kaw 1700 to me is awkward, top heavy and very cramped feeling. If I were to go back to cruisers I'd be looking real hard at Victories. Them's some nice bikes. But based on the OP's choices I'd go with the Yami. Or a good low mileage 1600 Nomad.

lifecast
08-04-2010, 12:29 AM
Id go for the classic or lt and make it your own. The cramped issue is only on the nomad and voyager because the seat pushes you up more on top of the tank. I have a classic that i could say its my own version of a nomad. Check out my bike here with my own mods. YouTube - My 2009 Vulcan 1700 Classic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E1W3bICQ4E)

haystack815
07-18-2011, 10:31 PM
I just traded my 1300t in for the voyager voyager has the radio and trunk and the comfy seat plus 6 speed tranny compaired to the star granted I liked my star but i spent a ton of money to get it where it was comfortable to ride but the voyager came off the floor comfortable

AeroPilot
07-21-2011, 12:13 PM
I recently went thru this as well. I have a Shadow Aero 750, great commuter bike, but wasn't cutting it 2-up with the wife. She wanted something bigger and with bags, so we began our search.

TEST RIDE THEM... very important before you drop the $$ on something you have to modify later. We rode the Yamaha, HD Road King, HD Utra Classic, Victory Vision, Goldwing, Kawi 1700 Classic, Kawi Voyager,....... all in the last month. We found that the Nomad gave us the nicest comfort and feel for us and met our needs for our type of riding over the next 10 years while our kids grow up. Then, I'd imagine us on a Vision or Goldwing,... those are sweet and comfy for longer touring.

Then, after comparing various models of the Nomad, reading websites, and looking online for used ones (none of the above could we afford as new), we found a great deal on a 2007 Nomad 1600, about 100 miles away. Last friday, picked it up and road it home with her following in the van. Great ride, and a nice bike, for us. Test riding them made our decision, and I'm glad we did.

rbentnail
07-22-2011, 10:51 AM
I recently went thru this as well. I have a Shadow Aero 750, great commuter bike, but wasn't cutting it 2-up with the wife. She wanted something bigger and with bags, so we began our search.

TEST RIDE THEM... very important before you drop the $$ on something you have to modify later. We rode the Yamaha, HD Road King, HD Utra Classic, Victory Vision, Goldwing, Kawi 1700 Classic, Kawi Voyager,....... all in the last month. We found that the Nomad gave us the nicest comfort and feel for us and met our needs for our type of riding over the next 10 years while our kids grow up. Then, I'd imagine us on a Vision or Goldwing,... those are sweet and comfy for longer touring.

Then, after comparing various models of the Nomad, reading websites, and looking online for used ones (none of the above could we afford as new), we found a great deal on a 2007 Nomad 1600, about 100 miles away. Last friday, picked it up and road it home with her following in the van. Great ride, and a nice bike, for us. Test riding them made our decision, and I'm glad we did.

A little off topic I know, but where are you that you can test ride metric bikes?

AeroPilot
07-22-2011, 11:07 AM
Southeast PA. HD, Victory, and Honda allow rentals and longer demo rides (up to 20 miles). Depending on the dealer, I was able to ride in the parking lot or on a short 1 mile loop with the Metrics. Talk to the dealer and show your interest, especially if it's between two bikes they have there. I found that I could then ride them and left with the "I have to go get my wife and see, I prefer this one, can I have your business card"..... then off to the web and cycletrader to see comparable prices and used bikes.

rbentnail
07-22-2011, 11:37 AM
I haven't found a metric dealer within 150 miles of me that allows test rides.

Kawasaki Noobie
07-22-2011, 07:20 PM
I never went to a dealer to buy a bike....I always trusted myself and my knowledge of bikes to be able to find the perfect bike used because you pay a lot less, you can deal a lot easier, and your paying a lot less(plus fun test drives).


But Im pretty sure if I went down to the local dealers, I know for a fact that two of them would let test drive whatever I pointed at....but Im pretty sure the HD would laugh and **** on me....I hate them a lot...all jerks and orders suck and buying parts from them(only easy place to buy parts in town besides off line) they always give you a line of **** for not having a harley....


harleys dont have a throttle control in how you think. I perfer to think of it as volume control

rbentnail
07-23-2011, 09:34 AM
I find just the opposite to be true. HD dealers around here are the only ones to allow test rides. My local dealership appreciates me stopping in for a moment, even if it's just for a pee break, whether I'm on my bike or in my pickup. Our Honda dealer has been here for yrs and I use their service department on occasion, but I pretty much get ignored when I go there. Our Kawasaki/Suzuki and Yamaha dealers closed.

Highwayman2011
07-23-2011, 08:12 PM
I picked up a 1500 Classic last year to see if I was into riding after a 20 yr lay off. Yes I like riding again and the 1500 was great but I wanted a new bike so I got the 1700 Voyager. That being said I think the Nomad would be a good all around ride many used ones out there. You could always find a nice classic and put accessories on it mine had saddle bags and a windshield sold it to a friend.

OhSteelerfan
07-24-2011, 06:30 PM
I haven't found a metric dealer within 150 miles of me that allows test rides.

I would have a hard time buying any vehicle I could not test ride. The local HD and metric dealers around here do allow test rides. I upgraded to a voyager back in May from a dealer about 40 miles away and was allowed to test ride it even though it was raining that day.

Classic
07-26-2011, 06:49 PM
I haven't found a metric dealer within 150 miles of me that allows test rides.

We were able to test ride a Victory Vision, Royal Star Venture and a Gold Wing although the Victory test ride was available because the Victory factory reps were there with their 18 wheeler full of test ride bikes. The Yamaha was used but nearly new while the Wing was a totally new bike. Seems that it depends on the dealer and maybe their insurance coverage.

TBVulcan
08-01-2011, 01:20 PM
As mentioned, I'd look for a new left over 1600 Nomad or an lightly used 1600 Nomad before I purchased the 1700. I was in the same boat a month ago. Loved the 1600 Nomads. Found some left overs but to far to travel. The 1700 felt small and cramped and the new look, while nice just didn't capture my eye like the 1600 does. I ended up buying a new left over Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe which is 1294cc V4....not a hot rod but plenty powerful. The bike is a big bike and fit me far better than the 1700 and imho, looks a whole lot better. It has quick detach windshield and backrest which gives the bike a different look and is nice for bombing around town etc. The only negative is that the bike is carbed not FI. That was the only reason I took time to decide. Yamaha offers a 5 year unlimited warranty on this bike as well.....they are virtually bombproof with bikes well over 100k not that uncommon. The Venture is the same bike with a full fairing and trunk along with the stereo etc features of a full boat touring rig. The Venture seat is arguably the most comfortable stock seat in existance.

The Vstar 1300T is nice as well but the seat and seating position was a no go for me. I could have spend $600 on a new seat but I couldn't do much with the positioning so I quckly crossed it off my list. In my opinion, the 1300t is not in the same class as the nomad. Anyway, hard locking bags are where it's at! Check out the Roadstar Tour with hard bags.....that bike is in the same class as the Nomad size wise.

silverspurs
09-09-2011, 11:28 PM
As mentioned, I'd look for a new left over 1600 Nomad or an lightly used 1600 Nomad before I purchased the 1700. I was in the same boat a month ago. Loved the 1600 Nomads. Found some left overs but to far to travel. The 1700 felt small and cramped and the new look, while nice just didn't capture my eye like the 1600 does. I ended up buying a new left over Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe which is 1294cc V4....not a hot rod but plenty powerful. The bike is a big bike and fit me far better than the 1700 and imho, looks a whole lot better. It has quick detach windshield and backrest which gives the bike a different look and is nice for bombing around town etc. The only negative is that the bike is carbed not FI. That was the only reason I took time to decide. Yamaha offers a 5 year unlimited warranty on this bike as well.....they are virtually bombproof with bikes well over 100k not that uncommon. The Venture is the same bike with a full fairing and trunk along with the stereo etc features of a full boat touring rig. The Venture seat is arguably the most comfortable stock seat in existance.

The Vstar 1300T is nice as well but the seat and seating position was a no go for me. I could have spend $600 on a new seat but I couldn't do much with the positioning so I quckly crossed it off my list. In my opinion, the 1300t is not in the same class as the nomad. Anyway, hard locking bags are where it's at! Check out the Roadstar Tour with hard bags.....that bike is in the same class as the Nomad size wise.

after 16 months on my 1700 nad and 16,000 miles, I am really enjoying it... it is a bit cramped in the cockpit if your 6' or taller, but I fixed that with a mustang seat, sits me back farther. At first I thought the 1700 was a little top heavy while stationary, but I've gotten used to that and don't notice it anymore, plus, once you start to move, even at slow speeds, it is a very nimble bike, more nimble than my old 900 even. I absolutely could not live without my cruise control, and will never purchase a touring bike without it again... it is wonderful!! the newer 1700's have had the ecu issues worked out, and are better bikes than my 09 cause we pioneers have done the homework for you and have gotten Kaw to fix the issues... only time I notice the heat off the engine is in mid summer in town stopped at lights... I avoid town like the plague, plus I wear my chaps, even when it's hot out, so the heat is a non issue for me. For the features you get, at the price point you get it at, I'd buy the 1700 Nomad again over any of it's competitors... rick

imported_cookie_monster
09-10-2011, 11:01 PM
I prefer the Yamaha-all day long-over ANY kawasaki. The 1700 to me feels "big"...handlebars are further out, it rides like it's tipsy in lower speed traffice (highway it's fine). I found the 1700 Kawie hard to manuver in parking lots where the 1300 did GREAT. The 1300 is quicker, but the 1700 has more lower end grunt and falls on it's face quickly after about 3500 RPM. The yamaha does not have the infamous clutch issues that most of the Kawasaki V-twins have had since the 1990's. They also aren't known to leak oil like the kawies. Service on the Yamaha is simple. Even routine tire changes are easy. A big thing for me is that the Yammie has self-diagnosis built into the ECU and can be accessed at the meter, where the kawie needs a laptop and KDS software installed to get all the info that it would need. The Yammie also has a much better cold start strategy built into the EFI than the kawie does. Hit the button and it runs perfectly where the kaw seems sluggish until it's warm.

Now if you need cruise control, a big ol' heavy feeling bike, and something that gets worse fuel mileage (but cruises down a highway nicely), the Kawasaki hands down is the choice. Also it's known that the 1700 uses oil. Some more than others. And believe it or not, "it uses oil" came right out of a Kawasaki regional service advisor's mouth. If you had to deal with this guy, and his cronies that work in California at the technical center, you'd buy Yamaha in a heartbeat....

pitchinguy
09-11-2011, 08:07 PM
^^^Huh??? Most Kaws have infamous clutch issues ?? Leak oil?? Cold start prob's????

My 1600 had 40K miles on her when I traded. Never leaked a drop of anything. Never had anything close to a clutch problem & ran like a top cold/hot, whatever. And, I'd venture to say that about any big V twin that is ridden uses some oil. What Kaws did you have that gave you all these problems? Sure, you're gonna get the occasional lemon in any motor powered vehicle but all these "notorious" Kaw problems are news to me! :confused:

rbentnail
09-12-2011, 10:35 AM
^^^Huh??? Most Kaws have infamous clutch issues ?? Leak oil?? Cold start prob's????

My 1600 had 40K miles on her when I traded. Never leaked a drop of anything. Never had anything close to a clutch problem & ran like a top cold/hot, whatever. And, I'd venture to say that about any big V twin that is ridden uses some oil. What Kaws did you have that gave you all these problems? Sure, you're gonna get the occasional lemon in any motor powered vehicle but all these "notorious" Kaw problems are news to me! :confused:

I didn't reply to him figuring he's a troll.

pitchinguy
09-12-2011, 01:20 PM
I figured about the same but the dog had just whizzed in the floor so I was just kinda in the mood............ ;)

trikebubble
09-12-2011, 02:46 PM
I figured about the same but the dog had just whizzed in the floor so I was just kinda in the mood............ ;)

My Kawasaki guy said that all dogs were notorious for whizzing on the floor as well. :)

imported_cookie_monster
09-12-2011, 05:57 PM
The unhappy customer rate for Kawasaki is a LOT higher than with Yamaha, Honda, or Suzuki owners. That's a proven fact (kaw is #4 in terms of customer satisfaction). And they haven't been able to get out of that "rut" for a ton of reasons.

They've recently been making changes and they're making improvements and there's still a long way to go. Both in terms of customer (and dealer) satisfaction and in terms of reliablility of their equipment.

Can't tell how many people have been in our shop for leaking valve covers, to find out that the simple leak is going to cost upwards of $1000 all said & done. You talk about some mad customers. Then the whole 750 brute force/teryx "black eye". They're not bad engines at all...however extremely expensive to repair "when" they quit.

Like I said, they're making some welcome changes at the corporate level which trickles down to the end user, but be patient and hopefully all of the "normal" kawasaki issues will be a thing of the past. Unfortunately those changes are late. Better late than never I guess.

iminubu
09-28-2011, 10:36 PM
after 16 months on my 1700 nad and 16,000 miles, I am really enjoying it... it is a bit cramped in the cockpit if your 6' or taller, but I fixed that with a mustang seat, sits me back farther. At first I thought the 1700 was a little top heavy while stationary, but I've gotten used to that and don't notice it anymore, plus, once you start to move, even at slow speeds, it is a very nimble bike, more nimble than my old 900 even. I absolutely could not live without my cruise control, and will never purchase a touring bike without it again... it is wonderful!! the newer 1700's have had the ecu issues worked out, and are better bikes than my 09 cause we pioneers have done the homework for you and have gotten Kaw to fix the issues... only time I notice the heat off the engine is in mid summer in town stopped at lights... I avoid town like the plague, plus I wear my chaps, even when it's hot out, so the heat is a non issue for me. For the features you get, at the price point you get it at, I'd buy the 1700 Nomad again over any of it's competitors... rick
I have owned various bikes and my last one, Suzuki Boulevard C90T with Cobra Longshots and Bully Controller, was a nice bike for the money. I liked the kicked back feel it had but I decided to trade it off for something a little nicer for 2up so I was looking at this Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Nomad. Looked great, and Kawasaki dropped the price 5 Grand on the 2010s so we took it for a test ride (maybe 5 or 6 miles). My wife was VERY happy with the larger seat and backrest, roomy hardcases and standard pedals vs pegs she previously had to really bend her knees to use. I liked the cruise control and bigger engine. I really didn't challenge the bike during our ride and realized it seemed a little taller, but we went ahead and traded off our Suzuki for it the next day (*yesterday). The 45 mile ride home was a bit of an eye opener. I started to fidgit after about 20 miles because of the small seat. I am 6' 220#. I rode it to work today alone and became aware of many things that started to make me feel bad about our purchase, several of which you mentioned in your post. Another one was the huge letdown as far as power goes and throttle seemed "laggy". I went from a 1482cc to this 1700cc and really expected more torque. However, after I read your post about the seat and chaps, I felt there might be some hope. Can you tell me which model of Mustang seat you purchased? I think if I can just get back away from the tank, I might gain a better perspective. Thanks, Dave