to voyager or not to voyager [Archive] - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums

to voyager or not to voyager

dave jones
11-16-2011, 04:24 PM
I tend to travellong distance alone, coast to coast at least twice yearly and a lot of 3 to 5 hundred mile trips in between. currently have an 86 wing, my second and my last. 1200 goldwings have not been good to me, charging trouble, wiring failures, overheating to name a few. I have been looking at the voyager 1200 as a way to move to a more dependable touring bike. Any advice as to the best years to look at and what are the problems usually encountered with this bike. Thanks for any input. Dave

11-16-2011, 09:13 PM
Only thing I'd say is look for the latest year or two for that model. I think they stopped making them in 2003 so the newest ones will still have eight year old switches and such. As far as I know they are a solid motorcycle.

11-16-2011, 09:29 PM
I test rode a 2002 Kawasaki Voyager just over a year ago. It had 32k miles and looked great. I didn't like it because the transmission howled like crazy and the seating while wide enough didn't suit me well as far as leg room. It's also more top heavy than the Wing making more of a hand full in the parking lots. Then, I test rode a 2006 Gold color Goldwing with 8k miles. I loved that Wing. Lower center of gravity, much easier to handle, quiet transmission, and looked much more modern. Problem was they are very popular because so many other people love them and the dealer was asking $17900 for it. Since the dealer was 30 miles away and it would take 6 tolls and 60 miles of driving to make an offer, I tried to make an offer by telephone. The salesman would not even talk to me on the phone. I called the Sales Manager and left a couple of messages and he wouldn't call me back. The Miami Honda dealer sucks.

So, later I bought my 2004 Kawa Concours. It's a great bike and only cost me $3k. I'm an occasional rider. For long tours though that Wing is unbeatable in my opinion.

11-18-2011, 11:13 AM
Welcome to the forums dave jones! Glad to have you join us!

I dunno much about the older Voyagers, BUT, I just bought a 2011 Nomad & am really enjoying it for all day cruising! I too like the long trips so I added 14" apes, driver's back rest, highway pegs & trunk kit. Basicly, I have a new Voyager w/o the fairing & much more comfortable bars. I just did a 1900 mile round trip to Fl & back. The 1st day on my trip I did 800 mi in 14 hrs.....super comfortable! Could heve easily done the 1000 mile iron butt straight thru! I would imagine the new Voyagers would have about the same ride. So, if you're looking for an all day cruiser, ya might take a look at the new Kaw 1700 line!

Ride safe! 8)

11-26-2011, 07:13 AM
currently have an 86 wing, my second and my last. 1200 goldwings have not been good to me, charging trouble, wiring failures, overheating to name a few. I have been looking at the voyager 1200 as a way to move to a more dependable a 25 year old bike has not been good to you?

12-19-2011, 09:43 PM
Biggest complaint I have head from guys with the "new" gen Voyager is it tends to be "heavey" @ slow speeds and the heat off the motor.

01-12-2012, 09:48 AM
Well had everything in place to pull the trigger on a "new" closeout 2010. I even found a ABS model for a really good price. When I called the salesman told me about a lightly used 09 Venture. It looks brand new. So now I have to try and decide again. It has seemed though as I have been looking over the last year or 2 this bike (the Venture) allways seems to come back in the picture. Wonder why that is?

01-12-2012, 10:42 AM
I thought about a venture too but went with fuel injection, and the frame mounted fairing.

01-12-2012, 04:39 PM
If the Venture is a V4, I'd go for it for sure.

01-12-2012, 08:33 PM
Engine Type V4
Cylinders 4
Engine Stroke 4-Stroke
Horsepower (bhp/kW) 97 / 72.4
Horsepower RPM 6000
Torque (Ft Lbs/Nm) 89 / 120.6
Torque RPM 4750
Cooling Liquid
Valves 16
Valves Per Cylinder 4
Valve Configuration DOHC
Bore (mm/in) 79 / 3.11
Stroke (mm/in) 66 / 2.6
Displacement (cc/ci) 1294 / 79
Compression Ratio 10:1
Starter Electric
Fuel Requirements Regular
US Miles Per Gallon (Combined) 42
Fuel Type Gas
Carburetion Brand Mikuni
Fuel Injector No
Carburetor Yes
Number Of Carburetors 4
Carburetor Size (mm) 32
Carburetion Type Carburetor

Heres a page with a side by side comparison ( It is carb'd but htey are what they call a "heated" carb. I guess they have a small elec coil in them to help warm ups. Seems to work OK. Nobody complains about "coughing" on take off. One dissapinting thing for me is I would still have to adjust valves with shims. Man what a PIA. Whay couldnt they be like the old Honda 750. It worked so nice, or heck just hyd them.

01-12-2012, 09:06 PM
I haven't ridden either one. A coworker who had the 2002 I4 Voyager for sale bought a Harley Electraglide next. He didn't like the low speed vibration so he eventually sold it and bought a V4 Venture. He said that was the best of the 3. You would think that Yamaha would have gone with fuel injection. But, carbs aren't too bad if you don't let the gas dry up in them and plug them up. I make sure I at least start and run my Concours a few minutes every couple of weeks to keep the carbs washed a little. I'm temporarily working in Homestead FL for a while now so this is the best riding time of the year! and I usually ride it to work every day.

01-12-2012, 11:48 PM
Yea mine dont usually sit very long either. I'm about 3.5-4hr north west of you on US27. Ride all year here. Got to love it. Called a buddy of mine to talk about the bike some today. He is in Wisconson. Said he was getting ready for lik 10-14" of snow tonite. I said thats to bad I'm in shorts and a t-shirt and its like 84. Then there was something heard but I cant repeat it. LOL
I supose if I do get it I'll have to consider running some sea foam or the like thru it to keep varnis out. This "new" gas with the alcahol in it sucks. Not only does it kill your milage, it sure does a number on stuff if it sits. My weed eater is a constant battle to get it to work anymore after it sits a couple weeks.

Wild Rice
02-03-2012, 11:40 PM
I'm in process of buying a 2011. Which Driver Backrest did you purcahse? I have a super comfy Mustang seat on my '05 1600 classic. I"m hoping that by purchasing a good backrest for the Voyager, the stock seats will be comfortable enough for at least the first year or two. thanks.

02-04-2012, 07:55 AM
The backrest on the Venture I bought is a Utopia ( Looks like about $190. There is also grasshopper ( @ $100. Driverbackrest ( has them for #350 ouch. Not sure if you can get one from Mustang that you add on. My mustang was good, it had up down as well as limited forward adjustment. The Utopia is well designed. Go to the site and there is a video I think and also an explaination of adjustments. It has like 1.5" of adjustment up, a swivel to lay flat, and a stop screw to limit how far back it goes which stops the back rest from being to far back and snugs it up to your back position. I am currently riding with the 2 wrenchs with me to adjust and fine tune it as I just put a pair of risers on to move the bars back a bit. Far as I can tell no modification of the stock seat is required. You would have to look at thier site for your application. The Grasshopper mounts just like my mustang. Cut hole in seat, mount a bracket underneith and part slides into fixture. I liked the removable part on my 900. But then it was so comfortable I never took it out, so there you go.

03-10-2012, 11:45 AM
I have a 09 venture in the stable like that as well..

Great bike but yammy is missing the boat on them now..