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Discussion Starter #1
Trying to decide between an 05 Nomad or Road Star Silverado. Dealer will give me either bike at the same price, although MSRP of Star is about a thousand more. He is pushing the Star for larger engine by 100cc and he says much more power and responsiveness and better handling.

Re. the shaft drive vs. belt drive he claims that the shaft drive wastes 15% of the hp, and it makes the bike much "stiffer" resulting in poorer handling over bumps and in turns. Dealer refuses to let me test drive either bike before deciding (I've checked several other dealers, and this seems to be the general policy for both Kawasaki and Yamahaa). Personally, I love the look of the new Nomad. Has anybody had any expereice riding both of these bikes who could please provide me with some insight or any other information to help make this decision? I'm leaning towards ignoring the dealer and going with the Nomad, but I'm losing sleep over this.

Thanks much for any replies!
 

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I like the nomads.
 

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are you a speed freak :?: or do you like less maintainance :?: I would prefer the nomad
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm not a speed freak, but I do like being able to go 75-85 on the fwy without feeling like I'm pushing it. I live in the Silicon Valley, and love to ride in the Santa Cruz mountains where there are lots of twisties. Right now I'm riding a Harley XLH-1200, but am moving up to more of a "cruiser" for the freeway rides up to the city (San Francisco) and for greater passenger comfort than the Sportster provides. I know that either bike will give me the freeway performance I'm looking for, but which will handle better in the mountain twisties?

Is there really that big of a difference in the maintence? I heard that the fan on the Nomad tends to blow hot air onto the rider on hot days .... is that true?
 

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re

we get this question alot around here and kawi will be favored

both are excellant road bikes with good performance records
get the one you like and fit the best :wink:
 

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Rem said:
Is there really that big of a difference in the maintence? I heard that the fan on the Nomad tends to blow hot air onto the rider on hot days .... is that true?
The biggest difference in maintenance would be: air cooled Yamaha vs liquid cooled Kawi. Air cooled bikes need their oil changed more frequently. Not sure about the Road Star but I know the V-Stars you need to remove the exhaust just to change the oil. Star owners say it only takes 10 more minutes but seems kinda silly to me. As for the fan blowing hot air on the rider, any liquid cooled bike with a rad/fan will blow hot air on you. I guess I would rather feel that heat blowing by me than know that my air-cooled bike is getting ready to melt. I'm not one to comment though because I don't live in a hot climate so I don't live with it day to day. We did ride in 104 degree heat this summer for several days and yes it does blow the hot air by you. I think it boils down to how you feel about about air vs liquid cooled. I have owned a V-Star(air cooled) and 2 liquid cooled cruisers and wouldn't have anything but liquid cooled now, but that's my preference. Happy hunting, I love looking for a new bike.
 

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I have 2 bikes. One is a 1981 Yamaha 650 "air cooled" and a 2003 Vulcan Classic 1500 "water cooled". I have not had any problems with the Yamaha but I do agree with what has been said about leaning toward water cooled as opposed to air cooled. On a hot day I can feel the heat more while riding the Yamaha and less heat on the Kawasaki.

Check the feel of the bikes as you sit on them and do a search on Google on both of them for feedback from others who have bought and drive both. Personally.....I liked the Kawasaki myself over the Yamaha and bought it. It's your call.

Good luck with your purchase!
 

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I have 2 bikes.

One is a 1981 Yamaha 650 "air cooled" and a 2003 Vulcan Classic 1500 "water cooled". I have not had any problems with the Yamaha but I do agree with what has been said about leaning toward water cooled as opposed to air cooled. On a hot day I can feel the heat more while riding the Yamaha and less heat on the Kawasaki.

Check the feel of the bikes as you sit on them and do a search on Google on both of them for feedback from others who have bought and drive both. Personally.....I liked the Kawasaki myself over the Yamaha and bought it. It's your call.

Good luck with your purchase!
 

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vaporgas2000 said:
are you a speed freak :?: or do you like less maintainance :?: I would prefer the nomad
i'll have to second that.
i like the look of the nomad hands down over the yamaha. as far as shaft vs. belt, everyone has their opinion, but i love the shaft drive myself. now power, well obviously the yamaha will have a little more of it, but in a different powerband. if i recall correctly, the yamaha is a V4, somewhere around 1200cc. the nomad is a 1600(ish) v-twin. right there you have two totally different animals. from a nomad point of view, i would say you will not be unhappy if your concern is in the 75pmh range. i have done a little work to my 03, and it will easily hold 90 through long twisties, and that's with my trailer behind me. i would say Nomad all the way, but you are asking in a biased forum, so take it for what its worth. either way, two good bikes. good luck with your decision.
david
 

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I rode both a Roadstar and Mean Streak before buying.
I was surprised by the amount of vibration through the floorboards and handlebars on the Yamaha.
 

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The RoadStar is a 1700cc Vtwin. They switched from the 1600 in the '03 or '04 model year. A buddy of mine has the 1600 with Thunder Air, jets, V&H Longshots, a rev limiter chip, and a bunch of goodies (including light bar and bags). It's not a Silverado but is definitely a b-e-a-utiful ride. I've ridden it and although it's slower than my 500# 800B, it's got oodles of power once you get going and a great sound. No problems 2-up and actually says he doesn't need 5th until getting over 70 mph. Haven't ridden the Nomad. Just figured I offer the devil's advocate view on a Kaw forum. You'd probably be happier with either, so sit on both and see which feels better.
 

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PickYourPockets said:
. You'd probably be happier with either, so sit on both and see which feels better.
Thats the key, one has to be comfortable on the ride to be comfortable with the ride.
 

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PickYourPockets said:
The RoadStar is a 1700cc Vtwin. They switched from the 1600 in the '03 or '04 model year. A buddy of mine has the 1600 with Thunder Air, jets, V&H Longshots, a rev limiter chip, and a bunch of goodies (including light bar and bags). It's not a Silverado but is definitely a b-e-a-utiful ride. I've ridden it and although it's slower than my 500# 800B, it's got oodles of power once you get going and a great sound. No problems 2-up and actually says he doesn't need 5th until getting over 70 mph. Haven't ridden the Nomad. Just figured I offer the devil's advocate view on a Kaw forum. You'd probably be happier with either, so sit on both and see which feels better.
yeah, i guess i wasn't reading properly when i answered. i just assumed he was asking about the "ROYAL STAR", since it is the same setup as the nomad, hence the V4 reference. sorry about that, in case anyone was actually buying what i was saying !
 

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Ok I'm probably going to get shot for saying this but I'd say go with the Silverado. I love my 1600 Classic but if it wasn't for the price difference I would be riding around on the 1700 Silverado Midnight. There is a pretty signicant power difference and I love the looks of this bike. Now with that being said you are going to end up with a great bike either way.

Below is a link to a comparison between the Classic 1600 and the Road Star 1700. This can give you and idea of the engine differences to expect between the two bikes.


http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/roadtests/vn16vsxs17/
 

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Both are great bikes but I don't know how a dealer can expect you to make a decision without riding both. $10k is a lot of money to risk on the wrong choice for you.
Tell him no test ride no buy and then try another dealer unless he relents.
 

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Aussie1 said:
Both are great bikes but I don't know how a dealer can expect you to make a decision without riding both. $10k is a lot of money to risk on the wrong choice for you.
Tell him no test ride no buy and then try another dealer unless he relents.
yeah, doesn't seem right, but that is how it is around here. i have not seen a dealer yet that will let you test ride a brand new bike, except maybe one that is a leftover. that said, BMW will let anyone off the street with a M license ride any bike they have. when i bought my Honda Magna, i wanted to test one out. at the time 7500 was a lot of money for me to be taking out on a loan. the dealer would not let me ride it. i told him flat out, this is the bike that i want, i just want to ride it up the street to get a feel for it and then i will sign the papers. nope. i ended up having to find a dealer that was selling one that was 4 years old. even then, it was like pulling teeth to get a test ride. luckily i was able to and went back to my dealer and bought the new one. same thing happened when i bought the nomad. luckily i had already ridden one, so i walked in there ready. its not the best setup, but they have us by the ****.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everybody for all of the discussion! Unfortunately, I don't feel any closer to a decision. As far as "the feel" of the bike, I can sit on the Silverado and go "ooooh, ya, this is the bike". Then, I get off go sit on the Nomad and go, "ooooh, ya, this is the bike". The link to the comparison article was on 2003 models, and both have a lot of changes in the 2005 bikes. I have not seen any reviews anywhere on the 05 Nomad yet.

I know that the Silverado has 1700cc vs. the Nomad 1552 cc, but the real spec that relates to seat of the pants performance is the torque more so than the hp. I understand that the shaft drive delivers much more torque per hp than does belt drive, giving more low gear zooom, I'm not sure what that means at higher speeds?

As for the test ride, I've been thinking about that, and now I agree with the dealer, but not for his reasons. He says it is all about liability. But I've been reading about new engine break in (see the Motor Head article) and the critical window of opportunity to properly break in a new engine is the first 20 miles. I don't want a new bike that already has 20 - 30 miles on that I don't know how they were driven ... was the transmission abused, the engine lugged down? I want to be the one to put the break in miles on my new bike, so for that reason I'm glad I will drive it away with zero miles on it ..... whichever one it is that eventually decide on???
 

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I was fortunate, I got to ride all three of my short list bikes: V-Rod, Kingpin and the Meanie. Harley and Victory welcome test rides, I even got a t-shirt just for riding the victory. The local Kawi dealer also had a demo meanie so I got to take that out as well. It's a good thing I got to ride them, I really wanted the kingpin and still like the looks of it, but it was just way too loud and in your face, I would have grown to hate it. and I never would have known that without a test ride.
 

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Gee things are sure different in the US then.
Down here a dealer with that attitude would not sell a single bike. They all have demo models for people to test ride.
What happens then when you guys want to buy a car? Is it the same deal?
I wouldn't even buy a pen without trying it on a piece of paper first :lol:
 

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Car test rides are free and commonplace in the US.

REM, if my friend's Road Star (w/ the 1600) is any indication, the top end response on a belt drive is smooth and potent. As I mentioned, it's a rocket once you get the 700# beast moving. Of course, he has some performance mods to consider, albeit on the smaller motor. The only larger shaft drive I've ridden is a Vstar 1100 and I'd say the RoadStar was faster.
 
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