2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager

Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager

Kawasaki has entered the full dress touring market with the 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager. They've done their homework and the bike looks pretty complete. It's powered by a 1700cc, single overhead cam, 4 valve, fuel injected V-Twin with 107 foot pounds of torque. A 6 speed transmission with overdrive turns a belt final drive.

The Voyager utilizes an electronic throttle, electronic cruise control and it's equipped with Kawasaki Advanced Coactive Braking Technology (K-ACT) which is a linked braking system. The retro muscle car styled dash has a sound system compatible with the iPod.

The fuel tank holds 5.3 gallons, the trunk holds 2 full face helmets, front forks are adjustable and the rear have air adjustable preload.

Overall, I think it looks like a formidable entry in the touring segment, aimed squarely at the same folks riding the big dressers from Milwaukee giving them another excellent choice or any riders looking for a long distance cruiser. Less tradition but a lot of great features, this could be interesting.

Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager

Link: Voyager mini site
Link: Kawasaki

Comments

  1. mobilus says

    Nice. It’s taken them 25 years, but Japan has finally built a proper Harley. Maybe they can do an XR flat tracker next.

  2. Mike Messerli says

    I can’t believe they abandoned the shaft drive for this bike. It would have been a perfect tour option if they had retained the shaft drive on this bike.

  3. Mark says

    Nice looking bike.
    To some it looks like a Harley, to me it looks much better… it looks like a Kawasaki.

  4. Roderick says

    To me it looks like some of the more obvious copies of a design vocabulary that Harley has developed. There have been some brilliantly original bikes from the big 4…Vmax, Valkyrie, M01, Katana ……but this isn’t one of them. Xerox design.

  5. Dorzok says

    Why do the Japanese makers keep thinking they can sell Harleys? Nobody who buys a Harley buys it because of the advanced technology and dependability that the Japs have offered for decades. What they do buy them for cannot be duplicated in a design studio or manufacturing plant.
    Oh, and the lids to the side case are too tall and bulbous and the fairing looks like a cancerous KZ1000 police fairing. Does look comfy though.

  6. Gary says

    I’ve owned Harleys for 25 years, which is why I bought a Concours-14!! I’m sure it’s less expensive than an Ultra-Glide, so what the hell?

  7. sej says

    Why not let Kawasaki build what they want? It is no more a Harley knockoff than the Yamaha Venture. It is what it is, get over the comparison to another bike. Kawi has the Concours, they have this Voyager. Makes sense to me and looks like a very nice ride. If you guys are stuck on Harleys, go buy one. Peace.

  8. B*A*M*F says

    The reasons Harley buyers buy Harleys aren’t the reasons that other folk buy Japanese v-twins.

    A couple years back my mom decided that 25 years of being without a bike was too long. She looked at all sorts of bikes, Harleys among them. She had always had Hondas prior to my birth, and eventually ended getting a Shadow 1100 because it is ridiculously reliable and offered the look cruiser feel she wanted. Not long after, my dad went out and bought one just like it.

    They could have Harleys if they wanted to. I think that goes for a lot of people who buy metric cruisers. While it may not hold for all, I think there are people who want a cruiser that will run forever and rarely need to go to the shop.

  9. John says

    I ride a make of motorcycle that is copied and not the other way around.The guy that said it doesn’t look like a Harley but like a Kawasaki,sure dude.And that stuff about having to work on them all the time, you guys that say that are ignorant.

  10. Mark says

    I thought Harley’s copied the look of BSA V twins.

    Hey I’m all for Harley’s, As “JOHN” just said-without them the ignorant would have nothing to ride.

    When did Harley own the rights to the V twin?

  11. Garytheterrible says

    As far as I can tell from pics. and article, I like it! But then, I’m open to, and like, most any kind of bike, and wide variety and different ways of doin’ stuff. I’ve had 2 Kaws, (the 1st a ’77 kz1000 which I turboed, among other things & minor customized) and am now on my second Harley (’04 Electra-Glide Standard). NO bikes are perfect, but I’ve had zero reliability issues with ANY of my bikes, including multiple 3,000+ mile trips on the E-Glide (more alone/solo bike than not). The E-Glide is the bike for me at this time, and may be the last bike I ever own, but if the time does come for change, I’d be looking at what’s offered at the time, including Kaw., Victory, HD AND others.

    As for ignorance, there’s plenty enough to go around and be on ANY kind/type of bike, including, but not limited to, whatever Mark happens to be on…..

  12. Garytheterrible says

    P.S. I prefer belt vs. shaft drive. Less weight, better action (no side torque, etc.), more efficient (power transfer), no lubes, etc., zero problems (30,000+ miles on E-Glide, 28,000+ on the previous 1200 Sporty)… Ride whatchya like, like whatchya ride…

  13. says

    If you’re not a poser, then at some point you probably rode a non-Harley motorcycle before purchasing your “almighty” HD.*

    If you are a poser, then one can justifiably question why you would buy a $15k + motorcycle as your first motorcycle.

    * note: nothing against HD motorcycles. This is a jab directed at the hypocrisy of the HD rider who conveniently forgets about the brands of bikes they first rode then has the attitude that no other brand matters besides HD.

  14. mobilus says

    To clarify my first post, in the 80s the Japanese built V-twin cruisers. They were Harley-esque, but did not really look like Harleys. They went with water cooling, shaft drives, etc. But the proportions and angles were all different from Harley. I’m sure the Big 4 were surprised that their better engineered bikes did not dent Harley’s sales.

    In the 90s, the Big 4 tried again, and dumbed down their engineering, going with air cooling, brake pedals (*shudder*), floor boards, etc. They changed their proportions and angles, and their bikes were looking closer to a Harley design than their previous efforts. Kawasaki even went after the Indian look.

    Tthis Vulcan 1700 however, is as close a Big 4 manufacturer has come to having “that Harley look.” From the right side and a bit of distance, that engine could pass for an Evo 80. The saddle bags are too round for what Harley’s done, and the fairing a bit off. But if Harley came out with those bags and that fairing on an FLH model, not many Harley riders would scream in protest that it’s “not a Harley”.

    So Kawasaki’s done what they wanted. They’ve finally built a Harley. But I don’t really want a Harley looking bike unless it’s a decent XR. Since Harley won’t build one, perhaps Kawasaki will do it for me. (Note: the factory XR1200 doesn’t count, because it’s Europe only and because its design is awkward. It looks less like a Harley than the Voyager above.)

  15. Roderick says

    Well stated Mobilus.

    How close is too close?

    Mercedes actually sued a Chinese manufacturer who knocked off the Smart car a little too enthusiastically. This probably isn’t sue-worthy, but it’s unmistakably based on nothing else but a Harley.

    Harley doesn’t own the “potato potato” exhaust sound, nor does it own any of the general layouts of an air cooled V twin engine, central air cleaner, tank instruments, look of the fairing, exhaust layout etc.

    But there is a design legality known as “Intellectual property” that protects what an artist, a designer or a company has created. And Kawasaki is flirting with the boundaries of that concept with the Vulcan 1700

    This is a very interesting dialogue on this motorcycle. It does touch on larger issues of off-shore-manufacturing, intellectual property, protectionism, and trueness of brand identity.

    Great thread!

  16. says

    First of all, I 2nd Mobilus and Roderick, well said indeed.

    This does look to me like the evolution of Harley’s touring line. HOWEVER, where is it stated that this Kawi has anything to do with shipping jobs overseas?

    I would say it only makes sense for Kawasaki to build these in Lincoln, Nebraska, with American employees and American suppliers. I’ve heard no reports of this in their plan, but it would follow the business model of other successful foreign companies that have set up mfg in the states, hired locally, AND made a profit (i.e. Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, Hyundai, BMW, etc…)
    It’s a dose of “beat them at their own game” and I think we Americans have some serious designing to do if we want to stay ahead, or even remain in the game for that matter.

    -brian

  17. says

    Everyone knows what “The Harley” Look” is – what exactly is “The Kawasaki Look”, other than “Green”? Other than the 25 year old ELR (in, get this, green!), I can’t think of one. Even that was a UJM taken to the extreme.

    I currently own a few Kawi’s (racers, not Farleys), so there….

    If/when H-D comes out with a Revo Classic (Which a lot of people are asking for, including my Ultra Classic owning brother), what will that look like and how long ’til it is knocked off?

  18. B*A*M*F says

    Roderick, I wish that intellectual property were as clear cut and as solid of a protection as you suggest. As a designer, it would certainly ease my mind about having one of my ideas taken and used for profit by someone else. In reality, it’s very easy for someone to change a detail, a color, or the smallest thing and completely do an end run around a design patent. Copyrights are not much better protection. Either way, unless you have an army of lawyers bigger than the other guy has, you’re more or less up the creek.

    Brian Case, I think you have it right. Manufacturing here, designing here, and all that makes sense if the volume is right.

  19. mobilus says

    When the movie Ghostbusters first came out, the producers were sued by Harvey Comics. (Harvey Comics were the publishers of Caspar the Friendly Ghost.) Harvey had a ghost character named Fatso, and their suit was filed because the Ghostbusters logo ghost was similar to their Fatso ghost. Harvey ultimately lost the suit, because the judge ruled that there are only so many ways to draw a ghost.

    Does the designer of the first tear drop shaped gas tank own the property rights to all tear drop shaped gas tanks? Does he own the shape of a tear drop, no matter what the application? A few years ago, a scientist discovered that geranium plants will clean polluted soil (particularly soil containing PCBs). Apparently geraniums pull toxins and metal pollutants from the soil, and alter them into something harmless… as no toxins were found within the plants themselves. He filed a patent claim and wanted a royalty for every geranium flower planted in the world, under the premise that anyone planting a geranium was doing so to cleanse their soil. And even if they weren’t planting a geranium for that reason, the plant was still working away at cleansing the soil, and he felt he owned that “behavior” property of all geraniums.

    Intellectual property rights can be rewarding, and incredibly restrictive. A question to ask yourself. When a person thinks of a new idea… an idea which had never been thought before…. where did that idea come from? How could one think of something, which for all intents and purposes, has never existed before?

  20. says

    In some respects, complaints about the Big Four copying HD are contradictory to other business principles…

    Does anyone here think HD doesn’t work harder at building better bikes, in part, because the Big Four have added competition?

  21. John says

    I own and ride a Harley and have for 30 years not because I’m trying to make some statement or do I care what anybody thinks about my choice except if thier stupid enough to say something dumb in my presence.I do really enjoy the comradery of my fellow Harley enthusiasts.The energy that Harley haters spend trying to put down Harley riders and thier bikes, almost always in this type of format that makes them appear to be envious and trying to justify thier choice in motorcycles to me.

  22. Greg says

    Well here we go again John. All of us are again “wanna be” Harley owners. I’ve just got to laugh. That’s the ole standard. I wanted, got, and love my Valk and have no desire for a Harley, but to each his own. Luckily, if I wanted a Harley, I’d go get one, but I prefer a water cooled engine. You guys just have to realize that many/most of us metric guys have just what we want.

  23. Nicolas says

    Harley or Excelsior or Metric cruiser … whatever floats your boat, guys.

    Talking about boat, this Kawa looks like a boat to me, same for all the electraglide-supreme-classic-deluxe and consors, too heavy and too “dripping” designed.

  24. says

    I hope that anybody here that refers to someone as ignorant means that that person(s) are ignoring certain facts of a subject to make a point or sway an opinion. I’am glad Kawasaki has returned to the luxury touring market and did so with a solid effort. Many of my friends that have Kawa V twins have longed for a full blown tour bike and until now had to turn to other companies to fulfill the bill. I disagree with one of the posters here that the new Voyager does’ t scream Kawasaki and isn’t green.When introduced in 1975 the Gold Wing didn’t scream single, paralel twin or inline four Honda yet it is one of the most recognizable Honda designs ever. I, also, don’ t remember saying that it was a knock off BMW. Is there anyone out there saying that the V Rod is a knock off of a big 4 Jap metric crusier? The Harley market share is the Harley market share and just because another company chooses to build a bike around a V twin engine doesn’t mean they are gunning for Harley D’s market share specifically. The Voygers looks are the result of their market researchers and any similarities in particular items is coincidental. Bravo Kawasaki! P.S. I ride a Victory Vision Tour.

  25. kneeslider says

    I think all of this talk of copying Harley is a bit off target. Does it resemble a Harley? Sure it does but that doesn’t mean it was some deep psychological trick, it just shows that a fully dressed V-Twin touring bike will tend to look somewhat like other similar touring bikes.

    Ever see a sportbike go by in the other direction and not be able to identify it because it looked like so many other sportbikes? Even cars, with all of their sheet metal, still look a lot alike. No big deal. Just look at each bike and evaluate it for what it is. If you like one particular brand better than another, buy that one, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the next guy’s choice or this company’s design.

  26. Derek says

    Kneeslider

    they ARE copying Harley, everybody but Victory and BMW and im sure a couple more. It doesnt stop at touring. Look at the Honda Rebel or any other metric cruisers. It is a market. They see the market Harley has created and they want some. And Harley has seen the market the import sportbikes have created and they want some. But the thing is. When Harley went into the sport bike market. They didnt copy. They give you Buell. Any time i pull up some where people go “What the Hell is that thing”. I point to the big letters on the airbox that say Buell and i get, “Buell, who makes that?”
    It is the reality of it. $ makes the world turn. $ is the reason they copy. they want the money from the dorks who dont know the diffrence.
    and the dorks abide.

  27. ROHORN says

    Harley went out of their way to make the VROD distinct from the metric cruisers. You’d have to be blind and very uninformed to not know that.

    Honda went out of their way (at one time) to keep their own identity. CB750, GL1000, CX500, CBX, VF750, etc…..

    And some guys wear dresses for comfort, not because they want to look like women (or so I hear).

    Riiiiiight….

    And up above is one transVestite of a bike for those not comfortable with Harleys.

  28. Pop says

    OK, briefly.

    Indian, first V twin. The copy argument is old and begins after the first.

    The Kaw is a barge. My yardstick is comfort and reliability. We can surmise the latter from Kaws history and the proof of the former is in the riding. Time will tell.

    I need two things in a touring bike. Beaucoup room for me, not available on an Ultra or a Wing or Beemer. My wife has two fused disks and can’t do a Harley or Vic. I am holding off on a Wing (best compromise)until I get her on a 09 Ultra for a ride to see if the new frame is all that. Kawasaki has given us another choice.

    I have ridden Harleys for forty years and still do although Indians are more my style these days. Point is if somebody has something that does what I need done better than the motor company I will put my money on better.

    HD long ago made a business decision to not concern themselves with the needs of the diehards and focus marketing to a broader audience. It worked. It rejuvenated an icon but a factory manufactured mystique doesn’t mean bupkus to me. I ride them because they are old familiar friends and I have the tools and hands on to deal with the quirks. I don’t have much metric stuff in my roll aways but I have an Amex and a cell phone and Kawasaki or Honda or HD shops are a dime a dozen.

    If neither the “new” Ultra or the Voyager make the cut, it’s a Wing for us loaded and when I get tired of the riding position it’ll be a Triglide or who knows, maybe we’ll trike the Wing.

  29. Richard c Autorina says

    Looks allot like the Yamaha touring bike with some more flash of an Harley Davidson ULTRA Classic. However it looks like it will be a nice bike. I am a Harley Rider as well as a Victory Vision Rider.

  30. says

    Let’s see if the people who whine about the Big Four copying HD also whine about Triumph copying the HD look.

    Triumph is copying HD in 2 recent models:

    Rocket III Touring
    Thunderbird 1600

    So, Derek, Rohorn, John, are you concerned about Triumph copying the look or have you legitimized that hypocrisy because it is British?

    yeah, sure, those are v-twins, but the copied look & intent are very apparent.

    Oh wait, that reminds me….didn’t HD go after the cafe racer look with the XLCR model? And who created that “look”? It wasn’t HD. HD must have been going after the HD dorks money, right? …hhmmm, you can’t have it both ways.

    The people who go on and on about copying HD belong to hundreds of thousands of people who copy each other. They are also the % of that mass that detract from buying an HD.

    If it wasn’t for this additional competition, the HD bike wouldn’t be as good as it is. I’m not suggesting the competition is what makes HD employees work as hard as they do, but it is certainly part of their effort to be the best.

    Crocker must also be included with copying someone…but it is not HD. None of you whiners are/were concerned about Crocker copying Indian, are you?

    so, quit crying about copying.

  31. says

    …forgot to add – I think the moto world would be better off if there wasn’t the extent of copying going on (auto makers included) but it is a reality. And, I’m not convinced any company is immune to it. “Building a better mousetrap” so to speak, requires you to know what the original mousetrap is all about.

    The inherent advantage to similarly designed products for consumers is that competition will always make companies work harder to improve and innovate.

  32. says

    So how much would Kawasaki have to change the bike so it would not look like a Harley and thereby offend the True Believers? Leave off the saddlebags? Make the fairing look like barn door or a phallic symbol?

    What is the special “not a Harley” visual point of demarcation for each main element of motorcycle design that some think exists between the sacred visual purity of the ElectraGlide and a gawdawful eyeball assault like the Victory Vision? What would need to be changed to make the Kawasaki acceptable? I’ve owned a 1500 Drifter and a Kaw 1600 Classic and I’d buy the new 1700 in a heartbeat if I could find the fast cash.

  33. says

    Doug,

    Don’t know what’s eating you, but since you ask, I think Triumph is copying Kawasaki. Again. But they’ve been doing that since day one. And with Kawasaki’s help, if what I’m told has any truth to it. Heck, that new Triumph twin looks like a scaled up Vulcan 500 to me. Neither bother me a bit.

    XLCR? Which company’s bike does that look like? Time’s up! NOBODY’S. The only TWO I can think of that come sort of close are the BMW R90S and the M-G LeMans – rare sights in any year – they sure are visually different, starting with the engine configuration.

    Here’s a parallel: Are the new(ish) full size V8 Nissan & Toyota pick-ups copies of any American pickup? NO. It sure sort of looks like them. “Them” is plural – there has been a Universal American Pickup design evolving for most of the 20th century by a whole lot of companies, eventually down to 3 companies.

    If, say, one of those companies came out with a low slung front engined V8 roadster that looked an awful lot like a Corvette – it would still be a copy, since there’s nothing else like it on the market. But there would still be a lot of pantywaists claiming it wouldn’t be a copy since Chevy didn’t invent the sports car or some such nonsense.

    Crocker, in my opinion, is the ultimate in both namedropping and insignificant bikes ever made. Indian never had an OHV and was already way down its deep slide into bankruptcy (the first time). Which is why the Kawasaki Drifter never bothered me, either. I still thought that was a neat bike – nothing else like it reliably available at the time. Funny how they had to make a few styling changes to keep from getting sued by the Indian copyright holders. Funny how the Drifter never sold that well.

    I really have no problem with Kawasaki selling the above bike to those who want that sort of thing. Is the above bike a clone? No. A copy? Yes, in my opinion.

    If it really and truly is an original design, do a lot of renderings of the above bike (or just cut & paste different bike pics into something “new”) and submit it as your portfolio to, say, The Art Center in Pasadena, as a prospective student. Toss in some “Classic Style Tourer Inspired By Original Tradition” ad hack sounding copy.

    See how far it goes.

    On the other hand, maybe there really is a job market for such design “talent”. THAT is what sort of bugs me. But not enough to stop me from picking up (another) Kawasaki in 2 days…..

  34. sam says

    I love the responses on this one, everyone arguing back and forth about this is a copy of that, etc. Kawasaki made a bike that a lot of people will want, and it will probably sell.
    Harley also makes bikes that sell, but this Article is about Kawasaki, not Harley.

  35. says

    hey Bob – nothing is eating me :)

    However, I do find a lot of the HD attitude very strange when it comes to only recognizing a single brand of motorcycle.

    I suppose you can add “bike snob” in a similar manner as “beer snob”. (This is not to suggest you have that attitude. I know you are not.)

    I knew the XLCR was more of a stretch, but it was listed because Derek mentioned things about companies wanting to cash-in on opportunities. HD saw an opportunity for a cafe racer. Cheers to them for not copying verbatim. But, did they not copy attributes while incorporating their own engine?

    The engine config. obviously was ignored when I used the XLCR comparison. For example, the Rocket III Touring and Thunderbird 1600 don’t have the same engine configuration as HDs either, but the styling is definitely a copy of HD models.

    Rohorn: “If, say, one of those companies came out with a low slung front engined V8 roadster that looked an awful lot like a Corvette – it would still be a copy, since there’s nothing else like it on the market. But there would still be a lot of pantywaists claiming it wouldn’t be a copy since Chevy didn’t invent the sports car or some such nonsense.”

    I don’t think anyone is trying to claim the Kawi is not a copy. The HD whiners is this thread are the ones that are stating the obvious: it IS a copy. The counter argument is stating to some extent, among other things, “who cares?”. My biggest counters to the HD whining are:

    1. competition is good because it is that extra incentive to improve your own.
    2. no company is completely innocent of copying
    3. did the majority of these HD riders forget what bike they rode before saving enough for their HD?

    Rohorn: “Crocker, in my opinion, is the ultimate in both namedropping and insignificant bikes ever made. Indian never had an OHV”

    Name dropping on the Kneeslider? nah, most readers here know enough. I mentioned it because everyone rightfully respects the Crocker brand. Although the engine signficantly differentiates mechanical details, the Crocker was styled in the same manner as many bikes of that era….just as Kawi is doing today with this model.

    Rohorn: “I really have no problem with Kawasaki selling the above bike to those who want that sort of thing. Is the above bike a clone? No. A copy? Yes, in my opinion.”

    Agreed. I don’t think anyone can argue that it isn’t a copy.

    It also bothers me that there isn’t more model diversity from one OEM to the next as mentioned above.

  36. says

    Hoyt (Doug),

    Man, do I feel dumb – now I both understand your earlier statements and I agree with all of it.

    My brother loves his Ultra Classic, but he also has a long list of things he’d love to see changed. None of it would surprise anybody. And if the 1700 makes it happen, hey, great. Then everyone gets the bike they want.

    Otherwise, we’re wondering what BMW comes out with to replace the LT.

    When I read the 1700 was a belt drive, my first reaction was to wonder who was thinking about what they could do with that engine…….

  37. Seymour says

    I got to thinking today that Kawasaki has trumped HD in a way – HD has basically two versions of the same touring bike, the Electra Glide and the Street Glide or Tour Glide or whatever it’s called today. The main difference being frame mounted versus fork mounted fairing. Kawasaki has combined the best of both worlds in this bike. Cool looks of fork mounted fairing with functionality of frame mounted. HD should just make one touring bike, a frame-mounted batwing fairing Electra Glide. HD just got beat.

    By the way, the Kawasaki Drifter is the Indian that will never become. BUY ONE.

  38. John says

    This is to Greg, did you see the term wannabe in my post? I stated that I own a Harley and don’t care what any of you Harley haters think of it.Those of your ilk like to suggest that people that buy Harleys do so for some agenda other than loving the machine,I could care less what anybody else rides, I don’t have to hang with them but I get invlved in these type of conversations when I see ignorant things being said about Harleys and thier riders. By the way ignorant means uninformed for that guy that acted like I used a cuss word.

  39. says

    not to get off topic, but in some respects, I’d like to see HD do some (italicized, bolded, underlined) copying….

    Emulate is a better word :) ……

    Take the Revolution engine and build a sport tourer platform with it. Not all sport tourers have to be hyper sport touring machines.

    In another 5 years, a good % of the huge sportbike crowd could start to mellow some but not to the point of wanting a feet forward cruiser. In addition, look at the sport tourer class, they are either are bland as hell or have 3+ cylinder engines (the v-twin being used only in the Guzzi Norge and Ducati ST). So, there is a market segment there ripe for the Revolution engine & HD’s unique style.

    Back on topic: The Kawi above is another big step towards HD’s level of style and execution (granted, they’re still at another level). Yamaha and now Kawi have distanced themselves from Honda and Suzuki in terms of emulating/copying the gold standard.

    Is it right? The consumer always decides, for better and worse.

  40. Larzzzz says

    I like the above bike alot, and for the following reasons.
    1) Frame mounted fairing
    2) said fairing has wonderfull lines that incorporate the lighting.
    3) said fairing has nostalgic automotive look instead of looking like a melted barn door bolted to the forks.
    4) lower fairings’ lines flow seamlessly form the upper fairing, and don’t look like an afterthough like on other bikes.
    ** overall I am very pleased with the looks, layout, and projected performance numbers of this rig. And the price isn’t bad either.

    I would have preferred a liquid-cooled mill, but life goes on.
    *one a side note, Harley is wasting the Revolution engine by pinning it’s survival on the V-Rod. A Revolution in a Road-Glide would be a great idea that will be ignored or sold in Europe.

  41. Larzzzz says

    I need to correct myself. IT IS LIQUID COOLED! That solves it for me. I like this bike. It is a bagger that looks similar, but is not a copy of something else.

  42. Keith says

    Who cares what we ride H-D , Kaw , Honda … blah blah blah . It’s all about riding free and feeling good doing it . I’m a H-D rider , I grew up on Honda CBs and Kaw. Ninja Rs . I think we all did before I bought my first H-D . I think they’re all good bikes , different strokes for different folks I always say .

  43. todd says

    Kudos to Kawasaki for building this bike. This adds yet another design to their already large offering of, what, 20+ designs. What I don’t get is that Harley only makes 3 different bikes: The Sportster, the “Big Twin”, and the VRod, all styled around the “cruiser” theme. They could stand to diversify a little. Don’t tell me adding touring accessories and tassels makes it a new model. I think more people would buy Harleys if they actually had a decent range of choices. There’s nothing in their line that appeals to me.

    -todd

  44. HAMEMT says

    The 1700 Voyager design reveals an interesting look. It is great that Kawi. has finally brought back a beautiful touring machine with all the bells and whistles as the Voyager. I ride a HD Ultra and I love it but Kudos to Kawi for the new engine and design. As for design parody, what sells in North America is a traditional design like HD and Indian. Lets face it America V-Twin motorcycles is the model to design after because it sells. Good luck to Kawi. 1700 Voyager!

  45. Mooring says

    As a relatively new rider, I read this thread with interest.

    I dont know if Kawasaki is copying HD as much as they are listening to their customers.

    My first, and only bike to date, is a Vulcan 900 classic lt. I bought it because it seemed to be the right size for a new rider, it was fuel injected, water cooled which I believe gave it a little more punch to the 900cc’s. I liked the looks of it. And perhaps most important, it was affordable.

    I make plenty of money, but as a father of 5 with kids in college and a mortgage, my personal entertainment budget is limited.

    I love the 900 lt. But a year and 8,000 miles later, I am thinking about what I would like next… bigger, cruise control, better seat and maybe a 6th gear to keep the rpms down on the hwy.

    However, I’ld like to keep the belt drive, the 900’s ergonomics, and affordability.

    Now, I’ld love a Harley, not just the history but the style and apparent quality of the bikes. Unfortunately right now, $$ is a big part of it.

    I was looking at the Yamaha 1300 and road star. Why… because they have bigger eng, belt, looks, and are a lot cheaper than a Harley (at least the HDs I like). But the Road Star isn’t water cooled…

    Now the 900 is a great bike, no problems, ergonomics as good as any, better than most. The 2000 is just too big for 5’7′. Now with the 1700’s they may be perfect.

    So… I think Kawasaki may be listening to customers more than strictly copying HD.

  46. SilvrT says

    A bit ^5 to Mooring (and a couple others) for not getting caught up in this stupid bikkering over HD look-a-likes and who copied who B/S. You hit the nail on the head by saying “Kawasaki was listening to their customers”.

    I personally CAN’T WAIT for this new Voyager to hit the showroom. If it rides as good as it looks, there will be one between my legs as quick as I can get it.

  47. Garytheterrible says

    As I said in my first post, “As far as I can tell from pics. and article, I like it! But then, I’m open to, and like, most any kind of bike, and wide variety and different ways of doin’ stuff.”

    I did 2 test rides on Victory Visions (“Street” & “Tour”), and I LIKED ‘EM (don’t care what anybody else thinks), but felt they needed a bit more refining at the time, and don’t really get the side bag space/hole. I’d also like a “quick release” option for trunk mount, rather than “removable,” unbolt, as it at least was at that time, but that’s just me. This was when they were 1st coming out/taking “pre-orders”/”Victory Vision Tour.” Maybe there has been, or will be, some tweaking, BUT…

    … they, and this Kaw. would get first look/interest/consideration by me, along with HD still getting their shot with whatever their offering(s) would be whevenever & if ever the time for change comes.

    As for bar mounted batwing, or frame mounted (as on HD Road-Glide), I like both looks, but I have NO problems with the batwing, and the frame mounted moves everything farther away (gauges, stereo, dash switches, windshield/protection from elements, etc., etc.). Don’t know how it is on the Kaw., and I like both HD versions, but at not quite 5’8″, and not overly long arms, I prefer the batwing for me…

    P.S. I REALLY(!!!) like the elec. adjust windshield option on the Vision!!!

  48. Bear says

    They say that imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery. So what’s the Big Deal. Kawasaki has built a bike that speaks to the rider NOT the “Brand Owner.”

    I was under the impression it was all about the riding not the gucci-ness. If Kawasaki has pulled off one fine looking bike and done it where it puts less of a strain on the pocket book, what’s the problem? As far as “American Made” goes, bullcrap. I can guarentee that your TV, Cell Phone, ipod, etc. are NOT mde in America. Get over the hipe and get to riding!

  49. John Q. Powers says

    In the 60’s, I bought a panhead, in pieces, in a box and rode it to law school. That sure was fun!
    I’ve been riding a Classic 1500 for four years now and love it. Back on the road, I can handle the distractions of the speed controlled radio volume and stuff. The superior weather protection might allow rain riding/HOV commuting but not without the supplied ABS. The Harley sound is perpetuated with both rods on one pin. The lack of an O2 sensor worries me regarding opening up the pipes. Viva Voyager!

  50. John says

    I like my Classic 1500 because I can leave it at remote trailheads knowing that there is little chance it will be stolen. A Harley is a mere collection of marketable parts, each of which will separately enter the stream of commerce hours after it is ripped off. Would it be my crime like that of a irresistable sub-prime lender if I were to leave it unattended? I put a mercury switch in the Classic on the parking light position and it honks the horns (an extra is buried under the tank) if tilted off the kickstand. Sometimes I hear it honk as a kid hefts it. Will the Voyager have an alarm and centerstand?

  51. tank says

    Well let me put something in your heads for you to think about. Sonny the world famous President of a well known club stated that in the old days they should have gone with Kawi instead of Harleys due to well less maintance. Oh I did have an HD for years but they seemed to sould out to the man so I will be buying one of those 1700 Voyagers and the front looks more like a Mustang than any halrey I have seen.

  52. Garytheterrible says

    Uh, I could be wrong (Tank), but I believe it was Honda… Doesn’t really matter. Same point. H-D has come a looong way since “chase-truck” yrs. (I.M.O., anyway)…

  53. SWEET says

    WOW!
    didn’t know the new voyager created this much tension in the motorcyclist community. i’m a sales consultant at a kaw/suzuki dealership. to me, wether the bike looks like this or that doesn’t matter. if you like it, buy it!

    comparison between H-D, big four, british and italian bikes….come on! they all have motors and 2 wheels….you’re gonna run across some similarities at some point!

    i even read where someone mentioned buell bikes as an attempt to enter the sportbike market. thats the same as jap bikes entering the cruiser market. take the buell 1125R…it’s got a rotax motor in it! so it’s no more of a H-D than the new voyager! you can find rotax motors in sea-doo ski’s…buell’s..aprilia’s…can am atv’s….

    my point is…the entire market is that way, every manufacter has their hand in everything…which gives the consumer a multitude of options within their perspective riding segment! find the one you like, and ride it!

  54. Rambo Mike says

    As a current owner of a 94 Voyager IIX, and 8 previous Kaws since the early 70’s, I had mixed feelings when I first saw this bike. I thought to myself,(another Harley clone). Kawasaki did approach the American Voyager Association around 2001, before the last Voyager was built in 2003, and asked the riders what they wanted if they were to build a new Voyager bike. Most of my fellow club members did not want to see a V-twin, but an in-line four. Then in 2006 the disappointment came when we were told, no new Voyager. Since then the ageing fleet of Voyager IIX’s were being replaced by some members with Goldwings, Yamaha Ventures, Kaw Vulcans, Victories, and yes… Harleys as well. But no matter what model bike the members owned they were not looked down at, or teased for what they road. After all, we were members, friends and brothers in a group were we enjoyed each others company. The new Voyager may look simular to a Harley, but by far, it’s no Harley. When you take a closer look, it begins to grow on you, as it did on me. Actually I’m excited by the styling of the bike. (By the way, dosen’t every car manufacture have a simular looking car with the Euro styled back lights!) So my point is this! It’s the differences that can keep us apart as biker owners, and the simularities that will bring us together as friends in a brotherhood that enjoys two wheeling. I just can’t imagine all those poor souls whom will never experience the exhilirated rush you get when your cruising the open road.

  55. mark edward marchiafava says

    Just talked with a Kaw rep in California today, according to him, release date is at least a year out. Any truth to that?
    After 26 years on a ’82 Wing, I’m ready for my next and last bike(56 years old). Best I can tell, the new Voyager is it.

  56. Matt Adair says

    I really like the look of the bike. If the price is right I would buy one. Having said that I am currently a Harley rider, but have mainly ridden Hondas in the past (magnas, nighthawk, etc…), and none of my Japanese bikes nor my current Harley have ever needed anything other than regular oil changes, brakes, etc… I believe, like some others I saw wrote, that you need to buy what you want.

  57. hmsregalnadness says

    I ride in a group of from 5-8. Me on a Nomad, another on a Wing, another on a Sabre, the rest, various Harley’s. We’re friends, some closer than others. The thing about who rides what comes up but rarely. Usually just in fun. We ride what we choose to ride. This is a stubborn bunch of individuals, older and with no need to impress anyone. There are qualities of each of these bikes we all like and don’t like. For me the voyager represents a move up from the Nad while retaining some of the same features and feel I have come to love about the bagger. Engineering and technology are important to me. Liquid cooling, abs/connected brakes, overhead cams, 4 valves, 2 plugs, injection, etc. These things improve performance, longevity, comfort, dependability, and safety. This is my reason for my choice. Riding is a very personal thing. The people I ride with feel the same way I do when they’re on their scoot. And I’ve never been accused of trying to ride a Harley. We bought the bike we ride because it talks to us. No man can know what is being said between another and his bike. It’s a private conversation. The makers? The build what they believe will sell. If it’s V-twins today and slant 6’s tomorrow, they’ll build it. I’ve been here long enough to see a lot of evolution in the motorcycle cycle. And I for one am extremely grateful, because it has left me with a choice. And I get to enjoy the beauty of all the other choices without going to 15 different dealer locations. One stop a favorite watering hole on bright sunny day and I can see 100’s of different choices. Some I don’t understand, some I would never choose, but all pluck a different chord somewhere deep inside that makes me smile.

    If another feels that his ride is superior, then the truth is, in some way, it probably is. But the factors are too many to just be able to say this is better, or that is better. What criterion will one use to judge superiority? With every additional criterion the measure of betterness has changed. Ignorance is just not knowing, easily cured. But, stupidity is the decision not to cure ignorance. And contempt prior to investigation is stupidity on display. If you are happy with your choice, then that’s good enough. Being secure enough with one’s own choice to allow others theirs. Lot of freedom in that. It’s all about the ride. If that requires explanation, then you’ll never get it.

  58. Mikethebike says

    This bike will outsell HD tourers. Why? Because it will cost less and it has a motor that is about 57 years more contemporary in terms of mechanical technology and design. I think some of you are confused, because it is HD that copied Japan, after years of being in denial, by putting in counter balancer shafts, rubber mounts and 6 speed transmissions.

    Parenthetically, I would note with interest that HD reported a whopping 37% drop in earnings last quarter. They are going to be hurting for money in the not too distant future. People are not going to be borrowing to buy their overpriced bikes (they make good bikes with very nice features, but they are over priced). I hope they don’t jump on the Big Three bandwagon and ask Uncle Sam for a bailout.

  59. PAT says

    Way too many people here pounding the keyboard and not the pavement.. Git out and ride what ever you like and quit yer bitchn’………..

  60. Walt says

    What a waste, another Ultra Classic clone. If you are going to ride a tourer there is really only one out there and that is the GL1800. The rest are just wannabes! Even more so when the new Wing comes out in the not too distant futre. Ive heard they are going to a 2300 amongst other things.

  61. creamer725 says

    Come on people. This motorcycle looks like a motorcycle. To the harley people that think this is a knock off have never ridden a Kaw. Kaws are more reliable, faster, cheaper, easier to customize, so on, so on. The harley is a push rod design…do you see push rods? The harley has a fork mounted bat wing fairing…does this look like a fork mounted fairing? The harley has an air cooled engine… this is getting old.
    Motorcycling is a great sport. Harley owners are for the most part children afraid that someone will have something better than they do. Yes, Harley has a GREAT clothing line. When I attend a bike rally, it’s easy to spot the harley owners…they are all dressed the same and have very old women with them that have implants and tattoos. Have you EVER spotted an old lady on the back of a sport bike or standard? I didn’t think so.
    If you had to live with an old, tattooed woman with implants, you would be grumpy, too!

  62. Mike says

    A true motorcycle rider, one with the passion for bikes, would not compare. They would ride what they have and be proud of it. Owner of 84 FLHT and KLR 650.

  63. fiddler says

    fiddlesticks, I had my eye on the new voyager till you all said it looks like a harley, now i’m back to square one. Reckon i’ll have to hang on to old Suzi a little longer, after all two trips east to west and still runs like a scared rabbit.

  64. Tar says

    One thing I like about Kawasaki’s is that there isn’t much hype. My wife’s family all ride harley’s but not one of them ragged me when I paid 7k for a brand new ’08 vulcan 900 classic. I commute 65 miles one way to work and the 900 is easy on the gas. My biggest complaint is the seat which is as hard as a rock. What I want to know is will this bike’s seat be hard as a rock or nice and soft. You would think that bikes would have soft seats at a minimum. We should not have to buy a mustang. Also, there is alot of plastic on my vulcan so how much plastic is on this bike? I also am looking at the V-Visions but agree with one of the above posters that its an eyefull to take in.

    Later.

  65. Bert says

    Well, at least one of them finally made a V-Twin Touring Bike. It never made sense to have a flat 6 cycinder engine that never let you put comfortable pegs on the bike or feel more car like than a bike. This looks great. I can’t wait to ride one.

  66. Greg says

    I’ve been riding a 1500 Nomad for the last five years and my wife rides a Vulcan 800 with a group of guys that ride mostly HD and in that time I’ve dodged a heat shield, a clutch lever, a hard bag and numerous other parts. None of those parts were made in Japan. We have been on the side of the road waiting for a trailer twice and neither time was it for a Kawasaki. I could have bought HD but until they make a reliable product that is not over priced and stand behind their product they won’t get my hard earned cash. The hardbag was from a brand new Road King. The bag broke around the mount and HD wouldn’t replace it.

  67. Frank says

    More torque, more horsepower, over head cams with four valves per cylinder, counterbalance shafts for less vibration, liquid cooled for greater longevity, air suspension with greater travel, better braking, Ipod ready sound system. If we insist on buying V Twins then this is as good as it gets.

  68. Joe says

    I started in 2000 with a Honda Shadow after looking at a Sportster. In 05 I got a Nomad after looking at a Road King, both times it was economics. I bought what I could afford. My friends ride Harleys and I have tried out the Sportster and the Road King on rides of a hundred miles or so and found the Shadow and my Nomad to have more comfort. It started out for me a money issue, but now I rather ride my Nomad, and I proudly let the dorks that don’t know the difference that they are looking at a Kawasaki

  69. Bear says

    I’ve always hear that copying is the Highest Form of Flatery. So if Kawi looks like a Harley, so be it.

    Harleys are a nice bike, many people like em, I just don’t happen to be one of those people. It shouldn’t make a difference what you ride as long as you ride!

    Can’t wait for the ’09 voyagers to come out….gonna get me one!!

  70. Dave says

    I currently ride a 05 Nomad and love it. I have copied the Harley look by adding a batwing fairing to it. I did this not for the look, but for the function. There were no other options available. Additionally, I have ridden bikes from every major brand and have found that it is not the brand, but the best fit for me. What is comfortable and what will I want to be sitting on for a cross country trip. I like the looks of a Harley, but they are not comfortable for me. I look forward to seeing what the new Nomad and Voyager feel like.

  71. NeDrummer13 says

    There’s always going to be the argument that so and so copied this company and so on..that one type of bike is better and that’s just how it is. I used to be a “Harley Hater”. I had no leg to stand on. Now that I’ve ridden a few, I’m quite impressed. That being said, it wasn’t about the quality or the prestige or even the sound. I’ve ridden LOTS of bikes covering about every style. Every style draws a certain type of rider.

    I currently have a 91 goldwing with 128,000 miles on it. I still love it and it purs like a kitten. It appeals to my practical side knowing that it likely won’t let me down even with the current mileage. One of my favorite bikes that I just sold was my 85 v65 magna. Those of you have ridden one know what the appeal is with this bike. It’s a brutal, strait line road eater (unfortunately, it’s also an ass-eater). I’ve also owned a zx6 ninja (lots of fun but makes me do stupid things), an old Suzuki gs550tx (great little commuter) and a 71 cb175 (just a novelty). Every one was different but I loved them all.

    Since my wife loves to ride but has no desire to ride her own bike, my current tastes are for touring bikes. Of course, being a wing owner, I’m a little biased toward honda (I’ve had great luck with honda cars, generators and of course motorcycles). The friend that I ride with most ride Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha, BMW and HD. Of my friends, none of them are unhappy with their bikes but would love to have another from another company. Different wants and needs yield different tastes. So, with out dragging this out any more, I’ll get to the point. If you put aside prestige (lets be honest, HD has this in the bag), a smart rider should only be concerned with what makes him/her happy. By the looks and specs, the new voyager would be right up my alley. Would I prefer that it resembled a HD a bit less? of course. But if I rode one and fell in love with the way it rides, you can but it will be on my wish list.

    I get a ton of scrutiny for being a 34 year old wing rider but that’s what suits me. We go on long rides, others go faster and handle better but I still walk normal after a couple of hundred miles (makes me a pansy I know). I have no worrys that my Honda will let me down, but I would like to update a little. Right now, I’m still a big fan of Goldwings (want a new 1800 so bad I can taste it) but if I can get the same satisfaction out of a bike that costs 5 grand less and happens to resemble an HD, so be it. P.S. Sorry about the rambling.

  72. James says

    Owned a 97 1500 Vulcan for three four years. Now I have an 03 Road King and an E-glide. The New Voyager is a good looking scooter. One main problem, its a Kawasaki. As all Kawasaki owners know, there are limited after market parts and very little dealer support. Would still own a Kaw but the dealers sell bikes they do ot support their riders.

  73. GARY says

    I have owned every make of bike except a Suzuki. I now own a 03 Ultra Classic. When I saw the new Vulcan at the Int. Mcy show last month, I was ready to buy one until I found out it had a frame mounted fairing and worst of all—–NO CD PLAYER.
    The factory guy said they have an mp3 hook up instead. great now I have to go and buy a mp3 player. Not going to happen.

  74. GARY says

    I would like to make a comment about all the Harley bashing. If it wasn’t for Harley riders being 90 percent of the membership of ABATE – which fights for your motorcycle rights every year, you wouldn’t have a bike to ride. For you old timers might remember back in the 70’s, Sen. Danford almost passed legislation to ban sport bikes. That would have been the start.
    We are all in this together so stop the %$#@ bashing each other and ride what you like.
    Harley has been around longer that all the Jap bikes have and nobody has better loyalty then H-D owners.
    Try to get your jap bike fixed in the middle of of some 3rd world country.
    I have had 5 Harleys and not one of them has given me any major problems or stranded me in the middle of nowhere.
    Someone earlier asked why anyone in their right mind would pay $18,000 for outdated equipment—if I have to explain that you are really a moron. One of the reasons is resale value. How much is your metric bike going to be worth in 10 years? Or will you even be able to find parts for it. Doubt it.
    I have nothing against foreign bikes(I’ve owned a lot), thay have their place—I’ve just outgrown that place.
    If I didn’t have the Harley, I would have the Yamaha Venture Royal. I like the Kawasaki Vulcan better, but with no CD player, it’s not an option.

  75. Claude says

    Honestly as a Harley owner I totally get it. This bike has all the stuff I added to my bike for the price of my bike. I spent about 16K for my Eglide. I spent another 3k fixing all the stuff I didn’t like about it. Great bike, no problems at all. I’m probably the only person posting here that has a pick or two of every brand of bike made. I just love to ride that much. They all have their good and bad about them. There’s not hardly a brand that doesn’t make at least one I would buy. I will say this though, no matter which brand you like, in today’s economy brand-loyalty alone isn’t reason enough to keep buying the same stuff. When I’m looking for my next bike there will be many comparisons. May the best bike FOR ME win. I have NEVER bought anything with wheels worrying about the resale. Its a little more passionate than that. While I will never sell or trade my E-glide , I like some of the styles and features of the other brands. Whatever I come home with, it will share the garage with a Harley! By the way HD may be foreign-owned soon. Look what happened to Chrysler and Budweiser.

  76. ABC says

    Isn’t part of riding a motorcycle suppose to be about the individual choice? If you want to ride a Harley or an import – I don’t care. You’re not riding around in a box, so I’m good with you. Harley riders will always claim they ride the best bike out there and that everything else is just a copy. Import riders will always claim they ride the best bike for the money and that Harley’s are overpriced. I’ll stick with my idea that most people ride what they like and shouldn’t need to explain their reasons.

    Let it go… Take a ride – on whatever you own – and just be happy you’re out on the road.

  77. Stew says

    Willie, Looks like an Ultra Classic to me……….. Right, except for the $6K price difference.

  78. OneMarine says

    While I see some merit to all opinions here, I do feel that the metric riders are missing one point….one significant point.

    However let me say this first: I agree all manufacturers have copied, borrowed, stolen etc. from other manufacturers to some degree at some point! Yes, even Harley has taken from others. I also agree that it is good that people ride what they want too, and that includes bikes from all manufacturers. C’mon though, I like the new Vulcan 1700 Voyager it reminds me of an Ultra slightly more rounded, perhaps a design 5 or 10 years from now……..perhaps. It would be even nicer looking if it maintained it’s curviness but didn’t look as if it were made of wax or an ice sculptor on display near the equator….but I like it!!

    With that said. I strongly believe that the tendency for some in the Lone-Wolf camp to be less forgiving to the metric crowd is not with out merit and heritage. I recall back in the 70s when Harley was hanging on by a thread that each of the big 4 were quoted in various reviews and or publications with comments suggesting that the American air-cooled v-twin was primitive (or a dinosaur..don’t recall specifics) and has no business being on the American road today.

    Well, I can’t even comment on such ludicrous statements even under the umbrella of “it’s just business”. I’m certainly glad their unified efforts to put the nail in Harleys’ coffin was unsuccessful. I’m fairly certain we would not be having this thread today had they been successful, after all I’m quite certain a beautiful new 2000 era touring bike from Kawasaki would not own designers inspired from the grave.

    I’ve owned 5 Harleys to date; 1990 & 1992 FXRS (Lowrider) Convertible, 2000 & 2005 RoadKingClassic and lastly 2007 UltraClassic. I put an average of 20,000 miles on each one in a bout year and never had a problem with any of them. Harley builds a very quality yet “un-refined” motor-cycle…….this is part of their mystique. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. I also defend you for your right to ride a more refined and perhaps more sophisticated bike.

    Let’s ride!! Semper-Fi

  79. Sandman says

    Back in the day, I rode a Triumph 650 the only thing got me before 3rd gear was a Kaw or Zuk. In Oklahoma City, The Police & Highway Patrol would not come after us, exspecially if we took these street bikes off road, they went to KAWs. Now I love the way a Harley looks, I don’t like the ride but I can deal with it. I ride hard and I ride long and Harley’s maintenance record is not that great compared to a KAW or ZUK. I don’t buy just for looks, I buy for durability and dependability, but here lately everybody has improved in quality. but I still see and here the horror stories about Harleys. I promised my self I would only by a full Dresser unless Kaw built one, that was 30yrs ago., now they have. In 2008 I caught my self looking at a Goldwing they come along way. But then I saw the 1700 Voyager, they should have used the Vulcan 2000 for the power and torque. In comparrision it rides and looks more like a Goldwing than a Harley.

  80. Krooser says

    Looks like a beautiful bike…….too bad it took so long……..the price ($17,000) is disapointing and will hurt it’s sales. Harley is still king in the V-Twin Cruiser class…..even though Kaw & Yamaha do a good job.
    Krooser

  81. Drew says

    I have one on order and just wondering if anyone knows about installing a CB in this bike.

  82. Molinoman says

    I’d like to take a little issue with the gentleman who said that Triumph came out with two models that are basically copies of Harley’s.

    I will preface this by saying I used to have utter contempt for Harley’s, their “reliable” reputation was well know back 20 or so years ago and it wasn’t pretty….blame AMF or prior years of HD but it wasn’t something to be to proud of. However in the last 20 years or so they have come along way in my opinion in terms of reliability and “craftsmanship” (read: paint jobs) and some comfort along the way. I even almost got a 100th Anniversary edition in 2003 while I was working in Djibouti but they could only allot 8 Ultra Electra Glides to military sales in the mid-east (at least that was what I was told) and I was number 11 on the list, so two Gold Wings later I got over it. Still like them to where I would think of buying them but they come with two big disadvantages that keep me from wanting one these days and that is lack of a water cooled engine (on a tourer…means less HP and torque plus a horrible time in trying to meet EPA standards that create a pretty hot ride) and dare I say it…the price. I do not mind spending money for a motorcycle to an extent ($18,600 for first 2003 Gold Wing, $19,600 for my second 2006 Gold Wing, $20,050 for my 2007 Rocket III Classic (loaded) as long as I get what I perceive as value for my money.

    Does the Triumph Rocket III Touring look simalar to a Harley a little if you count the saddle bags and Triumph dropping the dual headlights for a single. Other than that there is the engine 2300 cc’s, shaft drive and the name. The big joke for a lot of the Triumph posters is that Triumph lowered the HP from 140 down to 106 so that Harley riders would be more “comfortable” with riding it (that’s meant as a joke get over it). Throw in 154 ft/lbs of torque and you forget quickly that Triumph might have “borrowed” the saddle bag look trying to make it look like a Harley.

    The second one is the Thunderbird, a verticle twin cylinder engine, one muffler on each side new motorcycle that I guess if you look at the fact that it has two wheels, the belt drive, a seat, handlebars and a single headlight…you might say that Triumph borrowed from Harley, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha…and oh yeah itself in designing this bike.

    For crying out loud, I’m in Afghanistan presently, but you guys can actually go out and ride…do it and forget about all the crap of who is copying who and what one model doesn’t have over another (one even mentioned that the poor new Kawasaki Voyager didn’t have a CD player….wah….I think most of us have moved on to Ipods or other players and most of us don’t worry about skipping anymore). In other words different manufacturers make bikes based on what they think they will sell, buy what turns YOU on and don’t worry about what someone else is riding, if they are enjoying theirs don’t ruin their day by dissing their choice.

    Ride safe,

    Dennis

  83. Mark says

    1996 Excelsior came out with the specs for the new Super X. 85 ci. motor, dual overhead cams, fuel injection, 5 speed. Who copied who?
    The Voyager is a really nice bike. It’ll look great next to my Excelsior and my Concours.

  84. Kodiakmac says

    I don’t get all wound up in this ‘who-had-it-first’ stuff. Matchless had V-Twins before Harley and Yamaha had a mono-shock system on their Virago line before H-D came out with the soft-tail line. Who cares. Harley has made some junk but so has Honda, Kawasaki and all the others. On the other hand, all these companies have built some damn fine motorcycles; I know, I’ve owned and rode them all…the good and the bad.

    So leave the brand loyalty crap in the elementary school playgrounds where it belongs. As far as the cruiser segment goes, it’s all about the ride, not the horse.

  85. says

    They may look like a Harley, because, lets face it, how many variations can you really have on a motorcycle. I’m sure the similarities end there. Technologically, and maintenance wise, its probably way ahead of HD. Isn’t motorcycling supposed to be about our independence, yet the same people that say that will run down any other motorcycle. I guess if it doesn’t get so hot on the back of the cylinder it almost sets your pants on fire, cost 50% more, leak oil, and always need maintenance, then its not a real motorcycle? The Voyager appears to be a beautiful bike, with the ability to go coast to coast with no problem.

  86. Rick says

    I just picked up my 2009 Voyager and have put about 100 miles on it. This bike is really nice!! The exhaust is louder than most bikes with factory exhaust and the ride is very smooth!! This bike corners effortlessly and handles very nice. Last year I owned a 2008 Nomad 1600 and this bike has way more power and get up and go than the Nomad. The sound system is nice and the volume pods down automatically when you slow down. I have not gone on a long ride yet but I am looking forward to it. My wife says the passanger seat is very comfortable and she can hear the stereo just fine from her seat.

  87. Ole Man says

    Why is there so much hate expressed in here? It seem’s to me that if you ride any Motorcycle it is better than none! I’m 71 and just traded a 03 GL1800 Goldwing with 91,000 miles on it, for a 09 Voyager & I only have 172 miles on it now. So far I’m fairly pleased with 29th bike. I’ve owned Harley’s BSA, Triumph, Ducati, Indian, BMW Suszuki, Yamaha and even a Wizard also an you know what, I loved them all. So if you are thrilled with your bike thats great, but you don’t have to put everyone else down because they ride something different. Come on grow up and have fun with what you have. Even the good ole boys in NASCAR are racing Toyotas.

  88. Ron A. says

    I just bought one of these on in impulse and all I can say is wow they got this one way right.All you haters can say it’s just a knock off and, you are right to a point,I come from a biker family (yea all Harley riders) and 11 years ago when I wanted to buy my first “new” Harley I got so ticked off at thier scams I told the dealer that not only would I not buy a bike from them but, Harley would not get one red cent from me ever again and I drove to the metric shop and bought my first Kawi and never looked back (accept to laugh at thier price tags on everything they scam the customer with)
    If you can get one one of these and test drive it,it will end up in your garage too.

  89. merli12743 says

    As for me i can afford to buy almost any kind of bike i want.but the plain truth is i want something reliable and can go for long distance drives.as for hd yes they are very nice,but i don’t want to wake the neighbors up when i get home,second you have to look at reliability issues.i have so many friends with hd and go to south Dakota for the festival and come back and say we only had 2 breakdowns there and coming back.Thats not what i want to hear,Yes every biker can have breakdowns but if you look at the stats hd breaks down more than everyone else.

  90. Steve S says

    Saw it had to have it, so now that I have it what do I think, awsome. I have rode a Vulcan 1600 for the past 6 yrs, but wanted the extras fairing w/radio, trunk and hard bags. This bike was just what I wanted and for the price you bet. Ride is great, very conforable. Down sides, gets a little hot on right side heat from engine get pretty hot.
    And I wish Kawasaki would get up to speed with accessories. Very little out there however when the after market parts come out most for the 1700 Nomad will fit. I have fitted my trunk with a chrome rack made for a harley. But all in all very please with my new cruizer.

  91. Rick R says

    I purchased a 2009 Nomad 1700 in April 2009 and have had some significant (to me) electronic problems. (poor idle performance, some backfiring, sticking throttle). These problems border on dangerous, particularly if riding in traffic or on twisty roads. As Kawasaki would not provide a new Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to try to remedy the problem, my dealer, who owns a 1700 Voyager, swapped out his ECU for mine. Kawasaki distributed a directive to wait 12 seconds after starting the bike without touching the throttle. While swapping ECUs solved most of my problems, my dealer’s Voyager inherited all of my previous problems until Kawasaki sent him a new ECU. Problem is, before the swap my dealer could get underway without waiting the suggested 12 second period. Now, with his new ECU, he has to wait the prescribed 12 second period before riding off or the throttle response is screwed up for the first 10-15 minutes of riding, as do I with the ECU that used to be in his Voyager. Other than that, I have 11,000 miles on the Nomad now. I previously owned the 1600 Nomad and loved it. This 1700 has its problems in comparison.

  92. Albie says

    Only those who don’t know much about motorcyles can say it looks like a Harley. The saddlebags are completely different. The fairing is not the Harley bat wing style. The fenders, side covers, dash, windshield and the rest of the bike is different. I bought one and it is a nice bike. If you see a Harly going down the road no one is going to say it looks like a Voyager. Put them side by side and make a real visual comparison and you will see there is a lot of difference.

  93. Rick says

    I bought my Voyager in June and right off the bat I had 2 major issues with it. The first was a cracked handle bar hold down. That took about 3 weeks to get a new one shipped in. The second was a hole in the front cylinder jug. I had antifreeze weeping out and that was about a month to get that fixed. I like the ride very much but on this bike I am getting very poor milage. I owned a 2008 Nomad last year that was a 1600 (would still have it but got hit by a car that ran a stop sign) and I got about 48 miles to the gallon with that bike. According to the electronic milage recorder on the Voyager I am getting 37.6 miles to the gallon. The frequent trips the pump makes me believe that I might even be getting less. I know this is a bigger bike but the Harleys I’m riding with seem to never have to stop. I would like to know what kind of mileage you guys are getting and if anybody else had any issues with a hole in the cast of the cylinder jug.

  94. Moose says

    Harley!, Harley!, Harley! … Evidently, all you walking billboards for Harley Davidson, have never truly understood the difference between image and performance! The Japanese & Brits, have made motorcycles designed for performance and economy. Harley keeps making under-powered battle tanks of chrome, and spare parts. Heritage? More like “Why improve on our motorcycles, when we can find all these uneducated, and novice riders to buy them!”
    Keep up the great work at Kawasaki. These bikes are bullet-proof and experienced rider tested.

  95. Emack says

    The 2010 Voyager looks nothing like a Harley… in fact that is what I like about it. Not to mention the fly by wire, standard 6 speed transmission, water cooled, leg vents, awesome lines! Much more pleasing to look at than the boxy Harleys. The only thing I have a problem with is resale values.

  96. merli12743 says

    Well i have owned a few motorcycles and hear a lot of whining about this ones better than that one. Cant anyone just like a bike for the sake of a bike i bought a 09 voyager very happy with it.Yes i make enough that i could have easily bought a HD.,or a BMW or any other for that matter.I personally liked the ride and the styling.I have friends that i ride with who drive full dressed hd.Many have asked to ride my bike,they all seemed to like it and i have also rode theirs.Its all about PERSONAL CHOICE!

  97. Ewan Callison says

    I’ve don about 800 miles on mine here in Scotland. Whatsurprises me most is the handling. Very impressive for a big bike.

  98. Larry says

    Well, I am on my third Kawi, and as far as I am concerned I hope that everyone that owns a bike, like me they are riding what they want. I too looked at the Ultra Classic and I did test ride one. I chose the Kawasaki Voyager because of the reliability, looks and last but not least, the price. Harleys are good bikes but I just can not justify the price just to say, “I own a Harley”. But as I have said many time, “to each his own”. Ride safe everyone, no matter what you ride, STAY SAFE

  99. Loren says

    In my opinion the this bike looks nothing like a Harley. The hardbags are shaped nothing like Harley sidebags, nor does harley produce a 1700 engine. The new Kawasaki 2000 LT will probably be a voyager next year. Does Harley produce a 2000cc motorcycle ? The answer is no! and probley never will unless they copy Kawasaki. Ride what you want, Its all about the ride.

  100. jdstein says

    I ride an old Yamaha Virago 1100. It’s nice, but not for touring and it’s really not that nice to ride over about 60 mph.

    I am looking for a big engine with lots of power, smooth, rock-solid ride at 80 mph on the highway (like a BMW I want it to feel and handle like I’m doing 40), super comfortable passenger seat, and a decent amount of storage space.

    I want it to look cool, and honestly I think Harleys look the coolest, but I am not going to spend the money to have the absolutely coolest looking thing on the road. To do that for me would prob cost around 30k.

    I don’t really like fairings, but looks wise, they seem to go better with the touring seat/trunk/backrest better than the windshields. However, I am seriously also looking at the Road King classic with similar touring seat.

    Most likely I will end up buying a Voyager in a year or two — prob. three year old model, low miles. If the extra money for the Harley gave me more that just being a bit cooler looking (and i bit more stable resale value), I might spend it (or if i just happen to have some extra money to throw around). But the reality is that’s all I would get for the extra money — cooler looking and a bit better resale value.

  101. jean says

    i only see that the last models of Harley are copy´s of Japanese motor´s
    more expensive and not reliable
    a few of my friends buy a Harley but the told me never again, next time a Japanese.
    the are more reliable just after the winter stop new oil in it and your driving again,
    with a harley you need a half new engine , so in my eyes it totaly expensive rubbish

  102. Mike Badgley says

    Seems all the HD fans are forgetting one thing – $$$. The Kawasaki lists for $4-$5k less than the Ultra Classic. In fact, right now you can find brand new 2009’s for $13,000

  103. Bill says

    I’d rather have the Voyager. It’s bigger more comfortable and has better accesories. However Harley has a cooler clothing line. You can’t wear a Harley shirt and jacket and ride a Metric Cruiser. So you have to make a decision, if you want to look cool at the bar you have to ride an Inferior bike. I’ll never be concidered Cool anyway so I’ll just keep rideing bikes that fit my needs.I Love My Vulcan.