I moved from the 900LT to the 1700 Voyager. It isn't the Nomad; but they built from the same platform.
Obviously the power is better with more CCs. The 900 could get up and go, the 1700 does it without trying.
Locking storage is a big plus.
The 900 has a mono-shock rear suspension, with a pain in the @ss adjustable rebound. The 1700s have two rear shocks with four easy rebound settings and they are air adjustable. The rear suspension is a HUGE improvement in the 1700s.
I really like how my Voyager feels in the turns compared to my 900, I am not sure how much is a result of weight, rake, or trail. But, I feel like I get more feedback and I am planted better.
Slow speed maneuvers are supposed to be harder on a heavier bike. But, I prefer my VV in everything except a quick decision stop. My short legs, have to get down in a hurry!
The 900 classics have pretty wide bars and that means a lot of movement to get from left stop to right stop. I don't know about the Nomads bars.
I liked my 900; but I would trade up to a 1700 again anyday!
__________________ 2012 Voyager
Pearl Alpine White/Pearl Luster Beige
Happiness does not consist in pastimes and amusements but in virtuous activities.
The 900 is a great fun, quick bike, but I found it lacking in the top end power department as well as a little undersized for 2-up riding, partially due to how the rear suspension is in the 900. I also found only 5 gears a bit annoying for freeway (70+) riding.
The 1700 take care of all of that, plenty of top end power, great for 2-up riding (kitting it out for tourning) and I love the 6th gear on the freeway.
I still have the 900 and I am stripping it down to make it a solo/bobber style cruiser. The 900 is smooth...but that is partly due to the suspension settings over the 1700.
San Diego Vulcan Riders, chapter 1-24
The Green Machine - 2009 VN1700 Classic
Silver Streak - 2008 VN900 Classic
I had a 950 Tourer and loved the bike because I am only 5'6" and at stop signs I am flat footed. I traded it in for a 2011 Nomad and do not regret it at all. I have to stretch my feet when at a stop sign, but the power and smooth ride makes it all worth while. I am thinking about possibly lowerig the rear suspension next summer as I hear it can be lowered 1.5" without screwing anything up. I was always looking for another gear when I was on the highway with the 950 and the Nomad with 6 gears just floats down the road. I also really love the cruse control feature. One thing I will say is even though it is liquid cooled, it does throw out alot of heat, but it's a 1700 cc motor and even the Harley guys say big motors, big heat. It's not unbearable, but is does get warm when it's 90 outside. I have only had mine since mid September, and only have about 400 miles on it because I am always at work. I inted to ride the heck out of it next year.
If you go with a Nomad, you won't be dissappointed at all.
New 2011 1700 Nomad Blue/Silver Sept 9, 2012
Upgrades: Kawi Lite Bar
2009 Yamaha 950 Tourer
2007 Yamaha Majesty
Bikes in another life time:
Honda CB 750
Honda 350 scrambler
Honda 90 sport
+1 on the Nomad. I had a '10 model and really liked it, save for its inability to safely tow my Bunkhouse camper trailer. Just not the right platform. Other than that, compared to the 900 (which I have now and really like) it is smoother, cushier, more powerful and more relaxed at elevated highway speeds. It's not a bad 2-up bike, either. It doesn't get the great gas mileage that the 900 gets, but the trade offs are worth it, like automotive-style cruise control and the on-board computer and self-cancelling turn signals. The first thing that impressed me about the Nomad was it's handling. Not only does it handle well in the twisties, it is very well balanced and easy to handle at slow, parking lot speeds. If you're contemplating moving up to the Nomad, don't give it a second thought.
Oh yeah, some have said that the saddlebags are cheesy and flimsy, but I didn't find that to be true. I think they're plenty strong, and I love the fact that they lock. And the seat isn't bad for a factory seat.
"Don't sweat the small stuff---it's all small stuff"
I just went from an 08 900 Custom to a 2012 1700 Nomad. I'm a very happy owner! If the vibration is a big issue for you the Nad gets rid of that. The electronic cruise control is one of the best features I could ask for. A comfortable OEM seat! Lockable storage is a big plus.
Now, there are a couple things that are not quite as good as they could be. The first one is, shifting is really clunky in the first 3 gears. The 900 shifts much easier. The second is the fuel mileage. It will never be as good as the 900. I always got 45mpg on my 900. Even running at 85 mph. A lot! The Nad gets around 40 if I stay at 70. When I get a little energetic it goes down. Fast!
However I do believe the trade offs are worth it. The engine puts out so much more power you don't need to hurry up and shift!
I suggest you go for the Nad!
2012 Nomad 1700
Cobra Luggage Rack
Airlite Crash Bar Chaps
Kuryakyn Offset Highway Pegs
Vulcan Emblem on Passenger Back Rest
Fire and Steel Light Bar
Signal Dynamics Headlight Modulator
Wolo Bad Boy Horn
Kuryakyn Power Point
Back Off XP Brake Light Modulator
I had a 2008, vulcan 900 lt but wrecked it and got a 2011, vulcan 1700 nomad. I rode the 900 for 30k miles and really enjoyed the ride. I have 12k on my nomad and like the way it rides also. If the 900 had cruise control, hydraulic valve lifters, self canceling turn signals, and 2 trip meters, I would choose the 900 over the 1700, otherwise the 1700 is my choice. The 900 is easier to handle.
Can't compare with the 1700 Nomad, but just upgraded from my 9'er Custom to a 1600 Nomad (a little bit longer) and I can say the following (my opinions only, YMMV, and I'm responding before I read any of the other threads to keep my thoughts unadulterated) -
Looks - Nomad. I got a LOT of compliment on my 900, but I get WAY MORE on my Nomad.
Twisties - 900. The Nomad just doesn't flick around quite as easily, and I don't have as much confidence, at speed, in the corners with the Nomad, as she tends to "dance" a bit more. It's not unsafe, but she just doesn't seem to lean and settle as well as my 9'er did. The 1600 was the longest of the Nomad line, though, so the 1700 may be better. This could also be that I haven't dialed up the right settings on the air shocks/forks too. Swapping out for a heavier fork oil helps, so I've heard, and there are progressive shocks available too.
Highway cruising - Nomad. Not as rev happy, more passing torque/oomph, more solidly planted, smoother riding, less wind blown, better sound... FANTASTIC. Enjoyed my 9'er, but the Nomad just does the highway 200% better.
Mileage - 900. Hands down. 43-48 on the 9'er, average about 36-40 on the Nomad. Can be less with a heavy wrist. Higher displacement does that, and historically, the Nomad doesn't fare as well as some of the cruisers of similar size/power (i.e. Victory Cross Country). Plus, you have to use the higher octane gas to avoid the knock/ping, which costs a bit more, and can still get some knock/ping even with that. A fuel controller solves that issue though.
2-up comfort - Nomad. Duh. The wife didn't mind the 9'er, but LOVES the Nomad's extra comfort. There's more space for the passenger, a better riding position, and in my case, floorboards instead of pegs. Plus, stock grab rails and a much nicer backrest.
Storage - Nomad. Locking color matched hard bags. 'Nuff said.
Maintenance - Nomad. My 1600 has an extra oil check/change with the shaft drive, but the 1700 is belt. NO VALVE ADJUSTMENT. The regular oil change is actually easier too, IMO, but the 900 wasn't hard at all. I haven't had to mess with the brakes yet, though, and checking tire pressures is a bit tougher. Plus, you get Gadget's page (for the 1500/1600 anyway). BONUS
Braking - Nomad. It's bigger and heavier, but braking just seems... more natural. Even emergency braking feels better with those double rotors up front.
Accessories - Nomad. There's more juice available for the electrics (driving lights, extra brake/signal lights, etc.) and more space for the "add-ons", IMO.
City/slow-speed - Push. Both seem to handle just fine, and I don't see where all the hype about Nomads being beasts at slow speed comes from. I haven't had any issues at all. The Nomad runs a LOT warmer than the 9'er though. The 9'er is also quicker off the line, if you're into that, but once you get a bit into the torque range of 1st gear, that advantage disappears quickly.
Overall - Nomad. (but I wish I could have kept them both) If there's anything else ya wanna ask, let me know. I'm always willing to share my opinion, but again, YMMV.
BACA Pretzel - Flyin' the highways in OK!
'08 Vulcan 1600 Nomad - "Grace"
Metallic Diablo Black/Candy Fire Red
Vance and Hines Duals
Kuryakyn Flame grips with Throttle Boss and Stiletto endcaps
Kuryakyn Longhorn offset highway pegs
Vista throttle lock
OEM light bar and luggage rack
B.A.C.A. Member, Oklahoma Chapter
Out to pasture - 2008 Vulcan 900 Custom: Redemption
It is amazing how quickly we get spoiled with the electronic do dads isn't it? Never mind the greatly improved riding and performance. There are 125cc bikes now that would run circles around those 350-450's we rode 40 years ago... and they were fast then..... or at least we thought they were.
Things not even heard of 40-50 years ago, and things I was not interested in 30 years ago, I can't live without now.... or even look at a scoot without them... I didn't think you could ever do better than a tubeless tire when I got my first scoot with them.... 34 years ago...
__________________ Bubba in TX
2011 Voyager "Betty Clunker"
A bad day on a motorcycle is better than a good day in a car
Some people collect T-shirts
I actually ride
Voyager 1700 owners...
WRAP your pipes.... You will be glad you did...
Nye County Nevada
Motor Officer Retired