900 lt to 1700 nomad - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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900 lt to 1700 nomad

A dog walked into my path while I was coming back from San Antonio and was forced to make a decision to get another 900 lt or a Nomad. I decided to get the Nomad as I had no experience with larger bikes than the 900 lt. I had the 900 lt for 3 years (2008) and put 40000 miles on it. The 900 lt treated me like a well made bike and we had a great time touring together. It took me to Alberta Canada, Sturgis South Dakota, Louisville Kentucky, Creede Colorado, Arkansas and San Antonio Texas.

My first impression of the Nomad was a little disappointing. The gear ratio's were different and I had trouble finding how each worked best. I use second gear to turn a corner on the 900 lt with no problem but the Nomad would hesitate or "chug" around the corner in second gear. I tried first gear and it worked better. I was able to figure out where other gears on the Nomad were more suitable for the speed I was going to prevent the "chug". I finally felt like I had mastered the gears until I tried shifting to sixth gear. I got the "chug" again. I stayed in fifth gear for most of an 800 mile trip I took the Nomad on to test it out.

The sound was the most noticeable difference I found between the 900 lt and the Nomad. The Nomad had a more pleasant sound at all speeds. Not the harsh tone the 900 lt has at higher speeds. I found the riding comfort to be about the same on both bikes. The added features found on the Nomad such as cruise control, two trip meters, a gear position indicator, more room in the saddle bags, which locked, and the oil dipstick instead of a glass window were nice to have.

I visited the 900 lt in the storage yard where the Insurance people took it. It was a sad occasion to see it there, not the shiny bike I rode with pride but one full of scratches and dents. We had good times together.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 05:15 PM
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How is the 1700's fuel mileage compared to the 900. That is the one and only thing that is keeping me from getting a 1700. My 900 Classic LT gets consistently 54 Imperial mpg brim to brim and with corrected odometer as per GPS. I can't see dropping down to high 30's or low 40's.

Brian

'09 900 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic LT, titanium/white, tach, Kawasaki light bar, CTEK battery maintainer, Powerlet outlets for GPS, cell phone, etc. Mustang touring seat.
Eastern Beaver headlamp/driving lamp relay kit. Eastern Beaver 3CS fused accessory circuits. Matazu
luggage rack. LED bulbs, Rumble LED turn signal relay, Grote LED driving lamps installed in oem driving light housings. Michelin Commander II tires. Laconia luggage bag by T BAGS.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 05:41 PM
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For the first 2600 miles my 1700 has averaged 38mpg. 6th gear is really tall on the Nomad best for 65 plus mph for sure IMO.

Randy - aka racinfan101
2010 Vulcan Nomad 1700, 2008 Vulcan Mean Streak, 2002 Vulcan Drifter 800
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 08:55 PM
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Man I can never get higher then 45 mpg on my "LT"

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jace Bror View Post
Man I can never get higher then 45 mpg on my "LT"
Remember now, I said 54 Imperial which is 45 US, just like you said you sometimes got. I get 45-48 US but I do not drive much over 90 kmh ( 56 mph) and most riding is done 2 up. Easy on the throttle and keep speed at speed limit. I still like the 1700 so I'm wondering with my driving habits if the 1700 could see 40 US on a regular basis. I fill my bike every 400 km (250 miles). Can the 1700 maybe do this?

Brian

'09 900 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic LT, titanium/white, tach, Kawasaki light bar, CTEK battery maintainer, Powerlet outlets for GPS, cell phone, etc. Mustang touring seat.
Eastern Beaver headlamp/driving lamp relay kit. Eastern Beaver 3CS fused accessory circuits. Matazu
luggage rack. LED bulbs, Rumble LED turn signal relay, Grote LED driving lamps installed in oem driving light housings. Michelin Commander II tires. Laconia luggage bag by T BAGS.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 06:42 AM
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I ride easy I get 39 I ride hard I get 37 usually not two up since the wife has her own. Not sure you will be able to get much over 40 with the stock 1700. Hopefully somebody with more miles on their 1700 and who rides two up more often can weigh in. I think with more miles it will improve and I have heard if you do the right mods and tune it right you can break 40.

Randy - aka racinfan101
2010 Vulcan Nomad 1700, 2008 Vulcan Mean Streak, 2002 Vulcan Drifter 800
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 08:12 AM
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I had a 1700 Nomad for awhile, and while I like the bike, I had a hard time coming to terms with the gearing, especially 5th and 6th, where it felt like there was no power. The bike is well-appointed, and comfortable, and handles well. My gas mileage averaged about 41--42 mpg but I can't comment on 2-up gas mileage, as my wife rides her own bike. I can say that it handles well with a passenger on board, and it doesn't seem to make much difference to the engine whether you're 1 or 2-up.

Now for the (extremely) downside. I pull a Bunkhouse camper trailer. The Gold Wing does a superb job of doing that. I figured the Nomad would, too, so I put a trailer hitch on the bike. The first time out with it, we went to Osoyoos, BC, Canada for a rally. I never could get the trailer to settle down and be stable behind the Nomad. No matter how I arranged the weight in it, it was always sashaying side to side to one degree or another. Made me really nervous. Then, coming to a stop on a slight downhill grade, as soon as I touched the brakes, it nearly went into a tank slapper and was headed for the ditch no matter what I did. Fortunately I was able to muscle my way out of that before it got really bad!! I decided right then to get rid of the Nomad ASAP! The other issue was gas mileage. There was no power going up long hills and I had to gear down. On some of the longer, steeper hills, I was in 4th gear with the throttle pinned to the stop and I could only manage 40--45 mph, and my gas mileage indicator let me know that I was getting a whopping 17 mpg on the expensive premium gas. YIKES!! That was with a stiff headwind. Minus the wind, I was rewarded with gas mileage in the low to mid-20's, and upper 20's to 32 mpg on the level with no headwind.

I say all of this to let you know that while the Nomad 1700 is a fine motorcycle, there are some negative sides to it as well. I think if Kawasaki re-thinks the gearing it could transform it into a much more tractable bike. I wouldn't recommend towing a heavy trailer like a camper trailer. The Bunkhouse weighs 325 lb. empty, and when I've weighed it in travel mode, loaded up, it tips the scales at 500--550 lb. I suspect that towing a small cargo trailer would be OK and have a much smaller penalty on the gas mileage. With the price of gasoline being what it is these days, that is a major consideration. If I were going for a larger displacement cruiser, I'd consider the Victory Crossroads or Cross Country before the Vulcan. A little more spend, but much more and better motorcycle, IMO.

"Don't sweat the small stuff---it's all small stuff"

'09 650 VStrom
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