We don't appreciate these Vulcans enough - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Northern Virginia
Year/Make/Model: 2011 Nomad
Displacement/CC's: 1700
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We don't appreciate these Vulcans enough

Just had my 15K mile service on my Nomad at 16.5K miles after about 16 months. Bike is running so smooth.

I've read a bit about the Milwaukee 8 and went to Harley's website to check out the Road King, which would be the equivalent of my Nomad. To get two tone paint (like my Nomad) and a passenger backrest, we're talking $21,070. That's $10,000 more than I paid for my new leftover Nomad a bit over a year ago. I see lots of very nicely priced brand new Vulcans (Voyagers, Vaquero's, even a few of the now discontinued Nomads) a year or more old. They're great deals.

Is the Harley with a Milwaukee 8 worth $10K more than a 1700 Vulcan? Everyone has their own preferences and beefs about their bikes, and I'm sure the new Road King (largely disfavored for the models with fairings, like the Kawis --- Voyager and Vaquero go on but Nomad discontinued) is a nice bike. But 10K more?

I really love my Nomad. (Loved my 900 too.) I just have a hard time believing the Harleys are worth $10K more. One of the maintenance guys in my shop has an Ultra and argued with me the other day when I suggested that the Harley's may have better fit and finish. He looked at mine (nothing fancy) and said "what are you complaining about?" I might disagree with him, as I do think some of the Harley's look nice. But $10K more?

I wonder why the Vulcans don't sell well compared to Road Kings, Rode Glides, and Road Glides Ultras (and regular Ultras). I really don't get it.

I do get the value of easier customization for the Harleys, which is due mainly to their popularity. But $10K more?

Maybe guys are getting deals on their Harleys. OK. How about $5K more. $5K more?

Just musing.

Happy and safe riding,

2011 Nomad: Black & Metallic Gray, Chuckster's Light Bar, Rac'nRay's Throttle Mod, Homemade Oversize Lowers, Kawasaki Trunk, Ivan's Flash

2014 900 Classic LT: (Sold to a happy buyer)
1975 Suzuki GT 185 (Great little twin)
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 08:24 PM
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Location: South East South Dakota
Year/Make/Model: 2014 Kawasaki Vaquero
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I agree with you VulcanDan61.
Harley Davidson makes beautiful motorcycles and I really like the road glide and street glide. Matter of fact, I almost bought a street glide with the 103 engine. But you'r'e paying a lot for the name on the side of the bike. I picked up my vaquero with only 1340 miles on it for less than 10k. No way I am getting a street glide for that price with that low of mileage.
Some people are willing to pay more for basically the same thing, but I am not one of those people. The more I ride my vaquero the more I like it. Even the guys at work that have Harleys admit that my bike is really nice, then they tease me (in jest) that I don't have a Harley. I think they are jealous because my bike is just as nice as theirs but at half the price

2014 Vaquero ABS
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:05 PM
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It's got everything to do with advertising. Just look at the HD ad's and the way they push the "brotherhood" thing. A lot of people are into that plus the perceived image. They definitely kill all the other brands with the amount of accessories you can pick up in store instead of having to order online for the majority of metric parts. They make some nice bikes for sure.....just not nice enough to demand that kind of cash in my opinion.

2012 Kawasaki Voyager
Thunder Manufacturing Round Air Kit
Dynojet PCV Fuel Processor
Dynojet AT-300 Autotune Module
Freedom Performance True Dual's (racing Baffles)
Kuryakyn Offset Highway Pegs
Michellin Commander ll's Front & Back
RacnRay's Throttle Grip
iPod Connector
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:17 PM
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I agree with the above it has every thing to do with how people look at the motorcycle culture. Harley is the first name that comes to mind when you even at first glance talk about motorcycles. They are the old name they are the recognized name they are the name that says motorcycles. They are the name in just about every movie produced about bikes. They are the god of motorcycles at least the public opinion on most part. They have had that name from day one practically.

So when you think of Motorcycles Kawasaki comes in as one of the dead last. Indian above us and Honda even as they were there long before us. Amazing bike yes the Vulcan is just amazing and the best price point out there for the buck and for finish and quality and looks if you ask me.

Its the culture nothing more nothing lest they do not have better finish or quality they have a name they can charge for and they know it very well.

I think point well made.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:56 PM
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People are going to Harley more cause they offer 30 year financing and a free trailer.
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2006 Vulcan 900 classic
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Cobra Light Bar
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by GFISH View Post
People are going to Harley more cause they offer 30 year financing and a free trailer.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 07:22 AM
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Year/Make/Model: 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager
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Last fall, I was toying around with the idea of getting a new bike. I really looked into the Harley Rode Glide Ultra. Loved the way it looked and the features. The second closest dealer (the closest dealer are not very nice people) would not let me take a 2017 for a test ride, but they did let me test ride a 2016. It was really smooth, but cramped. Well when it came to pricing a 17 out, it was close to 31k before tax. OUCH. I was also looking at a used 2012 Voyager non ABS with 1500 miles on it at the same time. I passed on both at the time because of price. Well come February 2017, I saw that my Kawi dealer had a new 2015 Voyager on the floor. I asked my salesman about it and he was able to knock about 4k off the price. I got them to throw in a few extras and split the 3 year extended warranty with me. Out the door was $12,500. So for roughly half the price, I got just as good of a bike, if not better.

That said, I would like to see Kawi offer more factory support for the Vulcan line.

2015 Vulcan 1700 Voyager
Ivan's ECU ~ Kuryakyn Long Horn Highway Pegs ~ Chucksters Risers ~ Grasshopper Backrest ~ Dual Horns ~ 34024-1330 Kickstand ~ Kawi Gel Front Seat

2008 Vulcan 900 Classic LT - Traded
2002 Honda CB250 Nighthawk - Sold after 15k miles
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 09:58 AM
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I think most of us here appreciate Vulcans for what they are.
But, I think to appreciate them takes a certain kind of mindset.
One that evaluates the cost/value ratio with more emphasis on quantifiable attributes like dependability, performance or affordability instead of un-measurable things like coolness, style or feeling like you're part of an exclusive group.

*First, some good things about HD and reasons to buy one.

They are THE cool brand.
Doesn't matter who rode a Triumph back in the day or what top notch racer is riding Ducati at the Isle of Man TT. More people think of HD as the pinnacle of motorcycles than any other brand.

They are the brand of 'cruiser' style.
They set the image; so everything else is compared to the 'original'. Kinda like DeNiro or Pesci playing an Italian mobster.

As an entity, they provide better customer service than any other brand out there. There are dealerships and service shops for Harley all over the country, maintenance parts are on the shelf or in stock nearby. Out for a ride with nowhere to go?...HD dealerships have a party atmosphere with free drinks and clean restrooms.

*Now, some douchy things about HD that great marketing has pushed as reasons to buy one.

They are the patriotic brand. American flags and bald eagles everywhere.
Doesn't matter that they buy the suspension from Japan, the brakes from Italy and nearly all aftermarket chrome from China. It meets their bottom line better.
You shouldn't be concerned about your bottom line when you make purchases though.

They are the brand for people with discriminating taste.
Convincing people they are the pinnacle of motorcycling is only half of the marketing brilliance. They've also convinced multitudes of people that 'settling' for a Japanese bike indicates poor taste and deserves derision.

I like the Road King and the Road Glide Ultra; they are very nice bikes. But my R3T is every bit as good of a bike as the RK and miles better in performance.
The Road Glide Ultra is providing a lot of bells & whistles that other full dress touring cruisers haven't caught up to yet; but with a 26k+ pricetag I'd stick with the Voyager even though it doesn't have a touchscreen or hands free security system.

So, the question is "are they worth 'X dollar' amount more"?
I think most of us here would say no.
But, to some; image is everything. And to others, the customer service; dealer on every corner is a big plus. Those people evaluate the cost/value ratio from a different perspective.

As long as they aren't @sshats more power to em. Ride and let ride.


2012 Voyager 1700 ---SOLD
Pearl Alpine White/Pearl Luster Beige

2011 Rocket III Touring
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2016 Indian Roadmaster
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 11:58 AM
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My brother once told me that most all Harley owners are on a 1st name basis with the service manager at their local dealer. I think he meant it as a friendly atmosphere kind of thing. I could not tell you the name of anyone working at our local Kawasaki dealership. At the time, he owned an Intruder, but wanted a Harley. He finally got one, an 09 Ultra Classic, and it was a left over he bought in Feb. of 2010. We were on a ride one day when he twisted his ankle and could not ride back home. I came home, got the van and went back for him and his wife, and rode his bike 87 miles back for him. Was so glad to get home and park it. Rode ok and power was good, but it was the most uncomfortable bike I ever rode. He also had the back lowered 1" right after buying it because of the reach to the ground. I also did not like the reach to the ground, even after being lowered. The ergos of the bike just seem to be in contrast to theirselves, long reach to the ground, but cramped in the seating/riding positions. I have rode an 1100 Vstar, a 1300 Honda VTX, his Intruder 800, a Suzuki 250 something or other, a couple Sportsters, both 883, and 1200, plus my own 800 Classic, and 1700 Voyager. The finish on the Harleys seem miles better than o my Voyager, thin areas in the paint mostly, but its not worth the extra cash too me. Between my 2 Vulcans, I have 175k miles of trouble free riding. Thats more important to me tan the paint quality.

2005 800 classic
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 12:13 PM
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I get less interested in HD's as time goes by. I always have the urge for something new, then my 900 custom and I hit the road, and I realize that for riding the back roads around here, one up, my 900 is a wonderful answer to that particular question.

Having said that, I just signed up at the dealer for the Indian ride tour. That's where they bring a semi full of bikes to the dealer and you can test ride them. They have a new Chieftain Limited on the floor, probably one of the nicest looking bikes I've ever seen. Just gorgeous. $24,500.00 gorgeous...?? Don't think I can get there.....but I am going to go ride one.....;-)

"I smoke in moderation. Only one cigar at a time."
-- Mark Twain
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