Join Date: Apr 2017
Year/Make/Model: 2000 Vulcan Custom Classic FI
2016 Vulcan Voyager 1700 Test Drive Thoughts
I took a test drive yesterday afternoon. The wife and I took the afternoon off and took my current ride, 1500 Custom Classic FI, to the dealer. It was a beautiful day, sunny and 80 degrees and the 1-hour long ride down was great. I only have a small windshield on my current bike, and we get a lot of wind and noise. Nonetheless, it is a good bike and has served me well. I have a Mustang seat and backrest on it along with loader pipes, etc. You know you make it "yours" over the years.
Getting a test drive on the new bike was good. The windshield is way too high, but that an easy fix. It drove pretty well with loud gear shifts and not enough pipe noise. There was a whine from the bike, probably from the belt drive. It was not loud, and I am sure louder pipes will take care of this. Again, you get used to what you currently have. Here are some of my observations.
Handlebar Controls: They seemed intuitive and are shared from the 2000 Vulcan, so they were in a familiar spot. Of course, there are more of them for the cruise and radio controls.
Engine: While certainly powerful, I was expecting more. My 1500 seemed just as quick. With the added weight and running lean out of the factory, it retarded its performance. With tuning and mods, I am sure you will get more out of it. Now I understand those that state Ivan's ECU flash makes such a difference. It did backfire a good bit during deceleration. Especially when hot.
Heat: Pleasantly surprised of the overall heat it threw off. I was expecting more, so that was a big positive. However, I was not standing still too long during the ride. The temp gauge was 1-mark past the center line, and the fan did come on.
Passenger Confort: My wife loved her seat and positioning. Also, with a full fairing, there was a lot less wind and noise. We were able to communicate easily unlike when on my current bike. My wife has problems with her ears and is very sensitive to sound. So the lack of wind noise was an excellent sign. However, when installing a shorter windshield, I wonder how this may change.
My comfort was a bit different than my wife. As I stated, I have a Mustang seat which scooped out and lower than my stock seat my current bike. The seat sits me lower, and at the same time puts me back towards the rear of the bike. I have grown accustomed to the positioning and feel.
I am not happy with the stock seat on the Vulcan 1700. I can handle extra height, but the seat is not scooped out. It is hare to explain, but there is an angle transition from the pan of the seat to the top where your lower back is supported. This angle is approximately 45 degrees, so this transition goes much further towards the front of the bike where it meets the seat pan as compared to my current Mustang seat. The result is that I am pushed forward on the seat, and my tailbone rests on the transition. Bottom line, the new setup is not as comfortable as the bike I ride today.
I have to do some investigating on new seats and what they accomplish. Ideally, I would like to sit back a bit and if at all possible lower me down. Overall, I am impressed at its value at the same time; it can be so much better with some changes. That is the beauty of it; you get to customize as you see fit. Just have to make sure I can get the right seat and positioning.