Join Date: May 2010
Location: San Marcos, TX
Year/Make/Model: 2014 Nomad ABS
I went from an '08 900 LT to the '14 Nomad with ABS like you're planning, so let's see if I can answer some of your questions. I miss the quickness and agility of the 900, but the comfort of the Nomad vs. the 900 is incomparable! For long distance it's hard to beat the Nomad, and even around town it handles well once you get moving (it's heavy compared to the 900). The throttle response takes a while to get used to as it isn't as quick revving as the 900, but you'll have torque galore! I don't know what you mean by needing to have the revs up, but this thing has massive torque from idle up.
There was 0 miles on it when I bought the Nomad but I now have 18,000 miles on it. Off the lot, my cruise control would stop engaging after riding a little bit and I found the rear brake cruise control switch wasn't adjusted properly from the factory. An internet search showed this was somewhat common. I took care of that myself. The belt was too tight, as is common with Kaw's. At around 6K it developed a very loud clanging noise in the front end. It took the dealer some time to figure it out and they wound up replacing both front forks. This is NOT a common problem and was handled under warranty. Other than that I've been on numerous 1,000+ mile trips on it and have enjoyed it so much. This July I'll be going on a 5,000 mile roundabout trip to Yellowstone and wouldn't want to do that on the 900.
Overall I get about 40mpg but have gotten as much as 50+mpg in the high altitudes when touring Colorado last year. When I first got the bike I was only getting around 32mpg. After I put about 6-7,000 miles on it the mileage improved. The tank is the same size as the 900 (5.3 gals) and I can comfortably go 150 miles between fills, while still having a comfortable margin in the tank. You do have to use 90+ octane in the Nomad.
You mention you have arthritis. I'm 64 years old with mild arthritis. The 900 was wearing me out on my long distance trips (did 5 trips over 1,000 miles), which is the reason I moved to the Nomad. When I got back from the Grand Canyon (3600 miles) in 2015 I told my wife "no more". The 900 transmits every little highway bump, imperfection and pebble to the operator. At highway speeds of 70mph, the engine sound level is high. While the 900 handles it well, I couldn't! The Nomad simply purrrrrs along without the operator feeling anything. The sweet spot (for me, anyway) is 75-80 in 6th gear. Sweeet!
Regarding the wire chafe.... I had my tank off to install a power plug and the wire mod was already done from the factory.
You will absolutely enjoy the Nomad, but I still miss my 900 from time to time.
Go for the ride!
2014 Kawasaki 1700 Nomad ABS
2008 Kawasaki 900 Classic LT (sold 2015 42k miles)
1975 Kawasaki KZ400 (sold ~1985)
1970 Suzuki TS250 Scrambler (stolen 1971)
1968 Bridgestone 200 MKII RS (sold 1970)
Patriot Guard Rider
Last edited by CarGuy; 05-28-2017 at 07:12 AM.