After a year on the Voyager . . . - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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After a year on the Voyager . . .

Actually its one year and week now . . . I have put 48 miles shy of 8,000 miles on her and she now feels like she is MY bike. It took about this long to get used to her quirks, her power, her controls . . . I felt like I was riding someone else's bike for a while . . . now I know I'm riding mine. So here is what I have learned about this Big V-Twin Tourer in the past year . . . and what I have done to her to make her mine . . .

When I first posted pictures of her when she was brand new, I had a lot of comments about the windshield being too high - You all were right - At 18" I was trying to look through it all the time and it seemed to be quite a reflective surface, often complicating turns and such. So soon after getting her, I picked up a 12" windshield. This is definitely a case where losing 6" is a good thing! I am now looking over the windshield as I should and she has a tougher look to her - almost ready to brawl. Because I tend to do some long distance riding with guys who ride Ultras and Wings, and because I like to chat with my favorite riding partner, Bones, I installed Kawi's comm system with CB radio. I also beefed up the look and sound by adding the OEM rear speaker pods. While these add ons set me back about a grand, they were definitely mods I needed and would make again. I have a great reliable rider/passenger comm, rider/world comm with the CB, and have no trouble hearing everything wither through the helmet speakers if I'm hooked in or through the 4 external speakers. Does the sound system match up against a four speaker HK system on a Harley - No - but it plays things loud and clear enough for a hearing impaired guy like me to hear things fine a 80+ mph. The auto volume control does a good job of bringing the sound back down, if you adjusted it properly. The controls for the comm/radio system could be a bit more intuitive. I am still learning them and have to open the manual from time to time. There are separate rider and passenger volume controls for all (Radio/CB/Inter comm) The trick is that to change the volume each uses only one control and to change the radio volume, the radio has to be playing, to change the CB volume, you have to break the squelch so it overrides the radio, to change the inter comm, you have to have activated the VOX, which has its own sensitivity adjustments - it takes a bit but you figure it out as she becomes yours.

OK, but how does she ride? Bare bones stock, she was great once you got her nearly 900 pounds rolling. Heavy as a bitch off the kickstand, you learn quickly no to park with the kickstand on the downward side of an incline. I found her jerky at low parking lot speeds. It just seemed near impossible to feather the throttle and hold it at a very low speed. This was rectified by RACINRAY. Ray found that the electronic throttle had a rather long delay, that was particularly noticeable at low speeds. He created a modified throttle tube that cured this. I bought a set of Avon grips, had Ray work his magic on them and now enjoy a very smooth throttle. The stock seating position is quite comfortable. I bought a set of Kury Ergo Cruise long peg mounts to mount my Iso Wings to, but I rarely find myself using them. For one thing the foot boards are huge and I can easily move my feet around on them for comfort. For another, even with the long mounts, It feels like a long reach to get my feet to the Iso Wings. The most I have ridden in one day has been right at 490 miles so far, though I am planning an Iron Butt soon and have no qualms about comfort for that. On the passenger boards, I added a set of passenger pegs from Marvelas so Bones can switch up his leg position when he is riding with me. The only issue we have here is that he needs to pay attention to when we are stopping, and take his feet down. Otherwise his feet interfere with my legs as I try to put my feet under us so we don't fall down and go boom. Stops often sound like this "Feet . . . . Feet! . . . . FEET!!!!", "Huh?, oh sorry . . . "

Seats - I have three now - the stock, a Kawi Gel Pad Heated set, and a Mustang. The stock just didn't do it for me, so I picked up the Heated Gel Pads at a good price from a member who also sold me a K&N Air Filter. I LOVED the heated option. But I have bony legs and no ass (I make up for that by acting like an ass),and I got numbness and hot spots in both thighs. So I picked up the Mustang. I had a Mustang on my Sabre which cradled my bony ass like it was in a custom hammock. It has taken a while, but this Mustang is finally feeling almost as good. On a recent (2 days ago) 320 mile ride I was really focusing on the seat and trying to decide just where any discomfort was coming from. The backrest on this one is totally different from my Sabre's. I may give Mustang a call and see if there are other options for this one. I think having a curved backrest like I had may be just what I need. If not, I am considering sending the Kawi Heated seats to Russell Day long for modification.

Other mods I have done include installing the Kury turn signal mirrors I had on my Sabre. I did this after I had purchased some mirror extenders for the stockers because they seemed to have a fixation on my arms no matter how I adjusted them. Once I mounted the Kury's, I no longer needed the extenders. I like the extra lighting they give and love the sleeker look. I also spent a bit of coin an a tank bib with pouch from Sagebrush designs. While it was expensive, it is made with thick leather, and having the easily accessible storage of the pouch is something I grew used to on the Sabre. Its a perfect place for storing a camera, Find Me Spot, glasses, etc. Also, with great assistance from Phil during the last ECS Mod Day (a gathering of folks from the Sabrehood who get together and work on each others bikes), I have a nice set up of Kury accent lights that just look pretty damn cool.

Would I buy again. Given the same situation I was in last year -yes - I am happy with my purchase. Last year I had it down between the Voyager, an Ultra Classic, A Street Glide Ultra, and a Victory Cross Country. I rode the Harleys, and a Vaquero, but at the time the nearest Victory dealer was about 50 miles on the other side of the 4th worst traffic in the nation. I never made it out there to test ride because I figured it would be a bitch to get it there for service. In the end it came down to price. Comparably equipped Harleys ranged from $23 - $25K, I picked up my Voyager ABS for $15,153, spent about a grand on the comm/CB/speakers, and maybe another grand on the other parts (which I will get some back one I decide on my seats as I will either be selling the Mustang or the Kawi Heated seats). I am looking at spending between 500 and 1,000 for a modified air box/slip on exhaust and an efi controller - I just need to decide which route I am going with that - to auto tune or not to auto tune, that is the question. . . I'll make that decision soon as I head into another year of riding

What complaints do I have with the bike? The main ones are the OEM tires - I replaced both the front and rear at 6,000 miles. I am now running Michelin Commander IIs on her and love their ride is wet and dry. You would think that a company that advertises a bike to take you from "Coast to Coast" would also be able to get you back home on the same tire. Unfortunately this one can't do that, unless you really baby it. the on board computer, while it gives you a lot of info, I question its accuracy. I WISH the tank could give me 450 miles like the range to empty sometimes says. I wish I was getting an actual 46 MPG like it sometimes tell me I am. But then I also wish the tank held 6 gallons of gas. Butno worries, I can still get 200 miles on a tank, a big improvement from the 135 I got on the Sabre. Ray fixed the throttle issues, there is a belt whine that comes and goes, and yes she does get hot at times, but nothing like I expected. Maybe my bike is just cooler than other Voyagers. Yeah that's what I'll buy, my bike is cooler, way cooler because she is mine . .

2011 Voyager ABS

Thunder Air Kit
Cobra Tri Ovals/PowerPro
Wrapped Headers
CB/Rear Speakers
SageBrush Designs Tank Bib
Kury TourTech Mounts
Chrome Psgr board bottoms
14" Rifle Windshield
WOLO horn
Russell Day Long seat w/backrest
Kury T/S mirrors
Avon grips w/Throttle Magic by RacnRay
Kury Phase 6 LED Headlight & spotlights

Ride Bells by Sabrehood brothers MinatourAce and Outlaw


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 09:58 PM
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Mine will be one year on the 27th with over 8k on it. My rear tire only went 6,500 miles, and the from opnly went 7,200 miles. Went with Shinko tour master on the front and a Dunlop car tire on the rear.

After I wrapped the pipes the heat went away.... and I am very happy with this machine.

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...


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 08:34 AM
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I also went from a Sabre to the Voyager, and went through the same decision process you did. Further, my experience of it taking months for the VV to become "mine" was very similar to yours. Good write up!

Dale

2010 Vulcan Voyager /Ooops - I totaled it!/
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 08:53 AM
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Good write up. This was my first V twin and like you looked at other options when I decided it was time to tame it down a little and get a cruiser. Certainly can't beat the value for money over others.

I would like to do the throttle mod but ray won't ship to Canada supposedly so that will have to wait for now. New seat? Back and forth on this. Certainly need pipes stock are just a little too "non statement making" lets say. Put on ISO pegs on crash bars and that makes cruising so much more relaxing. CB probably too.

Long and the short of it I really like this bike even given it's heavy and lacking 90+ hp from my last touring machine.

2012 Voyager ABS
Rear speakers
iPod hookup
Garmin GPS
Kuraykan Cruiser Pegs
Lava wrapped pipes
Grasshopper backrest
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 09:57 PM
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Mine

Mine will be 3 months old tomorrow and has 7600 on her. Changed the rear tire before I even got the licenes plate 6800 miles. The front tire still looks ok but it is very unsteady in corners since I put the commander 2 on kinda wierd. Glad you like it. Great bike just has alot of qiurks for sure!

2010 Voyager
Scootworks 2 inch fat risers
vance&Hines slipons
Mustang Wide Touring studded
PCV
Michelin commander 2
Ipod adapter
Titanium header wrap
8 to 12.5 inch bagger windshield
Iso grips with Rays throttle mod
Chrome rear floor board covers
Kams Kit
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 06:19 AM
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Year/Make/Model: 1999 Kawasaki Nomad 1500
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Avon Grips

Thanks for the Voyager review. I have a Nomad and have thought that if I ever wanted to go the "Goldwing Type" route, the Voyager would be my choice. My biggest problem is that it add 150 lbs to my Nomad. I jumped 200 lbs when I bought the Nomad. What specific Avon grips did you install. I want to change my grips. Don't want a real fat grip and had been looking at the Avon's. Took me a while before I was comfortable at low speeds and moving the bike around in a parking lot.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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I go the MT Air Cushioned grips - Similar in look to Kury Iso grips but IMHO, a they make much better connection to the bike.

http://avongrips.com/shop/products/M...ome-Grips.html

In to year two now - Already added a Cobra Powerpro and Thunder Air Kit - now I gotta ride her more to see how I like her new attitude!

2011 Voyager ABS

Thunder Air Kit
Cobra Tri Ovals/PowerPro
Wrapped Headers
CB/Rear Speakers
SageBrush Designs Tank Bib
Kury TourTech Mounts
Chrome Psgr board bottoms
14" Rifle Windshield
WOLO horn
Russell Day Long seat w/backrest
Kury T/S mirrors
Avon grips w/Throttle Magic by RacnRay
Kury Phase 6 LED Headlight & spotlights

Ride Bells by Sabrehood brothers MinatourAce and Outlaw


Blue Knights VA II
Ride With Pride
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 10:49 PM
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Lots of info. Great post.
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