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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I rode an 03 1500 classic (carb) the other night. This was my first time on a heavyweight cruiser, but was very impressed about how light and balanced it felt. I'm now going to sell my VFR and pickup a Vulcan.

We plan on using the bike for some trips, so I'm going to focus my search on the Nomad model.

Price and weight are considerations, so I'm thinking the 1500 models are where I need to be. But I do want fuel injection.

I've started looking...looks like the Vulcan has a lot of variations and changes year to year. I can't find a good list showing model year changes for fuel injected 1500 Nomad. Can anyone tell me the differences? I believe the 1500 FI Nomads were offered from 2000-2004. Did they increase the gas tank capacity for the 1500? I'm reading that range is an issue.

BTW...I'm in the Seattle area...if anyone is interested in selling ...shoot me a PM.

Any input/recommendations is appreciated.
 

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http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/kawasaki-vulcan-1500-classic-fi. That review tells the differences. Basically the carb uses regular gas which is its only advantage. The FI uses premium but has more power and a better frame. Better handling, bigger fuel tank, better seat, a clock, digital speedometer and odometer. I have a classic 1500 carb but wish I got a Fi. You feel a transition in 1st and 2nd when the slide moves in the carb almost like a power band. The FI is smoother.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks.

Specs on the 1600 look good, but I have not seen one in person.

If I feel like I can handle extra weight at low speeds of the 1600 nomad vs the 1500 nomad, I may go for it. I believe seat height is the same for both.
 

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There's not going to be a significant weight difference. Also, don't skip out on the 1700 model which has electronic cruise control and a six speed transmission. On paper it gets better gas mileage than the 1500 or 1600. It's really a fantastic platform. The 1500 and 1600 Nomad are equally excellent; but let me tell you, that electronic cruise control and buttery-low 6th gear are so very nice on a long trip!

The 1500 weighs 775lbs wet
The 1600 FI weighs 743lbs dry, couldn't find a wet weight but it's probably close to 775~ (I'd be surprised if it was significantly different than the 1500)
The 1700 Nomad weighs 834lbs wet.

Weight BALANCE is another issue entirely. Much heavier bikes can FEEL lighter.

IMHO; if you can handle a 1500, you can handle a 1600 or 1700. By all means, get the one you want; but if the 1600 or the 1700 model is the one you want; don't feel like you can't handle it! Chances are, you can. The 1700 Nomad has been discontinued and there are 2014 leftover models going pretty cheap, and of course, plenty on the used market. And lots of great used 1600 and 1500's out there.

You're making a great choice on a bike you're going to enjoy for a long time!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks.

I've ridden an 03 1500 classic (carb'd, 644lbs) around a block a few times. It felt very comfortable and I didn't have any problem handling it.

I've ridden an 03 1500 Nomad around a small parking lot. Not enough riding to really get a feel for it...but it felt fine around the parking lot. Felt a bit heavier picking up off the kickstand and steering felt just a slight bit heavier to me compared to the 1500 classic.

I believe the 1600 Nomad is 29lbs heavier than the 1500 Nomad? I'm guessing that this will not be noticeable but I think this would really depend on how its distributed. Really need to find a local one to check out.

I'm a shorter rider (5'6"), so I'm placing a lot of importance on seat height, weight of the bike etc. Not concerned about handling the bike at speed...its the parking lot stuff and when riding 2-up that I'm concerned with...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
great site. Thanks.

I wasn't really considering the 1700 because of the higher seat height.

Think I really need to ride all three to see which one fits...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ride an 03 VFR now.. and it has a 31.7" seat height...so I could probably do it.

But my reference right now is the 03 1500 Classic. I really liked the seat height on that bike.
 
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