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I have an 03 1600 classic that I am adding too and, when done, would essentially be a nomad/voyager. I want to add hard bags, fairing, trunk.. all painted to the body color. I would spend almost 2500 on getting all that done. That amount is getting close to the value of my bike. So my question is this.. Are the 1700s that much better to not do the upgrades and just trade up??

PD
 

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If you have a sentimental attachment to your bike, seems to me trading is never the option. I think if money's not an issue, it'd be pretty damn cool to have a custom bike that you put together yourself like that.

But if you like the bike but think you could do better with a new 1700 rigged up the way you want, it'd sure save you some time. The 1700 is more powerful, but not so much (I'm going by what I've seen, since an on-paper comparison is all I can offer having owned neither) that you'd miss not having it. But there is some merit to a Nomad or Voyager being ready to go out-of-the-box with no fabbing, painting, or putting together required.
 

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For a bagger, you can't go wrong with a Voyager. IMO It's as good if not better than anything around it. You can get good deals on older models that haven't sold yet and even used ones. Knowing what I know now after 4 years with the Voyager, I would not upgrade.
One the other hand if you are into modifying what you have to achieve what you want and have time & patients with ALL the problems that will come with that kind of job, then go for it I say.
 

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Electronic Cruise Control, 6 speed transmission with 5th and 6th overdrive, frame mounted fairing is better in the wind, etc.

I have both a 1600 Mean Streak, and a 1700 Voyager. Different bikes for different purposes. I do not like riding the Mean Streak above 65 MPH. The Voyager will cruise at 80 all day long.
 

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The rake and trail on the two bikes is different. I prefer how the 1700 handles. Added a Memphis Shades Batwing to my 1700 Classic and had major issues with buffeting whick took a lot of work to overcome. Like it now though. If money was not an issue I would trade up. In my current situation I would add to the 1600.
 

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My Brother has an 04 1600 and when he rode my 11 VN1700 he noticed a difference in power. I did do some mods to exhaust which improved mileage and help wake up engine tiny bit, but nothing really that would show up on a dyno run.

Currently I am dealing with some stalling issues which I know is ECU related and it has gotten worse with the stalling this evening.

As for cosmetics, they both look pretty much the same, however I do like the look of the 04's chrome back cover over the head light.
 

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Personally If I had a lot of miles piled up on the 1600 and cruise control/ overdrive were important features to me then I would look into trading up.

FYI, if you are willing to wait it's a possibility that the 1700 line is due for an upgrade from mama Kaw either this yea or next. If we were to see a 1800 model introduced for 2014 then the 1700's will be that much better of a buy. Just thinking out loud here.
 

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1800, that would be sweet. I don't think they are going to upgrade the 1700 for a long while. Hope fully a little tweek tothe 1700 to bump up th power like they did on the MS. My 1500 MS was pretty fast?
 
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