Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all -
One for the bucket list! - My wife and I (2 up) started in Maryville and went along the Foothills Parkway and Rt 73 as we headed up to Gatlinburg. Day 2 - Took the Gatlinburg bypass to the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed to Asheville - some great turns and the highest point on the BRP. Day 3 - Headed to Tellico Plains, NC and took on the Cherahola Skyway to Deals Gap with a finish ride on the Tail of the Dragon. We stayed at Berry Springs Lodge, Sevierville and did these rides over 3 days. Biker's paradise!

I own a 09 Nomad and rented a Harley Ultra Classic - 2011! Observations: Could not see the instruments at idle. GPS always rattled out of position during idle. I could not find neutral at any time, except on the Tail of the Dragon during a shift when I needed to maintain power. The HD saddle bags are so hard to open and close - nothing like the Nomad ones. We did like the trunk. Ignored the radio as another gadget. If we think the Nomad runs hot - try a HD in 95 degree weather! The HD is cramped, top heavy and over-steers at low speeds - becomes very tippy in pull outs and parking lots. Took about 200 miles to get comfortable but still not worth the $$$ at almost 2x the price!

Safe rides-
Bob
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,667 Posts
A customer/friend of mine came down to my shop to have me test ride his HD that he has been fiddling with. He put cams in and had been working on the carb jetting and wanted my opinion on the jetting.

The first time i came to a stop i noticed the shake at idle, but i was stopped for 2 seconds or so as i got a clear shot to pull out into traffic. In 100 feet or so i was on the entrance ramp to the hi-way and rode for many miles feeling out the performance b4 i got off the hi-way and stopped at the traffic lite at the end of the exit. It was quite comical as the whole bike SHOOK as i had NEVER felt before. My head, teeth, eyballs, even my hair was shaking and bouncing SO BAD i thought i was inside a can of paint in a paint mixer machine. What a joke! Yea, giving it some gas smoothed it out but geeze what these HD riders have to put up with to ,uh, own a HD!!

Maybe we just aren't man enuff to put up with all this nonsense, or really, maybe ,we're man enuff to be smarter and NOT tie our ego's into a material thing?

When i first got my Vaquero i was asked "why didn't you get a Harley"? My first answer was and will always be "I don't need a Harley".

RACNRAY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
900 Posts
Some Harley engines do have balancers in em and the ones that vibrate at idle tend to run very smooth on highway. But your right, I sit on my Nomad, dosnt shake at idle, watch my buds roadking and its crazy @$$ shake time. I always wonderd though why chicks on Harleys are always smiling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Sounds like a nice trip. I love that area and go at least once a year. I have ridden a HD ultra and they really smooth out when you get moving. I do like the real chrome HD has over the plastic chrome on Kawi. I also like the heavier bags and trunk HD has over the thinner ones on my Voyager.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
701 Posts
Before I bought my nomad I took a street glide for a road test. I couldn't handle the shake at idle and finding neutral was non existent. The worst part was my right foot could only grab a 1/2" edge of the brake pedal. The intake pushed my leg out. The bike was smooth on the hgwy, but I don't feel that much of a difference between the HD and my nomad.
 

·
wocka, wocka, wocka
Joined
·
5,618 Posts
Shake, Rattle and Roll

Some Harley engines do have balancers in em and the ones that vibrate at idle tend to run very smooth on highway. But your right, I sit on my Nomad, dosnt shake at idle, watch my buds roadking and its crazy @$$ shake time. I always wonderd though why chicks on Harleys are always smiling.
here is the low down on these here hardleys... the FLH (tour) and the FX (dyna) series utilize the old tried-not true, unbalanced motor. They heavily RUBBER mounted specifically because and FOR this. These motors have linkage that keep them from swaying side to side but allows them to ROCK back and forth in their longitudal plane. At idle these motors exhibit a fair... no Sizeable amount of Rocking which ya'll call Vibration. Once these motors are rolled off idle they SMOOTH out almost as silk and glass. Because they make thier power 'tween 2-3k rpm, they's down right pleasant at reasonable speeds..

Now Hardley also makes a Dual Balanced version of this motor in their FST softtail only series. These motors are Ridgid mounted and dont exhibit near the amount of Rock n Roll. But they also dont make quite the same bottom end power and require a few more rpm's. Somewheres in the 70mph range you start to loose your mirrors. your fingers and hands are not far behind.

so that gentlemen,, am using the term very loosely,, is the nutz n boltz of the hardley mistake... er, mistique? And yes the ladies do enjoy the ride immensley.. ponchout
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
I am no HD fan, but I did have a chance to ride a Classic Bagger to Pittsburgh and back from Richmond, VA. Bottom line is I found the tranny and suspension of the HD superior to that of the 1700 VV....other than that, like the VV better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
I ride a road king every once in a while. Its a 103 and feels like it has about the same power as my 09 Nomad. Shakes at idle but not terrible. Rides nice enough but I think the Nomad is so much smoother. Clutch pull on Harley requires more muscle and I don't understand why HD even bothers with a neutral gear. I can never find it, although I think if you own one you may learn what needs to be done to find it when you need it.Tranny is just as clunky as my Nomad and it doesn't bother me at all. I think Harley's have the best looking motors and they are very good quality. I know a guy with 80,000 miles on his electra glide. With that said I am a fan but I love the Nomad and just think HD is sooooo over priced. I could afford a Harley I just don't want one. Everyone I know ,who rides, owns Harley and most have Road Kings I just tell them I don't want to be a robot and own the same thing as everyone else.(its all in fun). Many of them have complemented the Nomad. This is my second Kawasaki I feel they are fantastic. No regrets at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
i ride with a club who almost all ride harley's. but the one non-harley motorcycle that is most common, and also was owned in the past by many of the currently harley owners is... guess. It's the Nomad.

forwhatever reason, the Nomad has a solid history and acceptance, that few metric cruises have earned. I've had many compliments on my Nomad. The black 09 is arguably the best looking :)
 

·
wocka, wocka, wocka
Joined
·
5,618 Posts
No'Mad.. it's the gold standard. them hardley converts like thier new skoots for the status but wish it was as good and reliable as thier old No'Mad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Hi all -
One for the bucket list! - My wife and I (2 up) started in Maryville and went along the Foothills Parkway and Rt 73 as we headed up to Gatlinburg. Day 2 - Took the Gatlinburg bypass to the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed to Asheville - some great turns and the highest point on the BRP. Day 3 - Headed to Tellico Plains, NC and took on the Cherahola Skyway to Deals Gap with a finish ride on the Tail of the Dragon. We stayed at Berry Springs Lodge, Sevierville and did these rides over 3 days. Biker's paradise!

I own a 09 Nomad and rented a Harley Ultra Classic - 2011! Observations: Could not see the instruments at idle. GPS always rattled out of position during idle. I could not find neutral at any time, except on the Tail of the Dragon during a shift when I needed to maintain power. The HD saddle bags are so hard to open and close - nothing like the Nomad ones. We did like the trunk. Ignored the radio as another gadget. If we think the Nomad runs hot - try a HD in 95 degree weather! The HD is cramped, top heavy and over-steers at low speeds - becomes very tippy in pull outs and parking lots. Took about 200 miles to get comfortable but still not worth the $$$ at almost 2x the price!

Safe rides-
Bob
Test ''drove'' the ultra classic same day went and '' rode'' the VV , the vulcan was clearly the winner to me over all.I know to many people with harleys and always the talk is problems and such,love my VV with 1year and 18000.mls still happy about the choice.This bike is all I need and other then the ecu no fault of the bike its been flawless:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Glad to hear it has been reliable for you. I am 7500 and need a new rear tire. Going to go with the Dunlap Elite 3. My warranty is up this month, so I hope that I don't regret not getting the extended warranty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Great response - I am going to "borrow" it if you don't mind!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,656 Posts
I always enjoy riding those roads in the Smokies. Have done them in fair weather and have also done them in rain and even encountered sleet on the Cherohala even though it was comfortable in the Valley below.

With regard to the Harley, I test rode a road glide ultra with tourpack. It was the big engine model. The ride was awesome, but the bike was smaller than the Voyager, I didn't like the reach to everything on the frame mounted fairing, and finding neutral was non-existant. When I pointed the neutral thing out to the salesman he said to shut it off first. OK. Glad the only times I put a bike in neutral is to push it around the garage and to start it up. :pig:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I recently found myself in the very fortunate position of paying cash for a new motorcycle. I never paid cash for a major purchase before and always dreamed of walking into a Harley dealer and paying cash! So I worked and saved until I finally had the horsepower to do just that.
Well, you know what they say about meeting your heroes? Careful, you might be disappointed. Well, the same can be said for certain dreams.
I was set on a Road King, with the 103 motor and hard bags. I sat on it and it felt good, but a little voice told me to slow down and do some shopping.
So thankfully I listened to that voice and decided to go check out the metrics. My last bike was an 03 Suzuki Volusia which was a great bike for the $$$. I sold it three years ago because my kids were to young for me to find time to ride enough.
Anyways, I looked at the Voquero, Stratoliner, and the Nomad... It came down to the Strato and Nomad, but it really wasn't a contest once I sat on the Nomad. I am 6'5 and a tick under 3 bills and the Nomad felt like it was made for me. The bike was the most comfortable I had ever sat on, and the seat was fantastic! I dismounted the bike and stood back for a minute looking it over and told the salesman to install the lightbar and that I would take it, cash!
When my sister showed a pic to the brother in law(HD owner) his first question was the typical, "why didn't he get a Harley?" to which I replied, "didn't want the Hog, I wanted the Cow".
This bike moves me and the wife along with the greatest of ease. Easily the smoothest and most comfortable cruiser I have ever ridden.
When I bought my Suzuki it was because I couldn't afford a Harley, this time I had the $$$ but just didn't want one. Not only that, I don't want my bike to look or sound like a Harley, if I did, I would have bought one.
Don't get me wrong, Harley makes good bikes, this isn't an anti HD rant. It's just that for me, Kawasaki makes a better bike. I sure am glad I listened to that little voice!
 

·
wocka, wocka, wocka
Joined
·
5,618 Posts
cr,, the NoMad is the GOLD standard in Vtwin cruisers. hardleys can only wish they were built this well... and cost this little. Dont read this wrong, I'v had 5 hardleys and have 07 'lectraglide now 70k smiles. also had 1500 meanstreak for half the money and twice the bike. my v2k is every bit as nice as any softail that ever rolled out of milwaukee. this isn't a bash on hardley,, its a thumbs up for kaw. very fine choice.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,703 Posts
I spent 20 years riding Harley Road Kings 10 hours a day for work.

I hear everyone moaning and groaning about the differences between Harley and just about every motorcycle made.

I laugh at the multitude of magazine articles comparing for instance the Harley Ultra Classic/Yamaha Venture (which I just traded in for my 2011 Voyager)/ and a Voyager.

You cannot actually "compare" a mishmash mismatched batch of motorcycles and be fare to any of them. I have had BMW's, Honda's, Yamaha's, Triumph's, Sears and Roebuck, Cushman, just to name a few.

My favorite motorcycle of all time is............. the one I happen to be on at the time. Never met a motorcycle I did not like, or was not fun to drive. I have a 2005 Yamaha Majesty that will do 120mph with my 280 pound butt on it and it is a BLAST to drive. I have however met some I would probably not want to own. After riding those Haley's all those years, NOTHING WRONG WITH THEM, I just DO NOT want one. They are just as hot as this new Voyager in 100+ heat. So was my Goldwings, my BMW's, the Venture, not so much, but still hot on a 105 degree day with a cross wind.

My bucket list is to own at least one of every brand TOURING motorcycle sold in the USA before I can no longer ride. (already had a 3 wheeler). When I cannot ride any more I will buy a Goldwing trike and park it in the living room and watch my Stargate and Star Trek Enterprise reruns sitting on it. Or maybe that new full dress CanAm Spyder.... in metallic pearl:eek:

By the way, this new Voyager vibrates as much as the last Road King I drove, with the exception at idle. The Road King was as smooth as the Voyager at speed but did shake rattle and roll at idle. :cool:

But at least this new Voyager can get out of it's own way. When we first went from the Kawasaki 1000p to the Harley's, we were NOT HAPPY. We actually had to change a gear and "chase" to catch someone instead of flipping a uey, cranking the throttle and we had 'em. But after 14 years or so the Road Kings were fine. Never did like the police version BMW. Dry clutches and traffic patrol do not mix.

So be happy and run what you brung. When we do our road trips most of us will "swap" motorcycles for a couple hundred miles just to be different. If you don't let another experienced rider drive your motorcycle shame on you. When you are far from home and have a heart attack like I did, who is going to get your wife and ride home????? Think about it. Luckily out of the 20 family groups I am associated with, Everyone drives, the guys, wives, and kids. My wife has more motorcycles than I do..:mad:


 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top