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I test drove this bike yesterday. FIrst time riding something that heavy or many cc.

I have a V star 950, 2013

First impression was. It did not feel that heavy. Cornering seemed fine. A little diff than i'm used to, just would have to get used to it.

The things that make me a bit hesitant in knowing whether i want one of these bikes (not the 2012, maybe 2018 or a few year old)

The power had more for sure than i'm used to. But i guess i thought it was going to feel really torque. It did not.

When i came on the throttle, i don't know how to describe but the noise and feeling was not smooth, almost like the belt was skipping??? Don't know if that sound is normal
I found the throttle very jerky.
I found the gears very clunky and loud

The seating was different as well. I felt i was almost sliding down towards the tank. It was difficult to tell how this would be over a longer ride, whether it would be more or less comfortable than my V star

Suspension?? Not sure it felt any smoother than my vstar. But who knows how the rear was adj. It is a 2012 as well, maybe front springs are worn as well?


It is difficult just ridding a bike for like 15min to see if you like it or not.
 

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You can have my 12 Nomad for 5200$. I love it more now than new as it gets better the more you ride. Wife wanted me off it riding daily hiway, got me a ragtop providing I sell this. RICHMOND Virginia


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Shawn,

I can relate to every one of your observations, except the clunky tranny...my 2009 1700 had a pretty smooth tranny (to the best of my recollection).

1) Stock Seat Sucks...First thing I did was get a Mustang.

2) Stock Throttle Actuation Sucks...Second thing I did was get a reprofiled/recammed throttle tube from RACNRAY (search this site!) It smooths out the throttle, improves low speed control, and brings on the power band sooner with less wrist action...Major Improvement!

3) Drive Belt is Potentially Noisy if not adjusted to proper tension and alignment (simple fix).

4) Stock ECU Sucks...The stock A/F ratio is way too lean and it retards the timing as soon as the engine is warm...then you have a significant drop in power.
If I still had the bike the next thing on my list would have been the IVAN's ECU reflash. It addresses the timing issues and a multitude of other adjustments to make the bike perform the way it should have from the factory! These bikes are also known for generating prodigious amounts of heat and enriching the A/F ratio with the ECU reflash should help in this regard.

5) Some of the roughness you experienced might be related to the Ignition Wiring Harness Recall...(search this site). The wiring harness under the ignition switch/tank can get worn and cause shorting or intermittent wiring issues.

Oh, and if it has been sitting for any period of time, check each and every coolant connection and clamp...you will need to remove the tank to do so, but believe me, it will save you a lot of grief...

Other than those few issues, it was actually a pretty good bike... ;)
 

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My only issue is clunky trans, but with some finesse, it’s fine & tough. K&n air filter fixed all performance issues for me, got 45 mpg today. PLENTY of power.


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After 10 yrs on a VN900 Custom I bought a Vaquero1700 a year ago. The Vaquero doesn't turn as tight as the 900. This summer I was working with both bikes as my son took the MC safety course. The tightest U turn I could manage, steering locked, was about 19.5 ft on the 1700, 16 ft on the 900. The floorboards hit quicker at speed as you suspected. I'd say I scrape the boards about twice as often on the 1700 as I did on the 900. There are couple of turns around here that I never scraped on the 900, but always scrape on the 1700. It doesn't bother me though and I'm certainly not driving slower than I used to.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
After 10 yrs on a VN900 Custom I bought a Vaquero1700 a year ago. The Vaquero doesn't turn as tight as the 900. This summer I was working with both bikes as my son took the MC safety course. The tightest U turn I could manage, steering locked, was about 19.5 ft on the 1700, 16 ft on the 900. The floorboards hit quicker at speed as you suspected. I'd say I scrape the boards about twice as often on the 1700 as I did on the 900. There are couple of turns around here that I never scraped on the 900, but always scrape on the 1700. It doesn't bother me though and I'm certainly not driving slower than I used to.
Interesting.... From what i've read the V star 950 scrapes way more easily than the VN900. As well i think the turn radius is greater than 19' but i cannot confirm this anywhere
 

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I test drove this bike yesterday. FIrst time riding something that heavy or many cc.

I have a V star 950, 2013

First impression was. It did not feel that heavy. Cornering seemed fine. A little diff than i'm used to, just would have to get used to it.

The things that make me a bit hesitant in knowing whether i want one of these bikes (not the 2012, maybe 2018 or a few year old)

The power had more for sure than i'm used to. But i guess i thought it was going to feel really torque. It did not.

When i came on the throttle, i don't know how to describe but the noise and feeling was not smooth, almost like the belt was skipping??? Don't know if that sound is normal
I found the throttle very jerky.
I found the gears very clunky and loud

The seating was different as well. I felt i was almost sliding down towards the tank. It was difficult to tell how this would be over a longer ride, whether it would be more or less comfortable than my V star

Suspension?? Not sure it felt any smoother than my vstar. But who knows how the rear was adj. It is a 2012 as well, maybe front springs are worn as well?


It is difficult just ridding a bike for like 15min to see if you like it or not.
Shawn - I've been interested in Voyagers and have test ridden two this year - a 2014 ABS and a 2012 non-ABS. My perspective differs from your in that I currently ride a sport touring-ish bike (Suzuki Bandits 1250s). I found them both surprisingly light feeling, very smooth riding, loved the super light clutch pull, but yeah - they lacked the oomphy wide torque band I was hoping for. But based on what I've read about the Ivan's ECU re-flash, I don't think either of these had that done. Unlike you, I didn't find the shifting clunky and loud. In fact, both shifted quite smoothly and quietly.

I really preferred the one with the KACT ABS, and it probably saved my bacon when some jerk pulled out right in front of me on the service road just moments into my test ride. Very smooth, controlled braking in a panic or near-panic situation. But if you're considering a late model one, it'll have ABS since that became standard in 2015 I believe.
 

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I suspect that maybe the one i test Drove was in need of some fine tuning.

If i end up getting a Voyager, i plan to get Ivan's flash and slip on and air intake. Not sure if i would do all at once or flash first then add others.

So a Sport Touring would have quite a bit of oomphy pick up and go? All the reviews from people indicate it has enough power, good torque to pass and if a Ivan Flash is done quite a bit better.

I'm leaning more and more towards it. I'm thinking i might be able to get a really good deal on a 2018 in February. I know a dealer near me that has 4 still in stock and it is mid Oct. Not sure they will sell those.
My last concern is the seat. Felt like i was falling forward. Again only 15 min test drive, maybe it is not bad or i would have to look at some sort of custom seat.

Regarding Custom seats, they are assumed to be better and more comfortable, but unless someone is ergonomically making to you, not sure it would be? I currently have Mustang seats on my V Star and after 1 hour I'm uncomfortable. Maybe it would be that way on any bike though??
 

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If i end up getting a Voyager, i plan to get Ivan's flash and slip on and air intake. Not sure if i would do all at once or flash first then add others.
You should plan on what you are going to get before doing Ivan's flash. the flash version/model he will put on depends on what you have on bike. Plan on doing the pipes and air intake, then send off the ECU for flashing. You will be satisfied with the flash!
 

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I was considering all that, till I put in a K&N air filter. Mine runs great. Smooth, powerful. But, it wasn’t til I had several miles on it. 35000 now. Shell premium helped too. Dirty I have to sell it.


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I suspect that maybe the one i test Drove was in need of some fine tuning.

If i end up getting a Voyager, i plan to get Ivan's flash and slip on and air intake. Not sure if i would do all at once or flash first then add others.

So a Sport Touring would have quite a bit of oomphy pick up and go? All the reviews from people indicate it has enough power, good torque to pass and if a Ivan Flash is done quite a bit better.

I'm leaning more and more towards it. I'm thinking i might be able to get a really good deal on a 2018 in February. I know a dealer near me that has 4 still in stock and it is mid Oct. Not sure they will sell those.
My last concern is the seat. Felt like i was falling forward. Again only 15 min test drive, maybe it is not bad or i would have to look at some sort of custom seat.

Regarding Custom seats, they are assumed to be better and more comfortable, but unless someone is ergonomically making to you, not sure it would be? I currently have Mustang seats on my V Star and after 1 hour I'm uncomfortable. Maybe it would be that way on any bike though??
Yes, my Bandit pulls strong in all gears from 2k rpm, but I didn't expect the Voyager to be as quick as a big inline 4 weighing 400 lbs. less anyway. I've also ridden the big Indians, and they're way slow compared to my Bandit. But again, that's to be expected, and a trade off I'm willing to accept in exchange for long distance comfort, touring capability, and greater visibility with all the touring bike lighting.

Good idea waiting until after the start of the year. In fact, if your willing to extend your search nationwide, you may find some '18 and '17 Voyagers discounted to below $15k. I've seen numerous examples of Voyagers selling at or below cost this year.
 

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What were the Big Indians like compared to the Voyager?
About a year had elapsed between when I rode them and when I rode the Voyagers, so a bit difficult to compare in detail. But the Indians seemed to have better acceleration in the lower rpm range. And obviously they have more features, especially the Roadmaster - heated grips and seats, on board navigation, power windshield adjustment, etc. But I found the ride quality comparable and overall the Voyager just seemed like the better value, especially since there seems to be universal agreement on the marked improvement Ivan's ECU re-flash provides. That said though, from what I've seen on Voyager forums, most Voyager owners feel even an Ivanized Voyager is a bit slower than a Roadmaster. Further mods like a big air kit and more open exhaust sound like it might bring it up close to an un-modded Roadmaster, but from what I've read on the Roadmaster forum, many if not most Roadmaster owners do cam upgrades and other performance mods.

However, on the Roadmaster forum I found there were several mechanical and finish issues that are common enough - on the earlier models at least - to give me pause. That concerns me for a bike that retailed new in the $26-27k range. But I do love their distinctive look - so anti-Harley for those who want to distinguish themselves from the crowd. But the Voyagers have a distinctive, if subtler, look too that I personally find more appealing than H-Ds.
 

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You can have my 12 Nomad for 5200$. I love it more now than new as it gets better the more you ride. Wife wanted me off it riding daily hiway, got me a ragtop providing I sell this. RICHMOND Virginia


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I'm in the market for a used Nomad. I am up by Dulles airport and am looking at a few up here but Richmond is close enough to consider. Could you send me a few pics and detailed description?
 

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VN1700 Nomad ‘12 bought new in ‘13, ride highway daily with K&N air & oil filters, royal purple oil - the best, 44mpg, Michelin Commander 2 tires, Kuryaken Pilot Highway pegs, aluminum/vinyl saddle heat shields, chrome speedo brow, leather lever wraps, Cobra luggage rack, thermometer as extras, plus a full set of new OEM tachometer, brake pads & extra hardware from add-ons, battery tender pigtail with phone charger in right hardbag. Standard cruise, mileage, distance to empty, data, adjustable idle, dual trip meter, floorboards, hard lockable bags, windshield like new, front & rear crash bars, two tone red over silver - some touched up paint chips, no dents. Never crashed or even dropped. Excellent cruiser. 35000 highway miles. Never sits more than 3 days. Kelly Blue Book 7500 minus mileage 6300, wife wants her garage parking space back - $5200. Armored mesh gear by OSI pants & jacket, bike bandit armor gloves & 1 pair winter gauntlets, helmets negotiable. I’ll remove rear stickers on the bags.



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