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I suppose you could include all of the Kaw baggers in this discussion but after owning, and loving, my Vaquero for a month I am nothing short of shocked that these bikes are not more popular. I'm probably not qualified to make this statement since I've only been riding for a year and I've never ridden a Harley but I think the Vaquero is better than the street glide! My buddy at work has the Harley equivalent of my bike and I think my bike looks meaner and it performs just as well, plus being water cooled, if not better. The only thing I like better about his bike is the little bit of extra storage he has in the saddlebags.

So the answer is the Harley reputation or as they sell it the "Harley Experience" which is their marketing machine. They have a huge first to market advantage and their apparel line is just getting people to pay money to advertise for them for free but dollar for dollar there is so much more value in the Vaquero, though Harley retains value better. I got a great deal on mine for only $8,250.00 for a bike that is essential brand new and I'm sure you could add $5,000.00 to that number if there was an HD on the tank so why wouldn't someone save the money and get a bike that is just as good if not better?

I wonder if Kawasaki put more effort into their marketing if they could maybe not compete head to head per se with Harley but at least grab some market share? Maybe they have weighed the benefits and they just know that there are a certain amount of people who will just buy only Harley so it isn't worth the extra marketing. However I know this, prior to riding metric bikes I would have looked at a Vaquero on the street and assumed it was a Harley, and most people assume mine is as well, so they are failing to advertise what a great product line they are offering, and this goes for all their baggers. I used to think of Japanese bikes as sport bikes, Goldwings and the style of metric bikes from the 80's and I think a lot of nonriders do too so when they go to buy that first bike they don't even consider anything but a Harley not knowing they could find a more affordable bike that looks and performs just as well. I seriously used to think of Japanese nonsport bikes as an old green Honda of the 80's with a big ugly ribbed seat so the Kawasaki marketing is a complete failure. Had I only looked at Harley dealers and not stepped foot in a Kaw dealer to stumble on the Vaquero I would have never known it existed.

Maybe I'm wrong and they can't really capture much market share because Harley has a death grip on it but I sure wish these bikes were more popular so that there would be more options for aftermarket accessories and more competition which would put downward pressure on price.
 

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The Vaquero is a pretty popular machine. I have ridden the Harley. It has it's advantages. I think the Vaquero looks way better but that's pretty objective. I think both are great machines. Harley's established market, marketing programs and reputation will always keep them the best seller.

The Vaquero is still a pretty popular machine and at least according to my Dealer it's been a staple and a good seller. The Voyager sells a little better according to them. And that's not surprising. Right now the full-dresser touring bike is what's hot on the market. The Voyager is very close in price to the Vaquero, depending on where you're at, it can be had for pretty much the same price if you shop around. For some, the trunk, included accessories (fog lamps, 12v socket, etc.), taller windshield, etc., make it a better value.
 

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I have owned an '01 and '08 HD Ultra Classic and was very glad that they had the 7 year extended warranties because of the breakdowns while owning them.

I sold the '01 Ultra 1 month before the warranty expired and purchased the '08 just for that reason.

With all the miles my wife and I did on the Ultra's I can honestly say that the '15 Voyager that I now have is much nicer then the Ultra's. Much smoother ride especially at idle. No heat issues like we had with the Ultra's. Just as much or more storage and the Voyager handles much better than the '08 Ultra did. To be fair though I don't know how the '15 Ultra's handle now.

Dollar for dollar I'm very happy with the Voyager and think that Kawasaki should promote the Vaquero and Voyager as an affordable option to the Harley Davidson Touring bikes also.
 

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"Why isn't the Vaquero more popular?"

Side opening saddlebags????

All seriousness aside, I was all set to get a new 2014 Orange Flamed Vaquero, but I found the Voyager and got a great deal. I would have been very happy with the Vaquero, I'm sure, but the Voyager is a better fit for me.
 

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Be careful what you wish for! Personally, I'm glad the Kawi baggers aren't more popular . . . I love the fact that on a week long trip with my buddy on his Ultra, that we will pass at least 200 bikes like his, but maybe, one or two like mine . . . I never was much of a "me too" kind of guy . . .
 

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Be careful what you wish for! Personally, I'm glad the Kawi baggers aren't more popular . . . I love the fact that on a week long trip with my buddy on his Ultra, that we will pass at least 200 bikes like his, but maybe, one or two like mine . . . I never was much of a "me too" kind of guy . . .
That's the same way I feel, plus...I can't afford all the HD clothing and all the other 'branded stuff'! :skeleton: :cool:
 

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For the same money a Voyager gives you better bags, trunk and lowers....

Not unlike the Electra Glide vs Road King / Heritage argument.
Or EG vs Streetglide...

More for less.
 

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There are not as many on the road, most people want to fit in, not stand out. Kawi does very little advertising, i was talking to a postman recently who is looking to upgrade from a 1000cc bike, he liked my nomad but said he wanted a fairing bike w/radio, i told him about the vaquero, said he never heard of it. They are cool bikes, i personally don't care for the fairing, so some may feel the same.....ride on.....
 

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"Why isn't the Vaquero more popular?"

Side opening saddlebags????

All seriousness aside, I was all set to get a new 2014 Orange Flamed Vaquero, but I found the Voyager and got a great deal. I would have been very happy with the Vaquero, I'm sure, but the Voyager is a better fit for me.
I actually prefer side opening bags. Didn't think I would until I got a bike with them.

Be careful what you wish for! Personally, I'm glad the Kawi baggers aren't more popular . . . I love the fact that on a week long trip with my buddy on his Ultra, that we will pass at least 200 bikes like his, but maybe, one or two like mine . . . I never was much of a "me too" kind of guy . . .
There is an advantage, though, to popularity. And that's the aftermarket. If the Vaquero were more popular there would be a larger aftermarket for it. More accessories, etc. I wouldn't mind, for example, more than one choice for a passenger backrest. Lots of direct bolt-on exact fit accessories for those Harley's.

But you are right. I ride in a group that, as a matter of fact, is entirely black H-D Ultra Classics and Ultra Limiteds. My bike looks kind of funny parked in the group. A bright orange curvy Vaquero next to a herd of Ultra's. I like the way the Ultra's look, by the way, but you're right. I don't care for the attention but I do get more than the other guys do. It stands out. One guy DID have a blue and white Ultra but after a number of warranty claims the dealer agreed to buy it back and he got a black one instead, ha! (My wife rides a red Shadow and another guys wife rides a blue Softail, so we do get a little variety sometimes).

Out here, Ultra's and Streetglides are like Semi's on the interstate on a warm weekend with no rain. Everywhere you look, usually in black. Nothing wrong with the bikes, but you are right; far from unique.

Personally though, whether someone else has it or not, whether it's popular or not, whether others will think I look cool, whether I'll fit in or whether I'll stand out; none of that is a concern for me at all when it comes to the motorcycle. If I liked the ride better I'd own the Harley instead. I like the Vaquero better. (Okay, I probably wouldn't get a black one).
 

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To me, the Vaquero is a solo ride bike and the looks are ruined with passenger accommodations. The Voyager is designed for the long haul and passenger comfort. But it can also be stripped down and look almost as good as the Vaquero.

 

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The rear end is where all the difference is made in the looks. Instead of a couple inches of gap filled in by a loosely fit-in chrome rail (And I do like Chrome), the Vaquero saddlebags and fender have the gap filled with a painted alike trim piece that looks really good.



You're right though, it was certainly designed as a solo machine. I have a two-up seat (Mustang touring w/ dual backrests). I think it still looks really good. And I have the side opening bags that I prefer. Since it's a keyed one-piece seat it takes just seconds to swap seats if I were so inclined.

Here's mine (I've since added a taller windshield):


Having ridden a Voyager; which was also high on my list, I prefer the Vaqueros trimmed up lowers. They prevent harsh wind and buffeting but keep the air flowing.

Both great bikes though and for a lot of people, the Voyager is going to be more bang-for-buck. The pricing is so similar that most buyers are going to buy the bike they want, period. So the guys wanting the more curvy look and/or the more exciting colors (another difference not mentioned is the bright exciting color schemes of the Vaquero vs the more subdued color schemes of the Voyager; and the inverse; a blacked out chrome-less Vaquero option. Though that's entirely individual choice as to which is better) are going to get the Vaq. Guys wanted a few more creature comforts for pretty much the same money are going with the Voyager.

Clearly, Kawasaki did well with the 1700 line. Interesting though that, talking about unpopular bikes, the Nomad was so unpopular they pulled the plug and the 1700 Classic is barely selling as well! Looks like metric buyers at that price range want a full-fairing bike.
 

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Believe me Romans5.8, the '12 Green Vaquero was calling my name bad! Couldn't justify have two bikes that rode the same or replacing the only bike my wife will ride on with me.

I test rode the Vaquero at the '11 Kawasaki Ticket to Ride event in Nashville, TN. I think I enjoyed following it more than riding it. ;) It does have one sexy behind. LOL!
 

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Ha, for sure.

Actually, I didn't like the bright colors. One of the reasons I wanted a Voyager was it's more 'neutral' colors. I liked the Blue and the Burgundy. But I got an ad for leftover '14 Vaqueros at a ridiculous price (I ended up only paying $11k, and still getting $3k for my VN900; so $8kOTD brand new), and I went in and just absolutely fell in love with that orange. I had to have it! So that's how I went from wanting a Voyager to ending up on a Vaquero. I do sometimes miss the trunk though (I had one on my 900).

Once in a while there'll be a Vaquero with fog lights, tall windshield, and a trunk installed. And I'm thinking; sheesh, why didn't you get the Voyager? Ha! I suspect some folks love the look but then realize they need a little more practicality. I refuse to put a trunk on mine though; I'll just make do. A trailer hitch is a better solution anyway! (And exactly what I did!)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The Vaquero is a pretty popular machine. I have ridden the Harley. It has it's advantages. I think the Vaquero looks way better but that's pretty objective. I think both are great machines. Harley's established market, marketing programs and reputation will always keep them the best seller.

The Vaquero is still a pretty popular machine and at least according to my Dealer it's been a staple and a good seller. The Voyager sells a little better according to them. And that's not surprising. Right now the full-dresser touring bike is what's hot on the market. The Voyager is very close in price to the Vaquero, depending on where you're at, it can be had for pretty much the same price if you shop around. For some, the trunk, included accessories (fog lamps, 12v socket, etc.), taller windshield, etc., make it a better value.
I bought mine from a private party but the dealer I was at which is one of the largest metric dealers in the KC area said they only sell about one or two a year and I just thought that was a tragedy and he agreed. However it was nice to stop and get some food at a restaurant to run into some guys on a ride and to have them admire my bike. I'm just put off by the aftermarket options and the prices.
 

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I bought mine from a private party but the dealer I was at which is one of the largest metric dealers in the KC area said they only sell about one or two a year and I just thought that was a tragedy and he agreed. However it was nice to stop and get some food at a restaurant to run into some guys on a ride and to have them admire my bike. I'm just put off by the aftermarket options and the prices.
Wow!

Well every market is different. My dealer is, by their own admission, primarily a sport bike dealership. But they can sell Vulcan 900's and Vaquero's all the time. They sell a couple a month.
 

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Wow!

Well every market is different. My dealer is, by their own admission, primarily a sport bike dealership. But they can sell Vulcan 900's and Vaquero's all the time. They sell a couple a month.
At those prices, I imagine they do!
 

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Harley Davidson

I think Harley Davidson owners are a bunch of followers looking to fit into the Harley Davidson culture which is a bunch of BS. Their culture is all about the all mighty buck! Over priced bikes, parts, accessories and clothing.

I will never buy a Harley Davidson for that reason alone.
 

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At those prices, I imagine they do!
Well, the price I got was a "deal". A Kawasaki rep came around trying to offload some leftover 2014 bikes. They beat them up on it and ordered a few hundred 2014 Models of basically everything Kawasaki had. ATV's, Jet Ski's, Sportbikes, etc. Basically took all they had leftover at a steep discount. That included two Vaquero's, both of which sold before noon on that same day. Luckily, I just happened to go in there (Was in the area, thought I'd look around), happened to talk to a salesman who told me about the order, and I ended up putting a deposit on one of those two. The other was sold before it was even out of the crate. (Well, I guess, technically, they both were).

In fact my stepdad bought two Jet Ski's from them, also 2014 leftovers, and my neighbor bought a '14 Leftover ZX6R! That was the place to be if you wanted a 2014 Kawasaki anything.
 
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