The Kawasaki 1700 Voyager ABS
I rode last year impressed me greatly at all levels: performance, braking, ride and road holding, stability and comfort. My first contact with the less expensive 2010 1700 Nomad, veri close to the 2011 model and an avowed look alike to the H-D Road King, was in the pouring rain, on a six-hour ride from Toronto to Montreal. Save for the fact that I was drenched – my fault for not packing a rain suit – the ride turned into 6 hours of total concentration and fun. This jaunt certainly started off our “relationship” on the right peg.
|The balanced look belies the high capacity of the luggage, the generous ergonomics, and the agility of the surprisingly compact machine. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/Moto123.com)
This latest version of a large displacement bespoke cruiser engine from Kawi features a “long-stroke”, narrow angle V-Twin, with four valves and a single overhead cam per cylinder. The engines performance and economy are enhanced by the use of modern up-to-date fuel injection and throttle-by-wire, as well as an electronic “slipper clutch” so essential to safety on large cruisers.
Two balance shafts ensure vibration-free operation, and a shallow – “Semi dry” according to Kawasaki bumpf – sump make it possible to lower the engine in the chassis, make some room for the longer stroke on this new engine, contribute to mass centralisation, and create more room for the human and a large - and noisy - redesigned air box. A six-speed gearbox – with extra long 6th ratio – and silent belt drive complete the easy-to-use power train.
In Nomad configuration, the big twin peaks at 84hp at a low 5000rpm, and 108 lb-ft of torque at 2750rpm.
The shortened, double cradle chassis has been lightened and strengthened relative to older Nomad models, to improve the ride as well as make the shorter machine more agile and easy to handle in tight street situations as well as out on the highway.
|Simple, without extraneous wires and tubes - like a good design should be. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/Moto123.com)