Kawasaki is no stranger to top-shelf touring bikes that can hit long-distance rides as easy as they cross the block. That’s why the new Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS is such a stand-out bike for the Japanese motorcycle company. It’s the classic tourer that is capable of whisking you and a passenger away in total comfort and classic style.
As the flagship of the Vulcan 1700 family, the 2011 Voyager boasts all the stuff you’ll need for such adventurous treks starting with a smooth and shockingly torquey 1,700cc V-twin powerplant and a large frame-mounted fairing. The Kawasaki throws in beautifully integrated luggage that stows a week’s worth of gear, a comfortable saddle, electronic cruise control, a high-fidelity sound system, and an optional K-ACT anti-lock/integrated braking system.
There’s no question in anyone’s mind the stature of Kawasaki in the industry. So when they release a full-fledged touring bike with all the bells and whistles, you know that you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
Find out more about the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS after the jump.
As a long-haul tourer that needs superior wind and weather protection, the Voyager comes with a large frame-mounted windshield and fairing, as well as leg shields that incorporate effective venting to keep engine heat off the rider’s legs during slower going. To make the bike as fully integrated as possible, Kawasaki also added sealed, lockable, and top-opening side cases with 10 gallons of volume partnered with a color-matched, 13.2-gallon lockable tail trunk that’s big enough to swallow two large full-face helmets. The bike also boasts of a pair of lockable glove boxes up front, as well as comfortable seating for both the rider and the passenger. As far as the bike’s instrument panel is concerned, the Vulcan 1700 Voyager has a multi-function LCD display that adeptly mixes in with the retro analog dials in the center of the instrument console with features that include a gear-position indicator, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, remaining range and average fuel consumption. There’s also an intercom headset-compatible, 40-watt, twin-speaker audio system that features a three-band (FM/AM/WX) radio while also being compatible with iPods, an XM radio tuner, or a CB radio unit.
The Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS carries a powerful 1,700cc 52-degree V-twin engine, one that comes with liquid cooling, four-valve cylinder heads and a single overhead cam setup for big-time mid-range power. The engine uses a pair of pistons to pump out all the torque you need over a wide rpm range. Likewise, the Voyager’s fuel injection and exhaust systems have all been tuned to deliver peak torque and horsepower at slightly higher rpm than the Classic models. The Voyager’s mufflers, meanwhile, have been redesigned to improve the bike’s sound quality while improved shifting action, a revised intake manifold, and a slight EFI tweak improve throttle response by optimally matching up with the newly designed mufflers. Additional touring functionality is provided by the Voyager’s beefy but easy-to-squeeze clutch, one that carries six damping springs and progressive three-stage engagement for easier shifting under hard acceleration.
Featuring overdrive ratios and a super strong carbon fiber drive belt, the Voyager’s drivetrain is ideally suited to its role as a relaxed mile-eater. Its tall fifth and sixth gears contribute to relaxed riding and better fuel economy at highway speeds, and its carbon fiber drive belt has a 40-percent higher tensile strength than the latest Kevlar units, allowing use of a 28mm design that minimizes drivetrain width.
Chassis and Suspension
The Voyager handles like a much lighter machine thanks to an optimal chassis design and excellent suspension. Dual air-shocks offer 3.1 inches of rear suspension travel and feature settings unique to the bike while the shocks feature 4-way rebound damping adjustability that helps ensure predictable handling and a comfortable ride. Dual 300 mm front disc brakes come with dual twin-piston calipers while a single 300 mm rear disc brake with a twin-piston caliper is responsible for the bike’s outstanding stopping power.
Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valve per cylinder, 52° V-twin
1,700cc / 103.7ci
Bore x Stroke
102 x 104mm
108 lb-ft at 2,750 rpm
Liquid, plus cooling fins
TCBI with Digital Advance
Digital fuel injection, dual 42mm throttle bodies
Six-speed with overdrive
Steel, double-cradle with box-section single-tube backbone
30° / 7.0 in.
Front Suspension / wheel travel
45mm hydraulic fork / 5.5 in.
Rear Suspension / wheel travel
Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks, with 4-way rebound damping / 3.1 in.
Front Tire Size
Rear Tire Size
Brakes, front / rear
Dual 300 mm discs, dual twin-piston calipers / Single 300 mm disc, twin-piston caliper