The touring bike segment isn’t complete without an offering from Kawasaki. In the years that it has been around, the Japanese motorcycle brand has produced nothing short of some of the best tourers on the market, including the original Voyager and the sport-touring Concours models.
As recently as 2009, Kawasaki introduced a new member to its touring family, one that comes with all the bells and whistles of a fully loaded bike. Classical design meets new-school technology - that’s the package being offered by the Vulcan 1700 Voyager.
As the flagship of the Vulcan 1700 family, the 2011 Voyager boasts all the stuff you’ll need for such adventurous treks: a smooth and shockingly torquey 1,700cc V-twin powerplant, large frame-mounted fairing, beautifully integrated luggage that stows plenty of gear, a comfortable saddle, electronic cruise control, high-fidelity sound system, optional K-ACT anti-lock/integrated braking system, and the sort of design acumen and dependability Kawasaki is renowned for.
Really, what more can you ask for in a touring bike?
Find out more about the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager after the jump.
Body and Design
In terms of overall design, the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager personifies all the qualities of an all-world cruiser. The powerful and imposing look is highlighted by the plenty of Kawasaki styling cues, including the large frame-mounted windshield fairing that allows the rider to have ample wind and weather protection for all those crazy long-distance runs. Mounting this beautifully sculpted fairing to the frame transfers any wind buffeting to the bike rather than the handlebar, thereby reducing rider fatigue on longer trips. The Vulcan 1700 Voyager also has leg shields that incorporate effective venting to keep engine heat off the rider’s legs during slower going, as well as a full complement of stylish and integrated luggage. Sealed, lockable, and top-opening side cases with 10 gallons of volume partner come together with a color-matched, 13.2-gallon lockable tail trunk that has ample space to accommodate plenty of items, including - if you so wish - two large full-face helmets.
Comfortable seats are also part of the Vulcan 1700 Voyager package. These seats, as well as the accompanying backrest and floorboards, are sculpted to provide additional support for all-day touring.
The classic mix of retro-futuristic design is exemplified by a multi-function LCD display that’s mixed in with the retro analog dials in the center of the instrument console. The display is controlled by switches on the right handlebar and features a gear-position indicator, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, remaining range, and average fuel consumption. Then there’s the audio system, something the Vulcan 1700 Voyager has in the form of a 40-watt, twin-speaker audio system that features a three-band (FM/AM/WX) radio mixed in with compatibility features for iPods, an XM radio tuner, or a CB radio unit.
The Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager is powered by a monstrous 1,700 cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valve per cylinder V-twin engine that features all of the latest in Kawasaki technology, including, and not limited to, the company’s new Kawasaki Advanced Coactive Braking Technology system. Otherwise known as K-ACT, the system uses advanced electronics to translate the rider’s braking inputs from both the front lever and rear pedal into smooth, balanced deceleration and maximum stopping performance. In addition to the K-ACT system, the new Vulcan 1700 Voyager also comes with a fully electronic throttle valve system that works with the Voyager’s Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) system to enhance engine response without compromising the engine’s power specs. This system also helps the ECU deliver ultra-precise air/fuel metering and more accurate idle speed control.
Going back to heart of the engine, the 1700 Voyager comes equipped with liquid cooling, four-valve cylinder heads, and a single overhead cam setup that allows the bike to achieve mid-range power while also being capable of pumping out exorbitant amounts of torque over a wide rpm range.
Chassis and Suspension
Despite its muscular and beefy look, the Vulcan 1700 Voyager handles like a much lighter machine, thanks in large part to an optimal chassis design and excellent suspension set-up that a features a double-cradle steel frame and dual air-shocks offering 3.1" of rear suspension travel. The shocks feature 4-way rebound damping adjustability to help ensure predictable handling and a comfortable ride.
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 @ 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.