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Old 11-15-2012, 03:21 AM   #1
kojack OP
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Kawasaki vaquero owners here?

Anyone own a vaquero here? Your thoughts on it? I have been going back and forth between a Harley bagger and the kawi. My father in law has an Electra glide standard, and I like that bike a lot, but every time I go into the dealer, as I own a versys, so I'm always venturing in to see what new goodies are in, I find my ass mysteriously parked on the vaqueros seat. The new orange with flames paint is very very nice too.

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Old 11-15-2012, 10:54 AM   #2
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I own a 2012 Voyager -- the touring version of the 1700 that shares a lot of the Vaquero parts and I am very happy with it.

Since it'll come up, why wouldn't you just buy a Harley, since it's in the mix? I'd be happy to share why I didn't buy a Road Glide or Ultra Classic over the Voyager.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:28 PM   #3
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here's a great site for info on Kawasaki baggers

I bought a 2008 Nomad 1600 a couple of months ago and this site has been really useful.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:48 PM   #4
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here's a great site for info on Kawasaki baggers

I bought a 2008 Nomad 1600 a couple of months ago and this site has been really useful.
+1 - great bike, great website

Also just bought a 2007 Nomad 1600FI and MY GOD it is a sweet ride. Shaft drive, hydraulic lifters, Fuel injected. A "just ride it" bike.

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Old 11-15-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DRconvertible View Post
I own a 2012 Voyager -- the touring version of the 1700 that shares a lot of the Vaquero parts and I am very happy with it.

Since it'll come up, why wouldn't you just buy a Harley, since it's in the mix? I'd be happy to share why I didn't buy a Road Glide or Ultra Classic over the Voyager.

Curious to hear your reasons, I have been keeping an eye on two 2012's that a local dealer is sitting on and probably will be all winter. The biggest downside that I have found is the fuel economy, quite a bit worse than the harleys from what I have read and of course the big depreciation hit and lack of resale value if that bothers you. If the price really goes down in the dead of winter I might just have to take a closer look. Also another local dealer is way overloaded on harley switchbacks that I also like the looks of but even being friends with the owner of that dealership I doubt he will move enough on the price to make me bite on them, but who knows?
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:16 PM   #6
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Had great reviews in the cycle rags... Remember, if "the lifestyle" is important, get the H-D.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:24 PM   #7
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Curious to hear your reasons, I have been keeping an eye on two 2012's that a local dealer is sitting on and probably will be all winter. The biggest downside that I have found is the fuel economy, quite a bit worse than the harleys from what I have read and of course the big depreciation hit and lack of resale value if that bothers you. If the price really goes down in the dead of winter I might just have to take a closer look. Also another local dealer is way overloaded on harley switchbacks that I also like the looks of but even being friends with the owner of that dealership I doubt he will move enough on the price to make me bite on them, but who knows?
Harley resale value is a myth - if you ride a lot. I seriously looked into getting one. I hit several dealerships looking at used bikes to find a few possibilities that would fit in my budget. Then I took their parts catalog and realized I would have to spend a few thousand more $$$ to get it to do what I wanted it to do. Then add in the fact that I ride 15k-20k a year, while most harley owners rarely ride, and I would be coming back to the market to seel a bike that had big miles on it, while "the competition" would be selling bikes with only a few thousand miles on them. I would have to take a bath on the price in order to move it.

Then add in the price of doing business with a HD dealership. My HD riding friends bend over every time they walk in the door. And they KNOW they are getting screwed, but they do it anyway. I guess you have to earn those $35 t-shirts.

Not me. Give me a good Japanese bike and I will be happy to show those HD boys my tail light.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mrbreeze View Post
Harley resale value is a myth - if you ride a lot. I seriously looked into getting one. I hit several dealerships looking at used bikes to find a few possibilities that would fit in my budget. Then I took their parts catalog and realized I would have to spend a few thousand more $$$ to get it to do what I wanted it to do. Then add in the fact that I ride 15k-20k a year, while most harley owners rarely ride, and I would be coming back to the market to seel a bike that had big miles on it, while "the competition" would be selling bikes with only a few thousand miles on them. I would have to take a bath on the price in order to move it.

Then add in the price of doing business with a HD dealership. My HD riding friends bend over every time they walk in the door. And they KNOW they are getting screwed, but they do it anyway. I guess you have to earn those $35 t-shirts.

Not me. Give me a good Japanese bike and I will be happy to show those HD boys my tail light.

I don't disagree at all, that is why I gave the caveat, "if that matters to you" some people like to change bikes like underwear, and there is no denying that a low mileage used harley takes less of a depreciation hit than a low mileage used vaquero.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:34 PM   #9
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Those Vaqueros are pretty damn nice looking...


And the Voyagers - WOW...
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jbc View Post
Curious to hear your reasons, I have been keeping an eye on two 2012's that a local dealer is sitting on and probably will be all winter. The biggest downside that I have found is the fuel economy, quite a bit worse than the harleys from what I have read and of course the big depreciation hit and lack of resale value if that bothers you. If the price really goes down in the dead of winter I might just have to take a closer look. Also another local dealer is way overloaded on harley switchbacks that I also like the looks of but even being friends with the owner of that dealership I doubt he will move enough on the price to make me bite on them, but who knows?
Much of what I'll say applies to the Vaquero as well as the Voyager. I wanted a large displacement V-Twin tourer for the open road. I did not want a fork mounted windshield or fairing. I did not want shaft drive. Liquid cooling, although a plus, was not mandatory.

The Road King and Ultra Classic each had fork mounted shield/fairings and so I did not consider them. I did check out a 2011 Road Glide and liked it well enough that I might have bought it, but my experience at the local Harley Dealership really turned me away.

I don't have much in the way of brand loyalty. I think almost all manufacturers are building bikes that are so much better than they were 20 years ago that you can't really go wrong with any choice. I would have bought just about any brand bike if it proved to be what I wanted. While I was at the Harley Dealership, I was not being sold a bike. They were pushing a lifestyle on me. They were very concerned with apparel and accessories and talked about group events and image. I made an offer, nearly what they were asking, and was blown off.

I didn't want anything from Yamaha or Suzuki because they don't have serious offerings in the class. I didn't want a Gold Wind and even though I really liked the K1600GTL, I just couldn't see spending $30K on a motorcycle while my daughter is in college.

I rode the Road Glide and then the Voyager and bought the Kawasaki.

The Kawasaki idled smoother. On the road they are a push. Both are very smooth but I think the Voyager feels better sorted.

The Kawasaki offered a little more room. I'm 6'3" and while neither allow me to stretch out a lot, the Kawasaki was a little bigger.

In 2012 Kawasaki added the Air Management System to the Voyager that directs hot air away from the rider's and passenger's legs. It works really well. The Voyager is much cooler on hot days in traffic and at slow speeds.

I have found a comfortable setup for the air shocks in the rear, and plan to add Gold Valves and springs to the forks on the Kawasaki, but feel the Road Glide has a more comfortable ride.

Handling's a push. Both are big, heavy motorcycles and neither handles better than any other big, heavy motorcycle.

There are two ways to look at appearance. Most of the time people are going to look at the Kawasaki, try to find a similar HD, then talk about how Kawasaki copied the Harley. I don't feel that way. I like the look of the Road Glide fairing and am so-so on the Electraglide fairing. I think the Voyager (and Vaquero) fairing doesn't look like either. The headlight surround reminds me of the 1966 Chevy Nova and I like the overall shape of the fairing and the built in driving lights of the Voyager.

From the rear, they all look like a typical bagger rear end. I prefer the rounded off bags of the Kawasaki and have found mine to be adequate in size and constructed well. The Vaquero uses the Nomad style bags.

Kawasaki made improvements to the gearboxes in 2011 and the 2012 I own shifts much smoother and quieter than the Road Glide I rode. The HD gearbox wasn't bad, just not as smooth as my Voyager.

Both engines have hydraulic lifters and easy maintenance. I wish the Kawasaki had a separate gear box oil supply like the HD. I don't particularly like a shared oil supply, but it wasn't a deal breaker for me.

The Harley will maintain a higher resale. I'm committed to keeping my Voyager for a while, though, so that doesn't matter a whole lot to me.

The first tank of gas I put through my Kawasaki netted about 36 mpg and I was disappointed. The last two tanks have been 42 and 44 mpg at speeds of 65-80 mph, much of it with the cruise control on. Mileage has gotten better as the engine breaks in. I'm satisfied with anything between 42 and 45 at realistic speeds.

I've only added a GPS mount, a vented shield, heated grips and a Russell seat to mine. I will be mounting a PC-8 fuse block this weekend. Other than that, I haven't done much to it other than ride it.

I've ridden the Vaquero once. It's a nice riding bike. I like the 1700 engine and I like the styling of the Vaquero. There is a resonable amount of aftermarket support, but only a fraction of what's available for the Harley.

I like the looks of the Dyna Switchback and would consider it for a city bike or commuter. It looks good in photos and even better in person. I wish the controls weren't so far forward. It would make a really nice standard if the seat height was a little higher and the pegs or boards were under the rider.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:22 PM   #11
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I seriously looked at the Vaquero and decided on a Harley because the price wasn't much better, the aftermarket is comparably nonexistent, couldn't get a test ride, the compare reviews I saw liked the Harley better, harley just looks Kooler, lots of used low mile harleys at good discount, the resale is worse (no matter what ya hear), I'm not against the lifestyle and ya meet all kinds of nice folks on a Harley.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:31 PM   #12
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Thanks for the reply drconvertible, it is good to hear from someone that actually rides one, I am very glad to her about your fuel mileage, most people on the kawi forums were reporting about 38 mpg so if you are up into the 40's that would really sway me toward the vaquero as I know I will be able to get a screaming deal on one of the two leftovers in the dead of winter when nobody is buying.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:18 PM   #13
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Thanks for the reply drconvertible, it is good to hear from someone that actually rides one, I am very glad to her about your fuel mileage, most people on the kawi forums were reporting about 38 mpg so if you are up into the 40's that would really sway me toward the vaquero as I know I will be able to get a screaming deal on one of the two leftovers in the dead of winter when nobody is buying.
I think one of the reasons people report poor mileage is the popularity of aftermarket slip-ons and fuel tuners and air intake kits. An overly-rich map in a PC5 and loud pipes and aggressive riding to hear the pipes all result in lousy mileage. The stock pipes are quiet but have a really nice low, mellow tone and other than a little flat spot down around 2300 rpm the stock fueling is pretty good as it is. It really likes to run about 3000 rpm.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:37 PM   #14
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I think one of the reasons people report poor mileage is the popularity of aftermarket slip-ons and fuel tuners and air intake kits. An overly-rich map in a PC5 and loud pipes and aggressive riding to hear the pipes all result in lousy mileage. The stock pipes are quiet but have a really nice low, mellow tone and other than a little flat spot down around 2300 rpm the stock fueling is pretty good as it is. It really likes to run about 3000 rpm.

Good to hear as I am not one to mess with aftermarket mods and am NOT a fan of loud pipes.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:00 AM   #15
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I am looking at the kawi as there is a dealer right in my town, everyone and their mother has a Harley touring here, and I can get a new kawi for less than a used Harley here. And if I goes used vaquero, then the price is even better. As for the aftermarket, how big do you really need, I can get pipes, seats, racks a 21" front wheel kit, grips, shields, lights, intakes, tuners, etc. Really? The aftermarket point is moot.

The kawi will have no maintenance issues either. My salesman at the kawi dealer rides a Harley, and he says him and his buddies go for a ride, at least one of their harleys is sure to be on the side of the road fixing something.

So on to either order a new orange or find a left over green or blue vaquero in the states.

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