With input from pressure and speed sensors, the
brake ECU sends directions to the motor-driven hydraulic pumps so they deliver
the proper amount of pressure to the brake calipers. This speed sensitive system
provides a progressive engagement and disengagement that delivers a natural feel
to the rider. With the anti-lock braking (ABS) function incorporated into the
K-ACT, the wheels are prevented from locking up, even under strenuous braking.
For maximum control in tight corners and when
executing parking lot maneuvers, K-ACT’s coactive function does not engage when
braking is initiated at speeds below 12mph and the ABS function is automatically
disengaged at speeds below 4mph. Two robust 300mm front disc brakes with
four-piston calipers and a single rear disc brake with a two-piston caliper
provide the stopping muscle.
More unique technology is found in Kawasaki’s new
fully electronic throttle valve system which makes its debut on the all-new
Voyager. Working with the rest of the fuel injection system, the electronic
throttle valve offers a smooth, natural engine response. It also helps the ECU
to deliver an ultra-precise metering of both fuel and intake airflow to the
engine and helps provide accurate cold-engine idle speed control, reduced rider
fatigue and a “natural” throttle feel.
The system utilizes dual sensors; an Accelerator
Position Sensor (APS) on the throttle body and a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)
on the throttle. Both of these sensors feed data to the ECU, which in turn
adjusts the throttle plates with exacting precision. The system is capable of
functioning on one set of data alone, offering redundancy in the unlikely event
of a sensor failure.
The Voyager’s light, compact frame holds a newly
designed 1700cc V-twin engine based on that of the Vulcan 2000. However, it uses
a single overhead cam in each cylinder head, rather than push-rod actuated OHV
arrangement. This permits higher revs and quick acceleration from the new engine
– delivering superior passing performance at highway speeds. The new engine’s
compression and displacement increase, and long-stroke design delivers
significant torque and power gains over its predecessor.
This is no V-twin from yesteryear. The Voyager’s
fuel injection system, like those in use on Kawasaki’s Ninja® 650R and Vulcan
900 motorcycles, utilizes one sensor in place of the usual three for less
complexity and weight. Besides the obvious advantages of FI like improved fuel
economy, the system also permits easy hands-off warm-up and idle control.
The Voyager’s FI and exhaust are tuned to deliver its peak torque and horsepower
at higher rpm – ideal for its open road operating environment. More touring
refinement comes from the clutch, which features six damping springs and
progressive three-stage damping for smoother torque delivery and easier shifting
from the big 1700cc engine under hard acceleration.
Kawasaki’s latest innovative technology is matched with essential touring
features like cruise control and a six-speed transmission with overdrive fifth
and sixth gears. The cruise control is conveniently operated from the right side
of the handlebar and can be activated between 30 and 85 mph in third gear or
above. Disengagement is easily accomplished by using the brake lever, clutch
lever, rear brake pedal or closing the throttle.
The new six-speed transmission features overdrive
and a super strong carbon fiber drive belt. The tall fifth and sixth gears
contribute to relaxed riding and better fuel economy at highway speeds. The new
carbon fiber drive belt has a 40-percent higher tensile strength than current
Kevlar units, and allows it to use a thin and light 28mm belt that helps keep
the width of the Voyager to a minimum.
The Voyager supplies superior protection from the
wind and the elements thanks to a large frame-mounted windshield and front
fairing, as well as leg shields. Mounting the fairing to the frame transfers any
wind buffeting to the bike rather than the handlebars, reducing rider fatigue on
long trips. Airflow to the lower extremities can be adjusted via air vents in
the leg shields.
Nothing needs to be left behind thanks to the
color-matched, top-mounted 13.2 gal (50L) lockable trunk – large enough to fit
two large full-face helmets – and the sealed and lockable, top-opening
saddlebags offer another 8.6 gal (38L) of volume each. Besides this ample
storage, the Voyager also has lockable glove boxes up front providing a handy
place for storing small items and accessories. An iPod player jack (optional
iPod accessory connector required) is located in the left-side glove box.
Comfortable seating for the rider and passenger
is a must on a touring bike and the Voyager delivers again with plush deluxe
seats that are sculpted for all-day comfort. Contributing to long-distance
passenger comfort is a luxury backrest with integrated passenger grab bars and
floorboards for both the rider and passenger.
Advancing the riding comforts to the next level
are the instruments and built-in radio on the Voyager’s classic automotive style
console. The image is reinforced by the classic font used on the large round
dials of the instrumentation and the radio that’s reminiscent of 8-track players
from the 1960s.
Mixed in with the retro analog dials is a
multi-function LCD display in the center of the instrument console. It’s
controlled by switches on the right handle and features a gear position
indicator, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, remaining range and average fuel
The intercom headset-compatible, 40W,
twin-speaker audio system features a three-band (FM/AM/WX) radio that is also
compatible with an iPod, a XM radio tuner or a CB radio unit. The audio system
(and iPod) can be operated by an integrated controller on the left handlebar.
Besides volume, the rider can adjust the bass, treble and balance levels of the
The Voyager also features a water-cooled
alternator with rare-earth magnets that produces an impressive 48.5 amps of
electrical output; enough to power add-on navigation systems and other
electrical accessories that enrich modern touring. The Voyager has a convenient
cigarette lighter-style power port on the dash and two power outlets under the
seat – ideal for plugging in electrically heated vests.
The designers were able to infuse the abundant
technology into the new Vulcan 1700 Voyager with the presence and visual appeal
expected of a Kawasaki flagship. Like the dashboard, the Voyager’s bodywork
continues the 60’s muscle car inspiration with its study of muscular curvature.
The meticulous attention to detail and exquisite craftsmanship expended on both
bodywork and engine covers is revealed in the contoured forms that look good
from any angle and are as pleasing to the touch as they are to the eye.
Designed from the start to be as light and slim
as possible, the new single backbone double cradle frame uses the minimal amount
of forged parts and metal for a reduction of 4.4 pounds and a 40-percent
increase in rigidity. With a shorter seat to steering head distance, the new
lightweight chassis is more compact and shorter overall with a corresponding
decrease in wheelbase. The easy-to-reach handlebars facilitate better low-speed
maneuvering and contribute to greater rider confidence and comfort.
Adding to the light and easy handling of the new chassis design are the new
suspension components, which are tuned to match the Vulcan 1700 Voyager’s
touring performance. Dual adjustable rear air-shocks provide 3.1 inches of
travel, and include air adjustable spring preload and rebound adjustment to
ensure a comfortable ride feel with unique settings for the Voyager. Up front, a
large 45mm fork offers four-way preload adjustment, 5.5 inches of travel and
promotes precise steering feedback.
The Voyager rolls on new nine-spoke cast wheels,
which use tubeless tires and complement its new muscular styling. Mounted on the
attractive wheels are a 130/90 front radial tire and a wide, 170/70 rear radial
tire. These aren’t the giant size tires that can "dull" handling, but beefy
treads that offer good traction, smooth ride and good style.
Offering a stylish alternative to traditional V-Twin tourers, the new Vulcan
1700 Voyager combines Kawasaki reliability with the performance, comfort and
amenities that long-distance touring riders demand.
Powerful 1700cc V-Twin engine
- Liquid cooled, 4-valve per cylinder, fuel-injected 1700cc V-twin engine
- Long-stroke 102 x 104mm bore and stroke helps deliver high levels of torque -
approximately 15 percent greater than that of the Vulcan 1600
- Valve system is based on the Vulcan 2000, but uses a SOHC arrangement instead
of OHV for more direct engine feel and quicker revving
- Semi-dry sump allows a lower crankshaft placement and a longer piston stroke
without increasing engine height
- Single-pin crank provides the desirable power-pulse feel
- Twin counter-balancers handle smoothing the engine pulses
- A large capacity airbox is located on both sides of the engine
- Small-diameter iridium sparkplugs reach deep into the combustion chamber for
high combustion efficiency, especially at low-load operation (near idling)
- Features dual mufflers, one on each side of the bike
- Engine tuning offers superior acceleration in the 50-70mph (80-113km/h) range
- Even in overdrive, the engine pulls strongly in this speed range, facilitating
overtaking at highway speeds