2009 Kawasaki VN1700 Voyager
World's First Japanese Full-Dress V-Twin
Designed for those riders set their sights beyond
the horizon, the new VN1700 Voyager offers everything
needed for comfortable long-distance touring with
or without a passenger.
Kawasaki's first full-dress V-Twin, the new Voyager
is equipped with a large front cowling and windscreen,
as well as leg shields for superior protection from
the wind and the elements. Ample storage care of a
top-mounted trunk, hard panniers and dual glove boxes
ensure that all the touring necessities, and even
a few luxuries, can be accommodated.
Essential touring features like cruise control and
a 6-speed transmission with an overdrive gear are
joined by Kawasaki's latest innovative technology.
K-ACT (Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology)
ABS complements rider active brake control with supplementary
brake force enhancement for confident, highly effective
braking in all situations. Kawasaki's first fully
electronic throttle valve (ETV) system offers smooth,
natural engine response.
New 1700cc long-stroke liquid-cooled V-Twin engine
offers increased torque and power output for superior
passing performance. The new powerplant is mounted
in a compact, lightweight frame that delivers light
Taking inspiration from 60s sports cars, the VN1700
Voyager's bodywork is a study of muscular curvature.
Both bodywork and engine covers received the meticulous
attention to detail and exquisite craftsmanship expected
of all Kawasaki cruisers, let alone a flagship model,
resulting in contoured forms that look good from any
angle and are as pleasing to the touch as they are
to the eye.
Offering a metric alternative to V-Twin tourers,
the new VN1700 Voyager combines Kawasaki reliability
with the performance, comfort and amenities that long-distance
touring riders demand.
Performance: The Ride
Newly designed engine is based on that of the VN2000.
The new engine offers both significant power and torque
gains and superior passing performance. The 1700cc
engine is mounted in a new frame designed for light
weight and light handling. The Voyager's compact package
offers ease of manoeuvrability.
Powerful 1700cc V-Twin engine
Long-stroke, liquid cooled, SOHC, 8-valve 1,700 cm3
V-Twin engine was designed to deliver high levels
of torque. Bore and stroke measure 102 x 104 mm. Torque
is approximately 15% greater than that of the VN1600D.
Valve system is based on that of the VN2000, but
uses a SOHC arrangement instead of OHV for more direct
engine feel and easier merging onto freeways.
Large capacity airboxes are located on either side
of the engine.
Twin mufflers (one on each side) are based on the
same construction as those on the VN2000.
Semi-dry sump (like that on the VN2000) allowed the
crankshaft to be lowered, enabling a longer stroke
without increasing engine height.
Both pistons are connected to a single crankpin.
Primary balance is satisfied care of two counter-balance
Small-diameter iridium spark plugs reach deep into
the combustion chamber for high combustion efficiency,
especially at low-load operation (near idling).
Belt final drive is quiet and efficient and helps
reduce maintenance chores. Using carbon fibre instead
of Kevlar as a tensile material, the belt offers high
strength (tensile strength is increased by 40%) with
a slim size and light weight. Belt width (28 mm) is
more comparable to that of the VN900 models (26 mm)
than that of the VN2000 (40 mm).
The clutch features six damping springs for 3-stage
progressive damping that contributes to smoother feeling
when getting back on the gas.
Superior passing performance
Engine tuning offers superior acceleration in the
50-70 mph (80-113 km/h) range. Even in overdrive,
the engine pulls strongly in this speed range, facilitating
overtaking at highway speeds.
Designed from the start to be as light and slim as
possible, the frame minimises the number of forged
parts and trims any unnecessary meat. The only forged
parts (the down-tube joint, engine brackets, side-stand
bracket, rear fender/shock absorber bracket) are areas
that require additional strength. The new frame is
lighter than that of the VN1600A, with greater torsional
More compact in design, the VN1700 has a shorter
wheelbase than both the VN2000 and VN1600. The compact
design contributes to light handling.
Shorter distance between the seat and frame head
pipe facilitates handling at low speeds, especially
when executing U-turns.
Mounting the front cowling to the frame rather than
the handlebars contributes to light handling when
manoeuvring at low speeds.
Tyre choice and suspension settings also contribute
to the light handling.
A number of features facilitate long-distance touring
and rider and passenger comfort.
Large windscreen and front cowling protect rider
and passenger from wind and elements.
With the front cowling mounted to the frame, any wind
buffeting is transferred to the bike rather than the
handlebars, contributing to reduced rider fatigue
on long trips.
Leg shields have air vents that allow airflow to the
legs to be adjusted.
50 litre lockable trunk is large enough to fit two
Top-opening panniers are also sealed and lockable,
with a volume of 38 litres each.
Up front, lockable glove boxes provide a handy place
for storing small items and accessories. An iPod jack
(optional connector required) is located in the left-side
Sculpted seat designed for both comfort and easy
reach to the ground.
Upright riding position and floorboard contribute
to all-day touring comfort.
Roomy passenger seat is complemented by padding on
the trunk that provides back and arm support.
Rear floorboards contribute to passenger comfort.
Dual adjustable rear air-shocks ensure a comfortable
Speed transmission with overdrive
6th gear is an overdrive gear, contributing to stress-free
riding and better fuel economy when cruising at highway
20 litre fuel tank offers a substantial range, helping
to minimise fuel stops when out on the open road.
Suspension / Brakes
Coactive Braking (Voyager ABS only)
K-ACT (Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology)
ABS enables riders to execute controlled, balanced
braking. Designed to complement riders' applied brake
force, K-ACT ABS ensures ideal brake force distribution
to maximise braking efficiency.
Rider actuation of the front brake lever and/or
rear brake pedal causes brake fluid to act directly
on caliper pistons per usual brake systems. Pressure
sensors (one for the front brake master cylinder,
and one for the rear) detect the amount of braking
force the rider is applying. Then, taking into account
the vehicle speed at time of initial brake application
(care of vehicle speed sensors at the front and rear
wheels), the brake ECU determines the amount of corresponding
brake force necessary for maximum braking efficiency.
A motor operates fluid pumps in front and rear pressure
control units, increasing pressure to the front right
caliper (based on rear pedal application) and/or rear
caliper (based on front lever application) as necessary.
Two more pressure sensors (one measuring front right
caliper fluid pressure, the other measuring rear caliper
fluid pressure) also provide feedback to the brake
K-ACT ABS also incorporates anti-lock braking function
to help prevent the wheels from locking up during
hard braking in a straight line.
For maximum controllability in tight corners and
when executing U-turns, K-ACT ABS's coactive function
does not engage when braking is initiated at speeds
below 12 mph (20 km/h). The ABS function is disengaged
at speeds below 4 mph (6 km/h).
Kawasaki Cruisers have always been a showcase of
craftsmanship and attention to detail. The VN1700
Voyager is no exception. With 60s-era American sports
cars as a design theme, all surfaces have a muscular
curvature that flows from one end of the bike to the
other. Like on the VN2000 models and VN900 models
before them, design of the engine covers and bodywork
on the VN1700 models received meticulous care to ensure
the bikes not only look good from any angle, but also
that their elegant form is as pleasing to the touch
as to the eye.
Basic engine structure has a great impact on a V-Twin
engine's appearance. Using a semi-dry sump enabled
the engine's long-stroke configuration without increasing
The line created by the top of the airbox and the
cylinder heads forms a curved lined that continues
to flow through the bike.
Deeply chromed engine covers have curved upper surfaces.
Their three-dimensional form adds volume and gives
a quality appearance.
Like those on the VN2000, the edges of the fins
receive a special NC treatment that makes them gleam
All the non-chromed parts of the engine have a matt
black finish that further accentuates the chromed
Slim design of the belt drive contributes to appearance.
Muscular front cowling is reminiscent of American
sports cars in its sculpted, flowing design. Chromed
headlamp cover and twin fog lights contribute to the
The elegantly shaped fuel tank tapers at the rear,
contributing to the VN1700's curvaceous figure, its
lines flowing through the rest of the bike. The fuel
tank's curves have constantly varying radii, giving
the bike a dynamism that is both powerful and sexy.
Its hand-sculpted contours are pleasing both to the
eye and to the touch.
Kawasaki craftsmanship is also evident in the styling
motif of the front fender.
Liberal use of chrome contrasts nicely with the bodywork's
deep, lustrous paint. In addition to the engine, the
front and rear guards are chromed, as are the accents
on the panniers and trunk. Even the trunk brackets
are fully chromed.
Motif from the front fender continues on the rear
The VN1700 Voyager is the first Kawasaki V-Twin
tourer to feature an elegant LED taillight.
In addition to the taillight on the rear fender, a
large LED taillight mounted on the rear of the trunk
is highly visible and contributes to the VN1700 Voyager's
Instrument layout and large round dials give the
VN1700 Voyager's console a classic automotive appearance.
This image is reinforced by the font used on the instrumentation.
Even the radio has a classic look, reminiscent of
8-track players from the 60s.
Cutting-Edge Cruiser: Loaded With The Latest
As a flagship model, the VN1700 Voyager comes equipped
with a number of new systems, many Kawasaki firsts.
K-ACT (Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology)
ABS ensures smooth braking control for confident,
highly effective braking. Kawasaki's first fully electronic
throttle valve system offers smooth, natural engine
response and easy starting in cold conditions. Cruise
control and multi-function instrumentation complete
with an audio system compatible with iPod and other
systems are also standard equipment.
ETV (Electronic Throttle Valve) System
Kawasaki's first fully electronic throttle actuation
system enables the ECU to control the volume of both
the fuel (via fuel injectors) and the air (via throttle
valves) delivered to the engine. Ideal fuel injection
and throttle valve position results in smooth, natural
Control of both fuel injection and airflow
enables precise cold-engine idling speed control.
The simple system makes it easy to incorporate other
systems, like cruise control (please see below).
Twisting the throttle grip actuates a throttle pulley
on the throttle body. The Accelerator Position Sensor
(APS), also located on the throttle body, sends a
signal to the ECU, which then actuates the throttle
valves via a DC motor. Throttle position is confirmed
to the ECU by Throttle Position Sensor (TPS).
Redundancy in the system (APS and TPS each send two
sets of signals to the ECU) ensures some control is
maintained in case of failure.
Because the throttle grip is connected to cables,
the feel at the grip is like a standard cable-operated
Operation of the cruise control is conveniently
from the right handle.
Cruise control can be activated between 30 mph (47
km/h) and 85 mph (137 km/h) in 3rd gear or above.
Operating the brake lever, clutch lever or rear brake
pedal causes the cruise control to be disengaged.
Closing the throttle beyond the "zero-throttle"
position is another instinctive way to disengage the
Multi-function instrumentation and audio
Multi-function LCD display in the centre of the instrument
console is controlled by switches on the right handle.
Features include a gear position indicator, clock,
odometer, dual trip meters, remaining range and average
Pushing the "S" switch to the left ("MODE-A")
toggles the middle display between "RANGE"
(remaining cruising range) and "AVERAGE"
(average fuel consumption). Pushing the "S"
switch to the right ("MODE-B") toggles the
upper display from "ODO" to "TRIP-A"
to "TRIP-B" and back.
Audio system with twin speakers features radio (FM/AM/WX
in N. America, FM/MW/LW in Europe and FM/AM in Australia)
and compatibility with an iPod, XM tuner or CB radio
The audio system (and iPod) can be operated by switches
on the left handlebar.
Ignition switch allows on-position key removal, preventing
key bunches from damaging the luxurious chrome finish
around the ignition area while the bike is in operation.
Turning the ignition switch collar to the "OFF"
position turns the engine off and necessitates re-insertion
of the key to restart. "ACC" position allows
accessories to be used while the engine is off.
Dual 35 W fog lights have a dedicated On/Off switch
and can be adjusted vertically.
ACG with rare earth magnets puts out 155 W for powering
accessories. 12 V socket located below the right-side
glove box provides a power source for optional accessories.
Front and rear guards help protect the bike's bodywork
in the case of a stationary fall.
- Engine type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke V-Twin
- Displacement; 1,700 cm ³
- Bore x stroke: 102 x 104 mm
- Compression ratio: 9.5:1
- Valve/Induction system: SOHC, 8 valves
- Fuel system Fuel injection: 42 mm x 2
- Ignition: Digital
- Starting: Electric
- Lubrication: Forced lubrication, semi-dry sump
- Transmission: 6-speed, return
- Final Drive: Belt
- Primary reduction ratio: 1.515 (50/33)
- Gear ratios: 1st 3.077 (40/13)
- Gear ratios: 2nd 1.900 (38/20)
- Gear ratios: 3rd 1.407 (38/27)
- Gear ratios: 4th 1.143 (32/28)
- Gear ratios: 5th 0.967 (29/30)
- Gear ratios: 6th 0.806 (29/36)
- Final reduction ratio: 2.250 (72/32)
- Clutch: Wet multi-disc, manual
- Frame type: Double-cradle, steel
- Wheel travel, front: 140 mm
- Wheel travel, rear: 80 mm
- Tyre, front: 130/90B16M/C 67H
- Tyre, rear: 170/70B16M/C 75H
- Rake/Trail: 30/ 177 mm
- Steering angle, left / right: 35/ 35
- Suspension, front: 45 mm telescopic fork
- Suspension, rear: Swingarm with twin air-assisted
- Rebound damping: 4-way
- Brakes, front: Dual 300 mm discs
- Dual: 4-piston
- Brakes, rear: Single 300 mm disc Twin-piston
- Metallic Titanium / Metallic Diablo Black
The specifications mentioned here apply to and have
been achieved by production models under standard
operating conditions. We intend only to give a fair
description of the vehicle and its performance capabilities
but these specifications may not apply to every machine
supplied for sale. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.
reserves the right to alter specifications without
prior notice. Equipment illustrated and specifications
may vary to meet individual markets. Available colours
may vary by market.