Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycle Reviews on Cycle Insider (16)
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2007-06-15 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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Bought Nomad new in June, 2004. 33748 miles now and no problems as of yet. During winter I did preventative maintenance such as greased swing arm bearings and drive shaft universals. Next winter I plan to grease piviot bearings on front end. July, 2006 we made a 3700 mile rount trip to Grand Canyon then back thru the Colorado Rockies, the Nomad preformed great at all altitudes. Have been getting 43 to 46 mpg. Would definitely buy another Nomad if they were as good and smooth as this one.
- J. Morrow, N/E, AR., Arkansas

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2007-04-25 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought the 2004 Nomad from a private party through a dealer in Shrewsbury, Ma. The bike had about 6,300 miles on it and was in like new condition. Now has 13,400 and running great. Being the biggest and heaviest bike I've owned was a problem until I learned how to handle it. (a few drops in the first few months) To help the sluggish low end I installed a TFI fuel injector module and V & H pipes. Nice sound. Switching over to Amsoil full synthetic motorcycle oil immediately made the shifting much smoother. This is a great bike and I'd buy another.
- Bob T, Somers, Connecticut

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2006-12-04 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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I have returned to riding after 19 yrs. A serious crash kept me off bikes for those years. I just bought my Nomad used, had 2400 miles and found it here. I am thoroughly pleased with this machine, powerful, loaded, excellent riding single or with my beautiful wife. Can't wait to go on a long ride to flush out any real issues.
- Bob L, Hughson, California

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2006-08-09 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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Now that I've had the Nomad for just over a year and have 9200 miles on it, I'm just as pleased with it as I was when I wrote the first review on 07/29/2005. I can't stay off the machine !! I run all my errands on it, and only take the car for large items when shopping - then go back with the bike for the small stuff. The noisy engine used to bother me and now it's music to my ears - it runs like a top !! A trip from Denver to Virginia Beach and back, was a blast on this machine !!
- Anonymous, Denver, Colorado

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2006-01-18 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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The Nomad is made to ride. If you want to ride any long distance and enjoy yourself this, is the bike. You could spend thousands of dollars more and buy an H-D - and not get the comfort and reliability that this bike offers. Compare them, you will agree too. I have spent 600 miles in the saddle in one day, and went dancing that night.... Let's ride!
- Tim Cometman, Simi Valley, California

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2005-09-05 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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As a rider for 50 years, and after having been away from riding for 3 years, the yearn to travel on two wheels was just impossible to ignore. So after 20 some bikes, including my last one a 1985 Yamaha Venture (17 years / 200,000kms), I decided to buy a new Nomad. Having put some 25,000 kms on it in about 6 months, I believe I'm now in a position to give it a fair and accurate review. On the plus side, it is one of the most flexible bikes around, in that it can easily be adapted for full touring, or left as is as a cruiser. The motor is truly one of the most magnificent units in the motorcycle world. Although it only produces 67 hp, at no time do you feel underpowered due to it's massive torque. It is smooth at any rpm level, and never feels as if it is working in the least, even fully loaded and steaming up high mountain passes at high speed. The overall ride is smooth, fuel economy is excellent 50 mpg Canadian (unless the bike is modified from stock which seems to decrease that significantly), and it cruises all day at 75 to 85 mph at a low 2500 to 3200 rpm. It's a real "looker". I am routinely queried at stop light by people, some of whom don't even ride, about the make, with the inevitable comment.."Boy,that's the best looking Harley I've ever seen". From my perspective, it is in my opinion, the best overall choice I could have made for full touring short of buying a Gold Wing. This is an all around fully satisfactory motorcycle. On the con side, nothing is perfect including the Nomad. After 8 hours in the saddle, the rear, back portion of the seat which has a 45 degree slope, tends to put pressure on the tailbone, resulting in discomfort. The need for high test gas is a minor annoyance, albeit only to the pocketbook when you go to fill up. Continual high speed, high heat driving will eat tires within 10,000 kms as I found out in two days of high speed driving across North Dakota and Montana (this bike is heavy, which does add to overall comfort and stability though). A factory supplied tachometer would be nice, although they are easy enough to add aftermarket. The ride is smooth and fully controllable around any curves, and with fuel injection, it is totally oblivious to high altitude (10,000 feet plus in Colorado). The hard bags carry a lot of gear once you get bag liners for them (TLC Products on e bay), are completely waterproof unless overloaded, but I badly miss a tailtrunk, which would be a good factory option for this machine. The rear air shocks are fully adjustable for weight and don't seem to adversely affect handling at any setting. The front shocks can be a bit choppy over certain kinds of sharp pavement, but overall acceptable. And best of all, the price is one of the lowest available for a reasonably equipped cruiser. I would have had to pay a full $10,000 more for a Gold Wing, and in doing so, lost all the magnificent appeal of a V twin motorcycle Having just returned from a three week, 12,000 km tour of Montana, Utah and Arizona, I can honestly say that I am chomping at the bit to hit the road again on this wonderful motorcycle. Ride safe all
- R.H.Campbell, Ottawa, Ontario

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2005-03-18 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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After learning to ride and survive on my 1100 Shadow Spirit over the past 3 years, I was ready to move up to a larger bike and had been anticipating that Kawasaki would finally put the 1600 engine on the Nomad. Well, when they did, I knew it was the bike for me. I got it for my 50th birthday and have put all of 100 miles on it today. My initial impressions are all good. The bike is well balanced with a low COG which makes handling in tight spots relatively easy. It seems to hug the road and responds well to slight steering input; really a very nimble bike, but only if you finesse it instead of trying to manhandle it. The stock seat is very comfortable and the windshield provides a good "air bubble" with no buffeting, at least not at break-in speed (which is under 60mph). I can't wait to see what she feels like at higher speeds. I can tell this bike is going to have power to spare and feels "torquee", even at low speeds. I have no plans to customize or change anything at this point... all the stock components seem more than adequate to me. The only complaint is that the engine has died twice while decelerating, after releasing the throttle it started right back up, but I keep expecting it to happen again. I'll check back with the dealer if it continues. I reset the idle adjustment, which hopefully will help. All in all, a great bike and certainly worth the wait... here's to the next 50 years! Ride safe.
- Psyclist, Brandon, Mississippi

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2005-01-27 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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I was tired of fixing my 1998 H-D FXSTC and wondering if it would start next time I rode. It also had a lot of miles on it, so it was time for a change. After doing a lot of research, and as an owner of two Voyagers, I headed in the Kawasaki direction. Loved everything about the Nomad--looks, quality, price, reliability, dealer, etc. Bought a new '03 model in '04, primarily because of the color scheme but also because I got a good deal. Have put over 7000 miles on last season from short trips to long ones. I do not have one complaint and have not looked back from my H-D days. Can't wait for the '05 riding season to start.
- Bob Nelson, Brandon, South Dakota

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2005-01-19 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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A pleasant surprise this bike has turned out for me. I purchased the 04 Nomad about 4 months ago and have accrued 5000 miles on it thus far. It hasn't disappointed me as yet. I ride and ride long and hard. From the kiss of the sun to the sting of the rain, I'm comfortable. Here in FL, you get a good taste of each. I replaced the exhaust system with a Vance & Hines system as well as a light bar and Sissy bar. No other modifications. I wasn't looking for blinding speed, just comfort with a good sound. It delivers. There is a small oversight. Consider checking the oil by your self on a trip. No dipstick! You know what I mean!! See Ya'll at Bike week.
- Dandy Don, Jacksonville, Florida

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2005-01-17 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought my new 2004 Nomad Fi in Sept of '04, and have put around 1,200 miles on it before it got too cold to ride. Although this is my first bike in 10 years, I've ridden bikes all my life, and I have to say this one beats them all. (So far anyway) I've given the bike an overall rating of 5 stars based on the 4 catergories and I'll do my best to break them out for you.<br /> Reliability: 5 Stars<br /> As mention above, I've only had the bike since Sept. and only ridden it approx. 1,200 miles. So as far a reliability, no problems what so ever. Starts on first try, every time!<Br> Performance: 4 Stars<br /> The only slight flaw with this bike is the get up and go! I knew prior to buying the bike was not known as a speedster, and I wasn't looking for that. I do however want to know when I hit the gas to pass a car, the speed will be there. In this area, the Nomad was a little sluggish.<br /> Comfort: 5 Stars<br /> If you're looking for a comfortable bike for the long weekend rides, I don't think you'll find a better bike than the Nomad. As you can tell by my personal info above, I'm a big guy, and I was worried comfort could be an issue. No issue what so ever on the Nomad. With the couple of add on's (Highway pegs, throttle lock) I intend on adding, I'm planning my first long haul trip this spring down to FL.<br /> Quality: 5 Stars<br /> I would put the overall quality of the bike up against any other bike. And with the cost difference, the Nomad can't be beat. Again, take this review for what it is worth. I've only had the bike for 4 1/2 months and only rode it 1,200 miles, but so far, so good! I will try and update, when I get another 12-1,500 miles on it.
- Dave M, Hershey, Pennsylvania

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2004-12-03 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought an Nomad FI 3 months ago with 9,000 miles. This is bike #6. I'm 62 years young and have owned several I-4's and last year bought my first v-twin, a Honda Shadow Tourer twin. I was shocked that a twin could be so smooth. My wife rides with me everywhere so I felt a need to step up to a larger bike. My Nomad exceeds all my expectations. The smoothness of this bike is phenominal and almost compares to a Goldwing. I love the touring capability of this bike. The wind buffeting was cured with the Edmonds lowers but the best addition was a Rifle direct-fit replacement windshield which comes in 3 heights. Get the one that fits your style so that it can be run in the lowest adjustment. This is the best wind protection you can get from a windscreen. I here riders complain about tire wear and noise from cupping. I learned in a hurry that tire pressure is one of the most important maintenance items on this bike. Keep the tires inflated at least 2 lbs. above recommended by Kawasaki. This will almost eliminate cupping and will do wonders for gas mileage and also give a noticeable increase in performance. Before buying this bike I checked out "The Popular" twin and this bike has features "The Popular" twin only wishes for (hydraulic clutch, water cooled, shaft drive, looks &#038; price). Needless to say, "I LOVE MY NOMAD"!
- Milton Faglier, Stockbridge, Georgia

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2004-12-01 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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I ride lots of miles every year. This has been a great bike and is my main trasportation. I ride it most every day and I have never looked back. Kawasaki has done a great job with this bike.
- Madrider, Greenville, North Carolina

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2004-06-09 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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don't be misled by the 500K figure above - that's just a SWAG about the number of miles I've ridden in the past 20 years. I've owned a lot of bikes and liked most of them pretty well. My machines have ranged from a 1966 Yamaha 350, 2 stroke - on which I traveled widely over the US and Canada - to my latest bike, a 2002, 1500 Nomad FI. I bought the Nomad because at age 66 I found myself increasingly concerned about not being able to flatfoot my BMW R1100RT. I loved that RT on the road but I have to say that the Nomad is nearly as quiet and just as vibration free as the Bemmer. I've put my Nomad through the paces on a number of extended tours, from prairie to desert to mountain roads. It is a pleasure to ride. And it's the right height for me. When I'm on the road there is a feeling of steadiness that only comes from a big touring bike. Kawasaki builds a winner here!
- Jack Casner, Kansas City, Missouri

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2004-06-06 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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After spending about a year and a half on a 2003 Kawi Voyager XII, comparing it to the Nomad is like apple and oranges (I-4 vs. V-twin). The Voyager was great but I never used or needed all the gadgets and it just wasn't my style. The Nomad is terrific! Just a great "meat and potatoes" touring bike made for long hauls. Being only 5'8", the seat height was better for me. Long rides are a piece of cake on the Nomad. I even got caught in a heavy rainstorm and the bike pulled through like a tank! I keep hearing that the Vulcan is slow. Granted, it would probably have trouble keeping up with my 2003 Voyager XII in an all out race, but who the heck buys these things to brag about the speed??? Having said that, after riding over 20 years &#038; having owned several models, makes and sizes of bikes, the Nomad has plenty of power for its purpose. I can easily get up to 80 in a snap riding 2-up or solo (with plenty of throttle left) and she's rock solid at any speed. I've also read about vibration in some reviews...I can only guess some of the riders are new to large V-twins. Part of the charm is the RUMBLE. It has great torque for pulling hills and handles quite well for such a heavy bike. You gotta love the cool hard bags! Hissing from gas tank a little strange, but so far this is a great bike. I can't seem to stay off the thing. I keep finding excuses to take her out on the backroads, freeway, downtown, etc! This bike is at home anywhere you take it. Read the reviews by many Pros! Even they can't stay off it!
- W. Wysong, Spring Hill, Tennessee

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2004-05-26 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought an 04, blue and silver in October. I was considering a vstar 1000 but was talked into riding this first and didn't even take the vstar for a test ride. Less than 1/2 mile and I was sold. (Had an older 88 goldwing - very awkward before for my very first bike). The nomad, has less power than other vtwin cruisers but seems to allow me to keep up with my friends on their harleys. Had to install a tach to see what the engine is doing in the midst of their loud pipes. Stock seat is the biggest drawback on this rig, it and the stock pillion are not very comfortable for long rides. Overall, I am very pleased and would recommend it to anyone. I was a beginning rider when I bought it and it has been easy to ride.
- Patrick George, Maple Valley, Washington

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2004-04-01 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Motorcycles View Listings

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I traded up from a Honda Sabre 1100cc last Sept 03, to the 04 Nomad. I could not be more pleased with my purchase. Longer rides (over 300 miles) in one day don't wear me down like my last bike did. Most everyone makes note of the Nomad's speed, these folks must have just got off a sports bike to make such a statement. I find this bike to be a great long haul cruiser, if you're in a hurry buy a sports tourer.
- C.B., Orlando, Florida

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