Not a Gold Wing - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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The thread about the Concours made me think of this. Last week, I pulled into the parking lot at my gym and there's a Gold Wing parked there. I went over to look and thought, "isn't that cute, he named it like you would a boat" because it said "Voyager" on the trunk.

Yep, I was very surprised to discover that it wasn't a Wing but a Kawasaki.

It looked nice and had all the amenities. I'm guessing that this was Kawasaki's attempt to break into the touring market.

Any ideas about why it didn't stick around?


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 09:06 AM
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Uh huh. Two reasons. One it wasn't a GoldWing. Two they were very problematic.

It is so obvious that those things are near carbon copy of a GoldWing. The Yamaha Venture is the same way. From a block away you would swear it was a GoldWing.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 09:25 AM
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I know of at least 7 Voyagers down in Texas, from a slight distance, you would think they were 1200 wings, that is where they took their styling cues from, unfortunately, about the time they came out, the 1200 Wing was going out and the 1500 came in, and Kawasaki couldn't afford to redesign the bike. Still, in it's own way, it was a very nice bike with good ride and handling, a strong engine, but weak gears, later models were very reliable from what I've been told.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 09:30 AM
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I think they made the Voyager for 20 some years didn't they?

I just bought one of these rare birds. The Goldwing is still in the family, though.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 09:40 AM
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If I remember, they came out in 83 as an 84 model, same time as the 1200 Wing. I think they were made up to 02 or 03, but not sure. They started out as a 1300 cc, last ones were 1200 cc. or they were 2 versions with either a 1200 or 1300. After researching, I'm now more confused on these, although even the later models still looked like the first.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 02:22 PM
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Hi Scout,

Kawasaki tried a 6-cylinder inline water cooled in 1979 and offered a full Vetter package on it. Common problems on it were thetensioners would give out and cause all sorts of havoc on the top end. People started using a KAW ZX-11 (crotchrocket) tensioner because it was a straight bolt-on, took about 5 minutes to doand it held up better. Demand wasn't that great for the 6 cylinder so they tried a 'bored' 1100 motor and made that into a 1300 in the early '80s. I think it was 82 or 83 that they discontinued the 6 cylinder KZ1300 and went with the 4 cylinder. They called the 4 cylinder touring bikes the Voyager models and made their own fairings instead of using Vetter's. The Kaw Voyager fairings hada more refined style and shape and were made for the model instead of just being a bolt-on at the dealer.

I have a KZ1300 6-cylinder touring model in my garage that's one of those projects that never become a priority. They're not worth much in running condition. Mint condition on a 6 cylinder 1300 is about 3k. Normal condition runs about $1,500. Mine hasn't ran in years and isn't mint, so I guess that explains why getting it running isn't a priority right now. But it sits quite a bit lower than a Goldwing 1100/1200 and is just as comfortable as the early Honda GW but it had more power and outrunning a goldwing at stoplights or on highways was pretty easy. (I hope that's not blasphemy on this site.)

Some guys used to take off all the 6-cylinder KZ1300 touring fairings and head out to a racetrack, but they weigh so much that smaller stock crotchrockets could easily beat them. About 120 hp on 800+ pounds. Some people even tried turbos on them. It was money out the window, again because after putting in so many hours and money into a bike, a stock bike could still outrun it. But it was a lot of fun to ride though, even stock with all the fairings on!

The Voyagers are really nice bikes though. It's a shame they stopped making them. I would have liked to see whatKaw would have made to compete with the GL1800.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 03:58 PM
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Thanks for some forgotten history on the Kaw-1300-6. Saw a few on the road years ago. A freind at work bought a new Voyager in 02/03. He's nearing 50k with nothing more than routine maint. Not sure if there're still in production or not.

I looked real hard at the Cavalcade when new, but the local dealer's attitude made me shy away. Ended up with a 2yr old Aspencade and started to lust after the 1300 venture. I still prefer the 86's style to the much beloved 1200 series wings.

Seen way to many competiters drop out of the race over the years. Makes me believe it's one of the reasons for the continually up-ward spiral of the Wing's price. I'm jaded, but seems easy to rest on your laurels when your nearest competiter is one of your own out of production models.... just my $.02

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 07:34 PM
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I've owned a voyager and the second edition venture , both were very reliable, the voyager was one of the best handling full dress bikes and the venture one of the most comfortable .( the second edition venture is more of a competitor to the ultra than the wing )

The voyager made a 20 year run 1984- 2004 almost unchanged ( had earier models a 6 cly and 1300 ), and this being one reason it's market share dropped ,and with Kaw pushing the cruiser lineup .

the venture2 modelsthe 1st edition started in 1983 was to full dress touring then in handling and power what the 1800 is today

The 2nd edition started in 1999 is very close in ride and seating as the ultra but for it being larger ,smoother ( v4 eng at 98hp ) and with a 5yr unlimited warranty

Here to is Yamaha with a capable tourer ,and they too are more concerned with there cruiser line up and sport bikes

I'am not pushing these bikes but I do appreciate good bikes and the fact that we have so many quality manufactures and styles to choose form

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 07:45 PM
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Shooter wrote:
Quote:
Seen way to many competiters drop out of the race over the years. Makes me believe it's one of the reasons for the continually up-ward spiral of the Wing's price. I'm jaded, but seems easy to rest on your laurels when your nearest competiter is one of your own out of production models.... just my $.02
That's what it's all about. Competition. Honda/Kaw/Suzuki/Yamaha all put out great sportbikes for a good price because they know the others are always looking to beat them. That's why I wish someone else could get in the big bike touring market besides Harley.

Hopefully Honda doesn't become lackadaisical about the next progession after the 1800. I really would have liked to see what Kaw would be making to compete with the 1800 if they stayed in this instead of focusing on cruiser and sportbikes.

Shooter: Price of freedom. Great quote. Glad to see it on your signoff.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2007, 03:46 AM
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IRAQI RAM wrote:
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Shooter: Price of freedom. Great quote. Glad to see it on your signoff.

Thanks,
I stole it off the wall of a Marine latrine in Bien Hoa, 1971.

For those who've never fought for it, the price of freedom shall never be known.... Shooter (2Late45)

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