Kawasaki Vulcan Classic vs. Honda VTX 1800 - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
will_maxim's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 118
Kawasaki Vulcan Classic vs. Honda VTX 1800

Hi, all. I'm semi-shopping for a bigger bike ("semi" because I really can't afford one...). Was interested in the VTX 1800, but ran across a Kawasaki Vulcan Classic 1600 at the local used bike shop.

2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic VN1600 $6,995 - Classic Iron Fredericksburg Virginia 22408

This one has all the perks I'm looking for (liquid cooled, fuel injected, shaft drive), and some nice-to-haves, like an LCD gas gauge and a second alternator. It seems to be at a great price, compared to the VTX 1800s I've seen at the same year and approx. mileage. Only drawback is that I'd have to start over with a new windscreen, lightbar, etc. to duplicate accessories on my Shadow. Most of the VTX 1800s I've seen have these accessories already.

Can anyone comment on how the 1600 would compare to the 1800 in terms of torque or power? I'm interested in 2-up highway riding over 2-3 hour trips (maybe longer rides someday).

Any thoughts on how Kawasaki, as a brand, compares to Honda in terms of reliability? Are all the Japanese manufacturers more-or-less equal now? Suzuki has some sweet-looking cruisers, too.


2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750
National Cycle HeavyDuty Touring windscreen
Hondaline lightbar, sissy bar, and luggage rack
River Road saddlebags

Death plucks my ear and says, "Live! I am coming." - quoted by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. on his 90th birthday
will_maxim is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 118
Kawasaki is a great bike. They traditionally have the strongest engines and make great power. My brother's 900 was the fastest thing I ever rode, but it's been quite a few years ago.

At that CC level, the type of riding you described will be easy!

Uncle Aero is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 11:23 AM
Senior Member
h13man's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 6,078
From my experiece just sitting on the Vulcan they are nicely balanced. The VTX is top heavy from what others have posted but VTX is a powerful bike second to only the M109 as far as metric cruisers in this class.

06' 1100 Spirit (sold 6/23/13)
71' CL 100
99' Valkyrie
Ride Bell by "Yoman"

To everything there are exceptions.
h13man is offline  
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 11:49 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Taylors, S.C.
Posts: 48
Personally I'd go with the Honda. I believe either would last as Kawasaki is a good bike and will take a beating just as Honda will. As you stated though, I'd rather buy a bike with a lot of the bolt ons I wanted already there over buying a bike only to put another grand or two into it just to get it close to what I wanted. Top that off with the bigger cc's to finish the "Mines bigger than yours" deal. Lol As previously stated, with the cc of both, I don't see where you'll have any cruising troubles at all on any distance, however with that in mind I would go sit on some and see how comfy it'd be for you if trips are in your plans. Good luck with it.

2002 Honda Shadow Spirit VT1100C

Last edited by Honda-Rider; 03-13-2012 at 11:50 AM. Reason: H
Honda-Rider is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 12:04 PM
steve2010's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Palm Coast, Fl
Posts: 220
Send a message via AIM to steve2010
The honda has mechanical valves so need adjusting, the Kawasaki has hydraulic valves. I love my kawi it is a 1500 classic F.I but a great bike .

steve2010 is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pa
Posts: 93
I like the look of that Kawi. It already has upgraded shocks. I also like the cover behind the headlight.

Who cares what you ride........as long as you ride!
jrapp is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 12:11 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,144
Originally Posted by will_maxim View Post
I'm interested in 2-up highway riding over 2-3 hour trips (maybe longer rides someday).

The ACE Tourer excels at both of your requirements and can be had WAY cheaper than either of the bikes you're looking at. Just sayin'...

chicago is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 02:10 PM
Senior Member
CrazyDave's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Manchester NH
Posts: 22,506
I had a Vulcan 1500, if not for the constant carb issues I probably would have kept it, but that was either a 95-96 and like most other things, newer models are better.

The things I like about them most are classic looks and they keep the radiator tucked in better then Honda

Skulz..it ain't just a bike thing to me
CrazyDave is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome