Kawasaki Vulcan Classic vs. Honda VTX 1800 - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

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Old 03-13-2012, 09:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 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
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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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!
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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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.

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Old 03-13-2012, 10:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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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.

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Old 03-13-2012, 11:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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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 .

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Old 03-13-2012, 11:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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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!
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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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'...
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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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

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