2009 Kawasaki VN1700 Classic Tourer

22 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2009 Kawasaki VN1700 Classic Tourer
Kawasaki VN 1700 Classic Light Tourer

2009 Kawasaki VN1700 Classic Tourer

Introducing A New Series Of 1700cc V-Twins

Kawasaki is proud to introduce its newest series of big V-Twins. The VN1700 Series, successors to the VN1600 models, feature powerful 1700cc engines, light handling and trademark Kawasaki craftsmanship.

The new engine design is similar to that of the mighty VN2000, but features a SOHC rather than OHV arrangement. Its increase in displacement and long-stroke design ensure both torque and horsepower gains over the VN1600 models. New features include Kawasaki’s first fully electronic throttle valve system, a new 6-speed transmission with overdrive, and belt final drive like the VN2000 and VN900 models.

The new lightweight chassis is more compact than that of previous models. Chassis design and suspension settings result in light handling.

Bodywork and engine covers were completely redesigned. Like on all Kawasaki Cruisers, meticulous attention to detail and exquisite craftsmanship result in a product that turns heads whether parked in front of a café or cruising down the highway.

The VN1700 Series is comprised of four models: two Tourers (VN1700 Voyager and VN1700C) and two Cruisers (VN1700E and VN1700G). Variations in tuning and equipment mean there is a VN1700 model for all Kawasaki Cruiser fans.

VN1700 Voyager: Kawasaki’s first V-Twin full-dress tourer features all the comfort features and equipment necessary for long-distance two-up touring. (For more details about the Voyager please refer to the VN1700 Voyager Model Information.)

VN1700C (VN1700 Classic Tourer): Cruise control, large windscreen, hard panniers, passenger floorboards and luxury backrest enable comfortable two-up touring. Ideal for overnight tours with a passenger.

VN1700E (VN1700 Classic): Whether looking to riding around town or to escape the city for the day, the Classic offers a great V-Twin pulse, effortless handling and timeless looks.

Powerful 1700cc V-Twin Engine

Newly designed engine is based on that of the VN2000. Both variations (one for touring, one for cruising) offer both significant torque and power gains over their predecessors, as well as superior passing performance. All models feature Kawasaki’s first fully electronic throttle valve system, which together with the fuel injection system offers smooth, natural engine response.

Another change from the VN1600 series is the new 6-speed transmission featuring an overdrive gear.

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.

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 shafts.

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).

Engine tuning variations

Two series of engines were designed for the new VN1700 models: one for the touring-oriented VN1700C (and VN1700 Voyager), and one for the cruising-oriented VN1700E and VN1700G.

The difference was achieved through different FI settings and muffler systems. On North American models, the result is that peak torque (up about 15% from the VN1600D) and peak horsepower (up about 20% from the VN1600D) occur at different rpm: cruising-oriented models are tuned such that peak performance occurs at lower rpm.

VN1700 Voyager / VN1700C VN1700E/G

Max torque @ 2,750 rpm @ 2,250 rpm

Max power @ 5,000 rpm @ 4,500 rpm

All models feature dual mufflers with the same base construction as those on the VN2000. However, the VN1700C (like the VN1700 Voyager) features twin mufflers (one on each side), where the VN1700E and VN1700G feature dual mufflers on the right side of the bike.

The clutch on the VN1700C and VN1700 Voyager models 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.

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 engine response.

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 throttle.

6-speed transmission with overdrive

6th gear is an overdrive gear, contributing to stress-free riding and better fuel economy when cruising at highway speeds.

Cruise control (VN1700C only)

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 cruise control.

Light-Handling Chassis

With VN1700 series models featuring a more compact package than their predecessors, the new frame was designed for light weight and light handling.

Light handling

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 rigidity.

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.

Tyre choice and suspension settings also contribute to the light handling.

Chassis variations

The VN1700C and VN1700G add wind protection care of adjustable handlebar-mounted windscreens.

Sub-windscreen and deflectors on the VN1700C further increase wind protection performance. The sub-windscreen covers the area between the windscreen and headlamp when the windscreen is in the raised position. The fork-mounted deflectors help direct air away from the rider’s legs.

The VN1700C features hard, lockable panniers (same as those on the VN1700 Voyager). The top-opening panniers provide 38 litres of sealed storage space for overnight touring.

Rider and passenger seats differ between the touring-oriented VN1700C and cruising-oriented VN1700E/G. The rider seat of the VN1700C is the same as that on the VN1700 Voyager; passenger seat is also sculpted for greater all-day comfort.

Also contributing to passenger comfort, the VN1700C features a luxury backrest with integrated passenger grab bars. On the VN1700G, a studded tombstone-shaped backrest provides passenger back support.

As a final contribution to passenger comfort, the VN1700C features passenger floorboards instead of the footpegs featured on the VN1700E/G.

Dual adjustable rear air-shocks ensure a comfortable ride feel. Settings are different between the VN1700C and VN1700E/G. VN1700E/G also feature chromed shock covers, contributing the luxurious finish of the rear of the bike.

Front and rear guards on the VN1700C help protect the bike’s engine and panniers in the case of a stationary fall. Convenient helmet locks located on the left- and right-side pannier guards.


Kawasaki Craftmanship

Kawasaki Cruisers have always been a showcase of craftsmanship and attention to detail. The VN1700 series models are no exception. 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 its height.

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 in sunlight.

All the non-chromed parts of the engine have a matt black finish that further accentuates the chromed parts.

Slim design of the belt drive contributes to appearance, especially on the VN1700E.


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.

Ignition switch allows on-position key removal, preventing key bunches from damaging the instrument cluster or tank 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.

Multi-function LCD displays on the tank-mounted instrument cluster are controlled by switches on the right handle. Features include a gear position indicator (new for Kawasaki cruisers), fuel gauge, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, remaining range and average fuel consumption.

Pushing the S switch to the left (MODE-A) toggles the lower display between CLOCK, 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.

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 fender brackets, light stays, pannier accents (VN1700C), front and rear guards (VN1700C), and rear shock covers (VN1700E/G) are all chromed.

Motif from the front fender continues on the rear fender.

The VN1700 is the first Kawasaki Cruiser to feature an elegant LED taillight.


Kawasaki VN 1700 Classic Light Tourer
Kawasaki VN 1700 Classic Light Tourer

Engine type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke V-Twin

Displacement: 1,700 cm3

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 / 169 mm

Steering angle, left / right: 35 / 35

Suspension, front: 43 mm telescopic fork

Suspension, rear: Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks 4-way

Brakes, front: Dual 300 mm discs. Dual twin-piston

Brakes, rear: Single 300 mm disc. Twin-piston

Dimensions: (L x W x H) 2,500 mm x 1,025 mm x 1,465 mm

Wheelbase: 1,665 mm

Ground Clearance: 140 mm

Seat height: 750 mm

Curb Mass: 373 kg

Fuel capacity: 20 litres

Maximum power: 54 kW / 5,000 rpm

Maximum torque: 136 N ·m / 2,750 rpm

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.

Kawasaki VN 1700 Classic Light Tourer
Kawasaki VN 1700 Classic Light Tourer

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