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I'm shopping for a bigger bike to replace my VSTAR 950. Looking at Stratoliner and Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1700. Which is better and why. Your opinion needed.
 

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You really need to ride them. I think the Vulcan is going to sit higher than the Stratoliner. The Yamaha will have more HP/TQ but the Vulcan has a 6 speed. Buy the one you like to ride best.
 

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I bought a '12 Nomad 1700,and thought that I liked it a lot. Then I rode my friends '11 Stratoliner, and I was done. I traded the Nomad in for a '09 Stratoliner with all the bells and stuff. It had 23 K miles on the clock,and was maintained by the selling dealer. It had lowers, hyway lights, Crash bar,w/ hyway pegs,sissy bar. I love riding it much more than the Nomad,because it handles,much better, and has gobs more power. Most folks complain about it not having a 6th gear. My Nomad turned 27.50 RPM's in 6th, at 70 MPH, so does my Strat in 5th. At that speed, the Strat would just walk away from the Nomad,even if it was in 5th gear.
 

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My 2 Pennies

There are a lot of motorcycle reviews on youtube from professional organizations. I've heard the Nomad has some pretty soft brakes up front and it doesn't disguise its weight well. The stratoliner, well its a Yamaha :)
 

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Stratoliner versus Nomad

I currently own a 2008 Roadliner W/bags, windshield etc. so it's pretty much a Stratoliner. Also own a 2009 Vulcan Nomad. I agree with everything Tynker previously stated.

I personally don't like the six speed. Especially for riding here in Colorado. The extra gear is a waste. No power in sixth. have to downshift on hills or to pass. Strictly an overdrive. Even out on the flat plains or the open deserts of Utah and Arizona it doesn't get any better gas mileage than the Yamaha. At 70 MPH both run the same RPM's. and the Roadliner has more power in 5th without down shifting.

I had a 2006 Vulcan 2000cc that I really liked. It's more comparable to the Strat performance wise. Also a 5 speed. Actually got the same gas mileage on it as the 1700. Go figure? A full fledged touring version of that bike would have been interesting although I think I'd still like the Liner.

The Nomad sits higher, more upright and doesn't handle quite as well in the curves. Very stable and comfortable on the open road. The factory seats are better than the Yamaha's. Factory passenger floorboards a plus on the Kawasaki if you'll be riding double. Also has a bigger gas tank which I definitely like better. I really like the Nomad's dual exhaust. Liner shifts a little smoother without as much clank.

Personally, I prefer the additional power of the Roadliner since I've been riding the bigger bikes for a lot of years. I'll be selling the Nomad at some point. However, both are excellent, reliable machines and will be a good step up from your 950. Ideally, assess your riding style and what type of riding you'll be doing. Take a good test ride on both and decide what's best for YOU. I don't think you could go wrong either way.

Just some observations from someone who owns both. Hope this helps you out a bit. Good luck!
 
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