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Torn between Nomad 1500 and Road Star 1700. Love both, but...

   I'd love to hear from any and everyone who could give me some info. I am not about to buy this bike in the very near future, but still, as soon as I can. I have loved the Yamaha Road Star 1700 for years--the fact that the engine walls are a coated ceramic composite, which supposedly means the motor never wears out, as long as you keep the oil changed. It surely means that it CAN'T be rebuilt, though. I love the fact that the clutch is a 'dry' one, and the sound of it with aftermarket pipes. Belt drive  doesn't lose much power, but some mean person could cut it with a knife, and shaft means NEVER having to adjust, just keep that special oil in there. The top end of the Road Star is a bit quieter. but I don't mind the noise, as long as it doesn't mean parts wearing out that have to be replaced or rebuilt over and over. I absolutely love the look of the left side case on the left side of the Kaw, and the fact that the saddlebags (Nomad) can hold more since the pipes come out the back, instead of both on the right loke a Star, or the bike it copies, the H.D. If I got a Nomad, I would only want a 1500,because the smaller tank looks so much better than the one on the 1600 to me; I do want a fuel injected model, however. Another mark in favor of the Nomad is the fact that I could get one (from what I've seen) at least a thousand bucks cheaper than the Road Star---maybe because that motor never wears out, I don't know. I've seen some Nomads for sale that were fairly low mileage for only $3000 to $4000 dollars. I wonder how long a Nomad can go before it needs rebuilding, and if it's practical to do such a thing. I wouldn't be putting a lot of miles on it, because I have to work 6 days a week--I'd probably ride it to work often in warm weather, because I live only 23 miles away, and work 2nd shift. Is it just that thing of 'apples vs. oranges?' Thanks for any input that can help me decide.

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18 Comments

I'm a star guy. I've ridden multiple kawis and they make a great bike but for me they've been a bit top heavy. It all comes down to what feels best to you and your budget

Btw... welcome to the site from central NewYork

Ride them. Take each out on some twisties and see which one tells you you love it

What Valerie said ... not just around the block but a decent run. Whichever "fits"you the best is probably the way to go.

Yeah no shot test ride. Which ever one feels the most comfortable, that's the one I'd go with

I'll add that you should pay attention to anything that you might not like and try to determine if it it would be easy to correct. If it really bothers you and it's not any easy fix, go with something else. Such problems are rare and most issues can be "customized" away.lol

True Edwins

You can't rebuild them ... what? I need some clarification " Ceramic cylinders...You can't rebuild them?"

You go Edwins

I want to confuse you more. I ride a Road star. I Set on a Kawasaki vulcara ,which I thought was awesome. Had batwing factory fairing and hard bags factory matched paint ,radio, and phone charger. short inseam legged person I set flat footed. 1700 cc bike.

Vaqularo

I have an 07 1600 Nomad with 72,000km on the clock and still rides like new actually better with the work I've done to it, so I'd be happy to recommned the Nomad.

However the Star is a very nice looking bike and every bit as reliable also.

I think it comes down to which one like others have said feels right when you ride it. Good luck with your choice.

I like my current bike alot. But I am looking to move up from mid-size to large size. I am torn between the Harley Road Glide and the Triumph Rocket 3 touring. I am looking at the Triumph because it is a 2300 with tons of torque, and if I air and exhaust it right with a command module with auto tune; it will be fffffaaaaast!!!! But it's not a Harley, and there is something special about the vibration of a Harley when it first starts up that sends a adrenalin burst though my body. But thats where I am leaving it for now. When I have the funds and the wherewithall, I will test ride each and do my research prior to the decision. I am happy with my current bike so it's a ways off. That's my advise research and test drive first.

Before you buy any bike type "problems with Road Star" or "problems with namad" on the internet and see what comes up. I did that with my bike and knew I might have problems with the starter clutch and have taken measures to insure that it doesn't fail and/or studied up on the repair procedure..

Drew ... if you do go the way of the Rocket, there are several first rate suppliers of aftermarket goodies in the USA ... who will make your Rocket lift off to the moon! British Customs is one of my favourites. Bought a lot of stuff from them when I had my Speed Triple. I am biased, but I would go the Road Glide path ... esp the CVO version.

Could of bought off the floor 2015 Rocket 3 touring for $11,800. Unfortunately the Road Glide keeps rising in price now at about $26,000. Price does factor in.

A Rocket 3 with a turbo kit has considerable appeal (he says grinning like a loon!).

I did 4,000 miles on a Road Glide when i visited the USA in 2013 (posted some pics a few minutes ago). Loved every minute with that beast.

David,
Don't know where you are from and if temperature (climate) is a consideration. A few things to think about - the Road Star is air cooled and the 1500 Nomad is liquid cooled. Liquid cooling is one more thing to maintain but if you live in a hot climate it may be worth considering. Otherwise, air cooling works well (at least where I live). Another thought - you specifically mentioned the 1500 Nomad (not 1600 or 1700) and the 1500 has been out of production for quite a while. So keep in mind that the newest 1500 Nomad is a decade older than the latest Road Star. Given the age of the newest 1500 Nomad ( over a dozen years old), your choices of finding a nice one might be limited while the newest Road Star is only about three years old. I've been looking at the Road Stars as a step up and just haven't found the right one yet. 2008 was the first year for fuel injection on the Roadie and I wouldn't even consider an older carbureted model. The FI ones run great!
Here is a great review on the Road Star 1700 (fuel injected) - http://cruiser.mototribe.com/2008-road-star-silverado-review/2008-road-s... - this guy knows his stuff.
If you don't need liquid cooling, the Road Star is a great choice. The Roadie also has a lower seat height than the Nomad if that is a factor. But I'm sure you will find that out when you sit on them! Good luck.

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