Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classica vs. Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager - Tour De Divorce

Pairing Up This Year's Two Hottest Traveling Companions

By Jamie Elvidge, Photography by Jamie Elvidge, Kevin Wing

2009 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide | Price: $19,919 (As Tested: $20,984)

Tech Spec
Engine type: a-c 45-deg. V-twinRear brake: Single Brembo four-piston caliper, 300mm discFuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 47/35/41 mpg
Valve train: OHV, 4vFront tire: 130/80-B17 Dunlop D407Availability: Now
Displacement: 1584ccRear tire: 180/65-B16 Dunlop D407Warranty: 24 mo./unlimited mi.
Bore x stroke: 92.25 x 111.25mmRake/trail: 26.0 deg./6.7 in.Contact:
Harley-Davidson Motor Co.
3700 W. Juneau Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53208
Compression: 9.2:1Seat height: 27.3 in.
Fuel system: EFIWheelbase: 63.5 in.
Clutch: Wet, multi-plateFuel capacity: 6.0 gal.
Transmission: 6-speedWeight (tank full/empty): 877/841 lbs.
Frame: Steel double cradleMeasured horsepower: 64.0 bhp @ 5250 rpm
Front suspension: 41.3mm Showa forkMeasured torque: 78.3 lb.-ft. @ 2500 rpm
Rear suspension: Twin Showa shocks with air-adjustable preloadCorrected 1/4-mile: 14.57 sec. @ 87.97 mph
Front brake: Dual Brembo four-piston calipers, 300mm discsTop-gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 13.95 sec.

Output is woefully insufficient for an 877-pound motorcycle, but the 64 horsepower the 96-cubic-inch Electra Glide produces is certainly an improvement over the older 88-c.i. mill. The torque curve is admirable, however, with over 70 lb.-ft. available from idle on up to 4500 rpm.

The Harley is the king of comfort. Firm, well-contoured saddle and perfectly placed floorboards aside, the new frame and suspension make the ride noticeably smoother. The smaller windscreen and lack of leg protection are the only places the Harley falls short of the Kawasaki.

By Jamie Elvidge
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