KAWASAKI ZG1300 Voyager (1984-1989) Specs, Performance & Photos

1984 kawasaki zg1300 voyager specs, performance & photos.

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Segment: Touring Production years: 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

KAWASAKI ZG1300 Voyager 1984-1989

The Kawasaki Z1300 was a standard motorcycle manufactured by Kawasaki from 1979 to 1989. The bike featured a considerable displacement from a water-cooled straight-six engine.

During its production time, the motorcycle featured a few modifications that included a new fuel injection system that replaced the old carburetors, and the suspension was upgraded to an air system both front and rear. The fuel injection system was changed to improve fuel consumption, but the bike also received a power and torque increase.

The bike was manufactured in several versions, including the Z1300, KZ1300, ZG1300, and ZN1300. The bike was delivered in the United States market with a windscreen, panniers, and a redesigned frame. All additional features came under the Voyager designation.

In 1984, Kawasaki launched the ZG1300 Voyager, a touring-oriented machine loaded with long-distance accessories, such as a windscreen for better protection, a low seat, and side-mounted panniers with a top-mounted case for extra storage.

In the power department, the 1984 Kawasaki ZG1300 Voyager packed a 1,286cc six-cylinder liquid-cooled engine with 130 hp on tap at 8,000 rpm and 115 Nm (85 lb-ft) torque with a maximum peak force at 7,500 rpm.

The bike's riding style was handled by a 41 mm air-assisted telescopic fork on the front with 140 mm wheel travel and side-mounted adjustable shock absorbers on the rear with 110 mm wheel travel.

The braking power was achieved by two 260 mm discs on the front squeezed by dual-piston calipers and a 250 mm disc engaged by a single-piston caliper on the rear wheel, offering optimum stopping power.

KAWASAKI ZG1300 Voyager 1984-1989

Kawasaki zg1300 voyager 1286.

Kawasaki Voyager 1300

Kawasaki Voyager 1300

Kawasaki Voyager 1300 December 1 1983



Call it what you will,the mighty Voyager is not only bigger than its predecessors, it is better.

Before you get a chance to observe anything else about the Kawasaki Voyager, one thing leaps out, grabs your attention and won't let go. That's size. The Kawasaki Voyager weighs 909 lb. with its gas tank half full. No other motorcycle, from any time or country, has possessed such mass. It's as though the Kawasaki is from another planet, one where everything is just a little larger than it is here on earth.


That sentiment stays with you when you lift the bike off the sidestand, try to aim the front wheel and ride away. Everything is massive. Controls, lots of controls, are spread over an expanse of motorcycle and fairing, defying any easy understanding of what means what.

All this changes with time and familiarity. This imposing beast is also

friendly. Controls work with a light touch and are responsive. The seat is amazingly low for such a big bike. At speeds above a parking lot crawl, the big Kawasaki loses that balanced-on-thehead-of-a-pin feel. Out on a straight and empty >

highway, where the Voyager is most at home, it's easy to ride. Just sit there on the wide but hard seat and watch the country disappear around you. Sit back. Relax. Play with the homeaway-from-home entertainment center. It’s spectacular.

Because the Voyager has more size and more gadgets than any other motorcycle, some of the normal motorcycle things get more easily overlooked. That it has six cylinders doesn't seem particularly important. All the rider knows is that the bike starts instantly, runs without complaint, and has more power than the average Peterbilt. It’s also silent in a way that makes other full-dress touring bikes seem a little rough around the edges.

As hidden and unassuming as the engine is, it deserves attention. The bike works as well as it does not in spite of the engine, but because of it. Because the engine has six cylinders, the power impulses are small and the vibration is low. Because the stroke is medium-long at 71mm, the bore can be smaller, 62mm, so the engine is narrower. The liquid cooling helps keep the cylinders packed closely together, too. Double overhead cams are normal Kawasaki, operating two valves per cylinder. New pistons in the 1300 improve the combustion chamber shape and lower the compression ratio to 9.3:1. The clutch is narrower now, to —| make more room for the rider's foot, and new clutch controls* keep lever effort within reason.

Then there is the* fuel injection. Kawasaki worked out its digital fuel injection on several other large bikes. This is the first use of the fuel injection on the big Six, and it is successful in every way. The three double-barreled Mikuni carbs used on the original Kawasaki Six sometimes had trouble at high elevations, and when the 1300 didn’t want to start, there wasn't much a rider could do about it. Now the bike starts instantly hot or cold, responds instantly to any amount of throttle opening and it doesn't suffer as much when it’s ridden at high elevations. There’s also a connection between the fuel injection and several of the digital instruments. Because fuel flow is being metered for the fuel injection, it’s an easy matter for a few chips to calculate instantaneous mileage and how far the remaining fuel will last. The fuel injection can also be set for leaner than average running, this by pushing the Cruise button on the dashboard. The little Cruise light goes on and the instantaneous fuel consumption indicator shows that the bike is getting about 10 percent better mileage. Because the fuel injection works so well, a rider isn't likely to feel any difference between the cruise setting and normal setting. Leave it set on cruise and the mileage is a little better. There should be a little more power at the normal setting, but power is hardly in short supply on this motorcycle.

All the electrical apparatus on this bike needs power, so the Voyager comes with a pair of alternators that puts out 637 watts, more than any other motorcycle. It also comes with a giant 26-ah battery to get everything going. The alternators are mounted on the ends of the crankshaft, one on each end, under chrome covers.

Those aren't the only changes that occurred to the KZ1300 engine on its way into the Voyager. Gearing was changed handle the additional bulk. The first four gears were lowered slightly in ratio, and the final drive ratio was raised. This provides a wider ratio range with slightly higher gearing in top gear. Even though top gear is the only gear not changed, Kawasaki has succumbed to the language abusers and now has a tiny liquid crystal display that reads OD whenever top gear is engaged, supposedly to announce the presence of overdrive.

The Voyager might as well have a light for top gear, there’s enough instrumentation to monitor the workings of any lesser motorcycles. Only two instruments on the Voyager look like any instruments ever seen on motorcycles. Those are the odometer, perched at the left side of the dashboard, and a conventional round dial on the right side of the fairing, but on the Voyager that dial indicates suspension air pressure. Everything else is displayed with liquid crystals. A digital speedometer reads in either miles per hour or kilometers per hour, controlled by a pushbutton on the steering head. To the right of the speedometer is a boomerang-shaped bar graph of a tachometer. A digital fuel gauge resides beneath the tach, and a two-way temperature gauge and voltmeter is mounted below the fuel gauge.

To the left of the speedometer are warning lights for low fuel or oil, sidestand, temperature, fuel injection problems or cruisesetting indicator. The usual indicator lights for high beam, neutral and signal lights are scattered around this dash, along with a digital tripmeter.

Below this main dashboard are the tape player, the electronic compass and the combination radio frequency indicator and clock.

Now then. We're about half-way through the electronic descriptions. All that’s left is radio stuff, the trip computer and suspension controls. Does this sound just a little overwhelming?

Simplest are the suspension controls: A gauge shows air pressure, buttons are provided for increasing or decreasing pressure, for selecting front or rear suspension and another button is used to check pressure. Lines on the pressure gauge indicate the normal range of operating pressures. It’s simple, easy and effective.

Radio controls are a little more difficult to figure out. The stereo tape player in the middle of the dashboard works just like any tape player, with the usual buttons for volume and tone, forward and backward. Then on the left side of the fairing is the AM-FM stereo radio, plus there are places for the optional CB radio and the intercom controls. Then on the left handgrip are buttons for tuning and muting. The radio is a signal-seeking device, so pushbuttons do the tuning. Other buttons select AM or FM, local or distance reception, and cause the frequency to be displayed where the clock is shown. There are four buttons for pre-set stations, and another button to set those frequencies. Weather-resistant speakers are mounted at the edges of the fairing. Reception is excellent, the range outstanding and the sound is great. A separate 32 page instruction manual explains how to use all this hardware, and it is vital. 3

Got all that? Ready for more? Check out the trip computer. It’s the small panel of LCDs covering the gas cap. At the top is a readout for numbers. Below that are two rows of functions, controlled by a panel of four buttons at the bottom. Hit the mode switch (which is also activated by the horn button on the handlebar) and the function changes. The functions shown on the left of the panel are trip functions, including fuel used, average mileage, average speed, trip mileage and trip time. It's reset every time the engine is turned on, or the reset button is hit. The functions on the right are not reset. They include total fuel consumed, a stopwatch, instantaneous fuel consumption, how far the bike can travel on the fuel remaining and there’s another function for entering fuel added, though we never did get that one figured out to perfection.

This trip computer is the Rubik’s cube of motorcycling. You can punch buttons and stare at the numbers until you run oil the road. Riding the Voyager to work for a week, for example, we learned that the 9.3 mi. trip took 18 min. most days. The average mileage was 31.6 mpg, but some days it would go up to 35.4 mpg. Instantaneous fuel mileage could go as high as 99 mpg if we ran up to 100 mph and coasted to a stop. Waiting at a signal first thing in the morning brought mileage to 8.8 mpg. Of course at the end of the week when we filled up, it didn't matter because we ended up with a real figure that was comparable to most any other big bike used for the commute. Still, it was fun to play with the numbers.

All these electronic diversions work in parallel with the rest of the motorcycle to keep the rider's mind off the mechanical workings of the machine. The previous Kawasaki 1300 touring bike had a number of mechanical foibles that made it annoying to ride. It baked the rider with engine heat, vibrated more than it should have, and was difficult to ride. Now, it’s not like that. Every comfort complaint we had with the old 1300 has been improved on the new Voyager.

Considerable work was done to duct hot air away from the rider. Shrouds conduct most of the hot air under the engine. Other air dams in the fairing run warm air around the rider’s leg and include cool-air air vents. Now the Voyager is noticeably better than the other full dressers when it comes to keeping hot air off the rider.

The new exhaust system quiets the engine and better vibration control makes the motorcycle feel more relaxed at cruising speeds, though it would be even more relaxed on the highway with still higher gearing. There’s still enough engine noise to bother some riders, particularly when they are listening to the radio.

Suspension components are as improved as any other part of the Voyager. No, it doesn't get any LJni-Trak suspension, it still has those giant 41mm forks in front and twin shocks in back. But the forks have been improved with low friction sliders and the spring and damping rates have been changed to suit the additional weight of the Voyager. Besides the air pressure, the shock damping is also adjustable, and the range of air pressure and damping are just right. Solo or double the Voyager makes the most of its suspension travel. There are some unusual yawing motions at low speed, due mostly to the streamlinerclass 65 in. wheelbase. But on the road there is always a combination of pressure and damping that will allow the Voyager to glide smoothly over most pavement.

Where and how riders sit on the Voyager has as much to do with comfort as the suspension. The highly stepped seat is very wide and the rider portion has minimal padding to keep the seat height down. Some riders complained about the hardness of the seat and the width of the gas tank, which forced their legs far apart. One passenger didn't like the movement of the backrest on the tailpack. It wasn’t solidly mounted and that made riding uncomfortable. Footpegs for the passenger are folding floorboards, while the rider gets extra-wide pegs with small lips on the end. Those lips occasionally snag a rider’s foot at low speed and interfere with his ability to slide a foot onto the ground when coming to a halt. The tiller-like handlebars have more adjustability than almost any other handlebars. They rotate on the fork tubes and can be raised and lowered. They can also be rotated around the risers to change the angle. On the ends of the bars are wonderful long and thick handgrips, much nicer than most of the three-finger grips found on motorcycles.

All over the Voyager are little design details like the extralong grips. These are the things that owners might do on their own bike, but factory equipped motorcycles seldom provide. Particularly in the accessories there are lots of those little touches. Around the rear of the cavernous saddlebags are what amount to lightbars. And inside all the luggage are foam liners to keep the contents from being scratched. Removable bags are provided for the saddlebags and top box, so the rider can more easily remove the contents, even though all the luggage removes easily, all with the single key that works all 14 locks on the bike. Luggage can be latched and left unlocked, if the rider prefers, and the top box opens with a twist of the single latch. It has air struts supporting the lid, so a rider can open it with one hand and put the other arm’s load in without difficulty. Inside the top of the rear box is a fold-out mirror, and a pair of removable bags just right for clean-up kits. On the tops of the saddlebags are smaller compartments with easily opened lids. One has holders for beverages, and the other small compartment is just the right size for small cameras, tools, or a wallet, whatever the rider wants to have handy at all times.

Around the periphery of the Voyager are ample chromed bars to prevent the bike from tipping over too far in any of those parking lot miscues. And to help the rider get the machine on the center stand, there’s a double leveraged extension on the stand. It’s not bad at all.

Much of the Voyager’s beauty isn’t obvious at first glance or on a short ride. Considerable thought has gone into the bike and its accessories, and this is obvious after a rider lives with the bike on a trip. You don’t notice the light throttle return spring right away, and until you have to check the oil level, the larger sight gauge isn’t noticed.

Some of the Voyager’s features are more easily forgotten. All the electronic toys are confusing at first, then they become fascinating for the next thousand miles, but after that they were ignored. Once you know that you average 50 mph on freeway trips, it isn't very important. As long as the fuel injection is collecting this information for its own use, it doesn’t hurt to let the rider know.

The only significant shortcoming of the giant Kawasaki is its size. And this is mostly a problem only at low speeds. But most of the time touring bikes aren’t out on the open road going across country. They get used for going to work and going to the store, they get used for weekend rides and trips across town. Stop and go riding is the bane of the 1 300. Every time the bike comes to a halt, it takes enormous effort to hold it upright. And when it hits a little bump or rut as it comes a standstill, it takes more work to hold it steady. All that weight makes it more likely to punch holes in asphalt with the sidestand, and it makes for more work maneuvering the bike around parking lots or ga-

rages. Put a few things in the saddlebags and the Voyager weighs as much as the lightest English sports cars did a few years ago. Except the Voyager doesn't have reverse. At speeds above a crawl the Kawasaki handles its 909 lb. without complaint. It is steady and controlled and handles as well as most other fully dressed touring bikes. The suspension controls can be set so that the Voyager has a pronounced high speed weave. But that only occurs when the air pressure is raised and the damping isn’t. On a winding road the Voyager rider can enjoy himself, but he gets satisfaction from a different skill than, say, the GPz rider exercises. With the Voyager, you aim the bike before corners and it follows a path that you set. Last minute corrections don’t work with this machine. It will glide gracefully around corners tight and wide, the rider just has to make his decisions a little sooner.

Slowing the Kawasaki also requires more premeditation than normal. The brakes are strong and predictable and the effort necessary is pleasantly low. It’s just that a rider can squeeze the brake lever until the front tire is squealing, and the motorcycle isn't slowing down that fast. Part of this is caused by a front tire of no great stopping ability, and the long wheelbase means the rear brake can be used more than usual. The combination, however, makes for stopping distances longer than the competition provides. That competition, in the case of the Honda Gold Wing and Yamaha Venture, has linked brakes.

Mechanically, the Kawasaki holds no surprises. It’s now a well-proven drivetrain, one that has been tamed with the fuel injection added this year. The performance is mid-pack in all measured ways. The quartermile time is about the same as a Gold Wing’s, and a second slower than a Yamaha Venture. Top gear roll-on times are between those of the Honda and Yamaha. Though the engine puts out lots of power, it is pushing lots of weight and lots of frontal area. Instead of making the 1300 a dragstrip machine, Kawasaki has made it big and strong and comfortable.

For the freeway flyer, the weight is a small penalty to pay for the improvements this latest Kawasaki has gained. Every complaint we had with the old Kawasaki 1 300 has been looked after on this Voyager, and the result is a motorcycle that fits at the very top of the size-and-feature mountain.

This is, in several ways, the most motorcycle you can buy. And it's a good motorcycle, too. ®

DECEMBER 1983 | Cycle World

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Kawasaki ZN1300 Voyager: review, history, specs

Class: tourer

Production: 1983-1988

Also called: Kawasaki Voyager 1300, Kawasaki Voyager XIII

Related: Kawasaki KZ1300

Successor: Kawasaki ZG1200 Voyager


Kawasaki ZN1300 Voyager: specs.

Kawasaki ZN1300 Voyager: images, gallery.

Kawasaki ZN1300 Voyager: video.

Kawasaki ZN1300 Voyager: manuals, parts, microfiches.

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Kawasaki ZN1300 parts

Kawasaki ZN1300 parts

Introduced in as a fully dressed out tourer for the American market this six-cylinder machine was fitted with every conceivable extra and was referred to as the car without doors The ZN Voyager was blessed with ample power and from a very smooth and powerful DOHC liquid cooled engine that...

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1984 Kawasaki Voyager (ZN1300-A2) OEM Parts

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