May 2007 pictures - Tour pak and fairing.
November 2006 pictures - Tour pak, no fairing.
Update 6/6/2010: Today the Nomad left for a new home in Oklahoma. The Nomad is gone...long live the Nomad page.
For years I have enjoyed riding and fixing up my 2002 Honda Shadow. I've added engine guards, saddlebags, a windshield, and recently a Sabre rear fender...my Shadow was slowly changing from the chopperish Spirit into a bagger. In addition, for the last few years my eye has been wandering to bigger, more modern bikes. John has a Yamaha Royal Star Tour Classic and it is very versatile.
After looking around for awhile I decided I wanted a Kawasaki 1600 Nomad. I liked its specs. I didn't care much for the 2006 color choices (black or green/silver), but they offered a nice blue/silver in 2005. I decided that's what I would look for. I checked the cycle ads on the internet and found several from Pennsylvania to Texas. I emailed every Kawasaki dealer in a 150 mile radius.
One day I found one on Ebay almost by accident. It was a couple hundred miles away in southern Kentucky. Low mileage, a couple nice add-ons, mostly stock, and well maintained. I bid the reserve price. Then I noticed the time remaining...9 days, 22 hours. I had placed my bid 2 hours into a 10-day auction. I would have a long wait!
A day or so later the seller contacted me to see if I would like to end the auction early. He was listing the bike for his uncle and my bid was the price his uncle was hoping to get. The earliest I could come and get the bike was the day after the auction ended so he decided to let the auction terminate normally. As the final moments of the auction finally wound down I was concerned some bidder might outbid me in the last seconds. The auction ended and the bike was mine! I was the only bidder.
I borrowed a friend's motorcycle trailer (thanks Dusty!) and Sarah and I headed out the next day in my diesel Jeep Liberty for southern Kentucky. I had some concerns on the way down. This was BY FAR my biggest Ebay purchase. Would the Mapquest maps be accurate? Would the bike be as nice as it seemed in the pictures? Would I strap it down good enough so it wouldn't fall over on the way back? As we neared our destination the Mapquest maps were dead on. We came down a hill into a scenic valley. About a quarter mile across a field I saw a beautiful house with a sparkling blue/silver motorcycle sitting outside. We were here!
My future bike in front of a 4-car garage. Heavenly.
The Blankenships were great people. He showed me the bike and we loaded it into the trailer. His sister is the county clerk and lives next door. She brought the title over, filled it out, and notarized it. What could be handier?! He also has a very nice garage! With our business completed we said goodbye and headed back to Indiana.
The house on the hill is the seller's sister's.
The trip back was fairly uneventful. At every gas/food/restroom stop I checked the bike to make sure it was riding as it should. It did fine. The Jeep did a great job of towing the trailer and got 18 mpg in the process. Sarah got a little car sick so went had an extended stay at a Cracker Barrel until she got better.
Here is the bike:
Click on the above picture for more pictures.
I took the bike for a short ride past my parent's house. I loved the power, handling, and the feel, but I noticed one thing I didn't like...the handlebars. I'm used to the mini apehangers on my Shadow and these bars are low and far away. I felt like I was riding a crotch rocket. That will have to be changed. I also removed the dealer and factory stickers/decals for a cleaner look.
Windshield bag - put on by the previous owner. A convenient place to store stuff.
Future upgrades/projects - Stuff I plan to do as time permits.
Meanie clutch spring
I'm sure I'll think of other things, so check back.
Nice Nomads - Nice, accessorized bikes from around the web.
Vulcan Riders Owner's Club (VROC).
Motorcycle trip stories
Places I like to purchase from
Cruiser Customizing - they don't have the lowest prices, but they ship quickly, have a large selection and a very informative website.