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kawasaki concours 14 thoughts?

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by Udoggie, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. So... It's time to start looking for a new set of wheels.

    I've been riding a Suzuki SFV650 for the last 3 years, and am looking for something larger, and definitely more comfortable for >30 minute rides.

    I'm not an "aggressive" rider, and my ~18k miles have been split between commuting and pleasure riding.

    I keep circling back to the 2012 Kawasaki Concours 14. Pretty full featured, not insanely expensive (I really want a new motorcycle, not just new to me.)

    Any thoughts? I'm trying to keep it under $16k, and in the sport touring class.

    Any direct experience with the Concour would be greatly appreciated. If you want to suggest something else (cool!) please include a bit about why you're suggesting it, and why it's better.

    Thanks! -UD
  2. Bald Guy

    Bald Guy Cone Head

    I like my 09. Probably would like the 12 a little more!


  3. Check out the Concours Owners Group; they are very realistic about the pro's and con's of the bike.

    I have an '01 that I love but no riding experience on the C14.
  4. Check out Triumph's new Tiger Explorer 1200 too. Price is similar. Weighs a lot less, but power to weight ratio is similar. More upright. Aimed more at Adventure Touring... i.e. aimed mainly at asphalt, but capable of dirt roads if you wanted.

  5. I have a Sprint GT. I looked some at the Concours and I think they are a pretty good value for the money. For me I decided against the Concours for a few reasons: It seems really big. This is more styling then anything I think...I saw one sitting next to a similar vintage FJR and they are actually about the same size. In fact I think the FJR was a bit bigger wheelbase wise. In my mind in the Sport Touring class the three that are kind of close to each other: the C14, the FJR, and the Sprint. The Sprint is on the less expensive end, and in my opinion also more on the sporty end than the touring end, which is what I wanted. The C14 was the middle pricewise and probably the best value if you want a more touring based machine and all the gadgets, and the FJR was the most expensive but also a very popular machine....too much for my price range though if I wanted a fairly new or new machine. It all really boils down to what you like obviously!

    The Sprint is a pretty fun machine for sure. I certainly don't ride it even close to it's abilities yet. It will eat up the miles very well (In June I rode from about an hour north of Great Falls MT to The Dalles Oregon in a day...not smart, would not do it again, but it can be done.) It will really carve up the miles fairly comfortably.

    Keep in mind the Sprint is a fairly aggressive riding position. In fact it's MORE aggressive than the Ninja 650R I had previously. There is a bit of pressure on your wrists but at speeds upwards of 45 or so it's pretty comfy. The Sprints are coming down in price now with the Trophy being released. Bad news is there is talk of them discontinuing it, and replacing it with the new Trophy however it really is in a different class. I see the Trophy as a similar breed to the Gold Wing almost, or the big BMW's. If they do discontinue it I feel confident in the bike still, since the 1050 has been around forever and is the powerplant in a lot of bikes..Parts should not be a problem. the only thing that could get hard to find would be the plastics. There is a lot of part commonality with the Sprint ST of previous years.

    If you have any questions let me know! Also I bought mine from a dealer here in town that specializes in a lot of almost new bikes that are really pristine... When I bought mine it had 2000 miles and I got it for a very reasonable deal. Let me know if you'd like to get in touch with him.
  6. I'm a big fan of an upright riding position. I really like the C14, but I've found it still puts you forward a bit. If I ever get one (it's on my want list), it'll have to have a riser of some sort to bring the bars up and back.

    My two biggest issues with the C14 are its weight (claimed 788 wet) and its width. I've heard stories of police who have started using them as police bikes dislike them because they're too wide to split traffic. Though I find this a little odd given that CHP does it all the time on their big BMWs and some of the older Harleys.

    I wasn't familiar at all with the Sprint GT, so I looked it up. It looks like Triumph's version of the Honda VFR. A friend has one and I noticed that it has a very leaned-over riding position... almost sportbike-like. When he sat on my FZ1, he said, "wow I should have gotten one of these instead of my VFR!" And that was before I put the riser on.

    Personally, my next big will be a Tiger 800XC... but I thought the Tiger Explorer would be a good bike to compare to the Connie for somebody who wants similar power and less weight.

  7. We took a blue one in on trade at Ducati Seattle, i just installed new front brake rotors and pads.
    The bike has 5900 miles on it and is in good condition.
    Took it out for a test ride and it's a pretty nice ride.

    You can test ride it if you like.
    Hope this helps.
  8. K1300s

    560lbs wet and I like the styling better.

  9. That is a pretty good looking machine ;)
  10. Look into the VFR1200


    Owners of the bike swear by it. Its very sporty, fast yet very comfortable at the same time.

    If i was able to buy a new bike i would grab one in a heart beat.]

    Pro's, Single swing arm (for those who have owned a ssa you know what i mean) V4 engine 1237cc, Dual Clutch technology for super quick shifting, even has auto mode, ABS, Honda reliability and quality, Shaft Drive, Luggage, Many others that i cant think of right now.

    Con's: Some call it an 'ugly' bike, (mostly Gixer riders, BAZINGA!), I think it gets 190 miles to a tank, shaft drive (although honda says that they were able to make it super reliable due to some engineering due to angles and stuff...), THE MUFFLER IS UGLY AS F%$#!!!

    Here is a good link for a rundown of the 2012 model. This is important because many drawbacks of the 2010 were addressed with the 2012.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  11. PeteN95

    PeteN95 Moderator Staff Member

    My buddy loves his C14 and he can really fly on it. It is very nimble for such a large machine. He just put 2" riser blocks on it and says the riding position is now perfect.
  12. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Streetfighter

    DO THIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A excellent chance to learn firsthand about ownership and see if a large missile is what a small twin rider wants/needs.

    I have had a ZX14 since the beginning and since the C14 is based on it I call only speak of the engine and Kawasaki ownership.

    If you havent ridden a hyperbike or a FJR/C14 consider it a must.
    The acceleration is massive and addicting.
    These bikes pull harder than hell from any rpm but the rush from mid rpms on is the addicting part!!!!
    I am serious here.
    You MUST try out the acceleration and you MUST have the room to do it. Your sv650 mind cannot grasp what these bikes can do. And do smoothly with little fuss. It fools you as to how quickly these bikes go to astonishing speeds. Its what they are all about.
    I suggest taking Buz up on his test ride and be sure to find a open space to drop the hammer at say 6-7000 rpm...,and grab the next gear. Make sure you have a lot of open space because it will be gone rather quickly and you will be grateful for some of the best brakes in motorcycling.

    (A favorite mod ofZX10 owners is putting ZX14 calipers on) I have only used stock pads on my 30,000 mile 14. Which includes 3 years of trackdays and lots of 2up touring and everyday riding.
    The stock stuff is that good.
    Speaking of that 30,000 miles. It has been a stone reliable machine. Even doing trackdays and loaded down with softbags and a heavy passenger you dont stress these machines.
    Fuel mileage sucks (cost of all that HP) check with the Owners Group site to see what they get. From all that I've read the C14s are similar to my bike. Think 35MPG range. Now the latest C14 has the economy mode (or whatever they call it) so that might get you into the mid40s.
    I'm fairly sure a person could stay in the 40's by putting about. But its impossible to do. The acceleration is just too addicting. If you want mileage look to the BMW boxers or the Triumph Sprint.
    IT was a great surprise to me that Kawasaki cured every complaint about the original C14 with this latest model.
    Do get the latest and greatest.
    The only place I have EVER seen them discounted was in Hillsboro Motorsports ads. If Buz's machine suits your needs, jump at it. Rarely see low mileage ones for sale.
    Just make him put on fresh OEM tires. The original C14 had issues there and Kawasaki cured that by having special tires designed for the remodeled units. Again check this out on the Owners Group site to see if it is a issue with the latest model.
    I wish I had the coin to get one. My 14 would be gone in a flash and I would be riding around with the biggest cheeziest grin evar!!
    As it is I still grin like a fool ever time I get on the 14 but you'll never see it. Gotta catch Me first and little on the planet is capable of that...,lol

    If you arent into acceleration, speed, smoothness and comfort all in one package look elsewhere.
    Because that is what these machines are all about. Speed and acceleration.

    Good Luck with your shopping!!!
  13. I just got a 2012 C14 in May. I came from an '08 SV650 and I love the C14. Best choice I could make. I love the upright position, seat is comfortable for much longer than 30 mins. My first long ride I did over 300 miles on it and wasn't sore at all. I do see how a lot of people put different seats on as everyone is different. The C14 has a lot, I mean A LOT of power. I am a pretty tame rider too and I have noticed that the power makes me a little more cautious, as it should. FANTASTIC BIKE and I got special Costco member pricing on the bike and got it for $13,600 plus tax. Didn't have to pay freight and set up......So if you are a Costco member you should look into it.
  14. For what it's worth, I consistently get 39-41 mpg with my ZX-14.
  15. Definitely try the FJR, comfortable, fast, uses Regular gas, 250+ mile range at highway crusing speeds, ~650 pound so it is heavy but also is pretty nimble. ABS brakes, drive shaft, good sized luggage, really good headlights.
  16. Well, opinions are like armpits... but I'll also recommend the Triumph Sprint GT which, as noted, has likely (or will likely) be discontinued which means you should be able to get a ridiculously good deal on one... Of the options presented, all of which are good options, it's the lightest and least expensive of the bunch and comes with a lot of goodies baked in... If the aggressive riding position doesn't work for you, you can add bar risers to allow you a more upright riding position.
  17. I love mine. I just returned from a trip to Sturgis where I put over 3500 miles on the bike in 6 days. I averaged a touch under 40 mpg while cruising at 75-85 with a few blips into the triple digits. It ran flawlessly, handled extremely well in all conditions (we saw rain, hail, 40 mph crosswinds and headwinds, lightning, and 90+ temps). I've added some risers and a VStream shield, but everything else is bone stock.
    Probably the best all-around bike I've owned. I've had dualsports, hyper-sports, cruisers, and standards.. but I always find flaws that drive me nuts enough to get rid of them, but haven't found anything on this one to justify getting rid of it.
  18. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Streetfighter

    Must be the difference in living by the civilized lake and all them cages and cops versus a country lake and having Tahuya in my back yard. As I leave my driveway I gots no reason to behave lol.
    Plus I'm a idiot and you most likely aint.
    I have read for 6 yrs now how other owners report better than my mpg.

    Back to the OP.
    Have you called Buz yet and gone for a ride?
    And then go give the Triumph a ride.....,:evil4:
    I understand many Triumph dealers have demos.
    But once you experience hyperbike world, all else seems tame......,:shock:
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  19. I have a 2009 Concours 14 that I bought new the very end of may last year. Since I had my S2000 stolen in October this has almost solely been my transportation aside from a few trips in the jeep to home depot (or driving my wife in her car). I've got just a little shy of 16k miles on it now and I can tell you I wont be getting rid of it anytime soon!!!!

    I've thrown bar risers and drop pegs on it so it is plenty comfortable for commuting and longer trips. The risers are almost a must if you do this.

    I also put on a full dual muzzys exhaust and PCV and just had it tuned by Nels and pulled 152 hp 96 tq. This thing with a full system is nuts, if one needs more power on a touring bike I need to hang out with them cause they gotta be cooler than all my friends. Also worth noting there are a few people that have turboed these using many parts of the zx14 kits.

    Another mod I would recommend that makes a large difference is a new windscreen. The 08/09 is a great summer screen as it is really short, but the 2010+ is just barely too short for me. (I'm 5'11") I did a CB euro tour and it keeps me dry in the rain minus my shoulders and hands.

    I frequent two forums for the C14: (my personal favorite)
    And the cog forum as previously mentioned.

    A lot of people go from the beemers to the c14 on the forums because of maintenance costs, so if you do put a lot of miles on its something to consider. (i Really debated a k1300) All I've had to do are oil changes and shaft changes every other oil change. Reading on the forums the Kawasaki recommended intervals are a little more extreme than they need to be and even a number of dealers have told people to postpone the 16k shim check to 25 for example.

    Kawasaki has been pretty solid on their warranty, ive had both tpms sensors replaced when the low battery warning came on as well as a gearshift sensor that occasionally not indicated neutral. Being a 3 year warranty you can also purchase extended 3 year warranties twice if wanted and get yourself a 9 year warranty for only about $640 for the two extended warranties.

    The big changes when Kawasaki revised the 2010 model (only minimal changes in 11 and 12)
    -Revised fairings - better looks obviously but cool the bike much better.
    -taller windscreen (I'd replace it anyways)
    -gauge cluster displays outside temp
    -Eco mode added for fuel economy
    -mirrors raised a bit so that about 1/3 of them aren't staring at the saddlebags as the 08/09 do
    -shorter rocket launcher aka muffler (2" I believe)
    -heated grips
    -locking storage compartment on side inner fairing that opens with kipass however the storage on top of the tank from the 08/09 is gone. (can be retrofitted to the newer bikes)
    -2012 the wheels and grab rails are black instead if silver
    -linked brakes came on one of the newer years
    -ABS and Ktrc standard on 2011 models (should have been an option on 10's if I recall correctly)
    -Seats are all black on 2010+ (grey area on rider portion previously)

    With all this said I've rode my 09, a 2011 and a 2012. The 2010+ are nicely improved but the 08/09 can be had for fairly cheap and in this state the heat issue has never been bad(it's actually nice in winter). A number of the revisions can be solved in the aftermarket(sometimes better)

    Also if you wanted to check one out with risers to see the comfort difference let me know (it's a pretty big change with the pegs and risers together.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  20. deuce,
    Which drop pegs did you go with?
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