2008 Kawasaki Concours 14 First Ride — Motorcycle USA

9 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14 First Ride — Motorcycle USA отключены
Kawasaki Concours Base

2008 Kawasaki Concours 14 Ride

Kawasaki introduces the powerful sport-tourer in production the Concours 14, a design which the manufacturer envisions will out its own genre — the Transcontinental Tourer.

Few 2008 models as much interest in the riding as when photos of the redesigned 14 first appeared last Bathing in the adulation and success of its 2007 Ninja ZX-14, took the new Ninja’s 1352cc and made it the base for a much-needed to the Concours. Like everyone once we saw the photos of the new design we excited and intrigued.

The long-suffering was in desperate need of an overhaul and has aimed big, declaring the 14 represents an entirely new genre of motorcycle: the Transcontinental Supersport

Well, now that we know the Kawasaki PR claims, does the new measure up to the hype?

To answer question, we tapped out our sport-touring and regular photographic contributor, Tom An accomplished rider and photographer, Tom has countless miles in pursuit of nirvana. Having participated in year’s ZX-14 vs. Hayabusa as well as our Super Sport-Touring which featured the BMW K1200GT and testing the new Concours 14 was right up his

In fact, as an active retiree desire for the open road Mr. is the poster child for the sport-touring We knew we had the right man for the job.

and travel itinerary in hand, our packed his camera and helmet and south to Santa Rosa, for the Concours 14 press introduction. In two he logged 500 miles aboard the C14 Sonoma County’s twisting

The Concours 14 is a sharp design, styling lines that our attention when photos of the new were released last

The obvious starting point on the 14 is its 1352cc beast of an engine. from the mighty ZX-14, the is what makes the new C14 a real in the pants. Designed as the most production sport-tourer in the market, pulled out all the stops when it its largest sportbike powerplant for the new

The motor in the Concours isn’t a clone of the Ninja’s, however, first-in-its-class variable valve to increase engine efficiency by camshaft profiles in different rpm The liquid-cooled DOHC design has been retuned for its new sport-touring Remember, this is an engine produced a mind-blowing 169.1 horsepower when we dynoed the for a comparo in 2006.

Judging by Kawasaki’s only spec sheet power lb-ft of torque, the C14 shows a 10% from the ZX’s 113.5 to If we apply the same formula to our horsepower figures for the ’06 even accounting for the C14’s the new Connie will be cranking out in the neighborhood of 140-plus ponies. far above the respective 124.2 and rear-wheel horsepower numbers we from the BMW K1200GT and Yamaha during last year’s ST

Although massive hp numbers headlines, Lavine’s road experience left him pleased as not just by the quantity, but the quality of the emanating from the C14’s

This engine has loads of especially in the low and mid range, explains Most of the time I rode the RPM’s in the three- to five-thousand but if you think the bike is fast hang on to your hat when you hit the mark. This is simply one hot

The 1352cc Inline-Four, sourced Kawasaki’s ZX-14, ensures the new flies down those lines at a law-shattering, or shall we rapid pace.

With the ZX-14 drag-racing motor as its we expected nothing less jaw-dropping acceleration from the new A fact confirmed by Tom, who is a motorcycle cop.

This was designed to offer sportbike Kawasaki calls it the ‘ultimate performance.’ In terms of acceleration, I agree! Once I grabbed a of throttle, it just came

I can’t imagine any sport-tourers faster than this

The good news gets better, however, as the digital injection ensures the rapid is controlled with a throttle described by our tester as smooth and The ECU-controlled fuel injection also ensures the Connie with stricter emissions and maximum fuel economy.

motoring up to speeds that have caused his former to whip out the siren and ticket not to mention potential felonious mph that would necessitate out the cuffs, our former peace was impressed by the wailing Inline-Four’s

This bike not only explains Tom, but vibration is minimal and once it is underway the is smooth as glass.

The Concours 14 variable valve timing, alters camshaft profiles at rpm ranges. The new feature is a first in its design aimed at improving efficiency.

Gear-driven, dual engine balancers can take for the smoothness our tester experienced. the new Connie’s digital ignition and ECU speed control system the C14 motor is ready to deliver at the of a button.

Speaking of thumbing the an interesting feature on the C14 is the new KI-PASS Intelligent Proximity Activation System) anti-theft device. The utilizes a standard ignition key and a transponder fob. Once the key is inserted, the accompanying fob must be five feet of the bike in to start the ignition.

If a rider out of the magic five-foot barrier, the fob and its unique signature goes out of causing the Concours 14 to go into mode.

At first our rider the new design was just a marketing (you’re so cynical Tom!), upon his return he got all geared up and to go on his personal bike, a BMW R1200GS, and the key was stashed deep in his pocket. off his glove and digging through his pant, Tom’s perspective on the new 180-d as he thought, now if only had that KI-PASS fob.

it all boils down to is the new Kawasaki means a rider can leave the key in the ignition and almost forget it. Of course, if you lose your then you’ve got a problem.

so we’ve used the word a handful of times describing the C14 but the Kawasaki engineers must been indoctrinated at a smoothness camp, because the sensation to the six-speed gearbox as well.

The slipper clutch on the new Concours 14 is a forgiving design, which lunging on downshifts. Our test liked it quite a bit.

is one of the nicest motorcycle transmissions ever used, said which is quite a compliment, as he has in the saddle for 26 years. Engaging gear is quiet, as well as shifting. There is simply no or clunking, operation is smooth.

The Connie’s hydraulic clutch a radial-pump master cylinder and superb feel at the lever and engagement. The C14’s clutch is a back-torque-limiting design, aka a slipper which eliminates lunging on It is a feature Lavine relished, him to wonder why the rider-friendly design on more models.

The velvety is teamed well in transmitting the ample power to the rear with the Tetra-Lever Shaft The final drive unit is a four-link design, which the claims significantly reduces lash. Lavine agrees of the shaftdrive, There’s no lash at all and no or lowering on the back end. It almost like a belt very uneventful.

  It just

A right-side 4-2-1 exhaust takes the place of its Ninja dual cans, and also a better view of the new Tetra-Lever on the left. The exhaust note is muted though, with the size a bit larger than we for, but, hey, you always get what you want.

Our found the new Tetra-Lever Shaft to be very effective, with the new design feeling more a belt drive.

With its wheelbase, the C14 doesn’t suffer instability but it isn’t the most of handlers either. This come as a complete shock to us, as we had a gripe about the ZX-14 its comparo versus the Hayabusa year, when we noted the 14 more effort to turn in. The sports a 2.3-inch longer and lazier 26.1-degree rake to the Ninja (23-degree rake), so is compromised even more for

The C14 is a very stable bike and inspiring, but transitioning in the turns isn’t like riding a explained our 62-year-old tester. it was designed as a long-distance, sporty not a canyon carver, I thought bike was very heavy in and a little top-heavy to boot. is particularly noticeable at slow lot speeds.

Make no mistake it, this is a big motorcycle, which in at over 600 pounds dry.

any dry weight claim from the we take the 615-lb (606-lb assertion for what it is until we the bike onto our own scales to get and tank-empty measurements. Then be able to make more judgments about the C14’s especially compared to the lighter weights of two of its main competitors the BMW K1200GT (549 lbs) and FJR1300 (582 lbs). have to wait for that test to pass more opinions on the C14’s handling to see how it stands out in relation to its class (Keep your fingers for another Super Sport-Touring later this year.)

While it isn’t the swiftest of in transition, the Concours 14 provides a stable 59.8-inch wheelbase and suspension package.

An inverted telescopic fork and the rear unit provide suspension on the The stock settings on the front are a little stiff though. As any bike, a sportbike in particular, in the proper suspension settings a world of difference. Even finding the optimal settings his test ride, Lavine sturdy feedback up front and the two sucked up the bumps on the road any trouble.

Kawasaki Concours Base
Kawasaki Concours Base

The units also to the C14’s base of touring

The brakes on the C14 are outstanding, powerful and said Tom of the C14s robust which have to be strong to the bike’s brawny motor and weight. Featuring a top-of-the-line the Concours has a pair of 310mm discs up front and a single petal disc out back. The radial-mounted four-piston caliper features a separate pad for each to improve feel and performance, as the radial-pump front brake cylinder.

The end result is a fantastic package.

Also contributing to the braking performance was the $900-optional ABS fitted on our test bike. BMW’s ABS system, the Concours is not linked. As an R1200GS owner, our knows a thing or two about ABS and away impressed that the wheel system on the Connie its thing without any pulsating

Those ABS moments just like hard braking on the with the system delivering its benefits along with the of stability.

So the Concours isn’t the nimble handler, we still got good lean angle. keep rotating that Mr. Photog Man!

On a true touring machine the performance is critical but only of the overall equation. Rider and ergonomics are vital to ensure can stick it out for the long haul. We the new Concours to be comfortable but the always Lavine noted that a long-distance evaluation wasn’t due to the short routes employed at the introduction.

Five hundred although quite a sum, enough for our tester, who’s many thousands of miles on his adventures. Still, he felt the was an overall comfortable platform, its touring-oriented accoutrements, like an adjustable windshield and comfortable position.

I think I could this bike for a long The seat is comfortable, my legs not cramped and the bars, although a forward, were fine, our 6’3 test rider, The moveable windshield is nice and can be for sport riding but raised riding the interstates

Other accessories include removable deflectors on each side of the near the rider’s knees, Tom appreciated during the cooler but found uncomfortable in the afternoon. The mirrors were a let down for who noted that the view them was good if you wanted to see the top of the Heated grips were not on the intro test bikes, aftermarket units could be into the C14’s accessory outlet located next to the display.

The on-the-fly adjustable and relaxed riding position on the C14 a rider will have no clicking off the touring miles.

bells and whistles on the C14 include the KIPASS system, as well as the control panel, which an analog speedo and tach in an LCD display screen. Info on the includes the standard odometer and trip meters, as well as information like average gas

Similar to a lot of LCD display info most of it is interesting but non-critical to gawk at, but we do appreciate that the new includes one of our favorite sensors in the of a gear position indicator. The also includes the very feature of tire pressure

Of course as long-distance tourer, the 14 also includes baggage, the stylish hard sidebags as standard equipment. The hard are roomy enough to store a helmet and simple to open and On top of their practical function, the bags also tie into the lines of the Concours.

And the lines of the new Connie look even taking that eye-of-the-beholder stuff into

The lines throughout the bike nicely and the bags can be removed for a look, although they are so styled I think the bike better with them on, Lavine.

Tom gave the Concours 14 a up, but suspects the new design will a hard time supplanting its Sport-Touring rivals the Yamaha and BMW K1200GT in an upcoming comparo

Okay, so it looks good and has a engine, but the new Concours also a competitive $13,799 MSRP for non-ABS version), which it in a straight-up head-to-head showdown the ABS-standard $13,799 FJR1300. If willing to ditch the ABS, the new is almost a budget super at just under 13 grand. No there will be many Connie owners lined up dealerships to sample the new C14 regardless of its price.

Any time there is an model it is easy to get caught up in the readers and journalists alike. reserve our final analysis on the new until we line it up next to the contenders we’ve already the formidable K12 and FJR, for a knock-down comparo.

That 1352cc will attract many a like moths to the horsepower but the real question regarding the 14, and one we can’t wait to answer, is the new design stands amongst its peers later this Stay tuned.

Let us know you think about this in the MCUSA Forum. Click

Kawasaki Concours Base
Kawasaki Concours Base
Kawasaki Concours Base
Kawasaki Concours Base
Kawasaki Concours Base
Kawasaki Concours Base

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