The perfect touring motorcycle has the ability to adapt to the wide variety of roads and conditions found across America—from ruler-flat superslabs, to tight backroads with crumbling asphalt. I have ridden the new Kawasaki Concours 14 on both of those types of road, and everything in-between. Fast, slow; bumpy, smooth; straight, twisty; up hill and down dale; the Concours 14 handled them all with aplomb.
Despite its heft, the bike handles gracefully and forgivingly in corners of all speeds and types, thanks to perfectly tuned suspension and Bridgestone Battlax tires. As a touring bike, it favors stability over agility, but handling is anything but stodgy. Boasting power to spare from a motor derived from the Ninja ZX-14 hyperbike, the Concours has the ability to casually handle high-speed, unrelentingly straight interstate highways. Triple-digit speeds are almost irresistibly enticing, so encourage your right hand to use its best discretion. An adjustable windshield allows you to personalize the amount of protection, as does a factory-offered taller screen.
The motor, handling and ABS brakes alone would make the Concours a serious contender for an Achievement in Design Award in our Touring category. However, when you add excellent ergonomics, a wonderfully comfortable seat and capacious hard luggage as well, then the Kawasaki Concours 14 has certainly earned the accolade.