2009 Concours 14 Review
In the Concours 14, Kawasaki has engineered a first-class vision of the ultimate highway eating, mountain conquering device-a motorcycle with enough power and comfort to take you across the country while providing the performance necessary to turn a quiet back-country road into a thrilling experience.
A very forgiving motorcycle, the Kawasaki Concours 14 suits my "more comfort than speed" style of riding well-I do not want to work too hard to go fast, and the Concours 14 accommodates. The motorcycle never makes me feel like I am wrestling for control when swooping from turn-to-turn.
The Kawasaki Concours 14 is a big motorcycle, but the smooth delivery of power gives me the confidence to twist the throttle hard out of turns and enjoy the strong pull. The Kawasaki does not leap out of turns like the FJR, yet it provides a high thrill factor as I apply the horsepower and feel the speed steadily build.
The powerband is perfectly matched to the Kawasaki Concours 14′s precise six-speed transmission. Shifting up and down is accomplished with light toe pressure, followed by a satisfying click. The current gear selection is displayed on the LCD screen that sits prominently between the tach and speedometer.
Going fast necessitates the ability to slow down quickly, and the Kawasaki Concours 14 handles this responsibility in the same smooth and manageable manner as it does acceleration. The ABS system independently controls front and rear calipers, so you can brake hard in corners and remain confident that the motorcycle will continue on your intended path, and a slipper clutch that minimizes wheel hop due to engine compression braking.
The touring side of the equation is handled with aplomb. , The speedy Kawasaki 14 is a capable platform for putting high numbers on the odometer. Riding position is comfortable, and the engine’s gentle-but-generous power makes for an effortless journey.
While the Kawasaki Concours 14 is a comfortable long distance motorcycle and has much appreciated features like fuel range, mpg, and tire pressure readouts, it lacks some of the touring oriented niceties of the newest and more expensive BMW K 1300 GT-a large touring windscreen, heated grips, and throttle lock are accessories, for those who feel underserved. Although the Concours 14 does come with a standard size power outlet on the dash, which is more convenient than the BMW miniature socket, located down by the left footpeg.
With the mountains conquered and a long highway home, the Kawasaki Concours 14 allows for a relaxed ride through the evening traffic. The Kawasaki Concours 14 fulfills my sport-touring needs just beautifully.