Since its orginal debut back in 1986, the Kawasaki Concours has given sport-touring fans a platform that provides comfortable long-distance riding combined with performance. This combination in a single bike has made the Concours a very successful motorcycle, and Kawasaki wants to continue this notoriety.
Twenty-five years later, the latest making of the sport-touring motorcycle brings about modern technology that extends it’s long-distance ability and performance: the 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS.
The “14” was added to the Concours name in 2008, when Kawasaki began offering the bike with the modern 1,352 DOHC inline-four sourced from the ZX-14 Ninja Hypersport. The Concours 14 features a user-friendly version of the ZX-14 powerhouse; the motor in the Concours is tuned for excellent low- and mid-range power, but still provides that top-end rush the the Ninja is known for.
A Variable Valve Timing (VVT) system is built into the motor, which automatically alters camshaft profiles according to rpm to boost low-end and mid-range power without sacrificing top end.
This, combined with the latest fuel injection and ram-air induction makes for one of the most powerful sport touring motorcycles on the market.
Regarding the Concours 14’s chassis, the bike fearters a monocoque frame, which provides stiffness and much rider feedback. Cradling the engine from the top, the frame’s compact structure keeps the bike narrow where it needs to be and allows optimum packaging of the bike’s vital systems.
Kawasaki says the Tetra-Lever shaft drive, which routes all that power to the rear wheel, uses a four-link design to offset the lifting and squatting tendencies of lesser shaft drive systems when the throttle is opened and closed, all of which results in true sportbike handling.
Plus, the Tetra-Lever system is almost completely maintenance free. No mystery, then, why the Concours 14’s powertrain has earned critical acclaim around the world for its smooth power delivery.
And when it comes to electronics, Kawasaki didn’t skimp on one thing for the 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14. The motorcycle’s K-ACT (Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology) braking system was upgraded to offer two modes of linked, anti-lock braking and higher overall performance, but a high-tech traction control system (KTRC: Kawasaki Traction Control) was added.
KTRC not only reduces wheelspin on slick surfaces, offering riders more confidence-inspiring feedback, but it can be easily switched off at the rider’s discretion.
When the Concours 14 debuted in 2008, it featured new bodywork to increase comfort for both rider and passenger. Additionally, a taller, electrically adjustable windscreen created a calmer cockpit experience with help from ducts above the instrument panel, which balanced pressure areas outside and inside the screen. Standard handgrip heaters upped the comfort quotient even more. The bike also comes with spacey, waterproof saddlebags to keep everything dry no matter how many miles on the road.
2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS | Motorcycle Specs
- Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four with VVT
- Displacement: 1,352cc
- Bore x stroke: 84.0 x 61.0mm
- Maximum torque: 102.0 lb-ft @ 6,200 rpm
- Compression ratio: 10.7:1
- Fuel injection: Digital Fuel Injection w/ 40mm throttle bodies
- Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance
- Transmission: Six-speed
- Final drive: Tetra-Lever shaft drive
- Rake / trail: 26.1 degrees / 4.4 in.
- Front tire: 120/70 ZR-17
- Rear tire: 190/50 ZR-17
- Front suspension / wheel travel: 43mm inverted, telescopic fork with adjustable rebound damping and spring preload / 4.4 in.
- Rear suspension / wheel travel: Tetra-Lever with stepless rebound damping adjustment and remote spring preload adjuster / 5.4 in.
- Front brakes: Dual floating 310mm petal discs with four-piston calipers (optional ABS)
- Rear brake: Single 270mm petal disc (optional ABS)
- Fuel capacity: 5.8 gal.
- Seat height: 32.1 in.
- Wheelbase: 59.8 in.
- Overall length: 87.8 in.
- Overall height windscreen lowered / raised: 50.8 in. / 57.7 in.
- Overall width: 39.4 in.
- Curb weight: Concours 14 ABS: 688.0 lbs.
- Color: Atomic Silver / Flat Super Black
- Warranty: 36 Months
- MSRP: $15,599