2012 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS | Preview

2012 Kawasaki Motorcycle

Entering its 26th year of production, the Concours will continue its tradition of being the flagship sport-touring motorcycle offered by Kawasaki.

Of course, the newer Kawasaki Concours offers much more technology than that original 1986 model, which was updated to the larger Concours 14 in 2007.

In 2012, the Kawasaki Concours 14 is offered as a carry-over model from 2011, the machine standard with ABS and many other technical-savvy features, such as Kawasaki Traction Control (K-TRC).

It all begins with the Concours 14’s powerplant – a 1352cc- DOHC inline four. This is the same motor that powered pre-2012 ZX-14 superbikes, but is tuned for better low- and mid-range power.

At the heart of the 2012 Concours 14’s engine is a Variable Valve Timing (VVT) system, which automatically alters camshaft profiles according to rpm to boost low-end and mid-range power without sacrificing top end.

This, along with smooth fuel injection and ram-air induction provide the Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS with enough force for any type of sport-touring, from the most aggressive spirited rides to slower paces.

The chassis on the 2012 Kawasaki Concours ABS features a monocoque frame that cradles the engine from the top; this provides "massive stiffness along with excellent handling characteristics and a high degree of rider feedback." To further enhance handling, Tetra-Lever shaft drive utilizes a four-link design to offset the normal up and down mannerisms of shaft-drive system, offering a sport-bike like feel.

And of course there’s the highly-advanced braking system, the K-ACT (Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology), which offers two modes of linked ABS, and Kawasaki Traction Control, which can be switched off if the rider prefers.

The 2012 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS also offers long-touring comfort amenities, from a tall-electrically adjustable windscreen, heated handgrips and comfortable two-up saddle.

With this mix of supersport technology and comfort-touring capability, the 2012 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS will remain a "top-shelf" sport tourer, remaining true to that original design that surfaced 26 years ago.

Following are highlights, specs, color options and MSRP for the 2012 Kawasaki Concours ABS.

Engine:

  • Tuned to provide smooth power across an extremely wide rev range, the Concours 14 has power to spare
  • Variable valve timing improves the engine’s flexibility and efficiency by altering camshaft profiles to boost low-end and mid-range without sacrificing top-end power
  • Its compact and narrow engine design minimizes weight for maximum handling and performance
  • Chrome composite-plated aluminum cylinder bores are lightweight, durable and quickly carry heat away from the combustion chamber and piston for supreme durability under high loads
  • Already in perfect primary balance, the Concours inline four-cylinder engine uses dual secondary balancers to virtually eliminate unwanted vibrations for enhanced rider comfort
  • Ram air ducts provide a straight path for cool, high-pressure air to enter the airbox for maximum intake efficiency and power
  • A digital computer feeds the engine exactly the amount of fuel it needs for cleaner emissions and maximum fuel economy
  • A 32-bit electronic control unit works with the dual throttle-valve system to further enhance throttle response and control
  • Four individual spark plug-mounted ignition coils fire each spark plug independently to achieve optimum timing
  • An idle speed control system included in the ECU provides easy starting and warm-up

Kawasaki Traction Control

  • Kawasaki’s traction control system reduces engine output when wheelspin is detected, helping the rear tire to regain grip
  • Advanced, 3-way control (airflow, ignition timing, fuel delivery) gives KTRC smooth operation, natural feel and the ability to operate on long stretches of rough roads
  • KTRC adds no weight, since it uses the existing ECU and ABS sensors

Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology

  • Second generation K-ACT (Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology) ABS links front and rear brakes for most effective front-rear brake force distribution
  • Small and lightweight K-ACT ABS unit with a high-spec ECU is capable of detailed calculations for ultra-smooth operation
  • The rider can choose one of two modes to suit riding situation or rider preference: The linked effect from front brake lever actuation is largely the same in both modes, but the linked effect when actuating the rear brake pedal is quite different
  • In Standard Mode, rider control is prioritized, with linked effect reduced at initial pedal stroke for natural sensation when sport riding
  • In High Combined Mode, there’s a more pronounced linked effect from the beginning of the pedal stroke – ideal for touring and two-up highway use
  • A low-battery mode maintains ABS function as best as possible when the battery charge is low. In low-battery mode, ABS timing and pressure relief functions are maintained, so brake effectiveness is preserved (although riders will notice that ABS operation is not as smooth). The K-ACT lamp will flash and "Low Battery" will be displayed on the LCD screen. The system resets when the engine is turned off

Chassis:

  • Hollow aluminum box sections arch over the engine from the steering head to the swingarm pivot for a narrow, rigid and very light frame
  • The rigidly mounted engine acts as a stressed frame member to increase the frame’s torsional rigidity while reducing weight
  • Forward engine positioning, wheelbase length and front/rear weight balance were carefully designed to achieve high-speed stability and responsive handling
  • Radial design uses mounting points at the top and bottom of the caliper, with mounting bolts inserted through the rear of the caliper instead of the side/front for increased rigidity and improved braking feel
  • Separate brake pads for each caliper piston provide increased cooling efficiency and more consistent brake feel under extreme conditions
  • Petal design front and rear brake rotors provide enhanced cooling and better warp resistance
  • Radial-pump front brake master cylinder improves brake performance and lever feel
  • Unique four-link design offsets lifting and squatting tendencies of shaft drive when the throttle is opened and closed, significantly reduces driveline lash during sport riding, and provides smooth acceleration when exploiting the engine’s incredible power output
  • Virtually maintenance-free, the Tetra-Lever system dramatically reduces routine maintenance requirements

Additional Highlights

  • Activating fuel economy assistance mode changes the engine to a leaner map, which prioritizes fuel economy for as much as a 25 percent MPG boost; Fuel economy assistance works in any gear as long as rpm is below 6000, throttle opening less than 30 percent and speed less than 80 mph
  • Each Concours 14 comes with one key fob (kept in a pocket) and a small card-type key for emergency/backup use; The card-type key includes an immobilizer function (but no remote activation) and is highly portable, measuring just 1.2 x 1.6 x 0.25 inch
  • A hydraulic radial pump clutch master cylinder delivers smooth, precise clutch engagement
  • Concours 14’s large-volume, easily detachable side cases are integrally designed to complement the rest of the machine. Water-resistant, they easily each hold a full-face helmet
  • The cases are mounted as close as possible to the bike’s centerline and center of gravity, with lightweight construction that minimizes their influence on handling
  • A lightweight rear carrier is designed to be compatible with an accessory top case
  • An all-purpose 40-watt accessory socket is mounted on the dash, providing convenient access to power for electronics
  • Easy-to-read speedometer and tachometer, multi-function LCD digital display including an odometer, two trip meters, fuel gauge, gear position indicator, tire pressure indicator and a clock are just a partial listing of the 2012 Concours 14’s display capabilities
  • Controller Area Network (CAN) interface between the gauges uses fewer wires and allows a greater volume of information to be exchanged than in traditional instrument panels
  • Other key instrument functions include the K-ACT mode indicator, Economical Riding Indicator, and Fuel Economy Assistance Mode mark
  • Multi-function display includes outside air temperature, whose sensor is located at the intake duct (the farthest point from the engine)
  • The Mode Select button on the front of the left grip lets the rider change LCD modes without taking his/her hand off the grip, toggling through average fuel consumption, instant fuel consumption, remaining range, tire pressure, battery voltage and outside temperature
  • Aggressive fairing with specially designed venting facilitates heat dissipation, greatly reducing the amount of hot air transmitted to the rider
  • A tall windscreen with a wide upper portion reduces upper-body turbulence. The screen is electrically adjustable, with four programmable preset positions
  • When the power is turned off, the windscreen goes to its lowest position. When the power is turned back on, the windscreen’s memory function returns it to the selected preset position
  • Passages from windscreen slits direct air through the inner fairing to vents next to the instrument panel; alleviating the lower pressure helps prevent turbulence around the rider’s head
  • An exhaust pipe guard attached to the upper part of the exhaust mid-pipe helps protect the rider from heat when stopped
  • Stepless adjustable grip heaters are standard, with an easy-to-reach switch located in front of a lockable storage case on the inner left fairing panel
  • This lockable storage case in the left fairing inner panel uses an electromagnetic lock to prevent entry when the engine is off
  • Mirrors are positioned ideally to increase rear visibility and provide optimal hand protection from the wind
  • Attachment hooks at the front of the tank facilitate securing a tank bag

2012 Kawasaki Concours ABS Specs:

  • Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four with VVT
  • Displacement: 1,352 cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 84.0 x 61.0mm
  • Maximum Torque: 102.0 lb-ft @ 6,200 rpm
  • Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
  • Fuel System: Digital Fuel Injection w/ 40mm throttle bodies
  • Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance
  • Transmission: 6-Speed
  • Final Drive: Tetra-Lever shaft drive
  • Rake/Trail: 26.1 degrees/4.4 in.
  • Front Tire Size: 120/70 ZR-17
  • Rear Tire Size: 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 Brakes: Single 270mm petal disc (optional ABS)
  • Fuel Capacity: 5.8 gal.
  • Seat Height: 32.1 in.
  • Curb Weight: 688.0 lbs.
  • Wheelbase: 59.8 in.
  • Overall Length: 87.8 in.
  • Overall height windscreen lowered / raised: 50.8/57.7
  • Overall width: 39.4 in.
  • Warranty: 36 Months
  • Good Times Protection Plan: 12, 24 or 36 months

2012 Kawasaki Concours ABS Color Options/MSRP:

  • Ebony/Flat Super Black / $15,899
  • Candy Arabian Red/Flat Super Black / $15,899