Author Topic: The Future of th C14  (Read 10239 times)

Offline Rick Hall

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #45 on: December 05, 2017, 11:33:21 pm »
What if...

Mama Kaw has been in the sport touring bidness since at least 1986. I hear they sold a modicum of Concours back then, maybe even at a gross profit over the 'limited' run of the bone stock/unchanged OEM Concours model. Who knows.

Then they tweaked the model in 1994, using off the shelf parts taken from other models... except for the fairing... and maybe the silly 16 and 18" wheels. I heard they sold a modicum of them too, probably at a slight profit. Who knows.

What if I said Mama Kaw might continue the Concours, in any iteration, just so they can maintain 'shelf space'. At their dealers as well as in the motorcycle community as a whole.

As an example I give you the cereal isle at your local store. You could also use the hot-dog isle if you wish. Certainly Post Grape Nuts sells, but is it their profit leader? I think not. Yet that one cereal gives Post additional "frontage", even though it may sell at a net loss.

I'm not in Marketing at mama K, I don't think any of are. The C-14 does sell, and I suspect it will continue to sell (sans Gubmint silly-assed regs) into the immediate future. Perhaps at a trivial loss to Mamma K.

Who knows ;)

Rick
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Offline Akumu

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #46 on: December 06, 2017, 05:50:58 pm »
Interesting/thanks, but 11 min video with very little info.  Mostly just someone riding it, saying it is fast and he likes it.   I guess we can't expect much this early.

This quote is telling:  "For sport touring, I think the only thing you are going to care about is the extra lighting, the heated grips, and color display..."  showing, he really doesn't know much about what many of us DO care about with sport touring, or he just didn't want to talk about what was missing....  C14- storage of full helmets in the panniers, rear rack (and ability for top box), shaft drive, large and electric windscreen, better range, larger fairings, longer wheelbase, passenger room, peg placement, warranty, grip height, tpms, glovebox.  For me, the only think I like on the H2SX over the C14, other than the power, are the cornering lights and cruise.

Would love to see a video review of the H2SX done by someone who rides and understands the C14.  Perhaps one will come.

You're really banging away on this bike, man. (Reminds me of a dude on Youtube that says the C14 isn't a sport tourer. He calls it a tourer, and says SD-GT, H2 SX, N1K are the REAL sport tourers.) This bike is 'essentially' a spruced up super charged, little more aggressive Ninja 1000. It's never tried to be a C14 replacement, and anyone who thinks such is fooling themselves. Hell, it shouldnt even be mentioned in the same sentence other than debating what a sport tourer is.

That said, despite the small sales figures of the sport touring niche, it is a BROAD category. I rate the C14 as a 'sport-TOURER' and the H2 SX as a SPORT-tourer (ala VFR800/N1K). No company builds a bike with optional hard luggage to just have the bike be 'standard.'

Offline maxtog

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #47 on: December 06, 2017, 05:59:32 pm »
You're really banging away on this bike, man.

Only because it will most likely be the cause (or the signal) of the death of the Concours; it's so-called "replacement" in the eyes of Kawasaki and many others.  As a separate type of bike, the H2SX is just fine; more than fine, actually- it is great!  But for many people, it doesn't replace what the Concours brings to the table... and that is the motivation behind my "banging away at it."
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Offline O.C.

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2017, 01:59:46 am »
CARPE DIEM

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Offline DaddyFlip

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #49 on: December 14, 2017, 10:10:25 pm »
IF I wanted another C14 and was going to write a letter, I would just ask for the H2 SX rider interface be added to the C14: gauge cluster, electronics package, controls, and KQS. Have no idea what this would make the new bike cost, but hopefully less than 22 grand.
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Offline maxtog

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #50 on: December 14, 2017, 10:32:23 pm »
IF I wanted another C14 and was going to write a letter, I would just ask for the H2 SX rider interface be added to the C14: gauge cluster, electronics package, controls, and KQS. Have no idea what this would make the new bike cost, but hopefully less than 22 grand.

I *love* the C14 analog gauges and wouldn't be happy losing even the analog speedometer.  But that color screen on the H2SX SE (note, it is ONLY on the even MORE expensive SE) is nice, indeed.... so that would be a fine swap for our small mono.  Screen cost- minimal.  Cruise is almost no cost, just a $20 stepper motor and some linkage.  I clutchless upshift all the time, so not sure I would even care about KQS.  LED lights- no brainer, and doesn't cost anything more.  Add a few extra buttons, and some reprogramming, a few tweaks here and there.....  I can't imagine any of it would really cost more than $1K additional (even with cornering lights added).
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Offline DaddyFlip

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #51 on: December 15, 2017, 07:16:14 am »
I *love* the C14 analog gauges and wouldn't be happy losing even the analog speedometer.  But that color screen on the H2SX SE (note, it is ONLY on the even MORE expensive SE) is nice, indeed.... so that would be a fine swap for our small mono.  Screen cost- minimal.  Cruise is almost no cost, just a $20 stepper motor and some linkage.  I clutchless upshift all the time, so not sure I would even care about KQS.  LED lights- no brainer, and doesn't cost anything more.  Add a few extra buttons, and some reprogramming, a few tweaks here and there.....  I can't imagine any of it would really cost more than $1K additional (even with cornering lights added).

I like analog tach, but would rather digital speedo so a straight swap to the new SX cluster would do it for me. So you would prefer mechanically actuated cruise rather than RBW with rider modes? In truth, I probably would prefer cable throttle but RBW has gotten really good so I'll take the upgrade. I'm sure you've at least tried a bike with up/down quickshifter; it is really nice and I would want that. Clutchless downshifting is way more fun/valuable than upshifting for a sport touring bike. Yes; LED lights I didn't mention explicitly, but would be easy to add along with the cornering LEDs
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Offline maxtog

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #52 on: December 15, 2017, 03:00:13 pm »
So you would prefer mechanically actuated cruise rather than RBW with rider modes?

No, I wouldn't.  But the C14 is not drive-by-wire.  It has only partial computer control of the throttle with the secondary butterflies- it can restrict power, but not increase it (it can't over-ride the closing of the throttle, only the opening of the throttle... which is why unflashed, we lose so much power-time).  So any cruise control would require mechanical.  Remember- you just wanted to swap the dash around....  having a full computerized throttle would require a different throttle/intake/butterfly assembly and major ECU changes (+$$).  Adding cruise to THAT is truly a $0 add-on because the computer already knows everything and controls everything, so it is basically just a switch or two.  But that wasn't part of the proposed proposal you had.  Oh- and if they did such a swap, then the reflashing is completely thrown out the window, at least for quite a while :)

Quote
I'm sure you've at least tried a bike with up/down quickshifter; it is really nice and I would want that.

I never even heard of it until the recent announcements.  It sounds interesting, and I suppose I wouldn't mind having it, might even love it, but not something I couldn't live without (since I never got dependent on it like I did with being able to store a large, FULL FACE helmet in the pannier, having an adjustable windscreen, etc).
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Offline pacman1

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #53 on: December 15, 2017, 05:58:27 pm »
Just sent my first letter to Mama Kaw.  Hope she gets it. 

We NEED this motor in an updated Concours.  Clearly Kawasaki is planning to make extensive use of this powerplant on a global scale for the foreseeable future.  And surely those plans will have included meeting the more restrictive emissions laws of the future, both EU and US.  That being the case, it only makes sense to adapt it to shaft drive, fit it into an updated Connie monocoque chassis with all the accouterments and electronic gizmos (including CRUISE CONTROL) to go along with a modern sport-touring machine, and unleash the beast on the world.  It would compliment the H2 SX perfectly - each with its own focus. 

They will sell boatloads of them.

pacman
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Offline eng943

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #54 on: December 25, 2017, 08:32:15 am »
As great of a bike as I think the C14 is, Kawasaki can take some of the blame for slumping sales. If the business case to invest in the bike and add features to make it more directly competitive has not been compelling, then I highly doubt eroding sales will help. The C14 has lost sales to bike with CC and other features. Lack of content has been a compelling case for an arguable number of buyers to go to an FJR, or BMW, etc. Sure you can add cruise, as I am about to, but that's a hassle many would rather avoid. It's a shame, because the C14 has better bones than the FJR in my opinion. Nicer engine/trans, slightly better wind protection.

I fully expect Kawasaki to drop the C14 in the near future.       
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Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #55 on: December 25, 2017, 10:02:43 am »
+1 unfortunately.

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Offline B.D.F.

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #56 on: December 25, 2017, 12:33:45 pm »
That might explain it now but even back in the early days, it did not sell well and was easily current or even advanced with the other direct competitors at that time.

I too think it is the best chassis for this use and have spent some time wondering on what is (or what things are) standing in the way of better sales. One problem I think may well be the relatively small fuel tank and if so, that is a double- edged sword: it is the tank already in use for the ZX 14 and so cut down on tooling and production costs, allowing a lower retail price on the bike but of course banged up against the FJR's larger tank and longer range.

I also think those considering a Concours got used to it being a somewhat obsolescent bike but a tremendous value as it was amazingly inexpensive (the C-10 in the 2000's); that too was lost with  the huge update to the C-14 and perhaps people were not quite willing to pay the larger price for a bike that had the same name of the far less expensive bike only two model years before. ?? As an example, Chevrolet introduced its first V-8 in (I think) 1919, and it was quite advanced for an auto of that time. But it cost what such a large, powerful and well- appointed car had to cost and it just did not sell well because people would not spend the same money as a Pierce Arrow, or Packard, etc. on a Chevrolet. The very brand defeated it. That too <may> be part of the C-14's legacy.

It does appear that the C-14 is at a crossroads and really has to be updated significantly or dropped because sales will continue to fall off if it is basically kept as it is now. But a bigger engine, C.C., and a few other attributes such as a bigger fuel tank could again bring it directly into competition with the Feejer, and that is what Kawasaki has to (or perhaps has already) decide.

Brian

As great of a bike as I think the C14 is, Kawasaki can take some of the blame for slumping sales. If the business case to invest in the bike and add features to make it more directly competitive has not been compelling, then I highly doubt eroding sales will help. The C14 has lost sales to bike with CC and other features. Lack of content has been a compelling case for an arguable number of buyers to go to an FJR, or BMW, etc. Sure you can add cruise, as I am about to, but that's a hassle many would rather avoid. It's a shame, because the C14 has better bones than the FJR in my opinion. Nicer engine/trans, slightly better wind protection.

I fully expect Kawasaki to drop the C14 in the near future.     
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Offline eng943

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #57 on: December 26, 2017, 06:34:46 am »
That might explain it now but even back in the early days, it did not sell well and was easily current or even advanced with the other direct competitors at that time.

I too think it is the best chassis for this use and have spent some time wondering on what is (or what things are) standing in the way of better sales. One problem I think may well be the relatively small fuel tank and if so, that is a double- edged sword: it is the tank already in use for the ZX 14 and so cut down on tooling and production costs, allowing a lower retail price on the bike but of course banged up against the FJR's larger tank and longer range.

I also think those considering a Concours got used to it being a somewhat obsolescent bike but a tremendous value as it was amazingly inexpensive (the C-10 in the 2000's); that too was lost with  the huge update to the C-14 and perhaps people were not quite willing to pay the larger price for a bike that had the same name of the far less expensive bike only two model years before. ?? As an example, Chevrolet introduced its first V-8 in (I think) 1919, and it was quite advanced for an auto of that time. But it cost what such a large, powerful and well- appointed car had to cost and it just did not sell well because people would not spend the same money as a Pierce Arrow, or Packard, etc. on a Chevrolet. The very brand defeated it. That too <may> be part of the C-14's legacy.

It does appear that the C-14 is at a crossroads and really has to be updated significantly or dropped because sales will continue to fall off if it is basically kept as it is now. But a bigger engine, C.C., and a few other attributes such as a bigger fuel tank could again bring it directly into competition with the Feejer, and that is what Kawasaki has to (or perhaps has already) decide.

Brian

Agreed, the smaller fuel tank did not help. Nor did the characteristics of the earlier linked brakes, and perhaps KiPass. All to arguable degrees of significance. I owned a 2015 FJR1300A briefly. It was a steal at $9500 brand new, so I bought it to keep as a second bike. I loved having the CC, but I like the C14 better in most regards excluding the smaller tank and KiPass. The linked brakes on my 17 C14 are much improved from my 2013 C14.

Having such a fondness for a bike that does not receive the attention to further development and refinement from the mother ship s a bit disappointing. Still a great bike, but Kawasaki could have easily done more to steal sales away from the FJR IMO.         
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Offline B.D.F.

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #58 on: December 26, 2017, 07:29:57 am »
Yeah, after a lot of thought, I think (hold onto your jockstraps folks, this is going to be a surprise.....) Kawasaki should either just eliminate KiPass or make it optional. There, I said it. While I am a big fan, there is some kind of resistance to the system in the US; Yamaha realized this because they have a similar system on the FJR but NOT those sold in the US. For whatever reason, we seem a bit backward and sort of superstitious regarding 'new' technologies. I am old enough to very well remember all the hate aimed at electronic ignition as well as fuel injection, and I firmly believe that a large percentage of the driving public still would rather have a distributor and carburation regardless of the fact that both of those systems have been very well proven to be inferior in every way that I know of. KiPass seems to make a lot of people act like cavemen seeing lightening and thereafter fearing they may anger the gods and get more lightening. Look at the frankly amazing superstition surrounding just removing the stove knob key- honestly, it makes me think of native Pacific Islanders afraid of angering the god of the volcano. :-)  But in the end, this is the very public that Kawasaki needs to sell to so given a choice between trying to force them to be rational or simply giving them the 'good juju' that they want, it is just going to be better to give them the 'juju'. Hell, might as well offer a special invocation of the 'longevity ceremony' once a week for the same price as the extended warranty and I betcha' they sell a bunch of slots to that.  ::) ;D

Seriously, a larger fuel tank, a good ole' fashioned key (or just bare wires we can twist together- either way), and update to the larger ZX engine and the bike would probably gain a lot of traction in the sport- tourer market. That still leaves the huge question as to whether or not that market, all of it, is large enough to support any significant amount of design and production effort. If Kawasaki claims they are selling 1,000 units a year now, what is the entire sport tourer sales number, which is all they could possibly get? If it is only 5,000 or 10,000 units a year, and no single manufacturer will ever get all of any market, then it may not be worthwhile at all. Look at BMW: they dropped the direct competitor to the C-14 and the FJR, the K1300GT, which I thought was a great bike and while it did have a few problem areas, proper support and a little re- design could have fixed them. But BMW choose to simply drop the line, which kind of indicates to me that maybe the entire sport touring market is not that large and so not worth a big (read: expensive) effort to capture a larger slide of it. ??

Brian

Agreed, the smaller fuel tank did not help. Nor did the characteristics of the earlier linked brakes, and perhaps KiPass. All to arguable degrees of significance. I owned a 2015 FJR1300A briefly. It was a steal at $9500 brand new, so I bought it to keep as a second bike. I loved having the CC, but I like the C14 better in most regards excluding the smaller tank and KiPass. The linked brakes on my 17 C14 are much improved from my 2013 C14.

Having such a fondness for a bike that does not receive the attention to further development and refinement from the mother ship s a bit disappointing. Still a great bike, but Kawasaki could have easily done more to steal sales away from the FJR IMO.       
Homo Sapiens Sapiens and just a tad of Neanderthal but it usually does not show....  My Private mail is blocked; it is not you, it is me, just like that dating partner said all those years ago. Please send an e-mail if you want to contact me privately.

KiPass keeping you up at night? Fuel gauge warning burning your retinas? Get unlimited peace and harmony here: www.incontrolne.com

Offline eng943

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Re: The Future of th C14
« Reply #59 on: December 26, 2017, 10:16:27 am »
Yeah, after a lot of thought, I think (hold onto your jockstraps folks, this is going to be a surprise.....) Kawasaki should either just eliminate KiPass or make it optional. There, I said it. While I am a big fan, there is some kind of resistance to the system in the US; Yamaha realized this because they have a similar system on the FJR but NOT those sold in the US. For whatever reason, we seem a bit backward and sort of superstitious regarding 'new' technologies. I am old enough to very well remember all the hate aimed at electronic ignition as well as fuel injection, and I firmly believe that a large percentage of the driving public still would rather have a distributor and carburation regardless of the fact that both of those systems have been very well proven to be inferior in every way that I know of. KiPass seems to make a lot of people act like cavemen seeing lightening and thereafter fearing they may anger the gods and get more lightening. Look at the frankly amazing superstition surrounding just removing the stove knob key- honestly, it makes me think of native Pacific Islanders afraid of angering the god of the volcano. :-)  But in the end, this is the very public that Kawasaki needs to sell to so given a choice between trying to force them to be rational or simply giving them the 'good juju' that they want, it is just going to be better to give them the 'juju'. Hell, might as well offer a special invocation of the 'longevity ceremony' once a week for the same price as the extended warranty and I betcha' they sell a bunch of slots to that.  ::) ;D

Seriously, a larger fuel tank, a good ole' fashioned key (or just bare wires we can twist together- either way), and update to the larger ZX engine and the bike would probably gain a lot of traction in the sport- tourer market. That still leaves the huge question as to whether or not that market, all of it, is large enough to support any significant amount of design and production effort. If Kawasaki claims they are selling 1,000 units a year now, what is the entire sport tourer sales number, which is all they could possibly get? If it is only 5,000 or 10,000 units a year, and no single manufacturer will ever get all of any market, then it may not be worthwhile at all. Look at BMW: they dropped the direct competitor to the C-14 and the FJR, the K1300GT, which I thought was a great bike and while it did have a few problem areas, proper support and a little re- design could have fixed them. But BMW choose to simply drop the line, which kind of indicates to me that maybe the entire sport touring market is not that large and so not worth a big (read: expensive) effort to capture a larger slide of it. ??

Brian

The K1300 was a good bike, but BMW made the right move going to a new platform with the K16GT. I liked my K13GT overall, but the engine was a bit buzzy compared to my C14, and it was geared too short for interstate work in my opinion. I can't think of anything that my K13 objectively did better than my C14, but I do think that my C14 is superior to the K13GT overall especially in the category of engine/trans, and of course value. The K16 moved the needle in the sport touring segment in a way the K13 could not. More refined, more unique, more features better 2 up bike. The only downside compared to the K13GT is low speed handling, added size and weight. The latter two really are not noticed at all once the K16GT is above 20-30 mph.           

About the only thing I preferred about my K13 vs my K16 was the smaller size. A 7/8 scale K16 would really punch the ticket for me. Otherwise, the K16GT just simply does everything better than the K13GT based on my experience.   

What makes it easier for BMW is that they pretty much own the sport touring space, and occupy the higher end of the price point in the segment. Lots of K13's got traded in when the K16GT came out....including mine.

My only digs on my K16GT are the size, weight and cost. Just can't justify $25K for a motorcycle as I size up college tuition and retirement lol!     
2017 C14 - AST Risers / Peg Lowering kit / mccruise /Garmin 595/Shoodaben MR / Area P / Kawi Touring Seat.
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