Author Topic: Recent C14 review  (Read 624 times)

Offline katata1100

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Recent C14 review
« on: December 19, 2018, 02:13:13 pm »
http://canadamotoguide.com/2018/11/15/test-ride-2018-kawasaki-concours-14-abs/

Couple of things that are incorrect. One was when they said electric windshields are a recent thing, that the fjr1300 has only been using a electric shield for 13 years .
Uh,no.
My ‘91 Katana1100 has an electric windshield and yes, it still works! The bike debuted with electric shield back in ‘87, back when Reagan was still prez.

Offline maxtog

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Re: Recent C14 review
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2018, 03:21:17 pm »
http://canadamotoguide.com/2018/11/15/test-ride-2018-kawasaki-concours-14-abs/

Couple of things that are incorrect. One was when they said electric windshields are a recent thing


Even the C14 has been using it for 11 [model] years now.  Nothing recent about even that.

And from the review:

"Shaft drive, for extra weight and that never-quite-sporty-enough feeling;"

Nonsense.  The shaft drive does nothing to hurt the sporty feeling.  The overall weight of the bike does some, but that is not just the shaft drive- that is the nature of a full-sized sport-tourer.  It is also what allows it to be so stable, smooth (long wheelbase), and comfortable (full storage and areodynamics).  If you want to fix it, then reflash it (damn I wish reviewers could be given reflashed bikes to test).

"an antiquated instrument cluster that you don’t mind until you realize it’s only because you’re old and nostalgic;

No, the fact that it has large ANALOG dials is actually a very nice feature, not "antiquated".  Perhaps the black and white LCD looks a bit dated.

"and a windshield that doesn’t quite rise high enough to complete the job."

??  Yes it does.  Perhaps the reviewer is super-tall and sits tall??  Besides, plenty of other windscreens available.

"but don’t forget that Kawasaki now also makes the Ninja H2 SX, which is good for 210 hp and 101 lbs.-ft. "

And that torque on the H2 is only up high, where it is not used as much in touring riding.  But sure, if that is your goal and you don't mind breaking the bank for a tiny, chain-driven, limited range, short-wheelbase, not-real-touring bike.

"Old Beemers and Guzzis suffered from their shaft drives, but like turbo lag on a sport bike, this is now largely a thing of the past."


Wasn't that my earlier point?

"All the competition has cruise control, including the H2 SX SE, so why not the Concours? Duh!"

Because it is not throttle-by-wire.  It is basically a pre-2008 design.  He could have added that cruise kits are available.  But it is hard to argue against that it should have had it by now.

"There’s no nice way to say this: The Concours feels dated, with old style gauges,"

Already covered that

"no drive modes"

Actually yes, it does have two drive modes- normal and fuel economy assist mode.

"a big, clunky dial on the side panel for the heated grips"

A nice, tactile, easy-to-reach knob is a problem?

"(and no available heated seat)"

Yet aftermarkets ARE available.  Really, it is important to mention such things, since some bikes don't have ANY such aftermarket options.  Just because it is not from Kawasaki doesn't mean it isn't available.

It is not a bad review, though.  But some of the errors and omissions detract from the quality.  Also note NO mention of its TPS, legendary reliability, fantastic transmission, best warranty (3 years), and best extended warranty (9 years).
Shoodaben (was Guhl) ECU flash, Canyon Cages front/rear, Helibars risers, Phil's wedges, Grip Puppies, Sargent World seat-low & heated & pod, Muzzy lowering links, Soupy's stand, Nautilus air horn, Admore lightbar, Ronnie's highway pegs, front running lights, HID, helmet locks, Garmin Zumo 450, Sena SMH10, Throttle Tamer, MRA X-Creen, PR4-GT, Scorpion EXO-T1200,  Tourmaster Flex II

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Recent C14 review
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2018, 06:36:32 pm »
maybe he should take a 1/4 mile ride, on my 1978 KZ1000 B2, Ltd.
even tho departed a 'slight' bit from stock...

and dispense with the horror-drome... accept the 210 mile fuel tank range, and the way it "dances and wiggles" in the twisties, but makes your testicles clearly happy, even being old.

 :deadhorse: :grouphug: :banghead: :battle: :battle: :hitfan: :stirpot: :censored:

30 YEARS OF KAW.....

Offline katata1100

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Re: Recent C14 review
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2018, 08:32:19 am »
“Modern dash”? I think the c14 looks good and always will. Back in the ‘80’s, there was a fad to make car dashes digital and “modern”, yet if you see them now,they look very dated.
I agree with lack of cc but you can probably now get a mccruise for around $700. Add on a flash, that sts turn signal kit and Kawasaki discounting and you still have a bike that costs less than a feejer, a better warranty than any car , very comfy and is faster than a ‘92gsx1100r super sport bike .
As for shaft drive not being sporty , it is done wonderfully on the c14. I had a shafted Madura 1200
and the rear end went up and down like the dow jones.
The only real complaint I have is that the bike is wide, makes it tedious to split lanes when trapped in Cali traffic.
But everything else is great . With fuel saving mode on and mcruise set at 70mph, I see an easy 50mpg when touring .
I’ve always wanted a gold wing , but I’d find it pretty hard to fork over $28k to get a bike that has a lot less cargo capacity and is much slower than the C14. Even if it has super modern dash with an option to see  naked ladies dancing with speed number propped on their upper nubbies!
And, I should add, in the 7 years I’ve owned my bike, it has seen a dealer on three times- for the brake recall,one bad fork seal, and rebuild after getting t-boned at a Walmart .
That reliability is super important as I often travel in the boonies.
P.s., that big  can of whoopass that is opened by twisting the throttle never ever gets old!

Offline jimmymac

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Re: Recent C14 review
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2018, 09:46:55 am »
I had to laugh my ass off when it said an R6 would take it at the light.  Not with me at the controls, Jack.
I had to quit reading at that point. Acting like the fob was something new... ::)
2010 Connie. No ABS, no TC, no linked brakes. A real bike.
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Offline PH14

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Re: Recent C14 review
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2018, 09:25:44 am »
I had to laugh my ass off when it said an R6 would take it at the light.  Not with me at the controls, Jack.
I had to quit reading at that point. Acting like the fob was something new... ::)

Well, the R6 is slightly faster, given the fact it puts out about 122HP and is only 412 pounds wet, it isn't a stretch. They are basically neck and neck though, The Concours gives up .1 seconds.

Offline maxtog

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Re: Recent C14 review
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2018, 11:41:21 am »
Well, the R6 is slightly faster, given the fact it puts out about 122HP and is only 412 pounds wet, it isn't a stretch. They are basically neck and neck though, The Concours gives up .1 seconds.

Exactly.  The wording from the article was:

"At the lights, you’ll be beaten handily off the line by one of those lanky young riders on an R6"

Um, no you won't!

0-60  R6: 2.8sec  C14: 2.9sec
Oh, and 1.4 mile?  R6: 10.84sec  C14: 10.56sec

I love this, too:

"You’re still quicker than almost every car on the road, after all"

Um, duh.  Until you get into the $100k+ exotics, no car is going to keep up with a C14.
Shoodaben (was Guhl) ECU flash, Canyon Cages front/rear, Helibars risers, Phil's wedges, Grip Puppies, Sargent World seat-low & heated & pod, Muzzy lowering links, Soupy's stand, Nautilus air horn, Admore lightbar, Ronnie's highway pegs, front running lights, HID, helmet locks, Garmin Zumo 450, Sena SMH10, Throttle Tamer, MRA X-Creen, PR4-GT, Scorpion EXO-T1200,  Tourmaster Flex II

Offline katata1100

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Re: Recent C14 review
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2018, 02:09:00 pm »
It has been awhile since I rode a 600cc crotch rocket but from what I recall, they are twitchy, short wheel based little beasts that require very high rpms to get power.
They are hard (at least for me) to launch. I am sure some people can match or even better (slightly) a C14 in the quarter, but they need a good amount of skill. Yes, I know people talk a lot about the skill of two riders, but on a 600cc, it is very true, or else you are in the 11's. The C14 is very easy to launch. It has long wheel base, lots of low end power, easy to launch.

Offline eng943

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Re: Recent C14 review
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2018, 11:06:38 am »
Like so many reviews, I sometimes shake my head at some of the observations, and lack of context given.

The comments about the shaft drive I thought were really uninformed.

The C14 is always going to receive some negative reviews based on lack of features compared to it's rivals - that's generally a pretty fair observation.

I do see his point on the windscreen. Compared to say an R1200RT / K16GT, or Goldwing, the wind protection is not up to those standards. I  just rode a used Trophy, and wow, was that ever good wind protection.

I'll also challenge the comment that "it costs less than the competition", which really in many cases on C14 ownership is proven to be untrue. Case in point me. I knew I'd be adding Mccruise (cost was $1600 after install by dealer). Now I am considering a suspension upgrade as well since the combination of twisty/bumpy roads overwhelms the stock suspension. Moreover, some friends noted how poor the visibility was from my headlight, so I am looking to upgrade to LED. So I am now really questioning why I didn't just buy an FJR13ES. So pardon me when I scoff at the statement that the C14 costs less than the competition.       

Dear Kawsaki  - Do to the C14 what you just did to the Versys.   
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 05:53:27 pm by eng943 »
2017 C14 - AST Risers / Peg Lowering kit / mccruise /Garmin 595/Shoodaben MR / Area P / Kawi Touring Seat.
Second Bike 2017 BMW R12R

Offline katata1100

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Re: Recent C14 review
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2018, 09:45:34 am »
I got my mcruise for $750, installed my self. It really isn’t that hard, might be cheaper. The bike has
a decent suspension , more personal choice than a mark of quality if you feel the need for swapping out.
I bet the cost of adding cruise is less than the cost of giving the feejer the same power that the C14 has.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2018, 10:28:09 am by katata1100 »

Offline eng943

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Re: Recent C14 review
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2018, 12:41:34 pm »
I got my mcruise for $750, installed my self. It really isn’t that hard, might be cheaper. The bike has
a decent suspension , more personal choice than a mark of quality if you feel the need for swapping out.
I bet the cost of adding cruise is less than the cost of giving the feejer the same power that the C14 has.

So to my point it's subjective. Your cc install was half the cost of mine, but in either case the value proposition is tied to the cash a c14 owner invests in giving it function that other bikes have off the floor. Moreover, as nice as the mccruise is, it does not work as well as a factory unit based on ride by wire.

Suspension upgrades are a pretty popular upgrade on the forums. The suspension might be fine in some areas of the country, and a glaring shortcoming in others. I will say the suspension feels lacking when I ride a bike with better suspension over the same roads. My RS is much more composed over some of the same roads that my C14 struggles with.  Those that upgrade the suspension see a significant improvement in ride quality and handling. I agree it's decent, until you try to ride it over it's capability, which really is not at all hard to do. Fast smooth sweepers, it does very well. Tight technical turns, and rough surfaces really require caution, because the stock suspension gets overwhelmed here. The more sporting your riding style over these types of roads the more deficient the suspension feels.     

The fact of the matter is that there is a sample size of C14 owners that have invested in upgrades that put them in the conversation with more expensive bikes that offer the components or quality thereof of the upgrades some of us have invested in. 

Most bikes get farkled to a degree, but the C14 has some pretty big needs if an owner wants the capability of some other bikes from the factory.

Also, in fairness to the FJR, it's no slouch in the performance category and unless the C14 owner has a flashed ECU, the FJR is only a tenth or so slower. Nothing you will really notice.     
2017 C14 - AST Risers / Peg Lowering kit / mccruise /Garmin 595/Shoodaben MR / Area P / Kawi Touring Seat.
Second Bike 2017 BMW R12R