Author Topic: Reliability and value of the C-14  (Read 556 times)

Offline B.D.F.

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Reliability and value of the C-14
« on: November 02, 2020, 06:53:54 am »
I am currently poking around with the idea of buying another C-14 and just wanted to mention a couple of thoughts that have been reinforced by my recent review of this and some other motorcycles.

First, I believe the C-14 (and perhaps some other Kawasaki's) have an excellent and unique warranty plan, although some of it must be purchased. But at least it is available. A C-14 can be, and often is, protected under the factory warranty for up to nine years with unlimited mileage. A nice and comforting touch as this is a fairly complicated bike, as most high- end bikes are these days, and even an individual part or sub- group assembly failure can be very expensive. This is a very attractive part of buying one of these bikes.

The second thing that stands out is value. There are of course other bikes that may be 'better' in some, or maybe even lots of different ways. But for the cost, I think the C-14 may deliver the most features and best overall machine. This was driven home by a recent trip to a local dealer to look at C-14's when I heard a very faint whisper from across the dealer's floor while next to a C-14. Looking around, I saw that it was a BMW 1600 calling out to me that it needed a new home. And I can say without the slightest shame that I listened and responded by going over and saying 'hello'. A really nice bike, full of all the really slick, refined features that I like as well as that magnificent in- line six cylinder engine. Paradise on Earth in my view. But them I remembered it was a BMW and backed up a bit to take in the bigger picture that included maintenance and repair. The model I was looking at was a 2016 with less than 300 miles on it and it was pristine and as- new. But out of warranty. Having seen some repairs done on late model BMW's I can honestly say that they are downright scary both in price as well as parts availability, at least some of the time. Things such as a new ABS pump are truly amazing in price and one is stuck in the position of having a still rather valuable motorcycle that is nearly worthless unless a staggering amount of money is 'invested' and I use that word loosely.

A better comparison is probably a C-14 and a GoldWing (Hondapotamus). The Goldwing is an extremely reliable bike that is well proven over decades but it is also a lot more expensive than a C-14. In my own opinion it may not be overpriced but it does not even get close to the value of a C-14, no matter if comparing both new or both used.

Another bike that interests me a bit is the Honda 1200 VFR (no longer produced). Again, more expensive than the C-14 but the base bike does not include a lot of the sport touring parts of the C-14 such as hard saddlebags, large adjustable windshield and some other things. Some of these such as the bags can be added but they are small, have that added- on look and are very expensive.

Anyway, just a no- cost idea that I thought I would share. These bikes are a lot of bang for the buck and can be (at additional but not ridiculous cost) warrantied for a surprisingly long time giving great confidence I think.
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Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2020, 07:38:31 am »
The C14 is a great value for the money and it's reliability is stellar assuming it's taken care of properly.  I only have my past 2008 to speak of but other than the new bike issues we had in the past it never left me stranded on the side of the road.  I'd recommend it to anyone.
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Offline Pilgrim

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2020, 12:32:34 pm »

I agree.  The C-14 is an awesome bike and I love mine.

During a recent visit to the local dealer to drool over the ZH2, I noticed a police version of the ST1300.  2017. 0 miles. $10,999.   https://www.naults.com/inventory/2017-honda-st1300pa-windham-nh-03087-10739563i

It is certainly not a C-14.   What are your feelings on the ST1300?

Offline B.D.F.

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2020, 03:01:23 pm »
Took one for a test ride way back in '07 and found it to be a great performing bike, just like all Hondas tend to be. That said, it lacked performance but especially it was soft and sluggish in all areas- engine performance, suspension, brakes. Very heavy feeling, much like a GoldWing. That was also when the info. was coming out about their nasty tendency to do tank- slappers, at least those dressed as police bikes. So overall a solid bike with a long history going back to the ST1100 but kind of dull and boring to ride.

The Honda that did grab my attention was the VFR 1200. Really nice bike in my opinion. Crisp and snappy, it out- performed a C-14, felt light and nimble, at least as far as a such a big bike could, and was very pleasantly narrow due to it being a V4. A real contender IMO but not really suitable as a distance bike, at least not for me. It would make a fantastic second bike but a bit too expensive in that role, again at least for me.


I agree.  The C-14 is an awesome bike and I love mine.

During a recent visit to the local dealer to drool over the ZH2, I noticed a police version of the ST1300.  2017. 0 miles. $10,999.   https://www.naults.com/inventory/2017-honda-st1300pa-windham-nh-03087-10739563i

It is certainly not a C-14.   What are your feelings on the ST1300?
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Online maxtog

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2020, 03:04:25 pm »
I can't understate just how fantastic the warranty AND the extended warranty options are for the C14.  9 years of nearly 100% factory coverage of nearly 100% of the bike, for under $700.  To me it is a no-brainer, and I *never* buy extended warranties on stuff.  It speaks MILES to the purchaser as to how much confidence Kawasaki has in the model.  They simply could not offer such options if it were something like a BWM.  They would go broke.
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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2020, 03:09:03 pm »
It is certainly not a C-14.   What are your feelings on the ST1300?

I have not ridden one, but just about EVERY person who reports back that has ridden it compared to a C14 says it is boring, slow, and underwhelming.  Nothing about it was as good as a C14.  I think the only people who bought them (after the C14 came out in 2008) were doing so ONLY because they were a Honda (brand loyalty).
Shoodaben (was Guhl) Mountain Runner 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, all LED, helmet locks, RAM Xgrip, Sena SMH10, Throttle Tamer, MRA X-Creen, BearingUp Shifter, PR4-GT, Scorpion EXO-T1200,etc

Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2020, 03:16:04 pm »
I looked at FJRs, Hondas, and BMWs..  They were ugly in my opinion and as I was already in camp with Kwackers it was a no brainer.  Besides, I got goosebumps seeing one in person at the dealership.
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Offline Justcliff

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2020, 04:50:17 pm »
I have always considered the C14 a huge value for the money, just nothing out there better for the money IMO. I halfass look around ocassionally for a backup, simply because at 240,000 miles is bound to quit at anytime even though I still ride it around the country unconcerned. Yes I plan to buy another, kinda like the 2018 Grey.

 I've spent a couple hours riding a 1600 GTL & thought it was a bit of a turd, didn't care for it at all. 
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Offline B.D.F.

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2020, 05:11:19 pm »
Yeah, it is all of those things but it is also very comfortable and very, very well mannered. That is why I hesitate to knock the bike at all because it is great at being what it is, and the is a gentle, cushy bike. We may like the C-14 and think of it as better but that is more of an emotional response, and the ST has proven itself to be extremely reliable in use by police all over the world.

Until that nasty tank- slapper situation raised its ugly head at least.  :(

It is like a GoldWing, which is also a superb bike. Even more history and an even more reliable bike, at least I believe so, but boring like driving an Olds 98. But I do recognize that those very attributes can be benefits to some people and lends itself to long distance riding extremely well. About a third of the bikes in the Ironbutt rally are OldWings and with good reason. I have only ever seen one C-14 participate.

I have not ridden one, but just about EVERY person who reports back that has ridden it compared to a C14 says it is boring, slow, and underwhelming.  Nothing about it was as good as a C14.  I think the only people who bought them (after the C14 came out in 2008) were doing so ONLY because they were a Honda (brand loyalty).
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Offline B.D.F.

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2020, 05:14:59 pm »
It is a very important consideration for me. I am looking at a used '16 that I like in all regards and is immaculate and while it does have an extended warranty, it also means that about half of the total warranty period was used before I ever saw the bike. A new C-14 is worth considerably more to me just because of that nine- year umbrella. And I have used mine on my '08, although not to the point where I got all my warranty money back. Still, a nice hedge against something nasty like that broken fourth gear that happens occasionally to these bikes. And my '08 is not an ABS version, which I think may be the source of a significant number of warranty claims. At any rate, that nine- year warranty really trumps all the competition in my view.

I can't understate just how fantastic the warranty AND the extended warranty options are for the C14.  9 years of nearly 100% factory coverage of nearly 100% of the bike, for under $700.  To me it is a no-brainer, and I *never* buy extended warranties on stuff.  It speaks MILES to the purchaser as to how much confidence Kawasaki has in the model.  They simply could not offer such options if it were something like a BWM.  They would go broke.
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.

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Offline Boomer

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2020, 06:57:07 am »
About a third of the bikes in the Ironbutt rally are OldWings and with good reason. I have only ever seen one C-14 participate.
In both 2013 & 2017 there were five C14's entered. Four of them finished in each.
They seem to log C14s under several different names (Concours, Concours14, Concours 14, Concours-14)
Several entries are just Kawasaki Concours followed by the year in brackets, eg. Andrew Byrd "Kawasaki Concours ('12)"

https://www.ironbutt.org/ibrfacts.htm and search for "Concour" and the scroll through.  ;D

The primary reason for the C14 not featuring in the IBR more is I believe because it falls in the SPORTtouring category whereas the others are mostly sportTOURING or straight TOURING. The C14 is constantly begging you to get OFF THE INTERSTATE and RIDE THE TWISTIES!  :rotflmao:
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Offline B.D.F.

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2020, 07:33:59 am »
That is surprising! I was at the start of the '11 IBA rally and there was either one or no C-14's as I remember. Thanks for the info.!

One of the major complaints about the C-14 for long distance riding was the short legs due to the small fuel tank as well as the relatively high fuel consumption. The second gen. C-14's have addressed the fuel consumption, and most riders in the actual IBA rally use aux. fuel tanks anyway. The fuel situation is more of a problem with the more occasional IRA riders rather than the actual rally participants. And of course most of the bikes used in that rally have cruise control either as standard or aftermarket installed.

In both 2013 & 2017 there were five C14's entered. Four of them finished in each.
They seem to log C14s under several different names (Concours, Concours14, Concours 14, Concours-14)
Several entries are just Kawasaki Concours followed by the year in brackets, eg. Andrew Byrd "Kawasaki Concours ('12)"

https://www.ironbutt.org/ibrfacts.htm and search for "Concour" and the scroll through.  ;D

The primary reason for the C14 not featuring in the IBR more is I believe because it falls in the SPORTtouring category whereas the others are mostly sportTOURING or straight TOURING. The C14 is constantly begging you to get OFF THE INTERSTATE and RIDE THE TWISTIES!  :rotflmao:
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.

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Offline Boomer

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2020, 02:46:49 am »
I've been an avid follower of the IBR since Jack Tollett entered (and finished) with his C10 in 1999. There were COGgers turning up at every checkpoint with bunches of bananas for him (he was diabetic) and at one checkpoint they even did a full service for him while he slept. I still miss Jack. He was a character.
George "Boomer" Garratt
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Offline katata1100

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2020, 11:34:00 am »
I used to think I’d sell my C14 and buy a GW when the redesign came out. The recently redesigned GW
Has less luggage space than the previous GW and less than my Shad 50L trunks equipped c14.
That’s enough to scratch it off my dream list.
The true value of a c14 is revealed when you take it on the road for a few weeks, loaded you the gills, with a bag of laundry pods to do a couple of washes in various crappy motels along the journey.
This requires good cargo capacity .

Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Reliability and value of the C-14
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2020, 11:51:59 am »
 :thumbs:
"LOCTITE®"  The original thread locker...  #11  2020 Indian Roadmaster, ABS, Cruise control, heated grips and seats 46 Monitoring with cutting edge technology U.N.I.T is Back! 2008 C14 Moved on to a new home, 2016 RM traded in.