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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The first 450 miles on the new Concours has been exciting, invigorating and pure enjoyment. There is very little that hasn't already been said so I'll try not to bore you with repeated comments unless warranted.

I'm 5' - 11-1/2", 32" inseam, 195 lbs, 48 years young. This is my third street bike in over 20 years of riding, YZF600R now gathering dust in the garage.

Bad stuff first:

The C-14 is a deceivingly top-heavy bike. Fortunately, the weight magically disappears with the slightest application of throttle. Newbies to cruisers beware and be especially wary if carrying a passenger. Don't forget to teach your passenger how and when to properly mount and get off your machine. Don't forget to brief passengers how you want them react when you go through corners too.

I'm disappointed in the 5.8 gal fuel tank. There's plenty of room under the plastic for at least another gallon. Not that I won't need a stretch after hitting the 200 mile range, but if you're not carefull, you might find yourself greater than 45 miles from the nearest fuel stop if you travel the back-roads on a regular basis.

The extra heat everyone else talks about is there - but because I normally wear over-the-ankle boots I'm not noticing it as much. Being in the Northwest we can just about ride year 'round and I'll be gratefull for the added warmth come this winter.

Things that could use some improvement:

Kawi's marketing. It sucks that they originally marketed this bike with heated hand grips and Diablo Black and then changed it during production. I'll be installing the factory heated grips when made available.

Ditto someone else's comment on the Air Temp Gauge. I'll probably fit up an after-market gauge so I can tell when it's getting too close to freezing for safety reasons.

A locking glove box, side fairing cover, or helmet locks would have been easy and very cheap to do. Why skimp on basics?

There is one mode missing from the digital display. MILES PER HOUR! Come on guys, how hard would it have been to give us a large LED MPH? At least one half of the owner's manual is all about the digital display and it can't even tell you how fast you're going. Thank God for my GPS and digital trip computer. The analog gauge for mph and rpm is sufficient, but who wants to spend valuable seconds trying to focus on those tiny numbers? Maybe Kawi can produce an easy software mod.

Just my thoughts since we're on the subject of software digital stuff... How about catching up with the competition and give us push button on-the-fly performance mapping? Cruise, Strip, or Street modes. How hard would that be? How about just a real cruise control? It can't be that hard. I'd gladly sacrifice the "Current MPG" for MPH. I'd keep the "Average MPG" though.

TOGs - Tip Over Guards. Its a heavy bike. What more is there to say... Okay, I dropped mine yesterday doing a slow roll U-turn in a parking lot.

$148.62 for a new mirror assembly
$292 for the left hand side bag cover

TOGs? Priceless

By the way, the whole bag assembly is $655.65 (each)

I'm looking for TOGs. :(

The LOW FUEL warning comes on at about 45 miles to empty. You can override the low fuel indication (and gain a red warning light on the dash), but you loose the countdown to empty counter. Using one of the three trip ODO's to track mileage is my work-around.

Great Stuff:

Great seat. I like the wide, cushy seat. My wife likes the seat and hand-holds too. Wife's happy, I'm happy! :)

Shaft drive. Never had one before - but I like it alot. Power delivery is smooth, doesn't raise or squat the rear end on hard throttle.

Overall Power. I'm impressed! Even though I'm still breaking in... (less than 4K rpm) acceleration is smooth and strong. A freight train on silk rails. Passing slow moving obsticles without downshifting is nearly effortless. Looking forward to 6k rpm tomorrow and full throttle 10k next month.

OD - 6th gear OverDrive is awesome! Don't even bother using it until you hit 60. The shaft groans at anything much less than 4K rpm. This could be where some people are reporting feeling some vibration. I think its right on!

KPASS is cool,,, but I'd rather have a larger tank, MPH on digital display or heated hand grips.

Quiet - but I'd like to hear a little more rumble in my rocket.

Fit and Finish is OUTSTANDING!! I especially love the use of hex cap scew for body work and miscellaneous pieces parts. That's an added bonus any owner/mechanic would find worth the MSRP price tag.

Maneuverability and handling are superb! You can steer the C-14 through sweeper turns with two fingers and slight pressure on the footpegs. Handling is rock solid - confidence building - effortless - inspiring - a joy to look for back-roads. The list is endless.

The side bags are huge! Full size helmet, case of beer, week's worth of lunches, gear for a weekend.... waiting for the liner's. Love the locking mechanisms. Triumph ST owners are jealous.

The windshield is cool. Just a bit short in the full up position, but I can live with that for the time being. Maybe this winter I'll look into a taller version.

Center stand. Even at 615 pounds dry, the C-14 is easy to get up on the stand. Be mindful of the side stand though when parked on a down slope. The heavy weight wants to roll off the side stand so I'd recommend parking in gear if you must park facing down hill.

Gas mileage is predicatably good even being heavy-handed on the throttle.

Smart shifter finds Neutral when standing still. It won't jump to 2nd unless you're moving. Very cool.

My overall opinion: Kawasaki produced an Excellent product that was worth the wait. Very few upgrades needed for next year's model. I'll be pissed (but I'll get over it) if and when they come out with diablo black, midnight blue or dark maroon. Maybe I'll just have to trade up. :mfclap
 

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Good review. The poeple who don't own one yet must be salivating. These reviews are most likely making the people who didn't think they wanted one, start thinking that they may.
 

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Some reports have said that the C-14 has a very low center of gravity and you are saying it is deceivingly top-heavy. I'm having a hard time understanding how it can be both.

Great report! Thanks........
 

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What's this "smart shifter"? This is the 1st time I heard it...
I had that on my Kawasaki Nomad. You could just hit a lever with your left heel and that would put the shifter in the neutral position. Didn't know the Concours had that.
 

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There is no smart shifter, what is has is called a positive neutral finder. It consists of 3 ball bearings that use centrifugal force to get out of the way and allow it to shift into second gear.
All Kawasaki street bikes have that feature. I believe it was first introduced on the 1970 F5 Bighorn. Up until then Kawasaki's neutral was all the way down instead of between first and second. Very simple and elegant solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for the technical explanation Ted. Positive neutral finder is the correct term.

By the way, my "vehicle-down" sensor works too. :( After Sunday's mishap I had to turn the key knob off and then back to on before it would start again. Expensive way to find out that sensor actually works.

Reached 510 miles today. Wow - what a rush punching the rpms up to 6k. Thought she was gonna lift off and go airborne. :)
 

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I agree

I agree with most of the above. I have added heated grips and cruise and I have Diablo Black but I find my arms are still getting pretty cool in our winter here. The seat is good but I am looking to the Kawasaki Gel seat coming soon also top box as can be viewed on the Kawasaki UK site. So what next? heated/electric mirrors.? I noticed the tire pressure gauge reading 290kps rear and 270 kps front but when I checked them at the gas station they were both the same pressure?? Some have had weeps from the drive shaft around the filler plug, O ring problem I feel here. Brakes are excellent as good as my zx14. Even though I don't have ABS on the zx14. Waiting my Two Brother muffler as we speak should lower weight heaps as the stock muffler weighs a ton with the CAT inside. No need for CAT here yet so out it goes. The two brothers gives a about 4 more HP and 3 more ft/lbs torque also. I noticed stock on the dyno they put out 144hp not 155 as claimed.:clap
 

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You'll love the power up top. 2nd gear will lift the front with a handful of throttle around 5k rpms.
 

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...The two brothers gives a about 4 more HP and 3 more ft/lbs torque also. I noticed stock on the dyno they put out 144hp not 155 as claimed.:clap
The 155 quote is at the crank while the 144 is at the back wheel. A shaft normally loses 18-20,so the crank reading would actually be 162 - 164. That's a load of power! And don't forget the ram air is good for another 10.
 
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