A 2.75-inch-taller windscreen with wider upper portion was also installed to answer requests for better wind protection, with the adjustability feature now accompanied by a new four-preset programmable position setup. When the power is turned off, the windshield retracts to its lowest position; when power is turned back on, the windshield automatically raises to one of four preset positions that are selected via a mode display on the instrument panel. In order to reduce the trailing turbulence that usually accompanies a big windshield and causes helmet buffeting at speed, the bottom edge of the windshield has cuts to direct airflow to vents that exit next to the instrument panel, equalizing air pressure behind the windscreen and reducing turbulence.
During our '08 comparison test, we rued the fact that the Kawasaki lacked the heated grips that its competition had installed as options when riding through cold weather. Apparently others felt the same; the new Concours not only has stepless-adjustable heated grips, but it comes equipped with them standard-not as an extra-cost option. Also helping in this area are rearview mirrors positioned 40mm higher, which not only provides a less-obstructed rear view (a complaint of ours concurred by Concours owners) but also provide additional wind protection for the rider's hands.
The mini-storage glove box has been moved from the front of the fuel tank to the left side fairing inner panel, with an electro-magnet lock that prevents entry when the engine is off. In order to facilitate easy non-magnetic tank bag mounting, two plastic hooks are located at the front of the fuel tank (beats having to fumble with snaking a tankbag belt underneath the steering head).
A heat shield on the right-side...
A heat shield on the right-side exhaust collector is just part of the modifications aimed at eliminating the excessive engine heat that would radiate onto the rider while sitting in traffic.
One addition at the request...
One addition at the request of Concours owners was the new "spare" KIPASS key fob, that is less than half the size of the standard key fob along with a very short range of about four inches, allowing it to be hidden somewhere on the bike in case of emergencies.
Left handlebar switchgear...
Left handlebar switchgear now includes the orange K-ACT mode button on top, along with the KTRC traction control button (to turn on or off) on the bottom. The dash panel made button is now mounted where the high beam flash button used to be, so the high-beam flash is now part of the high/low beam switch.
Biggest upgrade for the 2010 Concours 14, though, is the addition of second-generation K-ACT (Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology) ABS and Kawasaki's first traction control system, dubbed the KTRC (Kawasaki Traction Control). The K-ACT ABS is an improved version of the system originally found on the Voyager full-touring model, with a linked front-rear brake setup (actuating either the front brake lever or rear brake pedal singularly activates both front and rear brakes simultaneously to varying degrees) that now has two selectable modes for rider preference. In "standard" mode, the linked effect with the rear brake pedal is reduced in the initial pedal stroke, allowing more control by the rider in sport riding situations. "High Combined" mode employs a more pronounced effect right at the beginning of the rear brake pedal stroke, which Kawasaki says was intended more for "touring and two-up highway use."
With the ABS wheel-speed sensors already in place, the KTRC was a natural add-on to the system. Unlike most traction control systems that pull back on ignition timing and fuel delivery however, the KTRC employs a three-way system of ignition, fuel, and throttle opening (the throttle bodies' secondary throttle plates are ECU-controlled) to reduce power. The KTRC can be disabled via a button on the left handlebar switchgear; the K-ACT (available as a $700 option) cannot be turned off.
The focus groups that Kawasaki interviewed wanted a larger fuel tank on the Concours for longer range, but Kawasaki didn't want to add any more weight and bulk to an already hefty motorcycle. So as an alternative, there's now a Fuel Economy Assistance Mode that accesses a leaner fuel map that is claimed to boost fuel mileage during cruising speeds, according to Kawasaki. This can be selected by holding down the mode button on the left handlebar switchgear (another focus group request, moving it from the previous position on the dashboard that required taking your left hand off the bar to change anything). There is also an "Economical Riding Indicator" on the LCD dashboard display that shows when the rider is in the optimum throttle and rpm setting for maximum fuel efficiency.