More Technology and Refinement for This Multiple Award Winner
Performance touring comes naturally to Kawasaki, seeing as how we already had the performance part of the equation nailed with the incredible Ninja® ZX™-14 sportbike. That bike’s amazing 1,352cc engine and unique monocoque frame lent themselves perfectly to this exciting new class of transcontinental sport touring motorcycles, and the original Kawasaki Concours™ 14 and Concours 14 ABS rose immediately to the top of the critics’ lists just two short years ago. But the people who ride these motorcycles are not known for their patience. Two years on, the nextgeneration Concours 14 benefits from an entire laundry list of comfort, convenience and safety items carefully engineered to surpass all expectations of what a perfect sport tourer should be.
The biggest change is immediately apparent: All-new bodywork not only gives the new Concours 14 an even more aggressive demeanor, it’s also designed to channel more heat away from the rider for increased comfort. Meanwhile, a 2.75-inch taller, electric-adjustable windscreen creates a bigger still-air pocket for the rider and passenger, and new ducts above the instrument panel relieve the low pressure area behind the windscreen for an even smoother, quieter cruise. When the weather turns cooler, the new bike’s got your hands covered, with standard grip heaters that are easily adjustable via a control right next to the new, lockable storage compartment in the left inner fairing. Connoisseurs of fine cruising will note that all the redesigned body and trim pieces fit together with a level of precision and quality normally found on motorcycles costing thousands of dollars more.
The Concours 14 ABS’s chiseled new looks are backed up by a full complement of sophisticated new safety electronics. Second-generation K-ACT (Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology) relies upon a powerful ECU to provide your choice of two modes of highly refined, linked anti-lock braking. And while the ABS sensors were already in place on the wheels, the Concours 14’s engineers used them as part of Kawasaki’s first-ever traction control system: KTRC (Kawasaki Traction Control) monitors any difference between the front and rear wheel speeds to help reduce wheelspin on slick surfaces, and provide extra peace of mind for the rider. (KTRC can of course, be easily switched on and off, at the rider’s discretion.) The heart of the matter remains the same. The Concours 14 engine generates prodigious torque down low, followed by an impressive mid-range surge that transitions into a top-end rush most open class sportbikes would envy. A big part of its tremendously wide powerband can be attributed to its variable valve timing (VVT) system. VVT automatically alters camshaft profiles according to rpm, to boost low-end and mid-range torque without sacrificing top-end power. Advanced fuel injection, subthrottle valves, ram-air induction and decades of experience building the world’s most potent motorcycle engines add up to an amazing powerplant, a huge force to be reckoned with in the performance sport-touring segment.
Good thing the rest of the Concours 14’s running gear is up to the challenge. Its unique monocoque frame provides massive structural integrity along with excellent handling characteristics. Embracing the engine from on top, its compact structure keeps the bike narrow where it needs to be and allows optimum packaging of the bike’s vital systems. The Tetra-Lever shaft drive, which sends all that power rearward, uses a fourlink design to offset the lifting and squatting tendencies of lesser shaft drive systems when the throttle is opened and closed, which results in true sportbike handling — and Tetra-Lever is almost completely maintenance free. The Concours 14’s powertrain has earned critical acclaim around the world for its silky smooth power delivery.
To that awesomely solid foundation we add a carefully sculpted saddle, all the creature comforts you’d expect and a pair of beautifully integrated, capacious, waterproof saddlebags — and away you go. An integrated high-speed touring machine with unquestionable supersport DNA, the Concours 14 and Concours 14 ABS are more ready to get you there than ever.