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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy fellas. I used to have a Ninja 1000 and hung out on that page.

Got a Yamaha RZ09 now and love it. Would like to get a good 2 up machine so I can take the wife along.

I sold the Ninja to a gentleman who also has a 2011 Concours.

We hooked up for a ride last summer and I had a hard time keeping up with him on his Concours.

To say the least I was impressed. And yes he is a very good rider but it was more than just talent.

Any ways would love to hear from you folks who own one.

Thanks guys.
 

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What do you want to know?

I've toured almost 30,000 miles on mine. It is my go to touring bike since I added it to my stable. It is smooth, fast, and planted in the curves.

I kept the stock riding position, but there are many different risers and seats and shields for those who want more of a goldwing.
 

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Tim, welcome back! Its very much what you want. The bike handles a passenger like they are not there. VERY smooth, and deceptively fast. You'll be mad at everyone else for driving so slowly.

Dirt cheap to insure., and low used prices. Good saddelbags. Endless accessories.

I thought about selling mine, but found out what the bike is really for. After that summer ride I' pm'd you about, I wont sell it.

Perfect compliment to an fz09.

The c14 also has headlights that are adequate at 150mph, at midnight. Nothing ever goes wrong with them. Kawasaki offered cheap, warranty extensions, so it would not be uncommon to find a 2010 model, still covered under a full warranty from Kawi.

Bad part? The 08 and 09 have heat issues when its over 90 degrees. A bike that is designed to cruise at 130 never was never tested much in stop-n-go traffic. The bike does just fine, but the engine throws a lot heat onto your lower legs....above 90 degrees, at slow speeds. The stock seat is garbage. Thats almost expected from a company like kawasaki. Way more concerned with an extra 5hp than your comfort.

Also, low rpm power is seriously restricted in stock form. This bike does well with removing the secondary butterflies and adding a pcv. I think doing this adds 30hp at 300 rpm's..something crazy like that, anyway.

The bike is overkill in an area where archaic speed limits exist...Like all of the usa. The bike comes into its element at aroudn 110mph....the suspension starts to work, the wind protection, etc.

If you get one, be sure and drain a tank of fuel in 20 minutes. You'll see what it was meant for. Its th e most awesoem experience ever...well, nto to a pilot, but for us mortals. 20 minutes has gone by and you are facing a fuel light, and your 54 miles from when you were , 20 minutes ago.
 

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The mileage figures I gave really only apply if the speed limit was twice what it is. Under normal conditions, figure 35-38. I got aroung 36 fully loaded, and in an 80mph speed zone.

Why choose this bike vs Hondas 1300 or an fjr? Both of those are great bikes too....

So, why this one? Thats easy..the 6th gear.

Gears 1-5 really emphasize the top end power this bike has. Its seriously fast at 7000rpm. Very close to the original zx14.

Then you shift into 6th. The world goes into slow motion. RPM's drop to , and you have this smooth, around 3500 rpm, quiet and leisure feel. The bike feel slow.You start playing with you ipod...You look down and realize you are at 95mph.......hit brakes....repeat. You for sure need a throttle lock. Cruise control should be there, but isn't. Its needed to protect your drivers license.

The others match the comfort, and have plenty of power, but that OD 6th gear is worth having, and the others dont have it.
 

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The sound of the concours is far more pleasing than the Honda.
 

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The mileage figures I gave really only apply if the speed limit was twice what it is. Under normal conditions, figure 35-38. I got aroung 36 fully loaded, and in an 80mph speed zone.

Why choose this bike vs Hondas 1300 or an fjr? Both of those are great bikes too....

So, why this one? Thats easy..the 6th gear.

Gears 1-5 really emphasize the top end power this bike has. Its seriously fast at 7000rpm. Very close to the original zx14.

Then you shift into 6th. The world goes into slow motion. RPM's drop to , and you have this smooth, around 3500 rpm, quiet and leisure feel. The bike feel slow.You start playing with you ipod...You look down and realize you are at 95mph.......hit brakes....repeat. You for sure need a throttle lock. Cruise control should be there, but isn't. Its needed to protect your drivers license.

The others match the comfort, and have plenty of power, but that OD 6th gear is worth having, and the others dont have it.
That makes me want one!!! I've been entertaining a HD cruiser. But the Connie is definitely coming into play.
 

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The cost needs to be a factor to make the c14 THE bike. I've seen nice ones sell for 6k. The bike will lat forever, but the front brakes can be an issue. Unless you maintain the four pad caliper, it can drag, overheat, and cause warping. Big deal. Buy soem used zx14 rotors, and move along. The engine , though, just keeps going. Its way, way under stressed, smooth, and fast.

I would imagine people selling them would all say a version of this....."I loved the bike, but realized speed limits are 65-80, and this bikes likes to spent its time at 120....its not well suited for how I ride."

Its got a ton of high rpm power. Like our Ninjas, its restricted, down low. I wish Ivan had a reflash for it.

But, for an awesome bike, for low money, and passenger carrying, you cant beat it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Roland. I appreciate your expert opinion and info.

I was steering away from the 08 and 09 due to the heat issue but if it is only at low speeds I am not too worried.

When you mentioned the interlocked brakes on the 2010 and up that killed it for me. I rode a friends BMW 1150rt the other day and it has interlocked brakes and did not like them. Plus they had lousy feel and feedback.

Curious if anyone has gone down one tooth on the front sprocket to help with the bottom end grunt?

I am still in the fact finding stage so all additional info would be appreciated.
 

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With the shaft drive.....gearing changes are all but impossible.

Also, the low end grunt has been programmed out of it. To get around it, easily, you remove the secondary butterflies and add a power commander.

If you dont go with a full exhaust, you wont get the gain, up top, but the bottom end comes alive. Its really all you want. Even in stock form, its plenty. Its what you get when you try to turn this high horsepower, quick reving zx14 motor into something for touring. You can only do so much, but in ways, its whats so charming about the bike and gives it personality. Still, very rideable in stock form. You just want 1400cc's to feel like it. If you ever get the chance to really let it do its thing, look out.

The shaft drive, by the way, is awesome. You feel zero effects from having it. If they had this shaft drive design, back in the 80's, all bikes would be shaft drive. You can change its oil in about five minutes.

The heat issue is very real, but workable. Its not enough to make me not like the bike, and if your at 75, or 80 ambient, you'll never notice it.

I rode mine around in St George Utah. It was 106 out, and I got by. I'd much rather deal with some heat as to have my brakes linked.

If you go nuts, and do a full exhaust, its worth 36 hp up top....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Doh...what was I thinking... or course its shaft drive.

Guess I was still thinking Ninja 1000 and all the front sprocket talk.
 

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The concours also protects you from the wind which is great at speed, but not so great for getting cooling air on your legs when gets hot. My MRA vario screen helps get more air on my torso to compensate.
 

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Agreed about shields..cal science large for winter...

Oh, that heat issue.. Sounds perfect for a 35 degree day, right? No....go out at anything below 65 and you feel no heat at all..none.
 

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Why choose this bike vs Hondas 1300 or an fjr? Both of those are great bikes too....

So, why this one? Thats easy..the 6th gear.

...


The others match the comfort, and have plenty of power, but that OD 6th gear is worth having, and the others dont have it.
Having ridden an FJR1300 for many many miles, I do have some bias in that direction. However, I have ridden and do recognize that the C14 has become a fine machine that is just different enough from the FJR to warrant an honest discussion of each bike's relative merits.

The FJR1300 never needed a sixth gear. C14's sixth (1.074) is shorter than FJR's fifth (.929) although the final drive ratio will add another factor. Adding a gear and shortening the distance between them doesn't make sense on the FJR, it has plenty of torque to use it's five gears well. It would space the gears too close together, which is something I don't like about our N1K. On the other hand, the C14's higher revlimit and increased high-RPM power definitely benefits from the 6th gear. Stock, the C14 makes more power than the FJR, and can easily be modded to make even more. There are no simple mod's that will boost the FJR's power to that extent (but you need a PC to mitigate the off-idle "lurch"). Nevertheless, the FJR never feels weak; even during spirited riding it was seldom necessary to wring it's neck.

In other words, it isn't the availability of 6th that makes the biggest difference between the FJR and C14, but rather the way the engine makes power and being mated to an effective transmission ... for that engine.

FjR brakes are fantastic. Based on older R1 tech, they are linked, but minimally so. I wish my N1K had brakes as good as the FJR (and I'm hoping better pads this spring will give me some of that).

For 2-up riding, an argument can be made that an abundance of low-end torque and wider spaced gears will be more comfortable for the passenger than frequently shifting and getting the engine RPMs up. I'm assuming that you're not going to be pushing the bike to it's limits when you have a passenger.

Another consideration is passenger accommodations. The C14 has a taller rear seat than the FJR. I would expect this to affect comfort levels, exposure to buffeting, and distance to the footpegs. As you're considering this for 2-up riding, the passenger's comfort is likely going to be a significant factor.

And finally ... I hear that checking the valves on the C14 is a PITA. The panels are difficult to R/R and there isn't much space in the engine bay to do much work.

As for the ST1300 ... while I have a soft spot for the V4, the rest of the bike isn't competitive.

EDIT: for clarity.
 

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The way the gearing ends up, all said and done, on the road is at 80, the c14 will be turning about 500 rpm's less than the fjr. At 80, the fjr will be turning right at 4000 rpm, the c14 3500. Not a major deal. Well, anyone who added a tooth to the front of the Ninja will get some idea of what even 300 rpm's feels like. For gearing, give me more. I'll take 7 if they offer it.

Still, it snto as if that tall 6th gives massive mielage increases. Its just a very relaxed feel.

This class, overall. Its not based on whats needed. We've already left "whats needed" behind 5000.00 dollars and 200 pounds ago. As BMWs incredible bikes show, its not about "what I want". By the way, bmw's 1600 is THE bike in this class. Is it in the class being so much more expensive? Maybe not.

I found the fjr to be a very nice motorcycle, and a great option. In my area they never show up for sale, used. The c14's are always available.

Dont worry much about the seat. The c14 seat has to be developed by the guys who did our Ninja seats. I dont know if it sucks, but its not any good at all. Sargent is a nice option, and not that expensive. When you get a comfort improvement from switching to a zx14 seat, soemthing went wrong.

You could easily use a c14's transmission with gears 1-5. 6th gear is for the occasion when your at 80mph and have 100 miles to cover. You drop a gear to pass. It gets back to the original use of the motor. Truth be told, the bike is faster in 4-5th gear than it is in 6th. Even modified, it wont take 6th to the redline...or 5th, at my elevation.

Its not a perfect motorcycle. It has some serious personality flaws and I'd never consider one at 15,000....or 10,000. Honest, the bikes here are huge. For me, give me a Ninja 100 and soft bags.

But, when you factor a passenger in who likes to take stuff with her. Its way too high strung to be a touring bike, which makes it fun.

If we argue, its splitting hairs, and definitely in fun. That new fjr, with active suspension, is very cool. Kawasakis 2015 c14 with candy green paint....man, that would match my ninja....

Valve adjustment? I know it takes about 1.5 hours just to find the motor. Its in there, somewhere.

I'm lucky in that my dealer went into mine at 3000 miles to replace a defective o ring.....Actually, thats a great bargaining point. Many of them have a tiny oil weeping thing right above the header to cyl connection. Its not bad enough to fix, but I was within warranty. It wont amount to even 1 drop between oil changes.Take a flashling, find that weeping, then ask for a discount.
 

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Too many positives for the Concours 14 to eliminate it as a purchase candidate due to 2010-14 linked brakes. Mine goes out of warranty in three days and mileage is 29,855. Not even worried about a reliability issue. Anyone serious about putting the miles behind themselves really ought to consider the C14.
 

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You take an engine designed for 200hp, define it to 130-140. Yes, I am with you reliable as a pet rock. Barely broken in at 30k
 

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I lurk from time to time but don't post much.

I have a 2012 C14--I love it.

My only (and its a big one) regret is that I looked and looked for months to find a clean used 2010+ model and couldn't, so I bought one brand new.

Of course, immediately after I did, awesome one owner bikes with less miles than I put on mine in 6 months popped up--for 1/2 what I paid. Oh well, we all can't just sell used stuff back and forth to each other... somebody has to buy new.
 

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For me, this bike needs to be QUIET. Theres nothing like rolling along side someoen, at 140, and having them shocked that you are there. I'll skip the extra 10 hp, for that!
 

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You take an engine designed for 200hp, define it to 130-140. I am with you reliable as a pet rock. Barely broken in at 30k
Add to that, variable timing. Don't want it in track applications but for the gambit of experience related to C14 owners its a plus. I'm not particularly Keen on linking the brakes but for the same reason, I get it on the marketing aspect. Pain when you want to trail brake. People on Non-like bikes (streaks) have a hard time following me because of the difference in how this bike compares in cornering profiles. I will say that if I could split the difference in HP at the back wheel that my old streak had compared to the my C14, the C14 would by sucking the Streaks exhaust in most cases.
I could throw the Streak into a corner at a much higher speed profile than I could think of doing with the C14.
 
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