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Thinking about a Concours 1400

27458 Views 64 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  gmansyz
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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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.
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.
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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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.
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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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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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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The seating position can be dealt with. The bike has been around , so long, there are all kinds of peg lowers, risers, whatever you want.

I think they had to link the brakes. The 08 and 09 models will brake so hard it was not well suited for peopel who were not fairly serious....I dont know, really....it sucks.

The seating position is perfect.....but you wont realize that until 130. Thats the problem with the bikes nature. It was set up and designed for speeds way higher than we can legally deal with. At high speeds, seating position, wind protection, etc...it feels like that lightbulb going off in your brain and you think OH, thats it...I suspect that when we might appreciate linked brakes? There has to be something great about the concept. Yamahas new r1 is using linked brakes????

There are so many aftermarket parts for it, you can change any seating issues you find.

The 08 and 09 have a short, stock windshield that is nto great. The 9 and 10 shield bolts right on. Still, the aftermarket has this well covered.
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I put it on aggressive when on the superslabs but minimal for cornering.
You like the linked brakes? Must POSITIVE Reasons To Link THEM. The new 22,000 r1 has them. On a heavy bike like this, the rear brake actually does something

Ignore the stock 08 to 09 shield. It's 4 in too low. Aftermarket parts fix this no problem
I believe he ended up traveling a bit and found a nice 2010 model.he 2010 is a great choice. Still almost 100% current, but better bodywork. I dont think ti looks as nice, bit the 10 bodywork is way, way better.
Daddy, thats a great description of whats right/wrong with this bike. Its not just the rider who notices it , either. If my wife and I are going soemewhere, about 80% of the time, I get accused of driving slow.

Then we go to, "DID you see cars pass me?"

Here, "No, no I didn't ..it just felt slow."

When this bike was introduced, back in late 07, there was talk of it not being imported into the usa. The GTR 1400 was to be for Europe, only, and the higher speed limits available.

If you can hold it at 120-130 for a few hrs, the bike really comes into its element. Wind protection, power, etc start to make sense at that speed. Not so much at 70-80.

Trying to keep it within legal limits starts this dialogue in my brain...

"OK, Monday morning, Im going to the state capitol. I need to lobby for 140mph speed limits. 80 is too slow..."
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Vic, its an odd sensation on the c14. With a good windshield, theres little/no wind blast or noise. You know the motor, theres no vibration to speak of. Its big and heavy and does not get knocked off track. Its fairing is 6inwider than my ninja, and 80 on one bike does not feel like 80 on the other.

The most terrifying top speed run Ive ever made way on my yz 250 dirt bike. I hit a gps verified 74mph, and it was scary.

That is funny you mention fairing protection. Where did that go? My ninja is nowhere near as good as something like your old vfr.
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Vic, all of that you mention contributes. Much like doing 80 in my mazda 3 as opposed to 80 in my wifes lexus. 80 is 80, but one car feels like you'd better stay aware, the other lets you look under the seat for the missing mustard packet. A detached feeling.

I think thats why we see so much texting and driving. New cars are so quiet and smooth.
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Trent, a few on the c 14 forum have done those sort of mileages with pretty much trouble free performance.

If the bike was maintained, no big deal How many C14's with 100,000 + miles

Theres a guy on there with the name of BDF who would consider 100k barely broken in. If he had a week off from work, fun meant riding from coast to coast in three days.
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