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Thread: Kawasaki Concours 1400

  1. #1
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    28th July 2008 - 14:43
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    Kawasaki Concours 1400

    Well just been for an extended test ride;

    I've owned 4 GSX1400's over the years and found it to be an absolutely stunning bike to own. It does everything so well, commute, scratch, tour and even does a half decent job on the track. Its been an awesome work, play bike but I'm thinking time to move on.

    Me and her in doors spent 3hours road testing the concours 1400 today, took in some motorway, highway and twisties. Did the Auckland - Miranda - Clevedon back to Auckland round trip with a coffee stop etc.

    Overall impression was its a big bike but a nimble one, the oem tyres were shocking, no feedback and made the bike steer really slowly (first things that would go). The silencer would be the second, replaced with a dual ZX1400 system. Anyway, once set up (it was set far too hard) the ride was very pleasant. Adjusting the screen to limit bufferting on the motorway was a cool thing then dropping it again in the twisties was a nice option. Believing the bike would steer a whole lot better with a set of Michelin PR2's or 3's it made a good effort in the twisties, reasonable ground clearance, good punch out of the turns and very tractable. Maintaining a reasonable pace called for a fair bit of forward planning, she didn't like last minute changes of direction (but I feel again different tyres and a bit more suspension twiddling would help) but was a stable platform for what cam her way. The wife liked the level of comfort and would feel even better with a top box behind her. The front brakes were bloody impressive, there linked and one or two fingers will have her slowing down bloody quickly, the rear felt a little wooden.

    It wasn't as nimble as the GSX but a far more accomplished mile muncher,the pace would be a little slower but is traded by better weather protection. Getting back on the GSX after the test felt like jumping on a 600. Over all we are pretty impressed with the Concours and with the few mods we would make to it believe it would last us for quite a few years.

    Would be interested in hearing the views of other Connie owners out there.

  2. #2
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    23rd March 2007 - 10:20
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    PM Meanie or Banditrider, both have done 70,000+ km's on theirs. Either the Concours or FJR would be my pick out of the Japanese full house sport tourer's.
    Edit: Apparently a change of tires does do quite a bit for the riding experience, both the above mentioned guys are running Road 2's with good results.

  3. #3
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    20th April 2007 - 22:06
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    PR2's are the only way to go - on my third set after trying Pirelli Stradas (good) and Angels (just don't go there). Here's the thread Meanie started about them and Connies.

    Our bikes are both the first of the '08's although we both bought them in August '07. This means that they don't have the linked brakes, traction control, standard grips etc. The brakes (with ABS) are superb.

    Some of my mods are: Oxford grips, Projekt D screen and hugger, Radguard, Stebel horn, Givi box, Garmin Zumo and +80 bulbs (make good lights even better). I haven't done the muffler as I like it quiet but Meanie has a Muzzy on his and it sounds nice. Another mate has a great stainless muffler that looks good and also sounds nice.

    2009%20Southern%20Cross%20131.JPG2009%20Southern%20Cross%20137.JPG

    Here's another accessory thread: http://www.kiwibiker.co.nz/forums/sh...rs-accessories

    The bikes are made to munch miles in comfort and that they do with ease (regardless of weather) and economy. Mine has done 4 GC's, a couple of Southern Crosses etc etc. A fantastic bike for this sort of stuff.

    Like Sarge says I've got 71k on mine and cannot see myself parting with it anytime soon. Replacement bike (if and when) would more than likely be another Connie...

    Video of my first ride on PR2's, chasing Cowboyz on his ZX-9.

    YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.

  4. #4
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    3rd May 2010 - 18:46
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    Quote Originally Posted by banditrider View Post
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    PR2's are the only way to go - on my third set after trying Pirelli Stradas (good) and Angels (just don't go there). Here's the thread Meanie started about them and Connies.

    Our bikes are both the first of the '08's although we both bought them in August '07. This means that they don't have the linked brakes, traction control, standard grips etc. The brakes (with ABS) are superb.

    Some of my mods are: Oxford grips, Projekt D screen and hugger, Radguard, Stebel horn, Givi box, Garmin Zumo and +80 bulbs (make good lights even better). I haven't done the muffler as I like it quiet but Meanie has a Muzzy on his and it sounds nice. Another mate has a great stainless muffler that looks good and also sounds nice.

    2009%20Southern%20Cross%20131.JPG2009%20Southern%20Cross%20137.JPG

    Here's another accessory thread: http://www.kiwibiker.co.nz/forums/sh...rs-accessories

    The bikes are made to munch miles in comfort and that they do with ease (regardless of weather) and economy. Mine has done 4 GC's, a couple of Southern Crosses etc etc. A fantastic bike for this sort of stuff.

    Like Sarge says I've got 71k on mine and cannot see myself parting with it anytime soon. Replacement bike (if and when) would more than likely be another Connie...

    Video of my first ride on PR2's, chasing Cowboyz on his ZX-9.

    YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
    Got back from a 2500km trip up to and around the NI late last year, two up and loaded on our Gen2 Busa and would have appreciated the comfort levels I've been reading about that the Concours offers !

    Might have to look at one before we plan our next trip though, we both love the Busa in spite of it's foibles. It's a nice point and shoot machine, even when loaded .

    For the record I put a new set of the Metezler Z8 Roadtech's on the 'Busa before our trip and ..awesome , 6000kms so far and look fwd to a few more ....

  5. #5
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    28th July 2008 - 14:43
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    Thanks for the links banditrider;

    Yep the standard tyres were bloody terrible and I could tell it had a lot more potential when suspension is set up and with decent tyres on. Have gone through a fair few sets of PR2's and really rate them and am hearing even better reports on the PR3's!

    Spoke to the dealer on return and found out the blue colour option (our colour of choice) was all pre sold (8 in total for NZ) before it even hit our shores and all future allocated 'blue' options have been snapped up by the American police?? go figure?

    So my list of jobs for the dealer to work on is;
    Supply an 2011 bike and get it painted the Kawasaki colour matched blue complete with all badges and stickers, add a Givi 47 monkey box, radiator guard (those babies are $1600 to replace!), swap to Michelin PR3's and fit the 'supplied' ZX1400 dual muffler system (just like that symmetrical look eh!).

    The one we test rode was a 2009, the 2011 has a few detail changes such as heated grips, traction control, tyre pressure indicators, larger windscreen, engine heat shields, re-located glove box (that locks), improved (switch-able) linked brakes and engine economy mode.

    It really is a total package, as I indicated the only disappointment was its reluctance to change direction and lack of feed back that came from crap oem tyres.

    Its a bloody nice bike, lets hope the dealer comes back with a reasonable deal. I wont be pxing the GSX, a friend is keen on it and he'd be getting a good well looked after bike too with all the extras or failing that it will be offered to the masses.

  6. #6
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    20th April 2007 - 22:06
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    All the Connies have the tyre pressure sensors and I can tell you from experience that they are worth their weight in gold as I've had early warning of two punctures. I even used this feature once to keep an eye on a slow leak so I new when to find a garage as I made my way to a bike shop for repairs. I now carry a repair kit and a compressor...

    Early magazine articles rubbished the slow speed handling. I think that this may have been tyres or the journos simply didn't know how to ride a bike. I certainly have no issues with this and have chucked it through 15km/h corners with total confidence. Direction changes are simply a matter of thinking about it...

    It is a big heavy bike and the rider does have to get their head around this. I've probably changed my riding style over the years - I trashed my original front tyre in 5,500kms and some of this may have been the way I was riding the bike. I also used to touch the pegs down every now and again but nowadays thats pretty rare - and I'm not riding it any slower.

    Blue is certainly nice - there was no colour choice when I got mine but I happen to like the "neutron silver", it does hide the road grime well.

    Good idea on fitting decent rubber from the get go - I'd definitely try that one on too next time. A radguard was my first farkle...

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by banditrider View Post
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    Yep, found it and joined it (same user name), already had a lot of advise on the twin system mod err 'farkle' I want to do.

    I just like the balanced look of twin pipes, if it wasn't possible I would have put a V&H CS One on with the sound insert (read makes it quieter).
    As it would happen the similarities to the ZX1400 mean the oem system of that bolts straight on the Concours with a few minor mods.

  9. #9
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    Before you buy a Concours, at least take an FJR1300 for a ride.
    "Standing on your mother's corpse you told me that you'd wait forever." [Bryan Adams: Summer of 69]

  10. #10
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    The Kawa is a constant winner in the big bore tourer comparos - just read one over Easter in one of my USA subscriptions.


    4 x GSX1400's! Did you wear 3 of them out?

    Handle every stressful situation like a dog - Piss on it and walk away.

  11. #11
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    Go try a K1200GT before you commit as well.
    Here's a good looking example:
    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Mo...-370704783.htm
    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Mo...-372369748.htm

    Electronic Fuel Injection
    ESA - Electronic Suspension Adjustment (three modes: standard, comfort & sport)
    Cruise control
    Heated seats, front and rear
    Heated grips
    Adjustable handlebars and seat
    Electric screen
    BMW Motorrad Integral ABS, servo assisted
    On-board computer
    Xenon headlight
    BMW Panniers
    BMW Tank bag
    Top box mount
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  12. #12
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    28th July 2008 - 14:43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitcher View Post
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    Before you buy a Concours, at least take an FJR1300 for a ride.
    Will do sir, as Allan has said, the comparison tests (which are many) point me in favour of the Concours but it would be fair to try the FJ too
    Quote Originally Posted by AllanB View Post
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    The Kawa is a constant winner in the big bore tourer comparos - just read one over Easter in one of my USA subscriptions.


    4 x GSX1400's! Did you wear 3 of them out?
    Ha ha, they ave been around for something like 11 years now. Had my name down on one before they even hit the streets. Yep they got well used, but changed them to keep the milage down, warranty current and just because I liked a different colour. Its a bloody shame they stopped making them otherwise.......
    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
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    Go try a K1200GT before you commit as well.
    Here's a good looking example:
    [url]http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-
    Can't see it, I'm at work and IT have done the blocked it thingy with the trade me web site. But i'll look when I get home.
    Pretty set on a new bike though, warranty and it being new and all. The BMW (new) is so bloody expensive!! and anything from their accessories range is stupidly expensive too!!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi Graham View Post
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    Pretty set on a new bike though, warranty and it being new and all. The BMW (new) is so bloody expensive!! and anything from their accessories range is stupidly expensive too!!
    Tis how the other half lives tho... serious equipment for serious motorcyclists is my view.

    Other cheaper option, would be the R1200RT (what the cops use). I'm sold on my BMW anyway...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Omorogbe from UK MSN on the KTM990SM
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    It's barking mad and if it doesn't turn you into a complete loon within half an hour of cocking a leg over the lofty 875mm seat height, I'll eat my Arai.

  14. #14
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    If I had deeper pockets i'd love to get my hands on the new K1600GT. Nom nom.
    Looks like the GT is going to be $46K ish and the GT-L about $49k. Hrmph.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
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    Looks like the GT is going to be $46K ish and the GT-L about $49k. Hrmph.
    F M S

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