Kawasaki found itself in the situation of needing to seriously improve what has in the past few years become one very notorious high-performance touring motorcycle, the Concours 14. So while the bike doesn’t drift away from its ZX-14 DNA, it should offer a much safer, more economical and comfortable riding experience.
As much as we’d like to look at it as to a new generation model, we still have to admit that Kawasaki pulled the lucky card from the first time with this model and it now only required the adding of gadgets such as the first Kawasaki traction control system (KTRC), the second generation Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology (K-ACT II) and a new fuel economy assistance mode to highlight this tourer’s imposing presence in the Japanese maker’s lineup even more.
2010 Kawasaki Concours 14
While the addition of such new systems should enhance the rider’s piece of mind when riding the 2010 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS, the redesigned fairing turns it into an even more aggressive-looking long-haul companion. That is mostly due to the now more generous heat exhaust in the fairing, which should keep engine heat away from the rider even at slow speeds. The new windscreen is also larger and enhances wind protection, a big plus if you consider the expectations of riders buying the sports sedan of motorcycles.
Riders can furthermore improve the touring performance of the Concours 14 by appealing to additional features such as the heated handgrips, upgraded computer functions, a relocated glove box, and tank bag hooks. Sounds to me like the competition among big sport-touring motorcycles is getting stiffer!
Honda hasn’t yet presented their 2010 ST1300/ABS and, given the fairly rare frequency with which things evolve in this class (especially nowadays), we reckon it will remain the same in the year that follows. This is precisely what happened to the Yamaha FJR1300A, which carries on without the slightest change.
2010 Kawasaki Concours 14
The fact is that Kawasaki has technically perfected the new Concours 14 and also had to solve the previous generation model’s cooling problems, so that is why it is called new. Honestly, it doesn’t look new. Modern, yes, but not new simply because we’re all familiarized with Kawasaki’s idea of a touring derivation from a veritable supersport motorcycle.
The main purpose of the redesigned fairing was to make the use of new inner guide surfaces and outlets possible and so keep the rider’s legs…well, not burning during slow speed riding. Also, wind protection is enhanced with the use of a 70mm taller, electrically adjustable windscreen with memory function, the grip heaters are now adjustable and the new mirrors are mounted 40mm higher than before, offering better rearview visibility and keeping wind away from the rider’s hands. You get the same seat positioned at 32.1 inches from the ground and the same impression that this machine is not complete without at least the rider on it.
The only 2010 color available is Candy Neptune Blue/Flat Super Black.
"With the same 1,352 cc inline four-cylinder engine with variable timing, we were immediately familiar with the pleasant and ample power delivery described in our riding impression of the 2008 model. The fine handling we recall seems even better now, with new tires (the latest generation Bridgestone sport tourers) and slightly adjusted front fork damping." – motorcycledaily
“Most impressive was how seamlessly and unobtrusively KTRC performed. When power is cut, it isn’t done abruptly, nor is reapplication of power. Rather than a stumbly on/off throttle experience, the bike simply feels like it has a fraction of its available power.” – motorcycle
“Unlike most traction control systems that pull back on ignition timing and fuel delivery however, the KTRC employs a three-way system of igntion, fuel, and throttle opening to reduce power.” – sportrider
“...we can say the 2010 Concours felt better in the corners and turns in quicker than the ’09 unit we sampled just two weeks prior. Is the C14 now the quickest turning tourer in the market? No. Is it a better handler than our 2009 tester? Yes.” – motorcycle-usa
"Handling is instantly familiar to anyone with some seat time on the previous version. A firmer fork gains steering precision but loses compliance on rough pavement." – motorcyclistonline
"During a 130-mile loop that involved freeway riding and a fun jaunt through the twisties in the San Jacinto Mountains about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, the big Conc’s engine and chassis performed just as admirably as always, with enormous, sneaky-fast power and surprisingly agile handling." – cycle world
2010 Kawasaki Concours 14
The MSRP for the 2010 Kawasaki Concours 14 starts at $14,599, while the one for the ABS model starts at $15,299.
We would have to be quite daring to say that Kawasaki raises the supersport touring stakes to a new level until actually riding the bike, but we do have to say that the premises for that to happen are all there.
A completely redesigned, more aggressive fairing with new inner guide surfaces and outlets is designed to facilitate heat dissipation, greatly reducing the amount of hot air transmitted to the rider
A 70mm taller windscreen with a wider upper portion reduces upper-body turbulence. The screen is electrically adjustable, with four new programmable preset positions
When the power is turned off, the windscreen goes to its lowest position. When the power is turned back on, the windscreen’s memory function returns it to the selected preset position
Passages from windscreen slits direct air through the inner fairing to vents next to the instrument panel; alleviating the lower pressure helps prevent turbulence around the rider’s head
An exhaust pipe guard added to the upper part of the exhaust mid-pipe helps protect the rider from heat when stopped
Stepless adjustable grip heaters are standard, with an easy-to-reach switch located in front of the new lockable storage case on the inner left fairing panel
A new, lockable storage case in the left fairing inner panel uses an electromagnet lock to prevent entry when the engine is off
New mirrors positioned 40mm higher increase rear visibility and provide increased hand protection from the wind
New hooks at the front of the tank facilitate securing a tank bag
New KTRC Traction Control
KTRC (Kawasaki Traction Control): Kawasaki’s first traction control system reduces engine output when wheel spin is detected, allowing the rear tire to regain grip
Advanced, 3-way control (airflow, ignition timing, fuel delivery) gives KTRC smooth operation, natural feel and the ability to operate on long stretches of bad road
KTRC adds no weight, since it uses the existing ECU and ABS sensors
New 2nd Generation K-ACT ABS
2nd Generation K-ACT (Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology) ABS links front and rear brakes for most effective front-rear brake force distribution
A smaller, lighter K-ACT ABS unit with a higher-spec ECU is capable of more detailed calculations for smoother operation
The rider can choose one of two modes to suit riding situation or rider preference: The linked effect from front brake lever actuation is largely the same in both modes, but the linked effect when actuating the rear brake pedal is quite different
In Standard Mode, rider control is prioritized, with linked effect reduced at initial pedal stroke for natural sensation when sport riding
In High Combined Mode, there’s a more pronounced linked effect from the beginning of the pedal stroke â€” ideal for touring and two-up highway use
A low-battery mode maintains the ABS function as best possible when the battery charge is low. In low-battery mode, ABS timing and pressure relief functions are maintained, so brake effectiveness is preserved (although riders will notice that ABS operation is not as smooth). The K-ACT lamp will flash and â€œLow Batteryâ€ will be displayed on the LCD screen. The system resets when the engine is turned off
New Fuel Economy Assistance Mode
Activating fuel economy assistance mode changes the engine to a leaner map which prioritizes fuel economy, for as much as a 25 percent MPG boost
Fuel economy assistance works in any gear, as long as rpm is below 6000, throttle opening less than 30 percent and speed less than 80 mph
KTRC adds no weight, since it uses the existing ECU and ABS sensors
Now each Concours 14 comes with one key fob (kept in a pocket) and a small card-type key for emergency/backup use.
The new card-type key includes an immobilizer function (but no remote activation) and is highly portable, measuring just 1.2 x 1.6 x 0.25 inch
Improved Finish, Higher Quality Design
Improved overall fit and finish results in a higher quality, more luxurious feel
A revised muffler end cap gives the silencer a more compact appearance; internal construction is unchanged, but the end cap itself is 1.6 inches shorter
Multi-function display now includes outside air temperature. The sensor is located at the intake duct (the furthest point from the engine)
Other new instrument functions include the K-ACT mode indicator, Economical Riding Indicator, and Fuel Economy Assistance Mode mark
The Mode-Select button on the front of the left grip lets the rider change LCD modes without taking his/her hand off the grip, toggling through average fuel consumption, instant fuel consumption, remaining range, tire pressure, battery voltage and outside temperature
Engine guards, a larger top case, tank bag, GPS bracket, a low seat and side spoilers join the list of authorized Kawasaki Accessories.
1,352cc Four-Cylinder, DOHC Engine with Variable Valve Timing (VVT)
Tuned to provide smooth power across a wide rev range, the Concours 14 has power to spare
Variable valve timing improves the engine’s flexibility and efficiency by altering the camshaft profiles to boost low-end and mid-range torque without sacrificing top-end power
Its compact and narrow engine design keeps the weight down for maximum handling and performance
Chrome composite plated aluminum cylinder bores are lightweight, durable, and quickly carry heat away from the combustion chamber and piston for supreme durability under high loads
Gear-Driven Dual Engine Balancers
Already in perfect primary balance, the Concours inline four-cylinder engine uses dual secondary balancers to virtually eliminate unwanted vibrations for enhanced rider comfort
Ram Air Induction
Ram air ducts provide a straight path for cool, high-pressure air to enter the airbox for maximum intake efficiency and power
Digital Fuel Injection
A digital computer feeds the engine exactly the amount of fuel it needs for cleaner emissions and maximum fuel economy
A 32-bit electronic control unit works with the dual throttle-valve system to further enhance throttle response and control
Four individual spark plug-mounted ignition coils fire each spark plug independently to achieve optimum timing
An idle speed control system included in the ECU provides easy starting and warm-up
Hollow aluminum box sections arch over the engine from the steering head to the swingarm pivot for a narrow, rigid and very light frame
The rigid-mounted engine acts as a stressed frame member to increase the frame’s torsional rigidity while reducing weight
Forward engine positioning, wheelbase length and front/rear weight balance were carefully designed to achieve high-speed stability and responsive handling
Radial-mount Petal-type Front Disc Brakes
Radial design uses mounting points at the top and bottom of the caliper, with mounting bolts inserted through the rear of the caliper instead of the side/front for increased rigidity and improved brake feel
Separate brake pads for each caliper piston provide increased cooling efficiency and more consistent brake feel under extreme conditions.
Petal design front and rear brake rotors provide enhanced cooling and better warp resistance
Radial-pump front brake master cylinder improves brake performance and lever feel
Tetra-Lever Shaft Drive
This unique four-link design offsets lifting and squatting tendencies of shaft drive when the throttle is opened and closed, significantly reduces driveline lash during sport riding and provides smooth acceleration when exploiting the engine’s incredible power output
Virtually maintenance-free, the Tetra-Lever system dramatically reduces routine maintenance requirements
Plenty of Storage Room
Concours 14’s large-volume, easily detachable sidebags are integrally designed to complement the rest of the machine. Water-resistant, they easily hold a full-face helmet.
The cases are mounted as close as possible to the bike’s centerline and center of gravity, with lightweight construction that minimizes their influence on handling
A lightweight resin-construction rear carrier is designed to be compatible with an accessory top case
An all-purpose 40-watt accessory socket is mounted on the dash, providing convenient access to power for electronics
Easy-to-read speedometer and tachometer, multi-function LCD digital display including an odometer, two trip meters, fuel gauge, gear position indicator, tire pressure indicator and a clock are just a partial listing of the 2010 Concours 14’s display capabilities
Controller Area Network (CAN) interface between the gauges uses fewer wires and allows a greater volume of information to be exchanged than in traditional instrument panels
Kawasaki’s Intelligent Proximity Activation Start System (KIPASS) now comes with a small card-type key for emergency use