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2010 Kawasaki Concours 14 Review


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#41 FJR-RemingtonRider

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 09:36 AM

Have to agree with ya on the response FredW, as I was reading all of the contradictory aruguments to the first paragraph, was thinking what you wrote in your response.
The Ownership tree went from HD-Cruisers -
FJR (11.5k summer riding)-
Stunning performer C-14 (opted away from)
to a Street burner Busa with less comfort and no range.

If one can crotch on a Busa for a 500 mile day, then more power to'em.
Not at all knocking choice or opinions.
But good info to read anyways.

I'll probably consider riding the C14 myself for a test run in about 2yrs, Don't see the need to start a process to
beat oneself up over change decisions- Oh yea, the grass is always greener on the other side syndrome....that's it.
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#42 charismaticmegafauna

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 03:05 PM

Well, according to MCN: the competition isn't between the C-14 and the FJR -- it's between the C-14 and BMW (they're both far-advanced over the 'plain-Jane' FJR... wink.gif ).
MCN's comparison test:
http://link.brightco...tid=55491399001
BTW, the editors picked the C-14 over the K1300GT... ohmy.gif
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#43 Fred W

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 06:55 PM

Well they must be right. They're perfessionels!! rolleyes.gif

-Fred W        nerd.gif


 


#44 Alakso

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 02:56 AM

'Fred W'
"Wow. Interesting observations and opinions there Alakso. But I feel compelled to add just a little counterpoint to your gushing account of how wonderful the 2009 Concours is."

Not gushing just the truth!

"Not sure if yours was screwed up, but the only "klunking" that happens on a normal FJR is while standing still and shifting from neutral into 1st. In that circumstance, yes they all make a little ker-chunk. However, when underway they should shift nearly effortlessly. If yours did not there was something wrong with it (even after the clutch service). Some 2nd gen owners have had problems where their clutches would not disengage fully if the lever is adjusted too close to the bar. Maybe yours was? "

So a so-called "normal" FJR does klunk, especially when shifting into first! Plus the FJR is very fussy about shifting from 1st to 2nd and also when downshifting. According to Harry at Heli-Modified (remember he's an engineer) the FJR's trans gears are to heavy which makes the shifting problemmatic to say the least. I did have my lever all the way out to get maxium throw on the clutch pushrod. I reverse bled the clutch slave cyl, removed and cleaned the clutches, and set everything up perfect and still no improvement. It's a design flaw!

"I have to ask here, did you ride the Kawi for 200 miles too? The reason I ask is, if one was to ride on any bike for a couple hundred miles and get a sore ass, they could then get onto any other bike and it would feel much better, at least for a while. This is more because the pressure points of one seat are bound to be different, not necessarily because one is better or worse than the other."

Of course I didn't ride the bike for 200 miles. But like you said my test ride does go to show that the FJR's "pressure points" are worse than the C-14's for MY butt. YMMV

"Of course, if one is really interested in long distance seat comfort, there is not a stock seat in the world that compares remotely with a custom seat from Russell (or Rocky Mayer), so to me the stock seat comfort is of no significant importance. The day a bike comes with something like onbe of the customs will be a breakthrough difference."

I agree that stock seats don't compare to a nice custom seat! But you must admit the stock FJR seat is horrible. Besides my test ride I have talked to many C-14 owners about their seats and the C-14 owners don't complain as much about the stock C-14 seat as the FJR riders do about their stock seat.

"My FJR also shifts like butter, except for the N - 1st thing previously mentioned, and it doesn't need a 6th gear. The top gears are very close in ratio, so the extra gear on a six speed is wedged somewhere in between the others (spaced closer). What this means is you will have to shift more often and end up with the same top gear. So I'm not getting the big advantage here. If having a sixth gear is important to you somehow then I guess you'd like it being on the bike. Just not sure what it does for you on a fairly wide torque engined bike though."

IMO the FJR is low on TQ for a 635 lb. bike. So a 6th gear would help a lot, or a performace upgrade to boost TQ. Oh, that's right there are hardly any hi-po parts for the FJR.

"I find it amusing that someone that wouldn't consider replacing the stock seat would think of doing a full engine hop-up and replace the cams and crankshaft. unsure.gif To me, I'd rather have the bike that already makes the power that I need and adjust for ergos."

If I was going to keep my FJR I would have added a custom seat for sure! But after riding the C-14 I knew for sure I wasn't going to keep my FJR. If I'd have had the chance to test ride a C-14 before I bought my FJR I would have never ever considered the FJR as an option unless it was $10K which is what it's worth compared to the C-14.

"You are confused. Firing a wasted spark at the end of the exhaust stroke does not effect the engine vibration in the least. The Connie engine may have less vibration, but it certainly isn't due to the ignition or number of coils. That''s just wrong."

Sorry Fred, but your wrong on this point. Look at all the single fire ignitions that are available for older HD's. This is because any ignition that fires on the exhaust stroke will make the engine run a little rougher as unburnt fuel is ignited when this happens. And thanks for agreeing with me that the FJR's engine design leaves something to be desired in the smoothness dept..

"Maybe again related to the seat non-upgrade? Mileage range is a very real advantage for the FJR. especially in areas of limited fuel availability."

Here in Maine we have "limited fuel availability" especially up North in the Boonies where I ride a lot. I just keep my bike topped off when ever I'm going into unpopulated areas or don't know where the next gas stations is when I'm traveling in unknown areas. But I do see your point and for a LDR rider the FJR's fuel range would be an asset.

"Also, not roasting yourself in the summer is, although that is reportedly fixed in 2010 (but not the bike you are talking about). OTOH, my '05 is supposed to be wicked hot, but it doesn't bother me."

My FJR was hot when riding in warm weather and while I don't have any experience with the C-14's supposed heat issues there are easy fixes for both bikes heat issues like richer mappping and in the case of the C-14 a full exhaust without the cats makes a huge difference.

"So in summary, it sounds like the Concourse was a better fit for you personally. And like any things that are in the least bit subjective, there is no accounting for personal tastes. Likes and dislikes, etc. "

Yes it was a better fit for me in comfort, performance, suspension and brakes, and let's not forget looks! And that's what I've expressed in this thread. I'm just trying to help those who are considering a ST to not make the same mistake I did in buying an FJR instead of the more advanced C-14!

"But I still do not see that bike as having some sort of a clear-cut, undeniable advantage over the other bikes in the class including the FJR. I think the fact that you didn't buy one says as much as anything about your post test ride analysis. I mean, if it had really been that great wouldn't you have bought one?"

I'd have bought the C-14 on the spot if my FJR was worth anything as a trade-in or out right personal sale. But the dealer can't sell FJR's up here so I was stuck with it until I managed to deal it for my Busa. Damn I'm lucky I got out of my FJR!!!!! Hopefully with the truthful and honest evaluation of my experiences from owning and riding my FJR 11.5K miles and with my 28.5 years experience as a M/C Tech other people who will find this thread won't be tempted by the propaganda here to buy the FJR when for the money there is a much better bike, the C-14!


"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." Chief Aupumut - Mohican. 1725

#45 Alakso

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 03:15 AM

QUOTE (Bungie @ Dec 14 2009, 12:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I like the new C14 a lot. That being said, theirs a couple of points Alakso conveniently left out. Premium fuel only. Out of major centers - like say, when your touring, is difficult to get. Just because your ready for a break @ 200mi doesn't obliviate the security in having an extra gallon of gas.

Maintainance - This is well documented on the C14. Plugs and Valves are a bitch (mind you, the FJR is no prom queen imo in this respect) with a much greater service interval.

Technology - the very thing that makes this bike so sweet is also its downfall. Electric shit fails. How many cars have you ever had where everything still works 5 years down the road? The variable valve timing via hydralics. I've had two NEW Kawi's. I like them a lot. Both of them, on the very first oil change I got out a *HUGE* amount of filings, brass bits, bits of plastic etc. I imagine the oil passageways to control that VVT are pretty small...

Regardless, the new C14 gives me a bone, much more so than the new VFR (especially since Honda Canada released the prices.. $19G's Canadian, and it doesn't even come with bags!).


When you have a high performance engine like the C-14 does of course you'll need to run premium fuel to prevent detonation. But my FJR had detonation issues with regular fuel so I had to run mid-grade fuel anyways in my FJR so the difference in price of fuel wasn't an issue for me. And like I said in my response to Freds post I manage my gas stops so I've never had any problems in needing the little extra gas the FJR holds.

You only need to adjust the valves on the C-14 if they need it and from what C-14 owners have told me there are very few of them that have had to adj. their valves any sooner than the FJR. As for the plugs just add the Iridium plugs to extend the plug life and it solves that problem. So no advantage as far as service schedules for the FJR compared to the C-14.

WOW, you had some problems with those engines! Sounds like you needed some factory intervention. And if the VVT didn't work Kawi wouldn't have kept it on the '10 model? Any electrical or electronic part can fail. Are you saying you want to go back to a points ignition?

"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." Chief Aupumut - Mohican. 1725

#46 Alakso

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 03:20 AM

QUOTE (MCRIDER007 @ Dec 14 2009, 12:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Fred W @ Dec 14 2009, 08:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow. Interesting observations and opinions there Alakso. But I feel compelled to add just a little counterpoint to your gushing account of how wonderful the 2009 Concours is.
....................So in summary, it sounds like the Concourse was a better fit for you personally. And like any things that are in the least bit subjective, there is no accounting for personal tastes. Likes and dislikes, etc. ..............But I still do not see that bike as having some sort of a clear-cut, undeniable advantage over the other bikes in the class including the FJR.



Good comments Fred because I was scratching my head after reading Alakso's FJR/C14 comparison and wondering if Alasko had ridden a Monday morning special. I have made most of the same comparisons between my 08 FJR and 08 C-14 (which I think is identical to a 09 C14) and most of my impressions are quite different than his. The C14 does have the smoother engine (but not by that much) but the FJR gets much better gas mileage, has a longer range, and great heat management (the number one complaint about the C14, at least in the summer). I think the FJR also has a more plush ride and a better seat. The C14 has much larger saddlebags which you can see clearly see in the mirrors (corrected in the 2010 model). The FJR has a lockable storage compartment and additional storage under the seat (which is very easy to get to), the 08-09 C14 has neither...which makes it difficult to store the owner manual and registration on the bike without the saddlebags. I have not noticed any differences in the transmissions and everything else also seems to be a "push" or personal preference. Overall, I think the 08 FJR is the best bike I have ever owned and if I could only have one bike in my garage that would be it.

During my 5 years of FJR ownership (I also have a 05 FJR) I have had the opportunity to ride about 8 other FJR's and found that when it comes to engine vibration, especially through the handlebars, no two seem to be the same. Most seem to have some annoying vibration somewhere in the rpm range as well as sweet spots that are very smooth. I rode one 07 that vibrated everywhere and a couple that had very little vibration anywhere (such as my 08). I don't have a clue why there is such a variance in vibration between individual FJRs but that certainly could influence one overall evaluation when making a comparison to another model.


Good point about the underseat storage on the FJR. A tankbag would fix that issue for the C-14.

Maybe my bike was a "Monday Morning Special", or just maybe Yamaha doesn't do as good of a job with QC as they should?
"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." Chief Aupumut - Mohican. 1725

#47 Alakso

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 03:26 AM

QUOTE (FJR-RemingtonRider @ Dec 14 2009, 12:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have to agree with ya on the response FredW, as I was reading all of the contradictory aruguments to the first paragraph, was thinking what you wrote in your response.
The Ownership tree went from HD-Cruisers -
FJR (11.5k summer riding)-
Stunning performer C-14 (opted away from)
to a Street burner Busa with less comfort and no range.

If one can crotch on a Busa for a 500 mile day, then more power to'em.
Not at all knocking choice or opinions.
But good info to read anyways.

I'll probably consider riding the C14 myself for a test run in about 2yrs, Don't see the need to start a process to
beat oneself up over change decisions- Oh yea, the grass is always greener on the other side syndrome....that's it.


The Hayabusa is a well respected ST. It is so versatile it can do anything from an 8 sec. drag bike to a comfy ST. With my Heli-Bars and Corbin seat and passenger backrest my Busa can tour with the best of them except for the Wing or I wouldn't have bought it!

With my Heli-Bars the riding position of my Busa is the exact same as the stock riding position of my FJR!!! I know this shocked me to!

Only when the grass is really Greener on the other side, LOL!!
"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." Chief Aupumut - Mohican. 1725

#48 Alakso

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 03:29 AM

QUOTE (FJR-RemingtonRider @ Dec 14 2009, 12:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have to agree with ya on the response FredW, as I was reading all of the contradictory aruguments to the first paragraph, was thinking what you wrote in your response.
The Ownership tree went from HD-Cruisers -
FJR (11.5k summer riding)-
Stunning performer C-14 (opted away from)
to a Street burner Busa with less comfort and no range.

If one can crotch on a Busa for a 500 mile day, then more power to'em.
Not at all knocking choice or opinions.
But good info to read anyways.

I'll probably consider riding the C14 myself for a test run in about 2yrs, Don't see the need to start a process to
beat oneself up over change decisions- Oh yea, the grass is always greener on the other side syndrome....that's it.


I can do 200 miles on my Busa on 1 tankful. Plus there are three different EFI mapping options right at my fingertips.


"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." Chief Aupumut - Mohican. 1725

#49 Alakso

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 03:38 AM

QUOTE (charismaticmegafauna @ Dec 14 2009, 06:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well, according to MCN: the competition isn't between the C-14 and the FJR -- it's between the C-14 and BMW (they're both far-advanced over the 'plain-Jane' FJR... wink.gif ).

BTW, the editors picked the C-14 over the K1300GT... ohmy.gif


After riding all three bikes I see they agree with me yahoo.gif
"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." Chief Aupumut - Mohican. 1725

#50 Bungie

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:51 AM

QUOTE (Alakso @ Dec 15 2009, 06:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When you have a high performance engine like the C-14 does of course you'll need to run premium fuel to prevent detonation. But my FJR had detonation issues with regular fuel so I had to run mid-grade fuel anyways in my FJR so the difference in price of fuel wasn't an issue for me. And like I said in my response to Freds post I manage my gas stops so I've never had any problems in needing the little extra gas the FJR holds.

You only need to adjust the valves on the C-14 if they need it and from what C-14 owners have told me there are very few of them that have had to adj. their valves any sooner than the FJR. As for the plugs just add the Iridium plugs to extend the plug life and it solves that problem. So no advantage as far as service schedules for the FJR compared to the C-14.

WOW, you had some problems with those engines! Sounds like you needed some factory intervention. And if the VVT didn't work Kawi wouldn't have kept it on the '10 model? Any electrical or electronic part can fail. Are you saying you want to go back to a points ignition?


Your a real master of specious reasoning. Enjoy your 'Busa. biggrin.gif
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#51 RadioHowie

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 06:10 AM

This thread has been "Stump'd". Time to unsubscribe. dry.gif
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#52 Knifemaker

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 04:32 PM

QUOTE (Alakso @ Dec 15 2009, 04:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
.......Hopefully with the truthful and honest evaluation of my experiences from owning and riding my FJR 11.5K miles and with my 28.5 years experience as a M/C Tech other people who will find this thread won't be tempted by the propaganda here to buy the FJR when for the money there is a much better bike, the C-14!



Well crap, If you say it is "Better" it must be...How could I have been so wrong in my thinking.

I hate to point out the obvious here, but having more gadgetry , and even having more power does not make one bike "better" than another. After all those years riding Harleys I would have thought you knew that.

A motorcycle is an extension of ones soul, it needs to fit in the heart as well as on paper. To me the C14 is the ugliest bike Kawasaki has produced. It does not capture my soul when I look at it , like the FJR does. The one I rode felt clumsy and heavy compared to the FJR. But I realize these are subjective issues.

And if someone were in the market for a ST ride I would not insist one was better but would say that they need to ride each and make that decsion themselves and not be swayed by others opinions, like mine, or yours.

I had several bikes that I loved just as much as my FJR...they were not as fast, had no fancy electronics, but were a joy to own and ride. Don't have the gall to try and steer someone away from any bike based on your feelings when you are completely unaware of how they might feel themselves.


And "propaganda "?.. You do know this is a FJR forum right? Are you saying one would not find the same propaganda at a BMW or Connie forum? One would think an intelligent person coming here for info would take that into consideration.


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#53 fjr105

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:13 PM

Everyone has an opinion, and mine is I like 's me FJR... I can't really speak much about the BMW 1300 to compare with the FJR except for the price & I wouldn't have the BMW. As for the Kawi C14 I have compared & NO THANKS.... to big to ugly, as someone already stated it just didn't do it for me. The FJR is a perfect match for me and maybe just a little to much touring for my like's. All the extra bells & whistles on the Kawi & BMW just don't do it for me....

#54 Fred W

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:51 PM

QUOTE (RadioHowie @ Dec 15 2009, 09:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This thread has been "Stump'd". Time to unsubscribe. dry.gif


It has. And it's a crying shane.

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#55 Harvey

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:48 PM

QUOTE (fjr105 @ Dec 15 2009, 08:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Everyone has an opinion, and mine is I like 's me FJR... I can't really speak much about the BMW 1300 to compare with the FJR except for the price & I wouldn't have the BMW. As for the Kawi C14 I have compared & NO THANKS.... to big to ugly, as someone already stated it just didn't do it for me. The FJR is a perfect match for me and maybe just a little to much touring for my like's. All the extra bells & whistles on the Kawi & BMW just don't do it for me....


It's way ugly.

#56 Bobcattoo

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 10:47 PM

I just need production numbers for 08 and 09 FJR and C-14. Thanks!

#57 Gerry.GEG

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 02:20 PM

I too agree that Kawasaki is being proactive. My thoughts run differently though, many of the improvements probably could have been anticipated and fixed prior to release. I would be a pissed off owner if my '08 was substantially inferior to a 2010. From everything I read, it seems to be. This is one reason why I went with an FJR. The FJR is a Model that had been substantially improved since introduction with no radical changes. There are several things I had to change to make it my own that Yamaha could improve without the owner having to pony-up for but that's the way it is.

No manufacturer is perfect.

QUOTE (SockMonkey @ Oct 30 2009, 04:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Though I'm no particular fan of the Kawasaki Concours 14 owing to some rather questionable aesthetic choices and its overall squat appearance, I tip my hat to Kawasaki for paying attention to critiques of the bike in the moto mags and, specifically, actively listenting to and soliciting feedback from the bike's owners on ways to improve the platform. Most remarkable to me is that Kawasaki implemented the needed/recommended changes within the span of 2 model years resulting in what is being described as a much improved 2010 model. Kudos to you, Kawi..! clapping.gif

Review from Motorcycle USA: 2010 Kawasaki Concours 14 Review

Oh, and, uh, Mother Yamaha..? You might want to take a few notes... wink.gif


#58 happyPuppy

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 04:56 PM

Most of the problems with the FJR are overblown unless you believe everyone that bought one is a member of the forum. When issues come up, this is one of the most proactive forums at helping getting them fixed. Every mechanical device can be subject to failure. The case with Stump and his AE , has only come up a few times vs how many people never had a problem. The same with clutch plates and the rest of the issues. The bike has beed ridden hard and long which is a great test. How many C14's rode in the Iron Butt this year? Not many I suspect. Sure the FJR can be improved, but Yamaha made a business decision not to change it due to the lousy economy. Look at HD how many new models did they come out with in 2010? Several , and they are based on the same old technology. The C-14 is a nice bike and a better value than the BMW by far. I have faith the FJR will be updated , yamaha is not sitting on their hands. I trust my FJR and it will last many miles I am sure. The dealer network is pretty large and it is not too difficult to work on. In a nutshell it is proven , and a bike that is very enjoyable. I really doubt I would have enjoyed the C14 in '08 when I bought mine more because it had 6 gears instead of 5 or more HP. I just liked the feel of the FJR more.

#59 Tenchi

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 05:45 PM

I have to admit, the colour scheme looks great. That the FJR only comes in whatever colour they feel like that year should have is the biggest failing IMO. Everything else about the bike is pretty straight forward.

Would I buy one? Probably not just yet. I'd still go the FJR right now. But the gap between the two has lessened greatly.
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#60 zorkler

zorkler

    Ave U !!!!

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  • Location:Mooresville, NC
  • Bike: 2005 (Gen I) N. America

Posted 09 January 2010 - 11:34 AM

I will need to ride the kawie first . 2 years in a row best s/t . I remember when we were chatting about the same thing about our fjrs . If the ride is right and had the cash kawasaki would be getting some yen . Wish i never sold my 1975 z1900 and come to think of it dont have any good pictures of any bike i owned .
One Second At a Time !!!!!!!