The Kawasaki Concours 14 tourer returns for 2010. Known since its inception for its monster motor, sourced from the Hypersport Ninja ZX-14, the latest version of the Connie boasts a number of touring improvements – not the least of which being Kawasaki’s first-ever traction control system.
KTRC – Kawasaki Traction Control
Kawasaki’s inaugural traction control effort headlines the 2010 Concours changes, but the option is only available on the Concours 14 ABS. The system monitors front and rear wheel speeds, reducing engine output upon detection of wheelspin. Kawasaki promises the new KTRC “helps provide peace of mind when negotiating slippery surfaces.” The safety feature also comes without extra weight, as it sources the same sensors and ECU in the ABS.
Speaking of which, the second generation K-ACT (Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology) ABS is “smaller, lighter” and features a “higher-spec ECU” to regulate the linked braking stopping power. The latest ABS gives rider’s two options: Standard Mode reduces the linked effect, while High Combined Mode exhibits a more pronounced linked effect making it, Kawasaki says, “ideal for touring and two-up highway use.”
The Kawasaki PR blurb rattles off an impressive live of new touring perks for the Concours. First, the electronically-adjustable windscreen is 2.7 inches taller and features four programmable presets up front, a memory function returning the screen to its preset after starting the bike.
The redesigned fairing features rerouted outlets to “facilitate heat-dissipation.” High temps from the engine was one of our few complaints of the Kawasaki in our 2008 Sport-Touring Shootout, so a possible correction is very welcomed. A pipe guard on the exhaust also promises reduced heat transference to the rider.
Other revisions and additions include heated grips as standard equipment, new tank bag hooks and a relocated glove box. Another revision are the rear view mirrors raised 40mm (1.6 inch), which should help remedy another of our prior complaints, that the mirrors provide a better view of the saddlebags than what’s on the road behind.
Returning for 2010 is the KIPASS system, which requires a separate key fob needed to turn the big ol’ bike on (as if riders need more things to lose track of). Kawi does, however, dub claim the system is improved and now includes a smaller card-type key backup.
Kawasaki’s teaser blurb promised revisions to the suspension as well as new Bridgestone rubber for “lighter handling, improved wear.” Perhaps the changes will rectify reports about the latest C14’s sluggish turn-in and mid-corner handling.
Unchanged for 2010 is the Concours motor – the 1352cc Four, ripped from the ZX-14, returning with its ridiculous power and variable valve timing. If it ain’t broke… Same goes for the Connie’s monocoque aluminum frame, Tetra-Lever shaft drive, radial-mount triple-disc brakes.
Sadly, we don’t expect the 2010 Concours will be ready in time for our upcoming Sport-Touring shootout this month.
Read our 2010 Kawasaki Concours 14 First Ride Report.