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Old 08-12-2011, 05:12 PM   #21
Kevin_Duke
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Originally Posted by GS1100GK View Post
Kevin, I am anxious to here how it feels for you with the upsized 55 series. Still, I'm running the stock size 190/50 Z8 Metzler on my C-14 and the bike does feel lighter with no issues holding a line through the turns At this point in time, I am attributing the handling difference to the tire compound and tread that the Metzler Z8 is made of.

Let me know what you think after your ride!
Okay, my ride was quite illuminating. Rode a stocker back to back with our old test bike fitted with a Bridgestone BT016, 190/55-17. The difference in steering response is significant.

Turn-in response is slightly quicker, but more importantly is the vastly improved linearity of its roll rate. The bike with the 50-series tire requires continual inside bar pressure while in a corner, making the bike feel clumsy and high-effort. The 55 turns in smartly to whatever angle is required, then just remains leaned over at that angle without further minding. The riding experience is much smoother and more relaxed while riding more confidently and faster. Even slow-speed, parking-lot response is more fluid.

If I had a C-14 and needed a new rear tire, I would 110% choose a 190/55.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:24 PM   #22
GS1100GK
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Okay, my ride was quite illuminating. Rode a stocker back to back with our old test bike fitted with a Bridgestone BT016, 190/55-17. The difference in steering response is significant.

Turn-in response is slightly quicker, but more importantly is the vastly improved linearity of its roll rate. The bike with the 50-series tire requires continual inside bar pressure while in a corner, making the bike feel clumsy and high-effort. The 55 turns in smartly to whatever angle is required, then just remains leaned over at that angle without further minding. The riding experience is much smoother and more relaxed while riding more confidently and faster. Even slow-speed, parking-lot response is more fluid.

If I had a C-14 and needed a new rear tire, I would 110% choose a 190/55.
Kevin, your observations are in line with what I've heard on other forums. Too bad Kawasaki does not deliver the C-14 with that tire size stock (or just make the Metzler Z8 the OEM tire for this bike). If so, maybe the head to head comparison would have turned out differently especially with the huge price difference. Overcoming the gutless low RPM response is a $300-$500 fix for a flyectomy which still leaves lots of cash in your pocket. If you disregard the subjective nature of seat comfort, the advantage of ESA II (manual adjustments for the C-14 works fine), and uniqueness quality of having a 6 cylinder bike, for the average Joe, the C-14 is hard to beat!

p.s. I applaud your effort of going the extra mile, so to speak to get to the bottom of why the C-14 steererd so heavily. Now we know. Bravo!

Last edited by GS1100GK : 08-13-2011 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:36 AM   #23
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maybe the head to head comparison would have turned out differently especially with the huge price difference.

p.s. I applaud your effort of going the extra mile, so to speak to get to the bottom of why the C-14 steererd so heavily. Now we know. Bravo!
Well, the different tire definitely makes the Connie a considerably more enjoyable ride when the roads curve, but the incredibly good GT is still the superior S-T machine, so that judgement won't change. However, the price difference is impossible to ignore, making the Kawi the easy bang-for-the-buck victor, and it's good to know that a tire swap alleviates its one clear drawback.

Because of the significant price gap, this was always going to be an unfair comparo if MSRP wasn't considered. But the C-14 is nevertheless the closest competitor to BMW, so the comparison needed to be done.

Is an E-series Benz worth a 35-40% premium over a Camry? No, not really. Unless you can afford it!

Also, if the K16 is too pricey for those on a Connie budget, perhaps a leftover K1300GT can be found. Check out our 2009 S-T shootout to find out our reasons why that BMW emerged the victor of that battle. It listed for $3000 more than the 2011 Kawi, so a dealer who has that now-defunct model still in stock might be able to cut that gap in half or so. But there's no reason why a sport-touring rider couldn't be happy on the Connie. There is much to love about that bike.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:28 PM   #24
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Well, the different tire definitely makes the Connie a considerably more enjoyable ride when the roads curve, but the incredibly good GT is still the superior S-T machine, so that judgement won't change. However, the price difference is impossible to ignore, making the Kawi the easy bang-for-the-buck victor, and it's good to know that a tire swap alleviates its one clear drawback.

Because of the significant price gap, this was always going to be an unfair comparo if MSRP wasn't considered. But the C-14 is nevertheless the closest competitor to BMW, so the comparison needed to be done.

Is an E-series Benz worth a 35-40% premium over a Camry? No, not really. Unless you can afford it!

Also, if the K16 is too pricey for those on a Connie budget, perhaps a leftover K1300GT can be found. Check out our 2009 S-T shootout to find out our reasons why that BMW emerged the victor of that battle. It listed for $3000 more than the 2011 Kawi, so a dealer who has that now-defunct model still in stock might be able to cut that gap in half or so. But there's no reason why a sport-touring rider couldn't be happy on the Connie. There is much to love about that bike.
Kevin, I whole heartedly agree with your assessment. I rode the K1200GT prior to buying the C-14 and at the time felt the C-14 was way smoother and more powerful. Definitely the superior bike. When the K1300GT came out I read all the literature on it and discovered that the bike had increased power much more than the C-14, yet it suffered from increased vibes. Call me crazy, but I do long rides in the saddle and I want the smoothest bike I can find.

Good review overall. I may have to ride the K1600GT just for grins and giggles but for now, I'm going to keep my 09 C-14 ABS (without the dreaded linked brakes!!!) LOL
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:30 PM   #25
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Well, the different tire definitely makes the Connie a considerably more enjoyable ride when the roads curve, but the incredibly good GT is still the superior S-T machine, so that judgement won't change. However, the price difference is impossible to ignore, making the Kawi the easy bang-for-the-buck victor, and it's good to know that a tire swap alleviates its one clear drawback.

Because of the significant price gap, this was always going to be an unfair comparo if MSRP wasn't considered. But the C-14 is nevertheless the closest competitor to BMW, so the comparison needed to be done.

Is an E-series Benz worth a 35-40% premium over a Camry? No, not really. Unless you can afford it!

Also, if the K16 is too pricey for those on a Connie budget, perhaps a leftover K1300GT can be found. Check out our 2009 S-T shootout to find out our reasons why that BMW emerged the victor of that battle. It listed for $3000 more than the 2011 Kawi, so a dealer who has that now-defunct model still in stock might be able to cut that gap in half or so. But there's no reason why a sport-touring rider couldn't be happy on the Connie. There is much to love about that bike.
Like I once said, I'm not gonna have "he was a very practical fellow" on my headstone.

Work hard.

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Old 08-13-2011, 12:45 PM   #26
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Call me crazy, but I do long rides in the saddle and I want the smoothest bike I can find.
Ah, then you'll want the K16...
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:22 PM   #27
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Ah, then you'll want the K16...
Want????...sure...Need???...no...not for $23-$25K. The K1600GT sounds like a fantastic bike...but, I just cannot see it being worth the extra money since my C-14 a pretty competant bike in it's own right.
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:38 PM   #28
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Want????...sure...Need???...no...not for $23-$25K. The K1600GT sounds like a fantastic bike...but, I just cannot see it being worth the extra money since my C-14 a pretty competant bike in it's own right.
I can't argue with that!
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:50 PM   #29
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Kevin, have you heard any rumors or have direct knowledge if Kawasaki will be applying traction control and/or ABS brakes on the ZX-14R anytime soon? Given that Kawasaki has already applied those things to the ZX-10R I think it would make sense to do so on the ZX-14R. I know that in Europe the ZZR1400 comes with ABS already, applying traction control may not be too difficult. Just wondering if you have heard about any changes to the ZX-14R.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:26 PM   #30
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Like I once said, I'm not gonna have "he was a very practical fellow" on my headstone.

Work hard.

Play hard.
All practicality aside. I want a K16.
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