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Old 08-13-2011, 07:20 PM   #31
Kevin_Duke
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Originally Posted by GS1100GK View Post
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.
I personally don't have knowledge of such a thing, although I wouldn't be terribly surprised by it. But it'll have to be more sophisticated than the C-14's and probably less trick than the 10R's. We'll have official news late next month.
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:10 PM   #32
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Default C14 Touring Defect -- Luggage Attachment Engineering

Mostly Good Comments for an Out of the Box heas-to-head comparison but weak as relates to actual usage. BMW has a stronger engine with no surprise given its recent 6 cyl upgrade. The C14 has plenty of power and torque for the sport cruiser class but, as indicated, with power commander and different exhaust one can boost another 10-15% (if you really desire more raw power to lean toward the sport side). One point of contention related to the power plants, however, is that I simply can`t accept that the BMW will outperform the C14 in mileage economy. The mileage figure for the C14 should be higher, much higher, if you engage the econ button and despite aggressive riding. Some good comments also on the tires ... but we can`t expect the factory Bridgestone K-tire necessarily to be the best. Pilots--1 & 2-- bite well but you give up mileage...other riders have other preferences but tires depend on rider habits and road & temp environment.

HOWEVER, the C14 absolutely does not have stable luggage (contrary to this review`s comment) and any serious rider who`s ridden a new 2010+ model would know this. Indeed, it still has a critical engineering problem (rf, 2008 correction of handle mechanism) in that the luggage is prone to bobble and even eventually dislodge. You may (will) watch it trail you in tumble down the road following only a moderate series (2 or more) of bumps in the pavement and less than a year of usage (i.e., 10-12 trips). Kawasaki uses the same simple locking mechanism as used for years on the BMW. However, there are some important differences: First it does not lock to the frame, per se, nor the one piece rear luggage rack. Second, its handle-lock engage & disengage is too small and flimsy for carrying loads of 25+lbs. Third, the lips and overlaps are distressingly small, or short. This general lack of precise tolerance and built-in play leads to increasing gaps, wear and eventual play that allows a dislodge of the hard luggage with relatively nominal uneven pavement (i.e., two or more successive 5 inch heat or freeze heaves) with a 25lb load per case and 350+ lb (two) rider load at 55+mph. (BMW firmly attaches its cases to the frame....no questions asked.)

An easy inspection reveals a relatively stable front stability but with a small (smaller than BMW has used for 20+ years) center locking lip with only a small half inch hook mechanism securing the middle, and a small overhang and non-locking back hook. Even new, one may note play with empty lugagge by gently moving side to side and up and down focusing on the rear of the luggage. Much vibration, of course, is accenuated to the rear as it moves through the bike much as a waves spread from their epicenter. When loaded, the force and distance of this vibration (or wobble) increases as the inertial force causes ever slightly more wear and the tolerances deteriorate even more. The process easily produces half inch vertical and even more horizontal play--more than enough to dislodge a luggage onto the pavement and growing smaller in your mirror.

This could be resolved by larger overhangs, or lips, and definitely a stronger (fatter) locking mechanism. As a retrofit, perhaps a small cable attachment frame to luggage can be used but drilling a small hole and have a simple pin-key mechanism would seem the easiest. Neither would interfere much with the quick release and portability features of the luggage. (The $10.00 retro-fit of a pin-key would prevent dislodge altogether.)

Kawasaki is facing a serious litigation exposure by not addressing this relatively easy to fix, or mitigate, problem. If this case dislodges it may be a cause for accident of the C14 rider. More likely, however, any car or bike following upon striking a 35+lb case cast onto the road at 65mph will result in major physical damage, BI, or even death (especially for a trailing biker) claim. Indeed, it is hard to imagine there not being a major loss if such loss occurred on a mutliple lane heavy use highway (versus a stretch of country road). (Not to mention that replacement of a case will set the owner back $600+ for a not totally matching color. And, this doesn`t include any valuable contents lost or destroyed from an unsalvageable incident.)

A good (or poor) sport-touring bike takes some real riding over multipe trips to understand and evaluate. Notwithstanding the luggage problem (and that`s hard to ignore), a rider can buy two C14`s at the end of the model year for one outfitted 6cyl BMW. Futher, the BMW will cost 2x what the C14 does to service and maintain over a five year period.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:40 PM   #33
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:27 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by MotoRover View Post
...HOWEVER, the C14 absolutely does not have stable luggage (contrary to this review`s comment) and any serious rider who`s ridden a new 2010+ model would know this. Indeed, it still has a critical engineering problem (rf, 2008 correction of handle mechanism) in that the luggage is prone to bobble and even eventually dislodge. You may (will) watch it trail you in tumble down the road following only a moderate series (2 or more) of bumps in the pavement and less than a year of usage (i.e., 10-12 trips). Kawasaki uses the same simple locking mechanism as used for years on the BMW. However, there are some important differences: First it does not lock to the frame, per se, nor the one piece rear luggage rack. Second, its handle-lock engage & disengage is too small and flimsy for carrying loads of 25+lbs. Third, the lips and overlaps are distressingly small, or short. This general lack of precise tolerance and built-in play leads to increasing gaps, wear and eventual play that allows a dislodge of the hard luggage with relatively nominal uneven pavement (i.e., two or more successive 5 inch heat or freeze heaves) with a 25lb load per case and 350+ lb (two) rider load at 55+mph. (BMW firmly attaches its cases to the frame....no questions asked.)

An easy inspection reveals a relatively stable front stability but with a small (smaller than BMW has used for 20+ years) center locking lip with only a small half inch hook mechanism securing the middle, and a small overhang and non-locking back hook. Even new, one may note play with empty lugagge by gently moving side to side and up and down focusing on the rear of the luggage. Much vibration, of course, is accenuated to the rear as it moves through the bike much as a waves spread from their epicenter. When loaded, the force and distance of this vibration (or wobble) increases as the inertial force causes ever slightly more wear and the tolerances deteriorate even more. The process easily produces half inch vertical and even more horizontal play--more than enough to dislodge a luggage onto the pavement and growing smaller in your mirror.

This could be resolved by larger overhangs, or lips, and definitely a stronger (fatter) locking mechanism. As a retrofit, perhaps a small cable attachment frame to luggage can be used but drilling a small hole and have a simple pin-key mechanism would seem the easiest. Neither would interfere much with the quick release and portability features of the luggage. (The $10.00 retro-fit of a pin-key would prevent dislodge altogether.)

Kawasaki is facing a serious litigation exposure by not addressing this relatively easy to fix, or mitigate, problem. If this case dislodges it may be a cause for accident of the C14 rider. More likely, however, any car or bike following upon striking a 35+lb case cast onto the road at 65mph will result in major physical damage, BI, or even death (especially for a trailing biker) claim. Indeed, it is hard to imagine there not being a major loss if such loss occurred on a mutliple lane heavy use highway (versus a stretch of country road). (Not to mention that replacement of a case will set the owner back $600+ for a not totally matching color. And, this doesn`t include any valuable contents lost or destroyed from an unsalvageable incident.)...
Interesting observation here. I do recall some owners of the 08 C-14 having saddle bag issues that appeared to be attributed to owner error in closing and locking the bags. I have not experienced such issues with my 09 and I carry gear with me all the time. The Kawasaki manual has tons of warning notices about making sure the bags are secure and closed as intended stating alot of the dangers you say in this quote. Also, the recommended maximum carrying weight of each bag is 22 lbs. so if you are running 35+ lbs (including the 3-4 lb weight of the case) case you are way over the recommended weight. But, I acknowledge the damage that much weight could cause at speed to a bike, other vehicle, and property. For grins and giggles I went outside and tried the lifting exercise you suggested would reveal a lot of play in the locking mechanism of the bag. When lifting from the rear the bag moved maybe an 1/8th of an inch not a 1/2 inch as you suggest. I realize my simple lifting exercise with an empty bag and did not include the stresses of riding so maybe it is not a relevant test.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:29 AM   #35
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I personally don't have knowledge of such a thing, although I wouldn't be terribly surprised by it. But it'll have to be more sophisticated than the C-14's and probably less trick than the 10R's. We'll have official news late next month.
Kevin, thanks for answering my question, even though it was off topic for this evaluation. The dealer show in September will reveal all...
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:19 PM   #36
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I love how Kevin is either lovingly stroking the BMW or has his arm around its mirror like it was his girlfriend's neck. I think he liked it. Looks like Troy got stuck with the Connie.

I really only got a sense of "you get what you pay for" from this. $15299 vs $24540 isn't even in the same ballpark. The $9241 difference is 60% of the Connie's price. You could buy another used S/T motorcycle and a friend to ride it for that.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:46 PM   #37
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I love how Kevin is either lovingly stroking the BMW or has his arm around its mirror like it was his girlfriend's neck. I think he liked it. Looks like Troy got stuck with the Connie.

I really only got a sense of "you get what you pay for" from this. $15299 vs $24540 isn't even in the same ballpark. The $9241 difference is 60% of the Connie's price. You could buy another used S/T motorcycle and a friend to ride it for that.
If I were to be lovingly stroking any part of the BMW, it would be its engine! BTW, Troy and I shared equal time on the duo.

Comparing the GT's optioned-up price isn't fair, as even the $21K base model has more features, amenities and power than the $15.6K Connie. Quite simply, the GT is the better bike. It's up to you guys whether it's worth the extra $5K (plus).
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:32 PM   #38
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Well, you have the optioned-up BMW in this shootout so those were the prices I threw out.

I got the impression that you really liked this bike. To the point of considering buying one etc.
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:15 PM   #39
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Comparing the GT's optioned-up price isn't fair, as even the $21K base model has more features, amenities and power than the $15.6K Connie. Quite simply, the GT is the better bike. It's up to you guys whether it's worth the extra $5K (plus).
Good luck finding a stripped-down K1600... Finding a Connie for $15.6K will be a challenge as well due to the fact that no intelligent person will be paying full MSRP for one. The real world difference is likely equal to or even greater than your MSRP difference.

But really, these bikes are playing in different leagues, the Beemer is much more upscale and pricier.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:01 PM   #40
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Well, you have the optioned-up BMW in this shootout so those were the prices I threw out.

I got the impression that you really liked this bike. To the point of considering buying one etc.
I truly do like this bike! However, I'm unable to play in that price range.
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