2014 EICMA: 2015 Kawasaki Concours14 ABS Preview

Tom Roderick
by Tom Roderick

The 2015 Kawasaki Concours14 ABS boasts a litany of improvements including a new electrically adjustable windshield, revised linked braking settings, a revised first gear ratio, lighter steering at low speed, stiffer rear suspension and a new rear luggage rack.

In our 2014 Heavyweight Sport-Touring Shootout from just a few months we jokingly labeled the Concours the “most not improved” bike of the quartet of models tested. That’s certainly changed now (which means another sport-touring shootout), specifically with the news Kawasaki has changed the linked braking – something we’ve complained about on numerous occasions.

According to Kawasaki the Second Generation K-ACT ABS features two braking modes. 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, the linked effect is reduced at initial pedal stroke for a natural sensation when sport riding. In High Combined Mode, there’s a more pronounced linked effect from the beginning of the pedal stroke. The Concours is also endowed with new brake master cylinders.

The vent is three-position adjustable and helps reduce the low-pressure zone in the cockpit and minimize buffeting.

Another highlight of the new concours is the new electrically adjustable windscreen with a throw of 4.8 inches. In conjunction with the three-position vent the Concours is better suited for long-distance travel. Rider comfort also includes a new seat that’s sculpted to be narrower at the front for the rider and flatter and longer for the passenger. An exhaust pipe guard attached to the upper part of the exhaust mid-pipe helps protect the rider from heat when stopped. The Concours also boasts new TPMS sensors to warn of tire deflation, a tank pad to protect the paintwork from clothing scratches, and new cushioned passenger footpegs.

The adjustable rear suspension was stiffened on the initial preload setting for better control when carrying a passenger and full luggage. The rear suspension also has a remote preload adjuster that allows the rider to tune the handling to their individual preference.

To help ease low-speed manuevers Kawasaki revised the bike’s first gear ratio and replaced the old steering stem seal with a new, low-friction one.

Last, but not least, Kawasaki dressed up the Concours with silver bezels on the instrumentation.

Follow the rest of our 2014 EICMA Show coverage for more information on new 2015 motorcycle announcements.

Tom Roderick
Tom Roderick

A former Motorcycle.com staffer who has gone on to greener pastures, Tom Roderick still can't get the motorcycle bug out of his system. And honestly, we still miss having him around. Tom is now a regular freelance writer and tester for Motorcycle.com when his schedule allows, and his experience, riding ability, writing talent, and quick wit are still a joy to have – even if we don't get to experience it as much as we used to.

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  • Kevin Kevin on Nov 05, 2014

    They did lower the price by $700 and Black is still available as a color option: Oh, and it only gained about 4 lbs;

  • John B John B on Nov 05, 2014

    Hey Tom - Do you have any thoughts about the future of heavyweight sport touring motorcycles in the market? I have a 2012 Concours and do most of my riding on long trips to western states. The bike works really well for me on long trips, however, it's much less fun to ride in urban environments. In particular, I wonder whether so-called adventure touring motorcycles (e.g., Ducati Multistrada, BMW S1000XR and less expensive Japanese models) will take a chunk out of the ST market. Perhaps, Kawasaki thinks the ST market will shrink and does not want to invest in updating the Concours to bring it in line with the competition. Thoughts?

    • Stuki Stuki on Nov 05, 2014

      If you're solo, get the Ninja 1000. Save the Concours for two up. Adv bikes are nice if you need the added rough/off road capability. Having spoked wheels you trust, and decent ground clearance, makes rougher road riding so much less nerve racking. Otherwise adv bikes are just too wide, too tall, too soft (except for the Multi and perhaps new XR), too long and too aerodynamically clumsy in all ways at speed.

      For urban riding, one of the most annoying things about an adv bike, aside from splitting, is simply parking in crowded bike parking spots. Combine the height and width of the bike (+ sidecases), with the lean when they are on their sidestand, and they crowd out the guy in the spot next to you like nobody's business. Making graceful getoff and get back on a pain. It's very obvious when trying to slip into a tight spot downtown San Francisco, compared to being on a sport bike or similar. The reduced leverage the tall seat gives your legs, don't exactly help with tight maneuvering into spots either.