Author Topic: 1,630 mile First Ride  (Read 2689 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline HiSport

  • Bicycle
  • *
  • Posts: 74
  • KiPassa?
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 12443
  • Membership Level: Active
1,630 mile First Ride
« on: November 01, 2016, 11:50:35 pm »
Here's a newbie road test for those of you considering a Concours

So, I flew to Wichita, KS last week and picked up my "new" EBay 2014 C14.  Then, I rode it the "long way" home to NC

Impressions:


- Overall: Smooth, serene freeway machine

- Bottom line: Definitely (DEFINITELY) a keeper

- Performance: More powerful than you will (probably) ever need

- Weight: Heavy! Very top heavy, just like the first gen Concours, but even more so. A handful dealing with off camber surfaces, and in tight low speed parking situations. Do not try U turns on a hill! Makes my Multistrada feel like a featherweight. I will install canyon cages in face of inevitable gravity. This is my biggest C14 downside comment

- Smoothness: Superb engine and drivetrain. A little "EPA snatchy" during low speed gear changes (I will be getting the SISF flash)

- Handling: Great handling, though a bit ponderous. It's like a 7 series (BMW); heavy, but just trust it and you'll be fine. The front end does in fact stick

- Braking: Clumsy brakes. Powerful, though poor feel, and the linked-braking rear pedal belongs on an ox cart (is there a fix for this?)

- Air Flow: Lousy wind management: The OE shield seems designed for buffeting. Seller is shipping me his C Baily bigger shield. Hope it helps (or I will need neck surgery)

- Ride Control: Good suspension: Not ESA, but monkeying with the clickers in the motel parking lot helps

- Cruise Control: Bike came with throttlemeister, which regulates things only to +/- 30 mph on dead flat KS roads. I will install Rostra or similar. Wish Kaw had done TBW + cruise control and canned the idiotic Kipass instead

- Feeble horn: Honestly, with earplugs and the constant midwest plains wind, could not hear the horn at all. Neither could dozy drivers. An aerostitch (Hella?) air horn is on the short list. (If the wind ever stopped blowing in Kansas, all the chickens would fall over)

- Rock Solid Dependability: Just like my last (2002) Concours, this bike is like a Toyota refrigerator. It may not be sexy, but you can count on it

- Baldwin Seat: Came with a Baldwin seat, which is absolutely lovely. LOVELY

- Bag Liners: Also came with wonderful side case removable (canvas?) liners, which are superb at the end of the day

- Kipass: Why? Why??

- Vs Competitors: While my first impulse was to buy a new RT, this (2014 c14 nicely modded) makes me very happy


Conclusion: Great road burner, which is what I wanted.



Offline Road Runner

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 529
  • Beep! Beep! ... YeeHa!
    • 2 Hearts for Integrity Ministries
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 12399
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2016, 12:01:25 am »
Interesting break-down of first impressions. For the most part I agree with everything you state but it being top heavy and cumbersome to navigate at slow speed. I realize too it's a matter of what you're used to or where one came from. I came from the world of large cruisers and Harley ultra classic (for example) and found the C14 to have superior maneuverability over the aforementioned. Again, this is my opinion.

Yes, the canyon cages are an excellent idea. Congrats on your new ride; awesome!
David L. Hamil
Athens/Decatur/Huntsvile, AL area
'13 ZG1400 "Metallic Spark Black"

Offline Bigfoot_16

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1042
  • I prefer bikes with more horsepower than noise.
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2016, 12:08:31 am »
Nice write-up, John. Unfortunately, the fix for the linked braking shenannigans is the 2015+ models. I'm very glad you're enamored with your new ride. We COG members think quite highly of our Connies. Welcome to COG!
Jim

2015 Concours 14

Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul. Steve's ECU flash stirs the soul!

Offline mattchewn

  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 5208
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 10993
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2016, 12:11:47 pm »
John,
  The flash will transform the bike, nothing less than that.
  The stock screen is total crap. Almost ANY other screen is a vast improvement. The stock suspension is also not all that. Once you have tasted the deliciousness of a really well set up Connie you will never want stock again. BTDT, doing my suspension again!  it ain't cheap but it IS worth it.
On my '12 I just mostly refrained from using the rear brake pedal. On my '15  the linking is seamless. The '15 feels down on power from the '12 but some of that is the lack of power mods that I had on the '12.
Enjoy the ride,
Matt
2018 H2 SXSE.  (FAT SXSE)
2011 GSX1250 FA
2009 Ninja 500R. (wifes')
2001 Bandit 650  (kids')

Offline sfsokc

  • Bicycle
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 10667
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2016, 03:12:54 pm »
I'll second everything said, including the top heaviness...  Regarding what Road Runner said, yes the big cruisers weigh more, but I believe in almost all cases their center of gravity has got to be LOWER than the C14, and THAT is the difference.  Even after years of riding mine and practicing in parking lots, I still cannot easily do a u-turn on a narrow two-lane road without significant fear of dropping it.  (yes, I know those cops can whip it around on a dime, but I don't know if I'll ever have that ability).  Overall though, great bike.

Offline connie_rider

  • "OtP" {retired/assistant} Slave Labor
  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 9705
  • Help us make "OtP" possible! "AGAIN"
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 4154
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2016, 03:25:02 pm »
Great report.
I'll third (or whatever) everything you said..

On the Linked braking, I just had to teach myself not to touch the rear brakes.
The Linking system does all I need to actuate the rear...

On the top heaviness, I lowered mine so I can touch the ground better. "Big Improvement"..
(Yes, I'm altitude challenged)

Ride safe, Ted
14 Connie (Traveler II) / 03 Connie (Buddy)
Gone but not forgotten; 87 and 00 Connies..

If your not already a COGger, "consider becoming one".
Help us make "OtP" possible again!!

Offline instructor

  • Road Bike
  • ***
  • Posts: 483
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 11886
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2016, 03:45:26 pm »
I increased my idle speed from something less than 1000rpm to just about 1300rpm and in slow tight turns can keep the bike under control much better by manipulating the clutch and keep the turn around much smoother and with more confidence regarding possible dropping the bike.  I for one have no issues with the linked braking on my '12 model C14 but I am not hurtling around super tight mountain turns either and when I do will shed the speed/energy prior to the turn. Original wind screen is OK for me and seems that if I hunt for just the right elevation it serves me well.  I tend to think the bike is far better at the touring mode rather than a sport bike and works best on long Interstate cruising at just about any speed you care to reach with smoothness and vibration free riding.  No question the bike is top heavy but once aware of that and adjust your riding style accordingly it is not a major factor, but that is just me.  Plans are to do the flash in the future, but frankly have not ridden a smoother more powerful motorcycle in the past than the C14 but it is rare that I ever exceed the 7000rpm level in any gear, especially OD. Rode my friends ZX14R and to do so on a regular basis would require a whole new approach to riding, huge difference in all  respects, but not one I would want to take on long Interstate rides, not it's design criteria.

Offline ConcoursKZ

  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2747
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2016, 05:15:05 pm »
Nice review and glad you enjoy it.

- Weight: Heavy! Very top heavy, just like the first gen Concours, but even more so. A handful dealing with off camber surfaces, and in tight low speed parking situations. Do not try U turns on a hill! Makes my Multistrada feel like a featherweight. I will install canyon cages in face of inevitable gravity. This is my biggest C14 downside comment


That is my favorite line. LMAO so true.
2008 Concours ABS 1976 KZ 900 B1   CDA#387
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Offline tkdtime

  • Big Wheels
  • Posts: 8
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 12445
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2016, 07:54:14 pm »
Yep, agree that the bike is amazing.  I had pretty much the same reaction and I still do if I haven't ridden it in a while (while giving my other steed some love).  Regarding the top-heavy comment, that really will go away the more you practice low-speed maneuvering.  Look up Quinn Redeker on youtube.  He shows us all what the C14 is capable of -- Amazing  :o

Offline smithr1

  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 5269
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 6197
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2016, 07:59:17 pm »
---
Bob Smith (smithr)
Austin, Texas baby!
2010 Kawasaki Concours, Midnight Blue
COG 6197, CDA 107

Offline mattchewn

  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 5208
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 10993
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2016, 08:12:41 pm »
Here's the deal, slow speed maneuvers are all in your head. Literally. Use your head and TURN your head. Makes all the difference in the world. When you are turning around on a two lane you should be looking back the way you wish to go and not a millimeter before that.  It works, for everyone!  Practice, practice, practice...
Matt
2018 H2 SXSE.  (FAT SXSE)
2011 GSX1250 FA
2009 Ninja 500R. (wifes')
2001 Bandit 650  (kids')

Offline Mcdaddy

  • Tricycle
  • Posts: 36
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 11427
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2016, 11:25:14 pm »
You want top heavy my last ride was a BMW LT 1200 ,now that was top heavy. To me the Connie is a dream. I haven't had any problems yet in any situation. Just saying,love this bike,
2013 Kawasaki Concours blue
2005 BMW LT 1200 sold ,2000 Suzuki LC 1500, 1985 Honda V65 sold,1980 Yam 1100 special sold
1978 Kaw KZ1000 sold,1976 Kaw LTD 900 sold
1975 Z1 900 sold,1970 Yam 650 special sold

Offline Moogie

  • Tricycle
  • Posts: 22
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2016, 04:22:28 am »
Yea, I ride a Beemer Lt and it kinda makes you chuckle when they say top heavy. Did they say top heavy? Sat on a stock Connie the other day and I'm on my tip toes. Have to wait a while longer but I'll get mine. Good post.
The ride is fresh under diamond skies, makes me glad to be alive.

Offline Brians Connie

  • Tricycle
  • Posts: 17
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 12461
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2016, 11:18:08 pm »
Thanks for the write up. I recently purchased a 2011 very low mile bike. Being 6'1" I immediately removed the lowering links that were on it, got a Baileys ultra tour screen, replaced the stock seat with one that Another member of this board gave me a great deal on. Still tweaking the suspension and getting used to the linked brakes.  The windscreen and seat are the two immediate fixes I like the most. 90mph cruising behind that screen with no buffeting is si nice!!  Going to get the ECU flashed soon. 

To the top heavy comment I will say this, I am no pro rider and even with this being my first "heavy" bike I don't find it anymore difficult doing a U turn on it than my ZRX, even when two up with my wife onboard. Like has already been mentioned, look around the turn and go. Watch any of the pros ride the cones and look at where their eyes are, I can assure you they are around the corner/cone or behind them. It takes some getting used to like anything else but there is no reason this bike can't do tight turns with a little practice

Offline 4Bikes

  • Iron Butt
  • *****
  • Posts: 3318
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 9715
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2016, 08:38:48 pm »
Here's the deal, slow speed maneuvers are all in your head. Literally. Use your head and TURN your head. Makes all the difference in the world. When you are turning around on a two lane you should be looking back the way you wish to go and not a millimeter before that.  It works, for everyone!  Practice, practice, practice...
Matt
Matt,
You are spot on with this advice.  :great:  I learned that same technique the second day of the Stayin Safe advanced riding course. It's amazing how your bike goes where your head turns. You really need to turn your head, not look sideways. 15 minutes of practicing this and you will be a believer too.
Silver 2011 C-14 and 2019 Versys 1000 SE LT+.  Previous rides: KZ-400, KZ-750, KZ-1000.  Keep the rubber side down.  Ride Fast......Live Slow......

Offline Bigfoot_16

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1042
  • I prefer bikes with more horsepower than noise.
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2016, 01:16:22 pm »
Here's the deal, slow speed maneuvers are all in your head. Literally. Use your head and TURN your head. Makes all the difference in the world. When you are turning around on a two lane you should be looking back the way you wish to go and not a millimeter before that.  It works, for everyone!  Practice, practice, practice...
Matt
Matt,
You are spot on with this advice.  :great:  I learned that same technique the second day of the Stayin Safe advanced riding course. It's amazing how your bike goes where your head turns. You really need to turn your head, not look sideways. 15 minutes of practicing this and you will be a believer too.

I couldn't agree more with you guys. The Ride Like a Pro DVDs teach the exact same thing. My MSF course instructor also taught the same technique years ago.
Jim

2015 Concours 14

Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul. Steve's ECU flash stirs the soul!

Offline Fork

  • Moped
  • **
  • Posts: 200
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 10691
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2016, 06:01:14 pm »

Glad you like your new bike. Your love affair with the bike will grow each time you ride it.

On the subject of top heavy, you will be surprised how quickly you adjust to the bike and if you follow the advice of other posters here you will soon find that U turns are no big deal. Look at the video reference above. You will notice two things. First the Officer looks through the corners all the way and, second,  you lean to the outside of the turn rather than the inside like you would counter steering through corners at speed. That is because you are steering and not counter steering at speed. Check for oncoming traffic from both directions and once you decide it's safe to make the turn, never look back. If you put Steve's flash on the bike you won't even need to worry about keeping your rpm's up. Once you get your head in the game(so to speak) and get over the fear of dropping the bike you won't even notice the weight of the bike.

Although I've ridden for over 50 years and I am 74 years old. I never worry about dropping the bike. I ride with a Kansas Highway Patrol office who is also one of their Motor Officers(rides a police bike some of the time) and he rides a Yamaha Venture Royale, 1987 model. He regularly practices lock to lock figure 8's on that bike and I know it gives a whole new meaning to top heavy because he bought the bike from me after I rode it for 8 years. Practice, practice and more practice and it will become natural to you.

Second your comments about the Canyon Cages and Baldwin saddle. In my opinion both are as good as it gets. On windscreens there are as many opinions as there are screens. The factory screen isn't very good but there are lots of alternatives. I went through four screens before I settled on the one I have on the bike now. It is my favorite until I try something else.

Enjoy the bike. Ride it like you rented it. Stay out of the rear brake. You'll wonder why you didn't get a C14 long ago.

Fork 

Offline HiSport

  • Bicycle
  • *
  • Posts: 74
  • KiPassa?
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 12443
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: 1,630 mile First Ride
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2016, 04:16:20 pm »
Thanks, Fork!

Appreciate the good advice. I will practice (and practice)

john