Author Topic: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help  (Read 1135 times)

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Offline Benny

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Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« on: October 02, 2018, 04:32:12 pm »
Hello all,
I've been mulling it over for years, the decision to buy a concours that is, and I'm finally ready. 

My dad got started with sport tourers as an extra alternative to his Ultra Classic when yamaha came out with the first FJR1300.  I rode it quite a bit and absolutely loved it.  I've been a Yamaha FZ1 guy for years, but I really enjoyed that FJR.  More comfortable, More wind protection, power and brakes that weren't far off from what I was used to, and decent handling for the extra weight.. I started to see what it was all about already in my 20's.  He traded it on the AE model, which I absolutely hated, what a stupid stupid bike.  He suffered thru it for a year putting very few miles on it before going back to the standard transmission.. Then Kawasaki had their new Concours 14 writeup in Cycle World and pop was captivated by the lure of changing brands to try it out.  He ended up getting an '09 Concours14 and that bike transformed what I thought a bike could be.  Him too to a bit of a lesser extent.  I did a custom electronic cruise control install (an Audiovox unit IIRC) on it and it looked like it came from the factory that way.  He had all the Kawasaki accessories for it including the trunk and he got mad at me cuz I was always "borrowing" it.  I'd come up with something to work on my bike at his house and find a reason not to finish just to take his bike home with me.

I always loved the Connie for the do it all solution to motorcycling. 
1. Go into town and run some errands and have enough room to get stuff done.. check. 
2. Powerful enough to pump some adrenaline on the ride.. check
3. Crisp enough brakes to keep me safe while doing it.. check
4. Good enough handling to wear smiles for miles.. check, as I preferred the new Connie to the FJR in the handling by a small margin
5. Attractive enough that I want to be seen riding it.. Check..  I still think this is one of the best looking bikes on the road
6. Affordable?  It wasn't a check for me at the time, but times have changed.  I make way more money than I did then, and these things are criminally cheap on the used market now!

I should have bought that Connie from My dad.. I wanted too before he traded it in on the newly redesigned FJR1300 now with factory cruise and a slew of other modern goodies.  But for whatever reason, I think I was buying a house at the time, I didn't.  Fast forward several years and man oh man I miss that bike.  I remember researching how I'd further mod it with a power commander, pipes, butterfly removal, etc. at the time to get what I really wanted out of it, but I just wasn't ready to buy it when my dad was ready to sell it. 

Nowadays, I still have a first gen FZ1.  I still love this bike.  Its got almost enough power for me, near perfect brakes, and fantastic handling.  I keep up with most of my sport bike buddies on it, and I can't think of another standard naked bike that offers handling to match the ease of laying it into corner hard and fast like my FZ1.  It is quite comfortable all things considered, with an aftermarket sergeant seat that is oodles more forgiving on my bottom than the stock one.  I still think its a good looking bike.  Only problem is I can't do anything useful with it.  I have soft luggage sure, it doesn't fit well, its a PITA to install and uninstall, and it looks terrible like it couldn't possibly belong on that bike.  Running Errands are out for this bike.  My wife won't get on it either, no back rest.  I wanted a more purposeful bike to add to the stable, so I bought a coworkers mint 2007 Yamaha V star on the cheap as he was a motivated and desperate seller.  It was... Too cheap not to buy..lol.  And I can't believe how much I love riding around town on it now in my late 30s.  This was kind of a test to see if I could be happy on a cruiser.  I am.  I run everywhere on it.  Any errands that can be ran on it, are.  Love having saddle bags.  A Trunk in addition would be better, but I'm still happy as a clam that I can hop on it for more purpose than just to go for a ride.  My son loves to ride on it, and it requires less stress to 2 up it since it has the backrest.  Man its comfy.  It has such a natural riding position for me.  I've thought to myself several times that the only bike that came close in the comfort department was that concours.  Other than a full on tourer of course.  I can't help but think how nice it would be if I had the best of both worlds again.  Power, handling, brakes, and fun to push hard, all the things the V star lacks.  But also the comfort, windshield, luggage capacity, and smoothness, all the thing my FZ1 lacks.  I'm ready to get rid of both of them for a concours.  Sure, it won't handle quite as good as the couple hundred pounds lighter FZ, and it won't be just quite as comfy as the V star, but man I'm sick of maintenance, insurance, registration, and garage storage space for 2 motorcycles.  I miss that concours and I'm ready to have the Do it All machine back in my life, so, Here I am!

Now, to find the perfect one!  If I could go to the used motorcycle factory and buy exactly what I'd want, my list would include:
2015 C14 in Kawasaki racing Candy Lime Green.. LOOOOVE this color on a Kawasaki
Factory Kawasaki color matched Tour pack trunk
A quality electronic cruise control already installed.. I really didn't enjoy that project as worthwhile as it was.
An AreaP full header back exhaust with that highly recommended Shoodaben Tune
and Service Records from a responsible owner

Alas, as the Rolling stones said best... You can't always get what you waaaaant.  Buuuuuuut, the song also suggested I can still get what I need.  And I need a concours!

I'm looking hard and ready to ask sellers some questions.  Are there any points of interest you all think I absolutely shouldn't overlook in my search?  I'm trying to think of all the right questions I should be asking sellers and thus is the purpose of this thread.  Any and all advice is deeply appreciated.  Thanks so much all.  Its good to be here.  I'm ready to soak in as much info as I can and meet some great people here.  Cheers, and...
God Bless


Offline MtnRider

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2018, 05:20:42 pm »
Check this one out. Hits a lot of your wish list.  http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=23703.0

Leo
2015 Black C14
It works ok, I'm going to improve it. It works better, I'm going to improve it. It works great, I'm going to imp.... Sh*t, I broke it!!!

Offline NYbiomed

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2018, 11:14:31 pm »
^^^^Damn Benny, he’s right...pretty darn close to what your looking for, down to the CC and Area P! The Shoodabeen ECU tune is about the easiest and cheapest to make happen....fair price as optioned too. Just know, you should get the valves checked/adjusted soon (between another 5-10k miles), if it hasn’t already been done and that’s gonna cost some dough if you can’t do that yourself.

And...... :welcome:
2002 Honda VTR1000F SuperHawk
2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS
1999 Suzuki Katana 750   1993 Yamaha Seca II
1990 Kawasaki EX500      1983 Honda CB1000 Custom

Offline cuda

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2018, 12:54:59 am »
Don't buy that one I'll sell you mine a lot cheaper ...

So I can buy it  :)) :))

Like I stated yesterday  It's a steal :great:
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Offline Benny

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2018, 07:16:47 am »
It’s absolutely insane that you guys posted that bike for me to look at in response to this.  As I just checked the forum replies now, I find it humorous...  humorous because I talked to that guy today and agreed to purchase his bike! 

As for the valve adjustment, anyone have a link to a proper service manual that I can purchase so that I can perform this?  I’m pretty handy, and I’ve done valve jobs before on older bikes, I feel confident I could pull it off with some help and guidance.  I’ve heard plenty of guys say they have never needed to adjust theirs and some of these boast 50k + miles on the ticker.  What are your experiences?  Obviously every bike is different because of a ton of variables, but curious if there’s any lower mileage horror stories.

Thanks all.  It’s good to be here!

Offline NYbiomed

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2018, 12:01:28 pm »
Ummm, yeah....I have a lower mileage horror, from a botched valve adjustment, there have been several others over the years. Mine required a new head. If you have experience with this kinda thing, just double and triple check your work and give yourself most of a day to complete the job. I know there are Fred Harmon DVDs out there that may be your guide- tho I cannot be 100% sure they cover the procedure.

GL!
2002 Honda VTR1000F SuperHawk
2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS
1999 Suzuki Katana 750   1993 Yamaha Seca II
1990 Kawasaki EX500      1983 Honda CB1000 Custom

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2018, 02:57:42 pm »
Welcome to the group Benny.
Appears that bike is at 15K. So valve adjust is not needed immediately.
Ride it for awhile before doing the adjust...
ie; Come ride with us!

Ride safe, Ted
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 03:18:11 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline Red Fox

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2018, 03:13:40 pm »
Welcome Benny,

Great writer - can't wait to read your first ride report and then a destination trip report. 

So ride your new bike out here next year for a NW COG gather:
* the Idaho Bun Cooler meet is in May, photos here
http://forum.cog-online.org/northwest-events/bun-cooler-photos/

and the Oregon Lava Run meet is likely to be in August, photos here
http://forum.cog-online.org/northwest-events/lava-run-2018-picture-thread/

TryCities, WA.    2011  C-14, silver; 53,000 miles.

Offline MtnRider

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2018, 03:18:35 pm »
I talked to that guy today and agreed to purchase his bike! 
Thanks all.  It’s good to be here!

When I first saw the ad I was like, "OH MAN!! I wish this was listed 3 months ago when I was looking!!!" Nice bike & congrats!

And welcome, too.
2015 Black C14
It works ok, I'm going to improve it. It works better, I'm going to improve it. It works great, I'm going to imp.... Sh*t, I broke it!!!

Offline Benny

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2018, 05:16:37 pm »
 :)
Hello Boys and Girls what a fantabulous day we're having here in central IL today!  Even more fabulous is the fact that as of last night that beautiful 2015 Green Concours is sitting in my garage!  The fella that sold it to me was just awesome and went out of his way to accommodate me.  We agreed on terms a few weeks ago right after I started this thread and one of my concerns was that the bike had been lowered.  Turns out he wanted to be able to flat foot it and was a bit shorter than I so that was his reason, but I don't like how lowering a bike adversely affects handling.  He was kind enough to return it to stock height before I got there and he even did a fresh oil change.  What a guy, exactly the kind of guy you'd hope to deal with.  There were no surprises to speak of with the bike and it is exactly as he described and maybe even then some.   He was worried about a dent he found on the bottom header bend on the underside of the bike as he went thru is inspection and was so apologetic of it he offered to give a couple hundred bucks refund because he didn't know of it to describe it earlier.  Wow.  Of course I did not take him up on that because it's a legit machine and already Well worth the the $8000 we agreed on and then some IMO.  The price of admission is fair me thinks.
 
I live in East Peoria, IL.  Early yesterday morning I flew out of peoria airport to Minneapolis and a connecting flight to Omaha where the bike was.  The owner was nice enough to pick me up from the airport fat about 10:15am.  His place was only 15 minutes away.  We signed some papers, exchanged money, and then he was great enough a guy to help me install the wire harness for my gerbing heated jacket and a Ram Mount for my cell phone before I left on my way for the 400 mile trek home in 48-52* weather.  It rode great.  That Kawasaki touring gel seat is phenomenal and my butt never got sore at all which is an unheard of thing for me as I have a boney butt.  He talked up that one quite a bit and had said we went thru a couple different seats before he settled on that one being the best.  I don't have the other ones to compare myself but I believe him.  It was suuuuuuper comfy for the entire ride.  The cruise control worked awesome.  Very smooth and the button pad lights up nicely at  night.  It's comical to set it at 120mph and let it eat, but also unnervingly tense as you're eyes are darting as far forward as you can looking out for the boys and girls in blue :nananana:.  I hope my wife doesn't read this as she's one of those girls in blue!  The bike sounds absolutely vicious with that AreaP exhaust and it has immediately become one of my favorite exhaust notes of all time.  Deep, throaty, and vicious with some popping and snarls.  I thought it was just loud enough to be fun and quiet enough when you want it tame, but then I rode it without my helmet on when I got home.  Its pretty unruly loud for this type of bike, and I'm very ok with that.  My wife and neighbors may disagree but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
 
Another pleasant surprise that I see value in is this bike has had an LED headlight conversion.  When the owner told me that I was like whatever, but I'm here to tell you that it's a worthy thing to get excited about.  The headlights on this thing are about the best I've ever used on a motorcycle.  TBH, I think they go toe to toe with the HID headlights in my Mercedes AMG.  They are so VIVID and for once I bought a vehicle where they were correctly set.  I swear that every car or motorcycle I've ever bought  I've had to adjust headlights. 
The kawasaki trunk tour pak...  So happy with it.  Not only is it keyed like the saddle bags to work with the factory fob key, but it is way bigger than it seems.  Super spacious.  It puts an old GIVI that I had to shame and the latch mechanism is of admirable quality compared to some of the junk I've used before.  Very Very Pleased.
Tires are good, plenty of tread on them for awhile which is a nice bonus.  They seem to handle well enough too.  They are Pirelli Angel GT.  What's everyone else here consider to be the best tires for these bikes so I know when it's time?  So far so good though.
The seller also did a couple nice things that he didn't have to do like replaced some of the fastener bolts for the black plastic shrouds around the top with nice new shiny gloss black ones that didn't have any fading just because he didn't like how it presented from the driver position and how visible it was.   I can't say enough about this guy.  I have so much praise when a deal like this is made because I've been thru enough deals with jokers and have gotten burned enough times that I can show that much more appreciation when it all goes right and you deal with an honest guy who wants to do right by people.

I'm happy as can be everyone and I'm ready for some rides.  Let's get together and put some miles on!

Offline C. Moore

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2018, 09:13:49 am »
Congrats Benny, nothing like a new motorcycle in the garage. I agree with the PO about the Kawasaki Touring Seat. I picked one up for my '10 a few months ago and it's the best seat I've found for my bony butt too. Sounds like you're ahead of the game with the accessories that came with the bike.  Enjoy that new ride. 
'10 C14  Dallas, Texas
CDA #523
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Offline cuda

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2018, 10:44:29 am »
Don't you feel Guilty ... How can you live with yourself?

$8,000 for 2015  :o :(
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Offline Benny

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2018, 06:30:56 am »
The guilt seems to fade immediately with every twist of the throttle

Offline ghostrider990

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2018, 10:37:34 am »
Don't you feel Guilty ... How can you live with yourself?

$8,000 for 2015  :o :(

And with all those extras??

Yeah, you LITERALLY stole that bike.

Consider yourself fortunate.  :-X
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2018, 02:13:19 pm »
Hello Benny. Congrats on the new bike. You got a great deal!
  {I was sorta showing it to someone and suggesting he fly up and get it}.

You asked about the best tires in your note.
That question is discussed a LOT, and there is no absolute answer.
Know this: You definitely have some of the best, if not "the best" tires on your new toy.

Now that you have the new bike, consider joining us and ride to next years COG National in Pennsylvania.
 There, you'll meet a couple hundred others with Connies..
    Great group of folks!

Ride safe, Ted
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Gone but not forgotten; 87 and 00 Connies..

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

Offline Jorge

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2018, 11:41:27 pm »
Hi Benny,
Welcome to the forum. like Ted said, you may want to check out the club, there are several outstanding events not too far from you. The regional rallies are really fun as the guys that put them on really KNOW the best roads in the areas, and they a great job in helping you find them  :great:
You did very well on your ride!   I also really like the green, a lot. Really stands out without being gaudy.

Enjoy!!!

Offline Benny

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2018, 11:28:05 am »
For those that have done the most recent Shoodaben flash... Did You go with the mountain runner or the classic and why?  Steve said that 95% of his customers get the mountain runner and don’t look back citing rideability and ease of entering corners while canyon riding in the 1st 5% of throttle where most riding is done. I think I might be in the 5%.  Does a 14 really need any tuned engine braking?  I don’t spend a whole lot of time in that 1st 5% unless I set the cruise and am just chugging along.  I also like my wheelies and there is something satisfying about getting this 700lb hog in the air😀!  About ready to send him my ECU and I wonder if anyone can talk me into the mountain runner tune instead   

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2018, 02:08:09 pm »
Benny your miss-interpreting the 5% thing.
Most of all street riding "is" done in the lower portion of the throttle.
ie; You spend more time/miles riding between corners and cruising than going WOT.

The engine braking helps slow the 700lb hog (smoothly) as you enter a corner.
The increase in low end power helps bring the 700lb hog out of the corners, before you go WOT.
Bottom line; it gives a person more control in the corners..

I am not saying you wouldn't enjoy the Classic.
I'm sure that power hit and peak power is invigorating..
I'm just trying to explain the reason the Mountain Runner works as well as it does.

Hope that helps.
Ride safe, Ted
« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 03:29:57 pm by connie_rider »
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Gone but not forgotten; 87 and 00 Connies..

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Help us make "OtP" possible again!!

Offline Jerdurr

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2018, 03:00:15 pm »
Don't you feel Guilty ... How can you live with yourself?

$8,000 for 2015  :o :(

And with all those extras??

Yeah, you LITERALLY stole that bike.

Consider yourself fortunate.  :-X

Agree! the deal of a lifetime! Enjoy buddy! I even considered flying down from Toronto Canada and purchasing it for myself. I love the Green goblin color!
Best,

JD

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Offline Benny

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Re: Ready to buy a Concours.. Help
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2018, 05:11:26 am »
When I set out to find one, I knew it just had to be green. I was really afraid I’d end up shelling out a bunch extra just to get the color I wanted and I’m shocked and relieved that ended up not being the case. Loving it so far but it’s now been 2 weeks since I’ve been on it. It’s freakin cold maaaan. Snow on the ground is usually a deterrent lol. I think in spring I’ll pay my dues and become a full member here on COG and I want to meet up with some other local COG riders and log some miles together.  Thanks for all the comments everyone. It’s nice to be reassured that I got the best deal.  ECU will come out this week and be shipped to FL for Steve’s touches. I need some shop time anyhow, I’ll remove the TCUvout of my AMG too as that goes to Houston for a tune as well. So both the Kawasaki and the Mercedes will get some love this winter. 
First order of business at the start of the riding season, other than demoing the shoodaben flash, will be to get this girl sprung better for me. I won’t invest in any new suspension, but dialing in the stock gear for me. It’s pretty soft even for me. I’m about 175 lb wearing gear, and it rides like a luxury cruiser, but I want a bit more sport as the front end can get quite unsettled when pushing it hard in the corners. I’d like to get in touch with a good suspension guy that’s smarter than I and better equipped to dial it in with me. If I can’t find that guy, I’ll probably put everything as stiff as it can go and work back from there.  One of my best friends is fantastic at this kind of thing and is a master of “dialing it in” no matter the machine, but he lives in WI and travels for a living and I Don’t know when I’ll see him again. Anyhow, hope lol is well COGgers. Wish I was in a sunnier state right about now