Author Topic: Bike-Curious and Considering C14  (Read 1171 times)

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Offline Wheels Up

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Bike-Curious and Considering C14
« on: July 30, 2019, 01:53:53 pm »
Hi all,

I'm new around here and hope to learn a bit from the folks with real experience on the C14.

I've been riding motorcycles for around 10 years. I started with an '81 Goldwing, which I replaced with a 2011 Suzuki V-Strom 650 that I bought new. The Goldwing I had was a basket case and I sold it because I wanted to ride more than I wanted to repair, although it was the most comfortable couch on wheels I've ever had the pleasure of sitting on. Unfortunately, it didn't get many miles on it before it left for greener pastures in someone else's barn.

The V-Strom was a great bike for that time of my life. Not terribly expensive, very efficient, easy to ride, and farkles abounded. Although it had some limitations, I was able to fit it out to fill my needs. At this point in my life, the limitations of the V-Strom started to outweigh the reasons for keeping it, and I've recently let it go to an excited new owner.

I expect to purchase a new motorcycle in the winter or early spring, and a new Concours 14 is high on my list (among others). I've lusted after them for ages, but I'll admit that I'm a little concerned that some of the shortcomings of the V-Strom may be present in the C14 too. I'm hoping that some of you with similar situations may be able to either put my mind at ease or confirm that the C14 isn't for me.

My riding type is that I rarely commute to work. I'm more of a weekend destination rider, frequently with small groups of friends. I can be on the beach in just under two hours from my home, and that's the normal riding that I get into. 2-4 hours riding in a day, but rarely longer than that. I'd like to be able to ride farther, but the comfort of the V-Strom limited how far I could go.

1) I'm 6'2" and no small fellow. I was able to flat-foot the V-Strom, which is an insanely tall bike. That also means that my legs tend to get cramped up and every year that passes means that the knees don't take kindly to feeling like I'm squatting. There were no really good highway peg options on the V-Strom. They existed and I tried several, but they are all half-measures at best. What's the legroom situation like on the C14?

2) I sustained a serious back injury about a decade ago and it's a chronic thing that, although tolerable most days, is ever-present and will progressively get worse with age. I cannot tolerate being bent forward like on a typical sport bike. The V-Strom has a pretty upright riding position that seemed to work for me. Combined with a custom seat and backrest, I could easily do 2 hours at a time (riding alone) and the only limiting factor was how long my legs were willing to stay crunched. Do any of you larger fellas feel bent over and scrunched up on the C14?

3) My wife likes to ride with me, but could not ride long on the back of my V-Strom. The rear passenger seat was pretty small and pushed us both forward. 2-up riding was limited to an hour or less, and was quite uncomfortable after 45 minutes or so. What's the passenger situation on the C14? I expect that I will have a seat custom built with backrests for any new bike I buy, but I'm wondering it we're talking about the same amount of passenger room on a ZX-14 or more like a Goldwing back there?

4) I know this sounds silly, but I have radio envy. There were no good solutions to install a radio in the V-Strom and I'm not going to put one inside my helmet. Some of the other options I'm looking at are great audio platforms and the type of riding I do is not as enjoyable with only wind noise (to me, at least). Are there any viable audio solutions on the C14?

Offline Kreton'sLC

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Re: Bike-Curious and Considering C14
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2019, 04:10:59 pm »
Hi Wheels Up, and welcome!

If you go here - - you can compare the C14's ergos with your V-Strom's based on your height and inseam.  Interestingly, they don't list the 2011 model, but according to the V-Strom 650 wiki, it's considered first generation so use the ergos for the 2010 and earlier models.  Just also note that for some reason they don't have C14 data on models later than 2011, but I'm pretty certain they haven't changed since then, and if so, someone here will no doubt correct me.  You will lean forward a bit on a C14.  Great resource to compare multiple bike ergos side by side.

I find the stock seat quite comfortable, and ride 500-600 mile days in succession on it with no problems or next day soreness whatsoever, but I'm not a real big guy (6'/175 lbs.).  I ride solo, so can't speak to pillion comfort.

I believe a few here have added audio systems, but from what little I've seen about the topic here suggested that most find it more trouble than it's worth to install one.  But again I could be wrong as I've only been on here 6 months or so.  One interesting thing I've noticed from my own research though is that the sport tourers that do have audio systems, like some BMWs and the recently discontinued Triumph Trophy SE, seem to also have upright ergos similar to your V-Strom.
2012 C14

Offline Ronnie

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Re: Bike-Curious and Considering C14
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2019, 04:30:19 pm »
I'm 5'8 ish and 180 lbs.  I installed AST pullback risers which set me up completely with very little if any forward lean.  My knees start getting cramped after about 4 or 5 hours of riding if I don't stop and stretch them a lot.  They do make peg lowering brackets and also highway pegs for the connie, but my knees have never bothered me enough to worry about it(but I'm also shorter than you).  I commute to work on mine as well as trips to the store.  It's pretty much my daily driver.  My wife will regularly ride with me on 2-3 hr trips without issue and has also done longer 5+ hr trips but she said it's not super comfortable after the first few hours.  I do have a passenger backrest as well as lowering brackets for her foot pegs(that was her only complain at first was not enough leg room).  As far as a radio goes, I prefer my music in my helmet so I'm not much help on that one.  I have seen a couple of Connie's with stereos when I was at Daytona so I know it can be done.

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Offline sparkydany

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Re: Bike-Curious and Considering C14
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2019, 10:45:15 pm »
Hi Wheels up,
Reading your comments / needs, considering the C14 weight is over 700 lbs, your height and  your driving is often in the 2 - 4 hrs range, I would suggest you a Taller / lighter bike as a KTM or a multistrada type of bikes. Those twins would probably be closer (handling wise) from the Vstrom you had but with engines as powerful as the C14. Better compromise I guess.

I do a lot of commuting often in traffic and the weight is an issue. Hope this is helping.

Offline Wheels Up

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Re: Bike-Curious and Considering C14
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2019, 12:06:08 am »
Thank you, guys. I appreciate the real answers with minimal bias.

I have to admit that I’ve not considered another adventure type bike, but may give them a second look.

Offline Dirtwiz

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Re: Bike-Curious and Considering C14
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2019, 12:13:25 am »
Wheels Up....I'm 6'2" and about 210 lbs. with gear on. I have an oversize wind screen, Baldwin seat, rider peg lowering kit, and bar risers and I have done back to back 650 mile days on my 2011 C14 easily. If you compare a well set up C14 to an adventure bike I don't think there is any way you can ride this many miles on a Multistrada or VStrom (both good bikes). I ride 15K miles per year and do it painlessly and with very little maintenance. I think the wind protection and a great seat is the key to rider fatigue on the C14.
In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice, they aren't. Without data you are just another guy with an opinion.

Offline KnoxSwift

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Re: Bike-Curious and Considering C14
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2019, 01:06:38 am »
I own a C14 and Honda Africa twin.

I would recommend either for weekender though the C14 would be better for 2up. The Honda probably would be better 2up with a seat change and depending on size of riders.

I too have back problems and when I have flare up I leave the C14 at home. It's a heavy bike to move around and not when moving I mean when parking which is what bothered my back.

I commute daily by motorcycle and find I choose the Honda more because it is really nimble slow speed and I am in CA so much easier to split lanes with. It's very easy to do a 800mile 12+ hour day on the Africa Twin.

But all said I would never give up the C14. It's an extremely fun motorcycle to ride with endless amounts of power. I have done 1000 mile Iron Butt rides with it and continue to do long weekends and even grocery shop with it because of the large storage. I do commute on it as well just not as much as the Honda. When the mountains call or the twisties call I always take the C14 first.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 01:15:43 am by KnoxSwift »

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Bike-Curious and Considering C14
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2019, 01:49:01 pm »
Wheels Up, I'm not sure exactly where your located (?) but the the Southeast Area has 2 rides planned soon.
    Beat the Summer heat / North Carolina {this month) and Run With the Wolf / Georgia (next month)
I suggest you go to one of them and look the Connies over.
You'll be able to see the mods members have done and {with their permission} be able to set on bikes to see what you like.

NOTE: You don't have to own a bike to be there.
           You'll enjoy the COGgers you meet by just talking with them..
           If interested, we can help you figure out Rally details...

On your radio envy I suggest a helmet system and Bluetooth the music you want from your phone..
   The helmet system will allow you to talk with your wife without yelling. {makes the ride more enjoyable for her}
   You can pre record whatever music you want to hear.
On the backrest. I suggest a trunk instead of a backrest.
   Gives her support and allows more room for stashing things.
On the seat. One can be custom built for your wants.
   Lots of options and you can have a seat built to decrease leg bend and increase comfort.
   Passenger area can be modded to offer more comfort too.
Handle bars/foot pegs/windshield... Lots of options..
Power; Nothing you mentioned comes close to the power you will get from a C-14.
            and if you want more power, easily available...   :great:

lastly; Many bike's/parts are posted on this Forum. You might find exactly what you want at a decent price..

Ride safe, Ted
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 02:08:21 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline wayne-o

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Re: Bike-Curious and Considering C14
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2019, 02:31:45 pm »
Im 5'9" 150 lbs and owned a V-Strom and its the only bike I have ever owned that I didnt love. I came to almost hate it and sold it in a season. The Concours14 has enough legroom for me ( cant stretch out to passenger pegs) but nowhere near the V-Strom.
     The Connie has some other faults that shouldnt bother you too much but nowhere near the space your used to.
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