2012 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS Review
The Touring Rig with a Sport Heart
Expertly mixing high performance and long-distance functionality, the Concours™ 14 ABS inspires riders to pull out their big maps and harness the full capabilities of this sport touring motorcycle. Continuing the 26-year tradition of sport touring, the Concours offers just the right ratio of technology, comfort and reliability that coax riders to soak up the miles.
This sport-oriented tourer can go the distance with the best world-class touring rigs yet still negotiate the twists and turns of America’s backroads in fine, Ninja-inspired tradition. Through canyons, over highways and even through the cities, the Concours is a category-defining motorcycle.
The Concours 14 boasts several features that enhance comfort, convenience and safety, solidifying its position atop the sport touring heap. Dynamic bodywork increases comfort by routing heat away from the rider and passenger. A tall, electrically adjustable windscreen creates a calm cockpit experience with help from ducts above the instrument panel, which balances pressure areas outside and inside the screen. Handgrip heaters come standard, providing comfort when the temperatures drop to disagreeably cold temperatures.
The Concours is packed with technological features that enhance the riding experience. The bike’s K-ACT (Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology) braking system offers two modes of linked, anti-lock braking and great overall performance. A high-tech traction control system (KTRC: Kawasaki Traction Control) not only reduces wheelspin on slick surfaces, offering riders more confidence-inspiring feedback, but it can be easily switched off at the rider’s discretion.
The heart of the Concours sport-touring package is an amazing and thoroughly modern 1,352cc DOHC inline-four sourced from the legendary ZX™-14 sportbike. The Concours 14 engine generates excellent low- and mid-range power, all followed by a top-end rush that would turn most open-class sportbikes green with envy. A big part of its tremendously wide power delivery is due to its variable valve timing (VVT) system, which automatically alters camshaft profiles according to rpm to boost low-end and mid-range power without sacrificing top end. Advanced fuel injection, ram-air induction and decades of experience building the world’s most potent motorcycle engines add up to a simply amazing powerplant, one that makes the Concours 14 ABS a force to be reckoned with in the performance sport-touring segment – just as the original Concours was 26 years ago.
The Concours 14’s chassis is very much up to the challenge of controlling this prodigious powerplant. Its unique monocoque frame provides massive stiffness along with excellent handling characteristics and a high degree of rider feedback. Cradling the engine from the top, the frame’s compact structure keeps the bike narrow where it needs to be and allows optimum packaging of the bike’s vital systems. The Tetra-Lever shaft drive, which routes all that power to the rear wheel, uses a four-link design to offset the lifting and squatting tendencies of lesser shaft drive systems when the throttle is opened and closed, all of which results in true sportbike handling. Plus, the Tetra-Lever system is almost completely maintenance free. No mystery, then, why the Concours 14’s powertrain has earned critical acclaim around the world for its silky smooth power delivery.
That amazingly solid foundation is augmented by a carefully sculpted and highly comfortable saddle and all the creature comforts you’d expect from a top-shelf sport-tourer, including a pair of beautifully integrated, capacious and waterproof saddlebags. Concours 14 ABS: A high-speed touring ship with unquestionable supersport DNA. It’s got everything you need to go far – and have tons of fun doing it.
1Prices shown are not final and do not include sales tax, finance charges, vehicle registration fees, or any other fees required by law. Prices may be subject to changing incentives. If applicable, incentives may require a trade-in, financing, or other specific qualifications and restrictions. Reasonable efforts are made to keep information on this website accurate, but Dealer and/or its affiliates do not assume responsibility for omissions or for misprints or other errors displayed on this website. EPA mileage estimates are for newly manufactured vehicles only, so actual mileage will depend on how the vehicle is driven and maintained.