When Japanese automaker Kawasaki ended the two-decade production run of the Concours in 2006, some must have thought that it was end of the line for the sport-touring motorcycle. However, it was back in 2007 – resurrected as the Kawasaki Concours 14, or 1400GTR. Thus, the 2008 version represents its second model year.
The 2008 Kawasaki Concours is split into two models: the regular version, and a variant with an Anti-lock Braking System called the 14 ABS. The ABS is added to the disc brakes to prevent the wheels from locking up during braking. Thus the 14 ABS has a higher manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), at $13,799; the MSRP of the regular version is $12,899. Apart from the ABS and differing MSRPs, there are no differences between the models.
The numbers ""14"" or ""1400"" represent the engine displacement of the 2008 Kawasaki Concours. It is measured at 1,352 cubic centimeters (cc), which is rounded up to 1400 cc and surpasses the previous production cycle of Concours bikes by almost 400 cc. The engine itself is a four-stroke liquid-cooled horizontal in-line four-cylinder engine, which has a total of 16 intake valves and is fueled by a 40-millimeter (mm) carburetor. The engine has a bore and stroke of 3.31 x 2.4 inches (84 x 61 mm) and a compression ratio of 10.7 to 1.
The engine on each 2008 Kawasaki Concours is mated with a six-speed manual transmission. An electric starter is installed for convenient engine ignition. For fuel, the 2008 Concours has a 5.8-gallon (22-liter) gas tank.
For superior braking power, each 2008 Kawasaki Concours uses a 12.2-inch (310-mm) dual disc at the front and a 10.6-inch (270-mm) disc at the back. A suspension consisting of a 1.7-inch (43-mm) telescopic fork and a twin-sided aluminum swing arm with rear shock absorber promotes a smoother ride on the Concours bike.
The 2008 Kawasaki Concours was built with a solid steel frame and covered in sharp-edged plastic, with a seat big enough for two occupants. A spoiler on the bike adds to its aerodynamic design, and a windshield protects the driver from wind and flying debris. Standard digital instrumentation on the ‘06 Concours includes a clock, tachometer, trip odometer, speedometer, and temperature and fuel level warning gauges. Also included are side mirrors and a halogen headlight for enhanced visual perception; engine immobilizer for security; power outlet for charging a mobile phone; and storage space that includes two vinyl side cases flanking the bike, a glove box and an under-seat compartment.
Each 2008 Kawasaki Concours has a length of 89.4 inches (around 2,270.8 mm), width of 39.4 inches (1,000.8 mm), height of 55.3 inches (1,404.6 mm) and a wheelbase of 59.8 inches (1,518.9 mm). Its seat is set at a height of 32.1 inches (815.3 mm), and its dry weight is estimated at 606 lbs. (274.9 kilograms).
Those looking for a greater driving range on the Kawasaki Concours might not get it with the 2008 edition, since the older versions have larger gas tanks and less powerful engines. However, for increased performance – including greater stopping power, more controlled handling and more driving excitability – it""s a no-brainer to go with any of the entries of the 1400GTR production cycle, and that includes the 2008 Kawasaki Concours.