Call it collateral damage. While Kawasaki has been busy wooing us with the H2R "track day bike" and the H2 streetbike, tempting us with two new Versys models, and dropping a low-cost Vulcan S onto the scene, it's possible that updates to the long-running Concours14 sport-tourer might get lost in the noise.
And while the updates for 2015 aren’t earth-shattering, they represent some important improvements. Largely unchanged, the powerful 1,352cc inline-four (with variable valve timing on the intakes) now gets a shorter first-gear ratio. An new exhaust heat shield further reduces hot-weather discomfort; remember that Kawasaki made a series of big changes for the 2010 model that made the Connie much less the ass-fryer than it had been before.
Handling improvements start with a low-friction steering-stem seal set to lighten low-speed steering. The remotely adjustable single rear shock now has “stiffer settings” for better handling and additional carrying capacity. (Is Kawasaki calling us fat?) Finally, and probably the change we are most happy to see: The Connie’s linked, ABS-aided brakes now have a revised crossover scheme to reduce the linked effect. You might recall that the bike’s inconsistent linking onset has been one of our big complaints. New master cylinders are also part of the upgrade.
Ergonomic updates include a new seat with a narrower front section and a three-position vent in the center of the larger electrically adjustable windscreen.
MSRP is $15,499, which is actually $500 less than the 2014 model’s. And let’s not forget that the Connie is fully featured, with standard ABS and TC, heated grips, hard saddlebags, TMPS (tire pressure monitoring), shaft drive, and keyless ignition.