Long-Term Test Update: 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14

The accidental long-termer.

Photography By Kinney Jones

2008 Kawasaki Concours 14 - Long-Term Test Update

Never assume anything, right? So it was with our Kawasaki Concours 14, Cycle World's Best Sport-Tourer of 2008. Kawasaki assumed that we'd want to keep the saddlebag-shod steamroller around for a while, so didn't ask when the bike wasn't returned after our road test. Staffers were happy to have such a useful and rapid conveyance in the garage, so proceeded to use it at will.

Dudek has to jet the 300 miles out to Death Valley for a dirtbike press intro? Take the Concours; be there in under four hours, bags stuffed and boots strapped to the back seat. Canet and wife Erin in need of a kids-free weekender to the Anza-Borrego desert? Take the Concours; can't get closer than two-up and hangin' on tight. Paul Dean and girlfriend Ro looking for something sporty for their annual backroad blast to the Laguna Seca MotoGP? Take the Concours; embarrass solo Gixxers along the way.

Problem was, while everyone assumed the Conc was part of CW's long-term fleet, no one actually made the assignment!That's been addressed and the 14 is now officially on the rolls. So far we've accumulated almost 7000 trouble-free miles. Oh, the rear tire ingested a screw on the way back from Laguna, pilot tipped off by the bike's automatic air-pressure sensors. The tire was plugged en route, then soon after replaced. With all that riding, it was getting a bit threadbare, anyway.

Total miles:|6947
Next service:|7500 miles
Maintenance costs (including tires):|$413
Repair costs:|$72
Average fuel mileage:|37 mpg
List price (2008):|$13,799