When the tour needs a bit more thrill a sport-tourer comes to the rescue, one such as the 2020 Kawasaki Concours 14. With its Ninja blood running deep—from the monocoque aluminum frame to the 1,352cc engine—the Concours will navigate through highway and city traffic and demonstrate its athletic capabilities on the canyon roads. The riding position is more relaxed and upright compared to its ZX-14R compadre. Kawasaki says the handlebars are four inches higher and further back than the sportbike. Rider aids include traction control and Kawasaki’s K-ACT ABS system (a linked brake system that distributes the ideal brake force to front and rear calipers during braking). Heated grips, locking storage, standard hard luggage, adjustable windscreen, and even small details like keyless ignition and a power outlet make this ride tour-ready.
Aside from putting a few Cycle World Ten Best awards into its trophy case (see 2008, 2009, and 2010 Best Sport-Tourer excerpts) for its smooth performance, versatility, and handling, it also received praise in a 2015 review for its excellent comfort, predictable braking, and its reasonable MSRP (which has only increased by $100 since 2015).
Look to the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, Ducati Multistrada 1260/1260 S, Yamaha Tracer 900 GT, and BMW K 1600 GT as competition in the sport-tourer realm.
No updates for 2020.