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Topic: Concours 14 Vs. Multistrada S Touring Edition - opinions ?  (Read 20331 times)

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« on: March 19, 2012, 12:41:17 PM »

Hi, I posted this over on the Ducati forum looking for feedback but I know there are a lot of guys on here and some C14 owners that might be able to help. I'd appreciate any feedback anyone may have.

I'm a long time sport bike rider and WERA expert road racer who is burned out on sport bikes. I currently have one of my bikes, an 09 CBR 1000RR up for sale as sport riding on the street has just become a bit bland for me after spending years on the race track. I dream of doing more commuting, with lockable luggage so I can lock up my laptop bag when I go to the gym, carry stuff etc.. I can't stand wearing backpacks when I take a bike to work and sport bikes have just become to uncomfortable to ride at a casual pace. I also dream of doing weekend or even week trips, with nothing but a couple panniers worth of clothes and supplies leaving my leathers at home in favor my my Aerostich suit. I think I would really like a sport touring type of machine, something that I can ride on all day in comfort, and still handles well enough for me to enjoy the back roads at a spirited pace (sane, not knee dragging).

So I've narrowed it down to these two bikes. The 1200 S Touring or the Concours 14. Both really have their appeals and it's been difficult for me to lean one way or the other. The Duc, light, nimble, good urban utility type machine, great power, super handling, etc.. Less wind and weather protection though, a bit taller, and expensive. I had considered a 1200 GS for this "utility" type reasoning, but I've scratched it off my list.

The C14 is allegedly a wonderful sport tourer, but I am concerned a little about its weight. All of the reviews say this is not really an issue unless you are on really tight roads at a fast pace. All of the mag reviews I've read between the two bikes seem to favor the Kawi. It has a shaft drive, looks good, nice luggage, fast and should be very comfortable.

But the Duc is so sexy, the suspension and electronics are very appealing to me. It seems to be the perfect fit on paper for me if it's as good as it sounds and offers adequate wind protection.

I used to have a VFR 800, that was a nice bike, but I'm looking for something more comfortable than that was for me. I actually feel more comfortable on a 600RR than I did the VFR. Being 5'9", the reach forward for the bars seemed to leave me feeling stretched out on long rides. I've also owned a Vstrom 650. Hated that bike. It was not comfortable for me either, and did not handle well.

I do plan on riding in cool weather, and rain, so that's a factor.

I have not been able to ride either bike. I'm hoping someone on this site that has experience with both might be able to provide some helpful information.

Thanks,
Eric
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 12:45:51 PM »

Sounds like the only way you'll be able to tell is ride them back to back.  

Have you taken into account maintenance, reliability, and warranty?
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2012, 01:00:39 PM »


Sounds like the only way you'll be able to tell is ride them back to back.  

Have you taken into account maintenance, reliability, and warranty?


I don't have the ability to test ride a C14 around here. No one does demo's on them. I'm a fairly competent mechanic and do all of my own maintenance. I would say the edge here would go to the C14, but the Duc is a solid bike as well and I wouldn't question the reliability of either one.
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2012, 01:18:21 PM »

Well, what do you want, a Mustang 5.o or a Cadillac CTS ?
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2012, 01:29:03 PM »

I had to make the exact same decision you are looking at and finally chose the C-14.  My reasons were dealer support during warranty period (Nearest Ducati dealer is 1.5 hours away) and ease of regular maintenance.  I am a very experienced mechanic but the fact is, there are many things that can go wrong with a modern car or bike that the best home mechanic either doesn't have the factory training or special tools to handle.  You will not be able to diagnose or repair some problems with traction control, ABS, injection/ignition malfunction, etc. on either bike. Adjusting valves on a 4 valve Ducati is much more difficult than on the C-14 (though the C-14 ain't no picnic).  So, for me it came down to which bike would I rather be broke down on in the middle of West Virginia or northern Georgia.  The Kawasaki won.  That said, don't believe those who say weight isn't an issue,  the laws of physics don't change 'cause of some magical design that Kawasaki came up with.  With the right tires and suspension setup the C-14 is an OK handling bike, but 680 pounds is 680 pounds and it will NOT change direction as quickly as the 505 pound Ducati.  On tight twistys the Ducati will eat the Kawasaki alive!

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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 01:33:40 PM »

While my choice would be the Ducati, Motorcycle Consumer News picked the BMW K1600GT over the Concourse 14 recently.  Have you considered that one?
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 01:52:23 PM »


I had to make the exact same decision you are looking at and finally chose the C-14.  My reasons were dealer support during warranty period (Nearest Ducati dealer is 1.5 hours away) and ease of regular maintenance.  I am a very experienced mechanic but the fact is, there are many things that can go wrong with a modern car or bike that the best home mechanic either doesn't have the factory training or special tools to handle.  You will not be able to diagnose or repair some problems with traction control, ABS, injection/ignition malfunction, etc. on either bike. Adjusting valves on a 4 valve Ducati is much more difficult than on the C-14 (though the C-14 ain't no picnic).  So, for me it came down to which bike would I rather be broke down on in the middle of West Virginia or northern Georgia.  The Kawasaki won.  That said, don't believe those who say weight isn't an issue,  the laws of physics don't change 'cause of some magical design that Kawasaki came up with.  With the right tires and suspension setup the C-14 is an OK handling bike, but 680 pounds is 680 pounds and it will NOT change direction as quickly as the 505 pound Ducati.  On tight twistys the Ducati will eat the Kawasaki alive!

Bruce


Very good points. Sounds like a very unbiased reply too. Did you have a chance to ride the Duc ? I know the C14 isn't going to handle like a race bike, nor do I expect it too. But if it's easy to ride and handles well on a good twisty road I think it would be acceptable to me. I've slowed way down on the street in recent years and dragging a knee on NC28 doesn't interest me. That being said, a good curvy road will suck me in a little and I'd still like to tip the bike in and ride it!


While my choice would be the Ducati, Motorcycle Consumer News picked the BMW K1600GT over the Concourse 14 recently.  Have you considered that one?


The BMW is way out of my price range. The Duc is stretching it, but I'd be willing to part with the extra cash on the Ducati if it's the right bike for me.
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 02:19:17 PM »

Did you consider the new Moto Guzzi Norge 8V?
Some of the people at Motorcycle.com preferred it to the K16 BMW...

Shaft drive, ABS, hard luggage, Italian V-twin...

http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/2011-moto-guzzi-norge-1200-gt-8v-review-91115.html

The price is between the C14 and MS1200
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2012, 02:20:23 PM »

Why limit yourself to those 2 bikes.  As an ex-expert WERA road racer, why whouldn't you aim for something that is still "a little bit sporty" but also light, so you're not so far removed from the race bike?  It's nice to "get it on" when you want.

I commute daily on a Kawasaki Ninja 1000 these days.  Got the hard cases for it.  Had it on a 4000 mile trip back in Novemeber.  I went through rain and snow on the north side of the grand canyon and even did 40 miles of off-roading in Death Valley.  Did plenty of canyon carving in SoCal and lots of highway miles, including a 1480 mile butt burner straight back to Houston.  Great power, light and agile for a sport tourer where the emphasis is on sport.  But I'm also a solo rider.  Never had a passenger on it nor intend to so I can't comment on that ability.  Wind protection is less than desirable but I like nakeds anyway so I'm not bothered by it.  Sure beats helmet buffeting.

There's also the Triumph Sprint ST to look at.  Pretty light too, suspension not as good as the Ninja 1k but all day comfy so I've read.  That triple is a nice engine too.

You've really went to both extremes for your title.  Lightweight duck and a 180 lb heavier Connie, which IMO is a fantastic touring rig.  But it is just that...a big tourer.  My choice over a gold wing which is way too much much bike and more like a car.  Not ridden the Duc.  Too much techno crap I'm not interested in using and I'm done with dirt bikes now, so the riding poition is out. But the ergos seemed wierd to me anyway when I sat on one.

Take a look at the Kawi and Trumpet.
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2012, 02:25:24 PM »

I have ridden the Ducati and liked it very much, as I said, it was a hard choice to make.  It sounds like we come from similar riding background so I think I can say you will only be disappointed with the C-14 on the very tightest of roads.  Even when its weight is a factor it's still a very predictable bike, just heavy.  I live in the mountains and all my riding is mountain roads, the only time I have a hard time with the bike is those rare times when you need to make a rapid mid-corner correction,  we have a lot of logging trucks that like to use the whole road and sometimes you gotta' change your mind when you're already committed to a line, here is where lighter is DEFINATELY better!  But that aside I really do like the Kawasaki and the reality is in 40+ years of riding I've never found the perfact bike but also never owned a bike I absolutely hated, they all have their good and bad.  and really for me the bottom line was dealer support for the few times I can't, or don't want to fix it myself.

Bruce
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2012, 02:46:47 PM »

X1Glider,
I still race WERA, so I can still get my fix on the track when needed. I'm doing 3 endurance rounds this year.
I have considered the Ninja 1000. I would still like to sit on one and check it out, but it's not on the short list primarily because I'd like more wind protection, and I think the Ego's will still be more aggressive than I want right now. The Ninja probably would commute well, but I think the long trips might not be the best idea. I'm also trying to get my wife to consider riding two up, wouldn't be the best bike for that on a 2000 mile trip. I'm ready to try a more relaxed riding style and I'd venture to say that I would lean more towards a touring setup than a sport setup all else being equal. The Duc caught my attention though due to reviews talking about how comfortable and how well of a tourer it makes. It's almost like you could live with one bike that did it all, that one would do it.

I've also considered the ST, but I don't care for the looks of it and I'm not particularly fond of the Triumphs in general.

Keep in mind that I do still have a 600RR in my garage that's perfect for a Sunday sport ride. It's technically my wife's bike, but she never rides it. She considered selling it but I've decided to keep it until I sort all through this and make sure I'm done riding sport on the street.

Bruce,
Your input is right on. I just have to decide how much I can live with the weight difference. I probably should just get the heavier bike and I won't be tempted as much on those occasions. Then there is the money. It's nearly a $5000 difference based on my research.

Dealers are closed here on Mondays. I've been meaning to get out and sit on both bikes and at least see how they feel between the legs. I may do that in the next couple of days and figure out that I don't like the ego's on one or the other.

I really appreciate all the feedback. This is a very nice forum.
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2012, 02:56:43 PM »

The other issue with finding a C14 to test ride is a new dealer model would have the shitty stock tires and still have the flies.  Once you change the tires and pull the flies it's a different bike.
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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2012, 03:08:53 PM »

Cablebandit,  You are absolutely right about the stock Bridgestones, CRAP.  I've tried several brands on my C-14, Pirelli Angles (OK, but not great) Michelin Pilot Road II's (sidewall not stiff enough, not good on a heavy bike) Continental Road Attack (Great Tire on this bike) Metzeler Z-8's (best tire I've found for this bike).  
About the Flies (Secondary Throttle Plates) On 2010 and later C-14's they don't make that much difference, Kawasaki has changed the mapping so removing the flies really doesn't have as much effect on low end as it does on the pre 2010's.  
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2012, 03:13:22 PM »

Curious...they did on mine.   Bigsmile
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2012, 03:29:44 PM »

If I could find someone that would let me ride one that would be great. You can trust me  Lol Seriously though, I would bring a CBR and we could trade. I've never "knock on wood" crashed on the street in years of riding. The track is another story  Wink

I know the OEM tires usually handle like crud. I've got a nomar tire changer and will remedy that quick on whichever one I get.

Has anyone tried to run a 190/55 on the Connie ? I'm assuming it's a 6" rim, We run 190/55's on 1000's all the time. They come with 190/50's but turn in noticeably better with a 190/55.
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2012, 03:32:44 PM »

Yup, I've (along with many others here) gone through several 190/55's and have no intentions of ever going back to the 50 series.
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« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2012, 03:49:59 PM »

that's good to hear. The 190/55 will make a noticeable difference I'm sure.

Also, I'm in the Louisville, KY area if there are any members that would let me check theirs out.
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« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2012, 08:46:04 PM »

...It seems to be the perfect fit on paper for me if it's as good as it sounds and offers adequate wind protection.

The wind protection on the Duc is adequate, but nowhere near the cosetting C14.
The Multi is notorious for windscreen buffetting, but there are options...
Cool weather is no problem with the Multi, as it has two ports for heated gear, and grips.
Only you can answer the better of chain vs. shaft, but the Multi's chain is easily serviced, and significantly lighter.
Which is pretty much the point.
The C14 is a cross country misssle, in the same league as the FJR.
The Multi is a Motorcycle...
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« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2012, 08:51:17 PM »

I was thinking the Ducati all the way for you until you mentioned your wife might ride with you.

You want the C-14. She'll love it.
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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2012, 09:16:54 PM »

I don't have any experience with the Duc, but have ridden the ST1300 and FJR extensively, and took a C14 for a test ride before purchasing an '08 FJR.  Really if you want a big sport tourer with good wind and weather protection you can't lose with any of these.  My experience is that the ST1300 is the most refined but the least sporty with the best weather protection and is the most comfortable, the FJR is the middle of the road for both, and the C14 is the most sporty. So, I would choose the C14 for a spirited two hour ride, the FJR for all day, and the ST1300 for iron butt.

If you are considering used, there are many more FJR's than the other two.

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