Kawasaki Concours 14 Suspension Specifications

Kawasaki Concours 14’s front suspension has a 43 mm inverted telescopic fork.

The suspension system offers 4.4 inches of travel with adjustable rebound damping and spring preload.

The ZG1400’s rear suspension has a Bottom-Link Uni-Trak system with a gas-charged shock and Tetra-Lever provides a substantial 5.4 inches of travel.

Concours 14’s Tetra-Lever rear suspension-drive system is similar to BMW’s Paralever and Moto Guzzi’s CARC systems, Tetra-Lever is engineered to address the inherent challenges faced by shaft-driven motorcycles with powerful engines.

Tetra-Lever manages conflicting forces between drive and suspension, often referred to as the shaft effect.

The Tetra-Lever suspension-drive system eliminates the jacking phenomenon, commonly seen in powerful shaft-driven bikes.

Adjusting the Front and Rear Preload

When setting up the suspension, you should adjust the following in this order: Rear preload, Front preload, Front damping, Rear damping.

The ZG1400 doesn’t allow for separate damping of compression and rebound. 

Front Preload

  1. Stationary Static/Rider Sag Method (Not Recommended):
    • Measure unloaded, normal, and loaded distances.
    • Calculate static sag and rider sag.
    • Adjust by turning the screws on top of the forks.
    • Recheck static sag.
  2. Real World Method (Recommended):
    • Use cable ties on the forks for a road test.
    • Adjust preload based on the ties’ distance from the bottom of the fork tube.
    • Record the final setting for consistent adjustments.

Rear Preload

  1. Put the bike on the center stand and measure unloaded, normal, and loaded distances.
  2. Calculate static sag and rider sag.
  3. Adjust the rear preload using the black knob near the passenger peg.
  4. Recheck static sag, compromising if needed.
  5. Record the final preload setting.

Adjusting Front and Rear Damping

Damping involves personal preference and safety considerations.

Compression controls front wheel compression during braking, and rebound controls the rate at which the bike “sits up” after compression.

Front Damping

  1. Simplistic Method (Not Recommended):
    • Observe yoke movement after releasing pressure.
    • Adjust rebound based on the time taken to return.
    • Record the final front damping setting.
  2. Real World Method:
    • Set up the bike for cornering on sweeping back roads.
    • Adjust damping based on handling and comfort during turns.
    • Record the final front damping setting.

Rear Damping

  1. Stand the bike on level ground and press hard on the nearest foot peg.
  2. Adjust the screw at the bottom of the rear shock.
  3. Ensure equal front and back compression.
  4. Record the final rear damping setting.

Impact on Handling, Comfort, and Stability

Experiment with adjustments to find the right balance that suits your riding style, road conditions, and personal preferences.

Proper adjustments enhance cornering, braking, and overall stability.

kawasaki Concours 14 suspension specifications

Front Shock, Rear Shock Spring Preload, and Rebound Damping Settings

The spring preload adjustment is conveniently located at the top of each front fork leg, marked by the Spring Preload Adjuster (A).

To increase the suspension’s stiffness, simply turn the adjuster clockwise, increasing the spring preload.

Conversely, for a softer suspension, turning the adjuster counterclockwise decreases the spring preload.

Note: Don’t turn the adjuster beyond its fully seated position to prevent damage to the adjustment mechanism.

Kawasaki Concours 14/ZG1400 Suspension Setup
Front ForksSpring Preload (From all the way out)Rebound Damping(Clicks from all the way in – 15 in total)
Standard (150 lbs)
(Soft and Loose)
15 mm6 Clicks
Deals Gap Setup (17mm sag)
(Much better control)
11 mm2 Clicks
Mike Brown’s Settings
(Stable but harsh)
11 mm1 Click
Richmond Superbike Setup (25mm sag)
(Looser but ok)
16 mm4 Clicks
Dog days tune
(A little tighter)
16 mm2 Clicks
Custom 1
(Quite hard and sensitive to steering input, 59 mm of sag measured after riding on tirewrap)
16 mm0 Click
Custom 2
(Soft, Less Control and not sensitive to steering input)
16 mm10 Clicks
Recommended by ‘Motorcycle You’14 mm5 Clicks
Two Up Tune
(Near-Perfect Suspension Setup)
14 mm3 Clicks

The Adjusting Range for the front fork’s spring preload is a standard 14 mm (0.55 in.).

The Spring Preload Adjustment is found on the left passenger footpeg bracket, this adjuster allows the rider to fine-tune the rear suspension.

Clockwise turns increase the spring preload, enhancing the bike’s stability, while counterclockwise turns decrease the preload for a smoother ride.

The rear shock absorber also incorporates a Rebound Damping Force Adjustment, located at its lower end.

This adjustment provides control over the damping force for optimal handling. Clockwise turns with a flat-tip screwdriver increase the damping force, ideal for spirited riding or carrying heavy loads.

Conversely, counterclockwise turns decrease damping force, suitable for a more relaxed ride. As with the other adjustments, it’s imperative not to surpass the fully seated position to avoid potential damage.

Rear ShockSpring Preload (From all the way out)Rear Rebound Damping (From all the way in)
Standard (150 Lbs)
(Soft and Loose)
12 Clicks in1 1/4 turns out
Deals Gap Setup (22 mm sag)
(Better Control)
20 Clicks in1 turn out
Mike Brown’s Settings
(Quite stable but harsh)
28 Clicks in1 turn out
Richmond Superbike Setup (25mm sag)
(Looser but not bad)
18 Clicks in1 turn out
Dog Days Tune
(Better Control)
20 Clicks in1 turn out
Recommended by ‘Motorcycle You’20 Clicks in1 1/4 turn out
Two up tune 1
(Pretty good but a little soft)
24 Clicks in1 1/4 turn out
Two up tune 2
(Great Setup)
28 Clicks in 1 1/4 turn out

Kawasaki Concours 14 Suspension Problems

Concours 14 lacks contemporary features, such as electronically adjustable suspension and automatic stability control.

The stock suspension is configured for “sport riding,” leading to issues such as nose-diving and bottoming out on uneven surfaces.

The motorcycle weighs 690 pounds, so proper suspension adjustment is crucial.

Kawasaki Concours 14 Suspension Upgrade

ZX-14 shocks: These can be upgraded or the internals of the fork can be fitted to the Concours tubes.

Teknikmotorsport suspension upgrades: These include a 14 ID 40 OD shock bore.

How to Lower Kawasaki Concours 14?

Lowering links: These adjustable links can lower the rear of the motorcycle by up to 4 inches. 

This is useful for riders who want to touch the ground more easily at intersections and on slopes.

Kawasaki Concours 14 Suspension Maintenance Tips

Regularly inspect the front forks and rear shocks for any signs of oil leakage, damage, or unusual wear.

Set the bike on a stable surface, and with your weight on the seat, measure the sag – the amount the suspension compresses under the bike’s weight. This helps ensure the suspension is properly set for your riding style and weight.

Adjust the preload to optimize the suspension for your weight and riding conditions.

Preload adjustments can be made using the provided tools or a spanner wrench. Proper preload settings ensure the suspension works efficiently.

Rebound Adjustment

Fine-tune the compression and rebound settings based on your riding preferences.

Compression controls how the suspension compresses, while rebound dictates how quickly it returns to its extended state.

Finding the right balance enhances both comfort and control.

Tire Pressure Matters

Maintain recommended tire pressure as it directly affects the suspension’s performance.

Properly inflated tires ensure even weight distribution and contribute to a stable ride.

Lubrication

Keep an eye on the suspension pivot points and apply a suitable lubricant regularly.

Lubrication reduces friction, allowing the suspension components to move smoothly.

Two-Up Riding Adjustments

If riding with a passenger, consider adjusting the preload to accommodate the added weight.

This ensures a balanced and comfortable ride for both rider and passenger.

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