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Kawasaki Shelves Concours 14P Motorcycle

An electrical recall has imperiled the prospects of Kawasaki's reentry into the police motorcycle market.

August 14, 2012  |  by - Also by this author

Photo: Jose Ybarra
Photo: Jose Ybarra

Kawasaki Motors Corp. has suspended its Concours 14P police motorcycle program, after determining that dealer modifications were causing a blown main fuse, increasing the risk of a crash.

Kawasaki's decision deals a blow to the cycle's prospects for wider police adoption and curtails the return to the police motorcycle market of a company that produced the "CHiPS"-era KZ1000P.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a recall notice in April for Concours 14P motorcycles produced during the 2009-2012 model years. The recall affects 268 motorcycles that were equipped with police equipment by Idaho-based Kawasaki dealers Beaudry Motors and BMS Inc.

When contacted by POLICE Magazine, Kawasaki's Mark Hosbach said the bike is no longer being sent out to dealers for law enforcement sales.

"We're currently on hold through the end of the year for shipping any Concours for upfitment for law enforcement as a result of the NHTSA recall," said Hosbach, the senior manager for the Concours 14P project. "We do not sell a police bike and at this time Kawasaki endorses no upfitter for law enforcement."

Police equipment such as emergency lighting, radios, and other gear powered by a second battery were causing the cycle's 30-amp main fuse to blow in some cases, according to NHTSA documents. If the fuse blows, the engine may stall, and the vehicle could crash.

In April, Kawasaki sent letters to its law enforcement clients informing them to bring the motocycles to dealers for the fix.

One of the motorcycle's biggest customers, the California Highway Patrol, has taken its 65 Concours 14P enforcement cycles to dealers who have addressed the issue, agency spokeswoman Fran Clader told POLICE Magazine.

"None of our motocycles had experienced any issues," Clader said. "There were no problems detected ... The safety of our officers is our number one priority."

In August of 2010, C.H.P. fleet managers signed a purchase agreement with Beaudry to begin replacing its fleet of nearly 400 BMW motorcycles with Kawasaki Concours 14Ps. The agency is expected to go out to bid for a new motorcycle contract later this year, Clader said.

Other agencies who have purchased the bike include the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Nevada Highway Patrol, Idaho State Police, Mesa (Ariz.) Police Department, Austin (Texas) Police Department, Colorado Highway Patrol, Sanford (Fla.) Police Department, Boise (Idaho) Police Department, Seattle Police Department, and Portland Police Department.

The problem was first reported to Kawasaki by a law enforcement agency in November of 2011. On March 23, Kawasaki determined the equipment installed by Beaudry and BMS had caused the detect and decided to issue a recall, according to the NHTSA documents.

The motorcycle also will not be tested by the Michigan State Police's Precision Driving Unit at the annual testing of law enforcement vehicles in September, Sgt. Matt Rogers tells POLICE Magazine. When it was tested in 2010, the motorcycle edged the competition in acceleration, top speed and quickest braking.

Related:

Arizona Troopers Pick Kawasaki for Highway Patrol

CHP Adopts Kawasaki's Concours 14P Motorcycle

Kawasaki Edges BMW at Michigan State Police Motorcycle Test

Tags: Kawasaki, Product Recalls, Motorcycles, California Highway Patrol


Comments (20)

Displaying 1 - 20 of 20

Bob @ 8/14/2012 4:25 PM

After reading the article there are a few "clouded" issues. I have been associated with Kawasaki for many years from service to sales. CHP opening the door for new bids, is a result of Beaudry losing the contract with CHP for Non-Performance. The "re-bid" has nothing to do with "electrical issues". This loss of contract is reflected in Beaudry's filing a $7.7 million bankruptcy in Federal court. As a technician, I always had difficulty with the Concours having an alternater that produces 41 amps and immediatly flows it through a 30 amp fuse into the battery. It is the only Kawasaki set up this way. The solution to the problem is to eliminate the 30amp fuse. It serves no purpose.Tthe battery will handle the fluctuation in amperage better than a fuse and the Concours is the only motorcycle, I am aware of, set up this way. Kawasaki can blame it on the police equipment, but it is a Kawasaki design flaw. It is my understanding that their are 6 units out of nearly 300 that have failed fuses, 3 from the department not owning a battery charger so batteries were not being maintained, and three mystery failures. Our dealership has been involved in the sale of 9 police units, all preforming flawlessly.

Motor @ 8/14/2012 8:25 PM

It is a shame that KAWASAKI is stopping to produce its police motorcycle legend. Kawasaki should rethink that and get back into the market and succeed. The electrical fuse issue can be corrected for sure after careful research and reviews.

James @ 8/15/2012 11:55 AM

We need to get the get his facts straight here. Beaudry did not lose the CHP contract for non performance, it met all of it's obligations per the contract. The CHP contract was canceled because Kawasaki Motors Corporation could not deliver motorcycles to the CHP which happened months before there was ever a recall issued and this came from the California Department of General Services, so it was non performance on Kawasaki's part. You need to go right to the source to get the truth. Bob is correct in that this is completely a Kawasaki issue not a Beaudry issue, what big corporation wouldn’t blame it on the little guy. It is also the fault of these 2 or 3 Departments not installing their emergency equipment properly and taking the necessary battery management safe guards. These bikes have a better reliability track record than BMW, Honda and Harley just ask the CHP. I believe some of the bikes that were delivered as far back as 2009 have over 50,000 miles on them with no issues. Beaudry was Kawasaki's only Law Enforcement Dealer in the US and selling the only factory certified model of the Kawasaki Concours Police Motorcycle (this was a requirement in order to participate in the CHP contract) the bikes that were sent to the Michigan State Police and the LA County Sheriffs tests last year were not certified Kawasaki Concours Police Models either only the year before may be this is why they didn’t far as well in last years test. Can you imagine the financial stress Kawasaki has put on the Beaudry's business. We all can only guess what Kawasaki's real goal is here.

Concerned @ 8/15/2012 4:11 PM

What we were told by the NHTSA is that Kawasaki is not going to have any recall remedy repair because they have seen no failures of the Concours 14P Police Motorcycle that Beaudry manufactures for Kawasaki. What is really happing here? I guess there really wasn't a recall. Its obviously a bad design on Kawasaki's part, there is no way you can send 41 amps through a 30 amp fuse with out it blowing, shame on them for blaming someone else. The recall should of been issued on their consumer Concours, if it had been you can bet there would of been a fix already. I have had a Kawi 14P for 3 years now and have had no issues with it, all I do is put gas in it and change the oil, I don't even want to talk about the performance advantage, its the best Police bike I have ever ridden. My old BMW R1200RTP (cost $4500 more than the 14P) was in the shop 2 or 3 times a month for repairs and that was when I could actually get an appointment. I don't even want to tell you how many $1800.00 clutch jobs I had.

Bob @ 8/17/2012 2:35 PM

From reading James response, it is obviously he's involved with Beaudry's in some fashion. Kawasaki Motor Corp. the "factory" represented, transported and entered the Concours in both the Michigan State Police and LA Sheriffs Office tests, how could that not be "factory certified". I find it hard to believe that Kawasaki did not want to sell Concours motorcycles to the CHP. We had no difficulty ordering nine Concours from Kawasaki for the four police departments we delivered police bikes to.

CT LEO RET @ 8/22/2012 6:44 PM

My Harley-Davidson FLHPI never had this issue. Hint Hint, and I'll bet the beamers don't either. Hint Hint. I've owned Kawasaki's in the past, and it seems that Kawasaki never likes to own up to a design flaw. If you keep having the same failures with the motorcycle, maybe it's not the customers fault. They like to blame it on the customer's misuse or abuse, and not a manufacturers defect.

Trigger @ 8/23/2012 9:10 AM

Now that is some serious decision making in the business world. Let's cancel the police motorcycle line instead of fixing the problem. Sure must be nice to have the finances to just pack it in. Maybe BMW and Harley had kick some butt now that Kawasaki decided to back out.

James @ 8/23/2012 5:22 PM

Bob, you need to call DGS in Sacramento California (they control the CHP contract) and they can tell you first hand it was cancelled because of non performance by Kawasaki Motor Corporation.

Deputy Motor Escort @ 8/26/2012 9:34 AM

Anybody know where I can purchase a used Police Concours 14P?

Mike Reynolds @ 8/28/2012 10:49 PM

My father, Del Reynolds started on the Monterey Ca. Police Dept. in the early 30's as a motor cop riding a 4 cylinder Henderson. Lots of great stories. He was with them for 11 years. I am now looking at a 1989 KW 1000 p as a cruiser to complement my Yamaha R1 and in doing my research found my way to this site...Seems to me that Kawasaki might be taking the low road because the profit margin is just to low???

Western Escort @ 9/2/2012 2:33 PM

According to the article there have been about 280 of these bikes made from '09-'12. That's 70 a year. the old P1000 from '82-'04 had at least 400/yr. produced in the slowest years and over 1000/yr. in the busy years. Maybe the market doesn't support the model.

Curt @ 9/13/2012 6:03 PM

Kawi' likes to sell product, they're not stupid. I own a '09 C14 and have yet to find new ones sitting around any of the Oklahoma dealerships. Maybe they're just taking care of retail business? Keep in mind, many production/capacity issues still remain after the earthquake...

Bob2 @ 9/14/2012 7:03 PM

For some clarity: just because you put a 30 amp fuse inline with a 41-amp alternator, it's not "bad design".

Amperage isn't "pushed" through the fuse. If there's no demand for the amperage, it won't flow. Typically you want a fuse that will blow before you reach the design limit of the items drawing current, or before you reach the output limit of the system (the alternator).

Stating that "having a 30amp fuse on an alternator that can output 40amps is a flawed design" is incorrect. It's STANDARD design. Every car on the road today has an alternator that can output more current the the system can draw. The fuses are sized to blow before any device on the circuits draw more than they're designed to. That's all fuses are for. If the fuse is blowing, that just means someone did a bad job adding devices.

Here's a question: having an alternator that can input 41 amps into a 30 amp fuse is an issue, then why is having a battery, which can input ONE HUNDRED AMPS OR MORE through a 30amp fuse ok?

Realize that the primary circuit on ANY car today has the alternator and battery behind fusible links rated at 30 amps. Even though the battery can output 250+amps (the start circuit is the only non-protected circuit, so the battery can deliver full amperage to the ground and start cables)

james @ 9/17/2012 1:35 PM

The battery is charged through the 30 amp main fuse. I understand what you are saying Bob2 which makes perfect sense as long as the 30 main fuse wasn't between the alternator and the battery which is the case on the Concours 14

Tom @ 10/25/2012 5:28 PM

I've been reading various posts about the C14 police bike and the main 30 amp fuse. The solution is simple. The second battery is being charged off the the main battery, wired in parallel. That's fine. However, when the second battery, to which the emergency accessories are connected is drawn down while the bike is turned off, the current draw to that battery exceeds the 30 amp rating once the machine is started and it begins trying to charge that battery. The battery itself may not be terribly low, but low enough to demand more current that BOTH the normal current draw of the bike AND the axillary battery demand.. and thus, the fuse blows. The solution is to install a current regulating circuit so at no time can the second battery draw more than XX amount of current. I'd have to run the numbers, but offhand, I'd wager that a device that restricts the CURRENT draw to battery #2 to no more than 12 amps would probably work. The battery would still charger, but over a longer period of time. There would not be that surge at first on the charging system to supply an aggregate current draw of +30 amps to the bike and battery #2, thus burning the fuse. There are commercially available devices for this or one could be simply engineered. It's pretty simple electronics and I'm not even an EE...

NotImpressed @ 11/13/2012 3:42 PM

@Concerned - If you've had any $1800 clutch jobs on a BMW R1200RT-P then you need to work on your riding technique. If you are operating the BMW properly, there is no reason for you to be burning the clutch out. The motorcycle is more than capable of handling any LE cone courses without use of the rear brake. I've been riding BMW's since 1997, upwards of 20,000 miles per year, and have never replaced ONE clutch. I am not impressed with the Concours 14P. Sure, the acceleration and braking are good, however, it is a poor handling motorcycle with a terrible riding position not suitable for most LE applications. To even compare it to a BMW R1200RT-P or Honda ST1300PA is a disservice. Both BMW and Honda have outsold Kawasaki by the thousands in LE sales worldwide. If Kawasaki wants to be a real competitor in the police motorcycle market they need to get Kawasaki Corporate behind the program instead of outsourcing police sales to individual dealers who merely convert civilian motorcycles.

WOW @ 1/27/2013 6:17 PM

Its ALL about acceleration and braking......BMW1200 one clutch job in 70,000 miles, yes it's too expensive. BMW's repair cost are TOO expensive. Kawasaki is the way to go. I'm pretty sure Honda hasn't put in a bid with CHP. HD SHOULD BE OUTLAWED AS A POLICE MOTORYCLE. 270 LBS HEAVIER. REALLY. CHP's contract required 100 plus motorcycles not nine. LOL nine, REALLY. They couldn't produce the motorcycles by the end of the year so the contract was cancelled. Who really cares where the blame is laid.

Barry @ 5/20/2013 1:22 PM

HD SHOULD BE OUTLAWED AS A POLICE MOTORCYCLE. I guess that's why Harley-Davidson has about 94% of the police market today. Oh and I think CHP just awarded Harley- Davidson the new contract.

Wes @ 2/11/2014 5:31 AM

HD got the CHP contract because no other bike was submitted for bid. HD is the slowest bike, heaviest bike, the the loudest. Offers very little weather protection. Classic look, nice American vtwin sound, and cheap to repair at its only benifits.

I bet those CHP officers are pissed at going from a modern capable police bike like the BMW to a slow, loud and heavy Harley.

SC Morrison @ 4/21/2014 10:20 AM

I hope that Kawasaki does continue to produce Concours 14 Police Cycle. Over the years I have ridden on the different Police cycles; such as, the Kawasaki 1000 "CHiPs" bike, the Harley Davidson Police bike, and the Honda ST1300. Overall, the The Concours 14, is the BEST cycle. I am so convinced of this; that, my personal cycle is a Concours 14...chosen over the others; without, a second thought. I have been riding motorcycles since 1971, It would be a shame to lose such a precision cycle, to a minor problem, that can easily be eliminated.

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