5 Kawasaki Concours 1000 Problems [With Easy Fixes]

Kawasaki 1000 GTR and Kawasaki ZG1000 are two names of Kawasaki Concours 1000 motorcycles.

If you want a high-speed touring motorcycle with enormous power and decent handling, the Kawasaki Concours 1000 can be a good choice. 

This motorcycle stayed in production for over 2 decades, between 1986 to 2007, until the GTR 1400 replaced it, its bigger version.

The 80’s era earned Concours a magnificent place in the list of best touring motorcycles.

Kawasaki Concours 1000 Problems now plaques this motorcycle and no longer remains the best among touring motorcycles.

If you are thinking of getting one Concours 1000, you need to be aware of all its problems.

Kawasaki Concours 1000 Problems

Kawasaki Concours 1000 problems include stalling, vacuum lines issues, air box problems, idling, false neutral, hard-to-shift gears, overheating, vibration, poor fuel economy, petcock failure, flaws in the fuel system, electrical issues, sensor failures, brakes, and suspension problems.

Kawasaki-Concours-1000-Problems

1. Engine Starting And Shifting Problem

Concours 1000 contains several problems with its engine. 

These problems will be exposed to you when you try to start it one day, but it refuses.

The Concours 1000 has stalling problems, although it’s not common in every Concours. But, it still is the most frustrating problem you will experience on any motorcycle.

Concours 1000 stalls at various times, not just once.

It might stall if it’s sitting for several weeks; it will stall even if you started it this morning, but it’s not starting now.

The Concours may also stall when you are stopped at a traffic signal.

Not just the stalling, rough idling, loss of power, intermittent failing of the engine, and bogging engine are all a problem for this motorcycle. Our investigation seconds that!

Now, coming to its fixes, you need to check its three things as the very first look. 

Start by checking its carburetor, spark plugs, fuel, and air filters.

Stalling is not troublesome if there are any of these three problems in Concours 1000.

The solution is easy and cheaper. Sometimes, it can be free of cost. You need to take your carburetor, spark plugs, or fuel, and air filter out and clean them properly.

If you installed these components recently, you might not have installed them properly

Reinstalling your carbs or cleaning them and spark plugs will get you out of stalling issues.

If it does not, there’s likely to be a vacuum line issue or problems with the air box

Try looking to upgrade or replace them if you have tried fixing them. Also, give valve adjustments a try. 

Adjusting its valves will make sure that the motorcycle opens and closes its valves at the right time. There’s no difference in their movement.

The transmission is also known to be problematic in this motorcycle a couple of times.

Particularly its gear, which leads you to false neutral and sometimes hard-to-shift gears

For both these problems, consider aligning the gears and lubricating them properly.

2. Engine Overheating

Overheating is another problem in Kawasaki Concours 1000, but it’s not common. Yet, it’s a significant problem, and not fixing it on time can cause damaging consequences to the engine.

The Concours 1000 is a 994cc 4-4 engine based on a four-stroke motor. 

Kawasaki uses a liquid cooling system to make things cooler and more efficient on technical ends for all four seasons.

Concours 1000’s liquid cooling system is prosperous and effective as long as it’s working fine and does not malfunction.

Sooner it malfunctions, the engine stops working perfectly. There are a few reasons for failure, but you need to check all of them instead of just one.

The first reason due to which Concours 1000 overheats, is the failure of the cooling pump. Due to relay failure, the engine heat escapes, affecting rider and bike components too.

The solution is simple if you replace the coolant pump, straightforwardly. For the repairs, try your luck remapping its relay or fixing it some other way. That’s complicated, by the way.

Not just the coolant pump but the coolant itself can go bad.

If you haven’t refreshed the coolant in the last 6 months or if the level is not adequate, you will see overeating and ineffective cooling. Also, try looking at its radiator and fan.

The radiator fins are prone to getting clogged due to their constant exposure to oil, mud, water, and dust particles.

Clean its fins with the cleaner radiator spray, and that’s all. Look for its cooling fan and check if its fuse is proper and the fan is working fine. If not, you might need to fix its blown fuse.

Gaskets, seals, and rubber coolant pipes can deteriorate or blow away.

These components need to be checked along with every oil change if you are doing it regularly and not missing. Make sure to track them down and maintain them well.

To protect it from overheating and improve its cooling efficiency, you should be adding heat wraps and shields around its engine and on its exhaust system.

Make sure to wear high-quality rubber boots with riding pants so your legs don’t get barbequed.

Give your engine a 15 to 20-minute break if you are running in a very hot climate.

3. Fuel Related And Vibration Problems

Kawasaki Concours 1000 has problems in its fuel department and many of its owners reported about its poor fuel economy.

This motorcycle offers a fuel economy of around 45 MPH on paper, but it can go as bad as 30 MPH in some cases. 

Of course, the quality and grade of fuel you are adding in it can affect the mileage significantly. 

But yes, there are significant problems with its fuel system and components.

Many of its fuel comps are prone to failure, and it’s a common observation on this motorcycle for its entire life. 

The failure of its vacuum petcock and carburetors because it’s a carb engine, not a fuel injector. It’s also a reason for not getting the best fuel economy.

Petcocks on Yamaha and Kawasaki motorcycles are prone to failure.

Sometimes, it’s due to design flaws and manufacturing defects the other time, and sometimes, it does not suit well with the US fuel. So, its owners considered replacing it in the very first place.

If you have problems due to its vacuum petcock, replacing it will make things better again.

The fuel pump also fails due to issues with its relay and sensor. 

Both these relays and sensors are fixable, but replacing the entire fuel pump is way easier and cheaper sometimes.

Since it contains a 32mm carburetor instead of 36mm, it is more open and used to getting clogged.

So, you will be cleaning its carburetor at least once in two months so it doesn’t make issues.

You will not only fix the problems with its fuel department but also the engine stalling issue.

4. Electrical And Sensor Failures

This motorcycle is safe from electrical failures. It’s nothing when compared to what you get in Yamaha and Honda motorcycles.

The harder you make, you might get issues like loose connectors causing loose power supply from the engine to electrical components.

Cleaning these terminals and reinstalling the battery will fix this issue. 

Or, you might face failure or dimming of lights and indicators, either due to wiring issues or due to blown relays and fuses.

There’s a big problem in the electrical system which happens due to the failure of the sensor.

Well, not a lot of sensors, but one or two sensors, in particular.

Since Kawasaki uses KIPASS in their motorcycle, which stands for Kawasaki’s Intelligent Proximity Activation Start System, this motorcycle is also equipped with that stuff.

It’s technically a security system, considering the starting of the engine.

You can choose to start your motorcycle while the steering is locked or unlocked and the ignition key is left in place.

The ignition switch won’t rotate if you don’t want it to via a certain setting. These settings are set up with the help of the KIPASS sensor, which sadly is prone to failure and malfunctioning.

If this sensor fails, the ignition does not contact the ECU, and you won’t be able to start your motorcycle.

There are many other intelligent systems and functions too, that KIPASS contains.

You would need to retry the ignition and lubricate the KIPASS actuator because it might be at fault.

If that does not work, you need to try reconnecting its battery or replacing its ECU.

5. Tires, Brakes And Suspension Problems

There are small and uncommon problems related to the rideability of this motorcycle.

For some people, the issues can be small but may be large and frustrating for others because these issues cover and plague crucial areas like the tires, brakes, and suspension of this bike.

The stock tire is used to wear out quickly and cause various problems. 

These issues can be such as loss of traction, power loss, inefficient fuel economy, ineffective braking and instability.

So, you better know what to do. Just replace its stock tires and get a better one from Michelin.

If tires are replaced, some portion of the braking issues will also be resolved.

The rest of the braking issues occur due to worn-out wheel bearings issues with brake calipers, master cylinders, and brake lines.

Consider adding stainless steel brake lines and lubricating its braking components. 

They keep getting stiff and inefficient after every application.

And once you have fixed problems with tires and braking, the suspension can get better if the suspension does not contain many problems in itself.

If your suspension is bad and has problems with shock absorbers and forks, you might need to repair, lubricate, or replace them to get the best performance out of them, especially if they are old.

Is the Kawasaki Concours 1000 A Reliable Motorcycle?

Kawasaki Concours 1000 is a reliable motorcycle featuring a 997cc engine that is capable of producing over 110 HP in power and 73 ft-lbs in torque. It’s inexpensive too.

You can rely on this motorcycle for your touring needs if the motorcycle is well-maintained and has fewer problems.

Throughout the production era of Kawasaki Concours 1000, the reliability was good and continued its legacy even a couple more years to come. 

However, Kawasaki Concours 1000 has seen several problems in recent years. So, make sure to get a Concours 1000 with fewer issues. Otherwise, it could become a headache for you.

Kawasaki Concours 1000 User Reviews

The panniers are enormous and even fully loaded, which did not adversely affect the handling. Keep an eye on the mono-shock as I changed all of mine over time, but handling is as you would expect from a dinosaur. Heavy, but good in crosswinds. Source: motorcyclenews.com

I’ve marked it 5/5 because, for the money, nothing comes close; yes, there are better, newer bikes, but nowhere near this price bracket. It really is one of Kawasaki’s best-kept secrets, absolutely brilliant fairing. Source: motorcyclenews.com

References:

Kawasaki Concours – Long-term Evaluation

Kawasaki Concours – Wikipedia

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