If you just had to have a new scoot, and were thinking of becoming fashion-conscious (perish the thought!) you could buy another perfect bike, like an SV650 or maybe an Interceptor if you're feeling rich.
Alternately, you could get custom paint: have the Connie done up like a Klingon Bird-of-Prey (green and rust). Then the creaking and groaning might seem more natural; plus, the two are about the same size.
Seriously, i know a guy who got slip-ons and jet kit for his connie from Dale Walker (holeshot.com). It certainly sounds better, insofar as it now sounds like a bike instead of a malnourished sewing machine. They have dyno charts and everything on their site. I think Ivan makes a jet kit for the bike, and Staintune makes cans, but don't quote me on those.
You can get some good performance for the money, but Buz is right, the design is just old. So even opening the cans up still leaves the carb bodies too small and the headers likewise too narrow a diameter. Plus, she's no lightweight. I'd do end-cans (staintune if available, for maintenance puposes) and a stage I kit. Also, I'd do the suspension. Anything more, and you're throwing good money after bad.
Thanks for all the info. I bought my 93 connie about 4 months ago for a commuter (140 mi. rt) and was wondering if removing the air box and opening the exhaust would give any benifits on the road. Generally my morning run is at 80 to 100 since the traffic is really light, and afternoon the carpool lane is good for the same.
Stop picking on the ZG1000. It is still a good value new, and better used. Just the thing for the ageing liter bike pilot family man with no time and no money. Ready to ride alot farther and faster than most people I ride with. And, you can carry stuff on it, which leads to more riding. Do get the Rifle fairing, it's worth it and transforms the bike.
I do have one beef with it (besides the 600#), it can be very hard to start when ambient temp is much less than 40 DegF. Cranks, but seems lean. Has anyone tried a DynoJet carb kit (say, Stage 1) for the purpose of better cold weather starting? Much effect on the mileage? Thanks for any arcane knowledge in this area.
It is what it is. I am on my second one. Should have kept the first one because other than it getting a little old (1986) nothing was wrong with it. They are stealthy, dependable, very functonal and if you are a real rider- it will serve you well.They are fun, weather proof and because being a "poser" isn't an issue, the cops aren't inclined to look at you. As an aside I also own,for all the wrong reasons, a sv1000s with cans.
Don't bother with a dyno jet carb kit. What-that will cost approx $70.00 and for what? $12.00 in jets? This like most Kawasakis have a wide range of factory jets and all it takes is a little know how. Most hardware stores have washers approx .020 that are good for shimming the needle and most DLRs will have jets in stock. Bring up the needed 1 or 2 washers thick and increase jetting at least 2 steps over stock. Then get the motor warm, resync the carbs and set your iddle mix. For a couple of hours time and under $20.00 it will be a different machine.
I've tried to, I'd say the benefits are fairly limited. Stage 1 Jet Kit (yes you could do it cheaper by buying the parts), K&N Filter, aftermarket exhaust, no airbox lid (seemed to work better after the jet kit was installed that way).
The cold starting is much better as someone else noted, maybe a bit more mid-range and top end. I wouldn't call it dramatic.
It is ridiculous how dismissive people are about the Concours, especially if they have never ridden one. It's a good bike. Yes it is an old design, but it still works pretty well. What is ridiculous is that people think it is reasonable to pay $20,700 for the same type of bike. (See recent MO sport-touring comparo.)
Check out the Concours Owner Group. They can give you information on the bike based on actual knowledge and experience.
After 20yrs of building a bike that has remained unchanged mechanically why change it now?
Yamaha did the same with the V-max. You don't fix what is not broken. I say leave the motor alone. Upgrade the suspension to suite your riding style.
I own a 19yo BMW K100RS- Mods to the bike include a Supertrapp exhaust (that was there when I bought it), Progressive HD springs w/ 10 weight oil ('cause I'm a lard a$$) and a Works shock. I now own a wonderfully stable $3300 motorcycle that produces about 90 rwhp and the ability to haul a$$ and get 40mpg while doing so.
From and investment standpoint there is no longer any reason to spend huge sums of money in the aftermarket on performance upgrades on bikes. You will never see a return on such an investment in your re-sale value.
I vote for the guy who said to shim the carb needles with a washer. On the same lines take the mufflers off and see if you can drill a couple of holes (~1/4") in both ends of the muffler to let some exhaust go straight through the can. If you are careful and do one hole at a time you will get the sound you want without it being too loud. If K&N makes an air cleaner for this bike install it. Those are all the cheap fixes. The next step is to replace the cams - probably not even close to worth the effort. What you'd be looking for is smoother throttle response, easier starting and a little noisier exhaust. Don't expect any real power increase.