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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry Japan, my checkbook is going into the drawer again.

What another disappointment this model-year has been. I thought 2007 was such a drag, after 2006 was weak for new models / old model up-dates.

What have we got? If you're a street maniac who likes to hunch over all day, sure, there's plenty of fine race-replicas. I'm in my Forties, (been riding sportbikes constantly for 30 years), and NOTHING has caught my eye.

I own two first-generation Bandit 1200's; one modified. Fantastic bike that Bandit, once you upgrade a few things and throw-away the heavy, restricitve exhaust. Flat bars, Corbin seat, polished rims, Wave rotors, Ohlins, stainless lines, Yoshimura, etc.. THAT's my idea of a SPORT- tourer. Simple, strong, uncluttered.. and MODIFIABLE! (and ps.. it even has a MAINSTAND, thank you).

Anyway, what a WHIMPER there has been this year. Okay, the BKing looks interesting for me.. but it's FAT (cry like a baby when that porker falls off it's sidestand onto that huge tank).. and it looks like the Hamamatsu boys had a bad acid-party one night to create that styling. (Is that a FAIRING, Ryoke, or are you just Jpanaese glad to see me?. Besides, I just don't really need 180 horsepower, thanks. I've HAD it with high-speed chases and New York State Trooper hassles.

Sprint 1050 is close,.. REAL close.. but needs a tweak or two before I'll write a check. Drop a little WEIGHT please, and maybe boost 'er up to 1100 or 1200.

I really liked the SV 1000, but Suzuki got it wrong with the droopy-dog fairing haging over the front, and the seating position was just a TAD too race-crouchy. That's another bike that came really close.. but looks like it's GONE now. Too Bad.

Also gone Honda 919, which should have gotten a style improvement and more cc's.

The FZ1 continues to look like an inside-out Electrolux. Plug-ugly. Give me an FZ6 with 1200cc's please.

And the VFR is ... well, a VFR. I already HAVE a refrigerator, thank you.

So I don't know... traction control? Fly-by-wire? Gimmicks.. Gee-Gaws.

BUT- one tiny spark came through out of the Tokyo show: A Honda CB1100R concept bike, based on their endurance racer. Half-fairing, red tubular frame, AIR COOLED four; minimalist, light, sporty-yet-versatile, and up-gradeable (I want to choose my OWN handlebars, thanks).
A stripped-down GT.

Yes, please.
 

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There's always someone complaining about something.

Since you like the Bandit, you can get the latest version as a 1250 with or without ABS.

And that SV1000S can be made more comfortable with risers.

Sure, you can always find something to complain about. But, in my opinion, there are way more reasons to salivate. And that Street Triple is looking mighty good.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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I think what he is talking about is a general lack of innovative products in the current MC industry. I would have to agree with him. Very few are taking any chances, Triumph being one of the few exceptions. I'd love to see Honda step up to the plate again and drive the market forward instead of following what everyone else is doing. I see the new bike market as boring also. I would like a new bike, but nothing hits me right now.
 

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I hear Harley-Davidson has a couple of new bikes out.
 

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The Toad
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Harley can...

I hear Harley-Davidson has a couple of new bikes out.
... get way with it because HD trades on a lack of change. Their buyers want HD to remain the same. The raison de' etre' for the Japanese has always been their loud mouthed claims about their innovation and "pushing the envelope". About all Honda's done the last ten years is push the corporate golden parachute. Apparently "pushing the envelope" means adding a steering damper these days or hawking MX bikes that only sponsored riders can afford to keep running. No thanks. This year we got all the claims but once again it's BS. Kawasaki comes out with the Versys. Suzuki... the BKing. And those two are much smaller bike companies than Yammer or Honduh. Honduh reduces their lineup. That's it. Everything else is repackaged same-o same-o.

But I can't blame the Japanese too much. Apparently all the buyers want are bikes that feed their fantasies of being Marlon Brando or Kenny Roberts. Poser bikes rule the market. Cruisers and race replicas. Ho hum.
 

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What kind of innovation are bikers looking for? I see innovation happening, even if it isn't always the 'leaps and bounds' kind. Like (technology) slipper clutches, ABS as an option, (new bikes) the Ninja 650, the redesign on the 2008 Ninja 250.

I love Hondas. Even so, if I were to complain about them, I could lament about the Blackbird not being sold in the U.S., or the lack of fuel injection on their cruisers. But I can switch to a 'Busa or a ZX14 if I want to. And there are other cruisers available that are fuel injected. So it's not like I don't have choices.

And if a bike is discontinued, it's a pretty good bet that it or something like it will be back in production in a few years (like the Bandit, for example).

Even Harley has made their bikes better, and Buell is coming out with the 1125R.

The only thing I could use is more money to spend on bikes! :rolleyes:
 

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The Toad
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I understand your viewpoint but I'm just...

What kind of innovation are bikers looking for? I see innovation happening, even if it isn't always the 'leaps and bounds' kind. Like (technology) slipper clutches, ABS as an option, (new bikes) the Ninja 650, the redesign on the 2008 Ninja 250.

I love Hondas. Even so, if I were to complain about them, I could lament about the Blackbird not being sold in the U.S., or the lack of fuel injection on their cruisers. But I can switch to a 'Busa or a ZX14 if I want to. And there are other cruisers available that are fuel injected. So it's not like I don't have choices.

And if a bike is discontinued, it's a pretty good bet that it or something like it will be back in production in a few years (like the Bandit, for example).

Even Harley has made their bikes better, and Buell is coming out with the 1125R.

The only thing I could use is more money to spend on bikes! :rolleyes:
... speaking from my own. For me the improvements to the race replicas are as relevant as the latest software upgrades to the F16C/D. Interesting but entirely irrelevant for riding on public roads. And cruisers? Zzzzzzzzzzz.........

I wanna see an improved SRX600. A cafe racer based on the DR or KLR 650. Now that's something I'd throw down the $ for. Something I could really work hard on a mountain road. That's a lot more fun than tippytoeing around on an R1. At this point my most likely next purchase is a Versys or a DR400 motard. Maybe a used Duck GT1000 in a couple of years.
 

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... speaking from my own. For me the improvements to the race replicas are as relevant as the latest software upgrades to the F16C/D. Interesting but entirely irrelevant for riding on public roads. And cruisers? Zzzzzzzzzzz.........

I wanna see an improved SRX600. A cafe racer based on the DR or KLR 650. Now that's something I'd throw down the $ for. Something I could really work hard on a mountain road. That's a lot more fun than tippytoeing around on an R1. At this point my most likely next purchase is a Versys or a DR400 motard. Maybe a used Duck GT1000 in a couple of years.
I'll be happy to sell you mine in a few years for more than I paid for it. ;-)
 

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Not paying attention?

1- Aprilia- SL Shiver is new and interesting.
2- BMW- HP2 Boxer w/ 123hp
3- Can-Am- Spyder- it's registered as a bike give it a break
4- Ducati- Hypermotoard and 848
5- Harley- Rocker C and FXD Fat Bob
6- Honda- DN-01 if they deliver and both CBRs lost weight and gained pwr
7- Kawasaki- KLR and new Ninja 250
8- KTM- Duke 690 / 690sm
9- Suzuki- GSXF bike replacement for the bandito/kan-a-tuna / B King
10- Yamaha/Star- Raider (write up here) and R1 replacement

Off the top of my head. Seems there are more things I'm missing. I see a much better year coming than the year that passed.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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1- Aprilia- SL Shiver is new and interesting.
2- BMW- HP2 Boxer w/ 123hp
3- Can-Am- Spyder- it's registered as a bike give it a break
4- Ducati- Hypermotoard and 848
5- Harley- Rocker C and FXD Fat Bob
6- Honda- DN-01 if they deliver and both CBRs lost weight and gained pwr
7- Kawasaki- KLR and new Ninja 250
8- KTM- Duke 690 / 690sm
9- Suzuki- GSXF bike replacement for the bandito/kan-a-tuna / B King
10- Yamaha/Star- Raider (write up here) and R1 replacement

Off the top of my head. Seems there are more things I'm missing. I see a much better year coming than the year that passed.
Some of those are OK. I can pass on a 20 grand boxer, the small bikes are out for me, and Honda can keep both CBR's. The Harleys are just more of the same thing. The Duke is interesting to an extent. The real kicker is that the Raider is the poster child for what is wrong with the industry at large. A phony company designed to produce Harley look-alikes is so last decade. Time to move forward and get off the Harley bandwagon.
 

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The Toad
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As I said...

Some of those are OK. I can pass on a 20 grand boxer, the small bikes are out for me, and Honda can keep both CBR's. The Harleys are just more of the same thing. The Duke is interesting to an extent. The real kicker is that the Raider is the poster child for what is wrong with the industry at large. A phony company designed to produce Harley look-alikes is so last decade. Time to move forward and get off the Harley bandwagon.
.. the two biggest companies have the worst lineups.
 

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Some of those are OK. I can pass on a 20 grand boxer, the small bikes are out for me, and Honda can keep both CBR's. The Harleys are just more of the same thing. The Duke is interesting to an extent. The real kicker is that the Raider is the poster child for what is wrong with the industry at large. A phony company designed to produce Harley look-alikes is so last decade. Time to move forward and get off the Harley bandwagon.
The way I see it, HD has towed the line and kept pricing in check because tooling is paid for, in the most basic sense. That is allowing other manufaturers cost of manufaturing to catch up to what has already paid for by HD. So, now that HD and the rest of the motorcycle world are playing on the same MSRP playing field, there should be no clear winner. Mock the Asian bikes if you want, but rest assured they build a quality product, producing more power, and hold respectible ACV when re-sold. Is HD really better at the game than the other guys? I believe the game has shifted and NO ONE holds a clear advantage any longer. They sell these Asian cruisers like crazy because there is a market for it. If HD made anything other than what they currently sell would we mock them for copying the competition? I believe that HD has the means to come up with more than the status quo. Yet, they will not. They are AFFRAID to upset their precious market and do not look outside the box. In the end, who's wrong- Asia for copy-cat stuff or HD for close-mindedness?
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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The way I see it, HD has towed the line and kept pricing in check because tooling is paid for, in the most basic sense. That is allowing other manufaturers cost of manufaturing to catch up to what has already paid for by HD. So, now that HD and the rest of the motorcycle world are playing on the same MSRP playing field, there should be no clear winner. Mock the Asian bikes if you want, but rest assured they build a quality product, producing more power, and hold respectible ACV when re-sold. Is HD really better at the game than the other guys? I believe the game has shifted and NO ONE holds a clear advantage any longer. They sell these Asian cruisers like crazy because there is a market for it. If HD made anything other than what they currently sell would we mock them for copying the competition? I believe that HD has the means to come up with more than the status quo. Yet, they will not. They are AFFRAID to upset their precious market and do not look outside the box. In the end, who's wrong- Asia for copy-cat stuff or HD for close-mindedness?
Harley OWNS the game. The others are just pretending to play it. When cruisers are out of style and not selling, Harley will still be making them, just like they did in the early 80's when they were uncool. Japanese knock offs will always be junkyard fodder because the only reason they are made is because of Harley. I don't think anyone can argue that. You can argue that HD is closed-minded, but they have found great success with that theme. There is one Harley like there was only one Elvis. All the rest are just guys with a suit and sunglasses on. You can't purchase lineage, heritage, or history. None of that exists on the other side of the pond.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I really appreciate HD.. they took a failing (AMF) operation, and with some clever marketing skill and a little import-duty help from R. Reagan, they pulled themselves into a world-class organization. I visit a Harley showroom once a year or so...

But it just ain't me. I rented a 2005 HD Wide Glide in California for ten days... fun to rumble through the small towns with, but ultimately sort of bland and limited. It positively SUCKED on twisty California 1.
CRUISIN' leaves me yawnin'.

Race replicas... had 'em. Lots of screaming fun while constantly peering in the rear mirros for twinkling lights. For 20 years I always had to have the fastest, but na' more, thanks; you can BEAT me now, congratulations. I sold my GSXR1000 and have ratcheted down a notch to a Bandit 12 (and YES, this is the reason why I haven't found ANYTHING BETTER yet! What a platform those 1st Gen B12's are!).

I don't like the new Bandit 1250. It went TOURING. It is ugly and fat with a big barn-door fairing drooping off the front. Sorry, Suzuki.. along with the SV1000 and now the BKing, your design guys keep on JUST missing the target for me. I've owned fourteen Suzukis in the past; my heart is still with the simple, meaty elegance and brutality of the '79 GS1000 (in its day; you wouldn't catch me dead on one now). It put 83,000 miles on that f***er.. rode it across the country twice, commuted daily with it, then swapped tha bars and drag-raced it at Englishtown semi-regularly. It would do anything... although not always the BEST at anything.

When I saw that CB1100R concept bike, I had a twitch in my BVD's. WHile I could do without the corny megaphone (an UNDERSEAT ex would be really nice on that bike), it really caught my imagination. REAL WORLD performance (125 HP is about enough for me), Stripped-down to it's elemental underwear, racey-but-not-cramped ergos.. simple, plain, strong,.. and with beautiful lines.

What about it, Honda? Think that's the next trend? Real world, GT, Muscle Minimalism?
Jolts my potatoes..
 

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it always tickles me to hear about mediocre AMF Harleys.

My box-stock 1980 74 inch FLH had Electronic ignition, disc brakes front and rear, self adjusting valves and an efficient starting and idling Keihen that returned 50 mpg in literal all day- all weather comfort. I bought it off a Police auction so it hadn't exactly been babied, it still ran reliably, never once breaking down and leaving me stranded in over 60K miles, In all that time other than routine consumables I replaced one exhaust valve.

My lightly modified 1978 XLH Sportster was reliable as a brick needing NOTHING in over 30k miles except routine consumables


My 1980 KZ750 Kawasaki, bought new had points ignition, drum brakes on the rear and Mikuni's that were prone to sticking floats and flooding, and required routine valve adjustments. In 25K miles it blew a head gasket, broke a clutch cable and throttle cable, had leaking fork seals and refused to start after being left in the rain all day when I was at work from the ignition watering out.

Fast forward to my Ultra Reliable 1997 VFR750...
Well in 30k miles I went through two Regulator-rectifiers one of which failed going through downtown Seattle on I-5 during rush hour. Trust me, this is not somewhere you want your bike to die. I also had various intermittent instrument cluster failures which were a pain in the backside.

In my experiance, and in the experiance's of others I knew of, AMF Harleys were at least as reliable as anything on the road and in my experiance more so. I think the biggest problem with them then and now is the amature sledge-hammer mechanics and tons of aftermarket cr*p people insist on subjecting them to.
 

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In my experiance, and in the experiance's of others I knew of, AMF Harleys were at least as reliable as anything on the road and in my experiance more so. I think the biggest problem with them then and now is the amature sledge-hammer mechanics and tons of aftermarket cr*p people insist on subjecting them to.
In my experiance, and in the experiance's of others I knew of, AMF Harleys were at least as reliable as anything on the road and in my experiance more so. I think the biggest problem with them then and now is the amature sledge-hammer mechanics and tons of aftermarket cr*p people insist on subjecting them to.
Here here! Well said, Sir! Most of the work I've done on my AMF was undoing the crap the previous owners had done. Once I replaced the points with the Crane ignition and the carb with the S&S, maintenance became a matter of oil, filter, and the occasional set of plugs.

Now, I have a terrible dillema. A while back I listed the bike on EBay when I was in a feeding frenzy to get a Concours 14. I put a reserve of $10k on it, which I think was a subconcious way to avoid actually selling it. Over the past week, I have been contacted several times by a broker representing a Japanese buyer. No, it's not one of the scams, I can smell them a mile away at this point. They've offered the $10k, and the broker wants to come down in the next couple of weeks with cash to arrange shipping. One the one hand, I think I've had a great 15 years with the bike, but it doesn't give me the thrill it used to, on the other hand, I think I'd regret selling it for the rest of my life. For crying out loud, I may be the only guy on the planet who actually has an AMF tattoo...
 

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