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But Mr. Duke, while the factories have gone nutz on different firing orders, re-mapped ECUs and better phorks & shocks, why oh why do they all still tip the scales at around 500 lbs, soaking wet?

One would think better handling and performance could be gleaned from drastic weight reductions. I'm sure a 400 lb. R1 would handle better, and be faster than a 500 lb R1. Even better a 350 lb. R1.

Maybe they've reached their respective lowest weight beacuse of DOT & EPA rules and regs? If not, that would seem to be the next big leap in performance, i.e. getting the weight down around 400 lbs, wet.

Clue me in here oh wise one...
 

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MODERATOR X
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Hey, a little on-topic for once. I know, here he goes again about liter bikes weighing too much, but holy cripes, looking back at open class street motorcycles over the last 20 or so years, they seem to have gained a lot of weight. Some of which can be removed with common sense engineering and design.

Yes, I know, water cooling, black boxes, bigger brakes, forks, frames to handle all that power, etc. etc.. add weight and all that, but we have TECHNOLOGY that can lessen the impact on the environment when your Gixxer thousand falls over in a parking lot, and you have to call three burly homeboys to help you right it, or risk wearing a truss.

I had an '81 Yamaha Vision touring rig based on the XS1100, and with all that touring crap, the bike still tipped the scales at 550 lbs. (weighed it at a scrap metal place). How can the big four justify foisting 500+ lb. rockets on an unsuspecting public?

And yes, I've ridden some of these bikes, and under power they don't want to change direction all that well, and resemble more a missle than a good handling street bike. Making a hard transition from a right-to-left hand tight corner at speed, due to mass in motion, almost highsides the damn things anymore. I cite the bikes tested in the '04 MO liter bike shootout, when Sean ate it into his brother, in that corner right up from the Rock Store (hard blind right handed sweeper).

My Buell had that lump of a Sportster motor, and still came in at just over 400 lbs, and as a result could out handle most anything Japan had to offer in the tight stuff (and the fast sweepers too).

Maybe I should start a company that removes unsightly pounds from 1000cc Japanese repli-racers..might be big.

What's your spin on the weight issue? Is it a necessary evil, what with all the technology, or can it be solved with better engineering/materials?
 

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MODERATOR X
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See? 327 lbs wet. With just some smart modifications. That makes a ZRX10 or Gixxer (even with all that power) and ill handling pig in comparison.

Like pitting a Mini Cooper (a real one) against a Buick Roadmaster. Sure, the Buicks got it on top, but trying to muscle it around a corner requires nerves of steel, and a REAL BIG CORNER.
 

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MODERATOR X
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Hey Tourist guy what about the excess weight? Yeah! The freeking unbelivable weight of 450 lbs on a 180 hp street bike!

I'd say they sould weigh 150 lbs tops, what with all the new metals, plastics, wood fiber and bamboo the factories have available.

Not to mention phenolic resins.
 

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Nope, KP WAS Matt Mladin. Punched that ticket myself.
 
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