Styling is probably much more important here because we use bikes as recreational vehicles not as transportation. That's why there's so many Harley-styled hardtail custom bikes - looks cool and I don't have to ride it far.
In short, the reason Americans don't lean towards nekkeds is because the manufacturers tend to market and design them for the Euro marketplace. Why? Who knows. Fact- Speed III and Monster models sell very well here. As do Suzuki SV and Yamaha FZ (Fazer) models. Most everything else (Kawasaki Z1000 comes to mind) look a little too funky for the rather conservitive American rider. Sell the big CB1300 or Suzuki B-king and I'd bet people would be good with that. But put silly looking exhaust on a Z1000 and the dealer can't give the bikes away. Go figure.
"1) Here in Switzerland (which is representative in this case), motorcycle riders don't just get an "M" on the back of their license when they pass the test. Instead, there are different classes of motorcycle licenses. Moving up the levels is very time consuming and quite expensive. So the question is, why move up to a new category when there are plenty of 600/650cc bikes that are suitable?
2) The second matter is price. The bikes themselves don't necessarily cost much more, but the state taxes bikes on the size of the displacement. This goes for cars as well. I bought a 2.0 liter car rather than the more fun 3.0 liter because the annual cost (and the price of gas) was simply a deterrent."
It's quite simple really. The American Market is basically 2 segments. 1 large cruiser segement where the rider is over 35 and a smaller sportbike segement where the rider is under 35. You have some very small niches like sport tourer, standards. But they are insignificant compared to the first two. Americans don't need standards. Rather, they want sportbikes when they are young full of testorone or just love performance and they want cruisers to be part of the GPTB.
I was going to make a snide, snarky comment about the lack of Big Nekkid sales here in 'Murrica arising from the old saying "nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public".
Then I thought (being a long time audio & music buff) about Zamfir, Roger Whittaker, The "Lord of the Pants",etc., that do well in Europe and evidentally quite well here.
Hmmm, looks like the only thing stranger than the ultimate answer to this Nekkidness question is the question itself. Hmmm.
PS- Lord of the Pants = Lord of the Dance...info provided for those who wouldn't touch PBS TV with my 10 foot pole and may be culturally challenged in that area. You know you are - now get back to your Slim Whitman LP's Una Paloma Pronto! Me? I'm off to watch "The Notorious Betty Page" again whilst listening to some Martin Denney Lounge tunes, drinking a Zombie and eating something off the ole' Pu Pu Platter.
I'm confused why big naked don't shoot off the chart in sales here in the States too, except that I think people enjoy paying for new plastic after a low-side. *grin*
I know when I lived in a San Francisco most of my friends -- myself included -- rode middleweight nakeds, because they were cheap, fun, customizable, less appealing to thieves, and we didn't need any serious wind protection. They were fine for a fast ride down highway 1, riding down sidewalks when traffic got too thick, etc. Once I moved to a more open city with lots of open roads and freeways, I see many more "faired" bikes (this includes Harley's), so I guessing wind protection is more important. I don't know if that's the reason, but it's all my brain matter can deduce. Go figure.
Too simple really. I believe the market would love to see more bikes that behave like sportbikes but are comfortable like cruisers. What people want are sub $12k "NEW" V-Max style bikes. Bikes with the balls of Thor and the agility of Hermes. Only one bike comes close but is still far away from the target (v-rod). Make the Mad Max and make it handle. People will buy it.
You got it. I think also San Francisco may perhaps foreshadow a trend. Nakeds in fact are taking off elsewhere, which is why so many manufacturers are making the bikes, apart from them being relatively easy to develop.