You know, $15K seems a little bit more reasonable compared to the latest Jap bikes...granted, the $20K "S" model is probably the most comparable, but still...
I wouldn't mind seeing the Japanese manufacturers come out with "premium" editions of their bikes - factory Ohlins & Marchesini, possibly mildly hotted-up engines etc., sort of like the Yamaha LE R1 but maybe a little bit more thoroughly thought-out (that bike seems...unfinished to me).
Especially for something that, if ridden as it should be, stands a fair chance of sliding on its side during track daze. You're gonna also need to buy a .44 to shoot yerself if that happens, cuz it's gonna cost you another $15K to put it back together.
There really is no argument. I have always said, and I doubt anyone could really dispute, that the Japanese will blow anyone out of the water with performance per dollar. Now what that has to do with why people purchase motorcycles, or what it has to do with real world performance is where the real argument lies. Price/performance isn't everything to everyone, else we would all be on liter sportbikes. Even in OZ the Japanese are price/performance champs, aren't they?
Did you miss the notice: Ducati pull Chicks. Harley's pull "Homely Chicks"- although i'll admit 1 in 10 are pretty good looking. I'll pass on the tatooed Harley chick for a sweet lil just out of college co-ed any day.
Bayliss- WSB SuperBike Champ- Ducati. But performance sucks on a Ducati. Ask Troy Corser what he thinks of the bike. Take Yoshi Suzuki out- because we all know that Spies and Mladin are head and shoulders above the rest of the paddock and you'll see that Neil Hodgeson made the 999 compete against the rest of the crowd. But twins are dead- ask KP...
I like Japanese bikes myself. The R1 in particular has always had the looks/woody factor of a 916 or anything else you can point at. Even the first gen GSXR's are totally cool looking bikes, the new one just get better every year. Ducati has the "Italian Exotica" mystique that you can't put a price tag on
Now with Triumph, The Daytona's are competitive in price/performance and are just as much overkill as any other litre bike on the street, plus they have the 3 cylinder howl and general Brit Bike cool factor that no one else even comes close to. All they need is a decent dealer network.