Who cares. Bring on the new VFR800 info, the new Fireblade, the new R1(besides the color), the new ZX9, the naked Blade, the new CBR954. How long do we have to wait? Kawasaki sh1t streak, well that's what that orange color looks like anyway!
Actually, nicer than nice! Kawasaki has just entered the Sport Cruiser class to compete stylewise alongside the new Yamaha Warrior/ H-D V-Rod/ Honda VTX. I have to agree with desertbilly in that it should be the price leader in this category at $9,999, or less. Most of the components on this bike (the tooling, that is) have been paid over and over for more than a decade.
IMHO it looks fantastic and for less than 10K, it would be my choice in its class.
I loved my Honda Super Hawk! Why can't someone make me a cruiser with the same punch I got out of my V-twin sportbike? Give me a cruiser with the same engine and components as a sportbike and I'll come running!!! Quit dumbing down the power and technology. Maybe I'll have to check out one of Fueling's bikes. Now that is real horsepower!!
All true... the Japanese did indeed copy as close as possible the Harley 'thing'.
They did 'dumb-down' the motor technology (Honda did the tricks with the crank to smooth out the vibes in the '80's w/offset pins, then put it back in in the 90's to mimmic Harley).
Harley did not leave the Japanese in the dust though (technologically speaking)... this is where we disagree.
Lets face it, this is Harely's -first- production liquid-cooled, v-twin, multi-valve motor. Hoo-Rah.
There is exactly NOTHING new about that. Just about every Japanese cruiser (except Yamaha's Road-star line), has been building motors like this for, quite literally, decades.
Furthermore, as someone said in another post here, now that Harley has 'validated' the high-HP, liquid-cooled v-twin cruiser, there's not much to stop the Japanese from unleashing their best sport-bike v-twins. TL-1000 motored cruiser anyone??... Suzuki has been sitting back watching this and is no-doubt working on something for the new power-cruiser segment. Honda could come out with a second entry in this market by using the Super-Hawk motor... though it would probably out-sell the overweight VTX and thus won't get built... cool as it would be.
Now of course these motors won't just 'drop in' to current cruiser chassis, but give 'em a year or two to rework the packaging... then look out. This could be pretty fun if you ask me! I can't wait!
Harley deserves all the accolades they have gotten b/c their new bike is stunning... no doubt!... it's about time if you ask me and a lot of others. Too bad it will cost a METRIC b u t t-load of $$... if they could somehow make 20K more units this year and cut about $7K off the price, they could OWN this market outright, off the bat, and the Japanese might never crack it... just a thought, but I'm hardley a marketing/business guru (opposite is more like it!).
It's a good thing for the Japanese companies that truth-in-advertising laws don't apply to bike names. This Kawasaki looks like a nice enough ride, but the name "Mean Streak" is almost as laughably inappropriate as "Suzuki Savage."
James, I couldn't agree more with you. In the short run, the V-rod looks like a smart move by H-D. But what they have done really is to unleash hell. The japanese (especially Yamaha) are better positioned to make high-power cruisers. They have better technology for motors and chassis alike. I expect something like a better-handling V-max, or a TL-powered suzuki super-standard.
Nice looking Vtwin , and not bad power/torque , it does 13.5 in the 1/4 mile and I'm sure aftermarket goodies will be out soon that'll let ya do 12 in the 1/4 mile. But with the name 'mean streak' I would've thought it would be a bit faster in stock form. But it sure looks Mean ! I like it. So, the Power Cruiser wars have begun, and I bet we see some good looking , fast , single pin Vtwin Cruisers in the years to come.
The Vrod is fast ,but way to expensive, is it a single pin crank? anyone????
I know the VTx is not, and the Warrior is......
Since I just bought a '01 Classic Fi about 5 months ago, If I had know the Mean Streak was going to be out so soon, I'd have waited on buying my Classic and got this bike instead !
What is it with all this power cruiser crap? Who wants a 700 pound motorcycle with 65 HP. Oh, I forgot about all you Harley geeks, sorry. Hell, the old Magna should outrun this piece of poo and it's only got 800cc's.... If it was'nt for all this nostalgia crap we might have gotten some good bikes out of this lattest fad. How about a v-max style cruiser with a TL1000 motor. Mean Streak, please!! My castrated cat has more of a mean streak.....
For one--that's the dumbest name I've heard since the BMW Funduro.
About the bike, I thought it was supposed to compete with the VTX, V-Rod and Warrior? It's so far down on performance that I think competing with the Shadow Sabre in the "half-hearted power cruiser" category is more appropriate. Shame on you, Kawasaki. Whatever happened to "pound for pound, nobody makes an engine like Kawasaki"?
OK the "Mean Streak" needs a new name real bad (I'd be afraid to say I had one in case my friends laughed) but it seems like not a bad bike. It's success will depend on price in my opinion. I have heard that it is about 16,500 cdn which is too much for a bike that is on the gutless side. 13,500 (the price of a new FI Classic) would be a more realistic figure.
Am I on the wrong planet? Harley can get 115 hp out of 1100 cc's with no real advances in technology and the Mean Streak can only get 65 hp out of 1500 cc's. My old Royal Enfield 750 could get 60 hp using metallurgy and technology that I'm sure came over on the Ark with Noah! I get the feeling the manufacturers are trying to get away with as little as they can to keep up the profits. Would 75 hp be too much to ask?
For what it's worth - you had a VTX at the same time. Why not comparisons other than "it feels lighter"? Which cornered better? Which had the best lean angle? Which handled bumps better? (both have hard rear suspensions). This is the type of information I need to help me to decide which one I would like to buy.
But seriously now folks, I may not like the name or the power, but the looks are good. The sculped tank is nice, and FINALLY someone made the shaft drive rear end look good. That is one cool looking rear end. The handlebar/tank console/gauge cluster looks like Arlen Ness did it, very classy...and my stars! Is that a tachometer I see? It's about damn time a cruiser came with one.
Overall, I like it, but I don't believe the hype that people said "It's too powerful." That is a bunch of hee-haw and everyone knows it. Show me a 4 riders that want less power and I'll show you a 4 elderly women in a station wagon.
Well, you all can say what you want to about the "power" or lack of power for this bike...But that is one PHAT flat torque curve... As cruisers go, thats where your power is. It looks alot better than the hoggish VTX, I think the V-Rod is butt ugly, But I think when the lighter Warrior comes out, it will out shine this streaky meanie.