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I agree. There is probably a big market for race replica bikes but it seems sportbike = racebike w/ lights has become the norm. Unfortunately, sales have backed this trend up. Comfy sport oriented bikes (Nakeds, UJMs etc) have typically been slow sellers w/o a lot of marketing support. As far as cruisers, I guess the attitude is that the owner (most of them) will mod it to suit their own taste anyway so with only a few exceptions, they are made to be totally general.
 

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Climate control? CLIMATE CONTROL?! Give me a freaking break! You want climate control, go find yourself a Toyota Corolla. Leave the rest of us motorcyclists to alternately freeze and sweat our butts off like God intended.
 

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Just what does runner00 think he wants? Air-conditioning, cruise control, GPS navigation, tip-over prevention, lean-angle control, extra wheels for stability...oops, that's a car! There are motorcycles with attempts at "climate control", and with cruise control - just check out the GoldWing or the K1200LT, for a couple. Touring motorcycles have used a variety of rider oriented conveniences for quite a few years. I believe that all (or most) of the advancement in the past 40 years or so in the areas of frame technology, suspension technology, and even engine technology came about because of race-oriented development. Where else but racing can a new frame design or engine format be tested to its limits of performance and reliability, without elevating consumer costs to astronomical levels? Beyond the mechanical design development of motorcycles, what are we left with for "innovations designed to make motorcycling more enjoyable"? Application of technology for technologies sake doesn't necessarily make motorcycling more enjoyable. As an example, what if some imaginative engineer designed a gyroscopic ride control system for a motorcycle that allowed the operator (rider?) to sit in a reclining seat, steering the vehicle with a joystick, while the control system regulated lean angle in turns, controlled braking and speed by sensing the road conditions and surrounding traffic, and provided him with a visual display of a moving map, vehicle condition, etc. Would that be more enjoyable than balancing your own throttle against your lean angle, dialing in just the right amount of front and rear brake as you turn into a corner apex, then cranking on the throttle for an exhilarating exit? I doubt it. Safer, maybe, but not more enjoyable.
 

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Where do you think you're going to be able to use cruise control? Unless you're out in the middle of nowhere, there's usually too much traffic for cruise control to be effective. Even in a car, it winds up being more of a pain in the butt than a convenience, due to traffic.
 

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I totally disagree with Runner00, and agree with Jfiore. The motorcycle industry sells what sells, not what one guy might want. They sell what they do after much market research and experimentation. Let's face it, if cruise control were offered on a GSXR1000, wouldn't it suddenly become a *****-bike? Motorcycles are about experiencing the climate around you, NOT changing it.
 

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To a certain extent, I agree. Continuing focus on race applications generates bikes that are barely fit for real world riding. The loss of Kawi's ZX6R from last year for either a much inferior, or much more race specific bike is a good example. Now I agree that race bikes are cool as hell, but for a one bike income they are not practical. As long as we, the buying public is able to get our hands on high quality performance motorcycles without sacrificing real world rideability I will be happy. BTW, I really hope mentioning the whole climate control thing is meant as a joke.

-Andy
 

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Couldn't agree more, and the motorcycling press and certain bone-head journos take some of the blame. The press love to rave about the latest sports tackle, 'cos it means they can show off how cool (or stoopid) they are.



Show them a bike which is genuinely different (BMW C1, Honda PC800, etc etc) and all they can do is belittle it, 'cos it does not fit their very narrow knee down ideal of what a bike should be.



Sports bikes have got stuck in a rut, each one competing to be an gram lighter and 1 bhp more powerful. Big deal. At the same time, BMW are about to pull the plug on the C1, perhaps the most truly innovative two wheeled device since the Quasar.



It would make you weep!



John H
 

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The issue I suppose is this . . .

. . . For the vast majority of riders, the level of affordable performance of sport bikes is so high that it already exceeds their needs and abilities. Not to mention that appropriate riding environments to test those limits are infrequently available. So the quite legitimate question for the OEMs is . . ."Love the handling, acceleration, braking, now what else can you do for me?". Not sure if cruise control is the answer to that question, but maybe more size adjustable ergos. Sport bikes seem to have this "one-size fits all" attribute that any short, tall, fat, weak person can tell you doesn't work very well. What say you, Japan?
 

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I think the motorcycle market is lacking in adjustability and adaptability. Bikes are too focused and cannot be easily adapted for other uses. How about a sportbike with dual range tranny and bolt on upright bars with clip on bags, and possibly interchangeable larger front fairing and windshield. Instant sport tourer without buying a new bike. Change it back when you get home. Also include adjustable bars, pegs, suspension and seat. Cars have been totally adjustable for 30 years, and this area is certainly where bikes lack. The question is; where do bikes go when they can't make them faster and lighter every year?
 

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This is an interesting conundrum. Manufacturers spend huge dollars on R&D for race replica bikes which only make up about 16% of total bike sales. I would guess the theory is that winning races transfers to better sales across the board.



Some manufacturers (BMW comes to mind)have concentrated on designing more creature comforts into their mainstream bikes. Heated grips, heated seats, adjustable airflow, etc. Honda and Yamaha have started offering these amenities on their latest sport-touring bikes. Will winning races create more sales of these bikes? It's doubtful as the majority of people buying these types of bikes are older and less consumed by racing victories in making their next bike choices. They are more concerned with a seat's long distance comfort than their ability to hang off it, etc., etc.



Of course sport-touring riders (and cruiser riders) don't feel the need to have the latest, fastest, trickest bike being sold while buyers of race bikes and race replicas do. So, that 16% of the market turns over on a regular basis. So is that why the manufacturers keep pouring the R&D dollars into this section of the market? Damned if I know.
 

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You have to be kidding me! If the rate of innovations seen on sport bikes is adopted by the automotive industry, then maybe consumers in general are better off. I am an advocate of lighter weight translates to better performance. Use of exotic materials like titanium, magnesium and aluminum are rare except on higher end exotics in the car world but oh so common in the motorcycle industry. Innovative manufacturing process like the new aluminum die-casting technology by Yamaha and Honda would do wonders in the automotive industry. Sportbikes’ small, light and informative gauges are way ahead of the car industry. I could go on but you get the drift. I guess your idea of innovation is a leather lazy boy, ability to talk on your cell while driving with one hand, access to the internet, quiet and climate-controlled environment all stuffed in a heavy vehicle propelled by a gas guzzling big engine. Can you say "backward mentality"?

Riding motorcycle is a different experience. You are supposed to be exposed to the elements, turn by leaning in and dodge big bugs on the highway. That is what makes riding fun. If you cannot handle that then maybe, it is time to hang the helmet. A Hummer is your idea of innovation so go buy one. As for the rest of us, we will continue to enjoy the sportbike innovations you so despise. Leave us alone!
 

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"Cars have been totally adjustable for 30 years, and this area is certainly where bikes lack."



I disagree. My Honda Accord does not magically become a Ferrari by changing the steering wheel and seats.

 

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You know, if they didn't sell them they would change. Look at the V-Twin Harley crowd. The Harley hasn't really changed for 80 years. Yet they sell them almost as fast as they can make them. People who want more have to wait until the manufacturers feel they can sell the things. Of course, I believe Gold Wings have cruise control and all kinds of stereo stuff. And doesn't someone sell a tail refridgerator for the BMW KLwhatever?



If you don't like the bikes don't buy them. Hell I ride Suzuki TL1000's. I have an S and an R. Yet all you hear are what a hunk of crap these things are. Well, I will say if you believe that you haven't ridden one.



Bikes are made to ride, you are out in the air, don't whine about climate control. We can;t even call you a little girl about it because it isn't PC, but it is a good comparison, don't you think?



Sorry Girls!
 
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