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The reason the 1000 Eliminator didn't do so well is that it was "Tuned for Torque" (heard that before?). If I recall correctly, it made a few horses less than the 900 Eliminator (which had a detuned 900 Ninja motor). I think the 900 was 89 rwhp, and the 1000 was about 86 rwhp (the first Vmax did 119 rwhp). The torque went up, though- and the 1000 was the roll on champ for a year or two by a hair.



But it seems to be common sense that if you make a bike with drag styling and give it a name full of bravado (i.e. "Eliminator" or "Mean Streak"), that it should be able to back it up. The 0-60 was excellent thanks to the gearing and midrange, but afterwards you had to be ready for the Vmax to jump to hyperspeed, pass you, and put a few bikelengths between you. Not an effective sales tool, in the '80's or now.



When the '83 V65 Magna came out, magazines quoted 1/4 mile times right at 11 seconds. Then in '85 the Vmax had talk of low 10's. The 900 Eliminator was typically 11.1 or 11.2's, and the 1000 was slower still. At this point is seems like all the open class bikes got slower than the previous year's bikes. But no matter how you look at it, an 86 hp 1000 is not going to woo buyers form a fire-breathing, 119 hp, 1200 that sounds like it' s got a small block in it (and is almost a second faster in the 1/4!).



I have been thinking about this for years: Kawasaki should take their ZRX and do an Eliminator version of it. They can use some Muzzy designed go fast parts, some ZZR1200 parts and probably come up with a real 150 hp .



But that engine is derived from the original, 900 Ninja, and may not have more room for improvement left in the design. I was just thinking of this a few days ago, and acecycleins's idea mirrors my own: use the ZX14/1400 Concours motor and maybe chassis as a starting point; and then build a bike that has the look and the performance to back it up. The Zx14 motor would definitely be the right engine for the job.



There seems to be two main things that any manufacturer needs to do to make a bike like this a success:



1.) Make it look GOOD. Style is critical for sales success. Many buyers (like myself) subconsciously weigh looks, performance, price, and reputation/image - then give the bike a "value" based on what each of these things means to them. For me, it HAS to look good in the garage. If I walk out to the bike and my passion about it is equal to the lawnmower, it won't be ridden. The bike has to have an appeal. Make me daydream about the next ride, and stay out an extra hour of three just staring at it. Many bikes have made me feel this, and they stayed in the garage for many years.



This theoretical bike needs to make it's target buyer have an emotional bond to it. So impart it with the look of speed, and the battle is half over.



2.) Performance. Ideally, all big v-twins would be considered "powercruisers with 100 or so hp, so this should be a musclebike, since it should have WAY over 100 hp. The claimed hp should be higher than any other naked bike, if not every other bike period. But in the real world, the highest hp bike isn't always the fastest. Make it FEEL fast, and easy to ride.



The goal here is to engineer a balanced package that is easy to launch, and gives the rider the feeling of a street legal top fuel bike. The Vmax did this, the others didn't. The Vmax is 22 years old, the others are literally history.



Make is a bike that re-aligns your chromosomes with every twist of the throttle, and looks more serious than Eastwood's stare, and it'd be a hit. I'd buy one.
 
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