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Old 08-14-2005, 01:01 PM   #211
wwalkersd
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Default Re: Right on... Please provide more examples of possible contenders...

I can't tell you how many Duc ST2/4 tests I've read that called it "all-day comfortable". I bought an ST4 (felt good on the 15-minute test ride), and I have to say those testers must be folks who find 996s and the like comfortable. It was great in the twisties, but to me (47 y.o.), it just didn't work. The main problem for me was neck pain from tilting my head "up" to level so I could see. I learned to support myself with my abs, so wrist pain wasn't an issue. And I had bar risers on my mine, too. I ended up trading it in on a V-Strom. Now _that's_ a comfortable bike, especially with an aftermarket seat.
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Old 08-14-2005, 01:32 PM   #212
wwalkersd
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Default Re: Manifesto Part Duex: Gabe Prophesies The End Of Sportbikes

[i]my first bike was a Kawasaki H2[i]



...and you lived to tell about it!!!!
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Old 08-14-2005, 01:45 PM   #213
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Default Re: Manifesto Part Duex: Gabe Prophesies The End Of Sportbikes

OK, JB, I'm late to this party (been on the road, putting 2800 miles on my V-Strom), but I think you may have pointed out something useful, i.e. "if u r bout 5'7"". How many of us who prefer upright bikes are around 6' or more? Or, put another way, how many of you that think sportbikes are comfy are shorter than, say, 5'9"?



Anybody know what the average size of a pro racer is? The homologation specials (Supersports and Superbikes, etc.) are designed for them.



I'm 5'11", 33" inseam. Give me upright.
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Old 08-14-2005, 09:48 PM   #214
ian_orange
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Default Re: Manifesto Part Duex: Gabe Prophesies The End Of Sportbikes

Couldn't agree more Gabe.



I live in Australia where most of the 'interesting' roads are narrow and bumpy.



We too are afflicted by too many people riding bikes that are not suited to our riding conditions.



My Honda Varadero is perfect for these riding conditions and when the bitumen stops, I don't have to. My bike is not exactly a 'standard' bike but they sell thousands of them in Europe.



I keep saying it's the perfect class of bike for Australia and I love rounding up sportsbikes on narrow, twisty, bumpy back roads.



Although there are healthy sales here in Oz of many of the more practical machines from Europe and Japan that can cope with our conditions, there are still to many impractical machines sold.



My bike's not for sale either even though I've clocked up 108,000 kilometres in just under 5 years.





Ian

XL1000V Varadero

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Old 08-15-2005, 05:06 AM   #215
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Default Re: Manifesto Part Duex: Gabe Prophesies The End Of Sportbikes

Wow. That's kind of freaky when someone reads my mind like that!



Except I have to say I disagree with the conclusion. Gabe seems to think that if the naked standards had all the high-tech equipment that the fully-faired sportbikes do, then they would sell better. I don't agree. What he has forgotten in his consideration is that the reason the standard bikes are "dumbed down" is to make them fit a price point. The marketing geniuses and the bean counters have to figure out not just what kind of bikes people will buy, but how much they'll pay for them. The SV650, for example, is a popular bike because of its standard design and all-around capabilities, but also because of its low price. If the high-tech stuff was added (advanced suspension, upside-down forks, etc), then the people who buy the SV because it's a "bargain bike" would be priced out of the new-bike market. For every "convert" from the sportbike world, you would lose two bargain-buyers who might think it's a great bike, but just don't want to pay $8,000 for it.



I can think of no better example of this than the late, great Trimuph Thunderbird Sport. Here was a great bike with lots of power, standard seating position, good looks, and a name that just reeks of history, but the manufacturer finally had to drop it because people just weren't willing to pay the $9,000 price, no matter how nice the bike. The Speed Four is the exception that proves the rule: It's a big seller not just because it's fast, comfortable, and cool, but also because it's priced competitively with the FZ6, 599, and Monster 620.



Still, a good article that will (I hope!) get more people to think about motorcycling as something to do and not something to be.

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Old 08-30-2005, 03:32 PM   #216
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Default Re: Manifesto Part Duex: Gabe Prophesies The End Of Sportbikes

It would seem Gabe is on to something. The July 29th Wall Street Journal had an article titled, "Easier Riders", touting bikes like the Duc Multistrada, BMW F650GS, Suzuki V-Strom 650 as "Models for First-Timers".



These bikes all offer at least a modi***** of wind protection, at least decent acceleration and handling, and respectable fuel economy (KTM 625SMC is supposed to get 65 mpg!)



Personally, I would love to see a Yamaha FJ900 - similar ergos, shaft drive, big gas tank, and luggage options as the FJ1300, but a bit lighter, an upside-down fork for no compromise in handling, a 5-valve Genesis engine with torque-oriented cams, steel liners for durability, and fuel injection - the engine tuned to maximize torque and fuel economy over peak horsepower.



Or maybe BMW could lop two cylinders off their new sportbike and make an inline-twin K650-S (stroked a bit to amend a weight/displacement deficit).



- Jim
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:45 AM   #217
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Default Re: Manifesto Part Duex: Gabe Prophesies The End Of Sportbikes

This is a very good article that hits the nail on the head big time. Bikes have to become more than a fashion accessory in NAmerica. Maybe they will with pricier gas. I ride daily to work six months of the years in Toronto. I've been on a sporty standards (ZR7s, Bandit12, EX500) over 6 years and they rule on so many fronts - cost, comfort, etc. But they should have better tech on them if they want to avoid become a self-fulfilling low-sales prophecy. I'm moving to an SV650s but that's as sporty and as expensive as it goes for me.
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:02 AM   #218
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Default Re: The reason standards can't win

what's wrong with K1200R? just bought one

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