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Old 08-14-2001, 08:49 AM   #71
VMAXEDOUT
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Default Re: Try these...

Just to set the record straight...I have no money, and I love high performance bikes...this explaines why I have no money..... The bike you seem to be describing is the Yamaha Vmax...I (as you may have guessed by the name) own one and I also have a '99 r1....Two totally different bikes for two diffrerent moods. You will always find a trade off as to what the factories send out for us to ride....you can't have your cake and eat it too. Not one of us would go into a Cadilac dealer and ask for the one that puts up the same no.'s as a ZR1 Corvette...so why do we want this in our bikes? Untill now the only bike IMHO that is worthy of both titles (speed and comfort) is the Vmax. Now...it is not the fastest nor is it the most comfortable. There is a compromise that we need to accept....I havn't....lol...with the addition of such things as USD forks and a set of 17" rims and a 180/55/zr17 rear and a host of other tuning mods i have tried to get the superbike out of my max. However I still had to go and buy a REAL superbike because no matter how much perfume you put on that goat....it's still a goat....All in all the Vmax is a super cruiser and it also has the ability to smoke a few sportbikes off the line...just don't follow them into the twistys...lol....G/L with your quest.

Thks for listening....
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Old 08-14-2001, 09:47 AM   #72
starvingstudent
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Default Re: I call it competing not copying...

1.) The SV650 was more influenced by the Honda Hawk GT, which predates Il Monstro and started the whole trend. Ducati copied Honda on that one, and Suzuki took ideas from both.



2.) I flipped through my Guggenheim _Art of the Motorcycle_ book, and I realized something. Look at a 1954 Vincent Black Shadow (British V-twin standard) and a the first Harley-Davidson Sportster, made in 1957. Except for a couple details, like fork gaiters stolen from other Brit bikes (yes, the first sporster even had black rubber fork gaiters! but it's not copying anything, no sir), the Sportster sure looks like a Vincent wannabe. Not competition, but full-out wannabe. Look up pictures if you don't believe me.



About the other brit bikes, did you say a sportster was competition and not a rip-off because of different engine type? Well, last time I checked, the Vulcan engine isn't too near to that of a Harley. It's a v-twin, and that's the ONLY similarity.



3.) You say that the SV650S and the Firebolt look completely different, are just in the same general class. And yet you turn around and say that the Mean Streak looks just like a Deuce wannabe (that is different in every detail)? Well, the SV and Firebolt are no further apart than the two cruisers. Both have twin oval headlamps, a half-fairing, a very prominent aluminum frame, a v-twin engine, short wheelbase, size and statistics that make it for pleasure not professional racing, and very similar lines on the tail. The only difference is, the Firebolt still looks all blocky and fugly like an artist's rendition on crack, whereas the SV650S looks polished and finished. So either the M.S. is a Deuce wannabe AND the Firebolt is a SV wannabe, OR the M.S. and the Firebolt are BOTH competition, not rip-offs. Make your pick.
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Old 08-14-2001, 09:53 AM   #73
starvingstudent
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Default Re: Feeding the inner child

"All the baby boomers got back into motorcycles, bought cruisers, and now they dress up on weekends and play outlaw bikers."



As opposed to all my mates on sportbikes, who have never been to a racetrack but still play boy racer on sunday afternoons?



If you want practicality, a standard or sport-standard is better in every way for real-world riding than a sportbike. The only time a sportbike is better is at in the super-high-speed, super-tight-corners, super-smooth-asphalt environment of a racetrack.



I'd love it if all motorcyclists just respected each other, but whenever I try to be like that, some Harley rider or GSXR rider feels the urge to criticize my machine.
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Old 08-14-2001, 10:07 AM   #74
starvingstudent
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Default Re: Feeding the inner child

"My original point is that a sporty position in general is better than the basic cruiser layout, meaning your Harley 883, Honda Shadow, etc."



Maybe for you, but not for everyone. Those cruiser riders in Wyoming were not posing. You can't pose when you only pass another vehicle every 45 minutes.



Second of all, let's think about this rationally. You like a sportbike seating position because it lets you distribute weight onto your feet, butt, and hands equally. But consider a few things--some people whose knees work differently than yours object to the acute angle that sportbike pegs place your knees at. You don't mind it, I don't mind it (hell, I can sit in seiza for hours), but it kills my father's joints and many others. Perhaps a reason that older people often go towards cruisers and younger people often go towards sportbikes?



Second of all, weight on the wrists. My father has ridden an FJ1100 on multiple occasions (a friend owns it), and even on that his hands fall asleep after fifteen minutes. His body just doesn't like him keeping body weight on the arms. Many other people are like that too, including me.



You are right that tourers are probably the most comfortable machines out there. You point out that they don't have forward controls, and they have big windshields to prevent stress on the neck from sitting upright (not that cruisers never have shields...). On the other hand, they don't place weight on your wrists and they don't keep your knees at a tight angle. Sportbikes are at least as far from the Goldwing comfort ideal as cruisers are.



See? Not everybody has the same comfort requirements. You like your VFR--good! Keep riding it. There's nothing better than seeing someone who loves their motorcycle. But don't mock other people's motivations for riding other machines when you have no empirical evidence.



"How the hell do you think that Harley could market and sell a hardtail motorcycle, if cruiser buyers were interested in comfort? " It was a different era (before WWII, I think). People had different expectations of a motor vehicle. For chrissake, when my dad was a kid in the 60's, people thought a 40 horsepower bike was a hairy-chested, raging beast. Now, a 75-horsepower Nighthawk is considered a beginner's bike.
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Old 08-14-2001, 10:11 AM   #75
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Default Re: Kawasaki Mean Streak reader feedback

It took me a while to get behind this whole cruiser thing to begin with, you know? i couldn't figure out why we were glorifying all that yester-tech like wheezy motors and lousy brakes..But finally i felt like i got it....i live in a place where you have to drive a hundred miles to get to a road with any curves in it at all and when you take the fun of twisties out of sportbike ownership, you haven't got much left besides a plasticky looking device that leaves your girlfriends ass sticking up in the air as you ride by. so, after a while the cruiser thing starts to sink in: go slow, look phat and pay particularly close attention to your fashion accessories, i.e. chaps, bandanas and them funny little fingerless gloves.

now though, i'm supposed to expand my understanding of cruisers to include the concept of 'power' and i'm having more than a little trouble with this--i mean with all this 'power' won't we be passing by too quickly to let folks see how great we look? how we've perfected 'the slouch'? after we've spent hours looking in the mirror to perfect that bored i'm-too-sexy-for my-chaps insousance. the faster my bike, the sooner i'm gone and THEN how are you going to appreciate my......where was i? oh yeah, the new kawasaki meanstreak......well go buy one if you like it and stop bothering me.

g'night....
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Old 08-14-2001, 10:37 AM   #76
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Default Re: Feeding the inner child

Sportbike riders buy for image at least as much as cruiser riders do. It's just a different image - it's an image of performance instead of an "I'm soooo bad" image. Obviously they're not buying R1's, GSX-R's and CBR's for their performance since about 1% of sportbike riders can actually use more than 60% of their bikes capability. But still, these goofballs are always having to upgrade to the latest and greatest every couple of years even though they can only use half of the performance of the bike they had three bikes ago. At least the cruiser guys aren't going 90 on one wheel down city streets, barebacked and helmetless. No, we don't see returning riders buying GSX-R's, we see 19 year olds getting their first or second bike who are afraid their bike might be 1/10 of a second slower than their buddy's, and that just wouldn't make them cool enough. Compare the number of sportbikes sold vs. the number of signups for track time and then come tell me people don't buy them for image. Off the racetrack there are a lot better choices for a streetbike.



I haven't known anyone who regularly takes a real sportbike (FYI, VFR's are not real sportbikes, they are meant for the street) on long rides. I've known lots of Harley riders who regularly do several hundred mile days. They get big windshields and suddenly the riding position isn't so straining. I think a lot of them buy for image, even though I've ridden with Harley guys lots of times on my jap bikes and never taken any sh!t for it (image buyers tend to be condecending toward other styles of bikes).



Personally, my impression of real sportbikes is that they are really good for one thing - riding at high speeds on a closed course - and not very good at other types of riding. They really suck to ride at low speeds - sometimes even my SV650 is a pain at low speeds, so I can't imagine the pain of sitting on a GSX-R in a traffic jam or on a 30 MPH road with lousy pavement. Even a VFR would hurt there - they are way more leaned forward than my SV is.



I agree about the segmentation today - you have to look hard to find a Motorcycle as opposed to a toy meant for a single purpose, and again this tells me people are buying for image rather than usefulness. If everyone bought bikes for general street functionality, the only bikes made today we'd see are Nighthawks, Bandits, SV650's, R1150R's, ST1100's, Gold Wings, and some of the smaller, more upright cruisers like the Vulcan 500's (sorry if I missed a particular all-around-good-bike, but you get the idea, these are all bikes meant to be ridden any particular way, not just one, i.e. "cruising/posing" or "sport-riding"). To me standards and the less-extreme sport-tourers are motorcycles, and everything else is pretty much a narrowly focused toy, mostly for the image-concious buyer.
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Old 08-14-2001, 11:13 AM   #77
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Default Re: I call it competing not copying...

The Ducati Monster is a copy of a Honda Hawk and a Sportster a Vincent wannabe? I think you missed with your mouse --the "Mundane Humor" is another thread just above this one. No need for me to look up what a Black Shadow looks like --I've seen one in the flesh and all I can say is "Harley" didn't come to mind at all.



As for the Duece vs. MS I *only* compared the rear fender. I never said it was a complete Duece wannable. The entire bike taken as a whole is not a rip-off of any one *particular* Harley model any more than just about every metric cruiser out there is, with a few notable exceptions that some people refuse to acknowledge as even *being* cruisers because they don't look enough like a Harley!



Keep thumbing through those books at the library and I'm sure you'll find some better evidence than what you've cited so far that *some* company at some point in history engaged in copying even more blatent than the entire metric cruiser phenom in general does. I'm sure you'll try. Have fun but I think I'll go for a ride instead.
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Old 08-14-2001, 11:44 AM   #78
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Default A couple of notes here...

The base Harley 883 is not *supposed* to be comfortable as-is. It's a value-priced model that you buy as a blank canvas and customize, with the first additions often being a windscreen, a real seat and highway pegs so your feet can at least change positions. Accessorized correctly, it's a very comfortable bike if you stay below speeds where vibration becomes obnoxious. I've done as much as a 700 mile day on one years ago, and a 500 mile day recently on a rented one and wasn't even tired.



Also note that back when Harley made *actual* hardtails (as opposed to bikes that look like it but are very cushy monoshock suspensions in disguise) nobody had ever heard of a "cruiser" or "sportbike" in the sense we know them today. Many hardtails were ridden by the motorcyclists of the day who had the most reason of any to be concerned with all-day comfort, cops! Actually they used huge suspended seats to attain reasonable comfort and it was mainly handling that was extremely poor by today's standards. Only years later did hardtails become popular fodder for custom choppers, which eventually led to the hardtail styling both Harley and some metric cruisers embrace today.
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Old 08-14-2001, 12:08 PM   #79
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Default Not Enough to compete.

This test reads like a rationalization of Kawasaki's marketing hype. They asked a few cruiser riders how much HP they wanted and provided test bikes, and found out that 65 was about right..... Hmmm Did they ask any "Power" cruiser riders? I'll admit that the styling and brakes are both a step in the right direction, but the Mean Streak is going to get SPANKED!
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Old 08-14-2001, 12:28 PM   #80
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Default Re: Try these...

I agree with many of your points. However, I want a V-Twin, which is the staple for most of the "cruiser" segment. Also, while the Vmax is a great bike, I think I'd like to have something of a newer variety. Wasn't the first Vmax produced in 1905 (it sure seems like it). Anyway, I believe you can get what you want when you are persistant enough. I personally don't care to compromise on anything if I don't have too. The bike I want is not a Vmax. It's something much more like I already own....a Confederate Hellcat. However, I want a seat for two, real world ground clearance (for the twisties), pegs in the right place and a big name company to back it. I think if the power cruiser segment continues to heat up, I may yet see a Super Hawk or TL powered cruiser that will suit my needs just fine. Thanks for the input!
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