080416-top-10-disappointing-motorcycles-00-f

“You guys never say anything bad about the bikes you test.”

It’s a comment the MO staff occasionally hears, but to be honest, practically every motorcycle you can currently buy in the United States (we don’t have much experience with the small-displacement scoots sold in Asia) is pretty darn good. However, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some bad apples in the bunch, and for this week’s Top 10 list we MOrons are going to satisfy your curiosity with 10 motorcycles that left us feeling a little disappointed after testing them. The main crew of Kevin, Tom, Evans, John, and Yours Truly have scanned our memory banks for motorcycles we were really excited to ride, but were instead left with a sour taste in our mouths. Here they are, in no particular order.

  • 12er

    Ah the 600 Katana, or as I called them, “The Shmoo.”

    • sgray44444

      known as the can-o-tuna around here.

  • john phyyt

    Really scratching to find even mildly disappointing bikes. Shows how good things really are. Early efi fueling issues ( triumph 600, MV Augusta ) blighted what were good overall bikes. This may be a question all of itself. But can. these older “jerky” bikes be re-flashed with modern knowledge and ECUs etc and be made to function well.

  • Born to Ride

    I’m glad that the multi 1100s only got berated on her looks. While she is indeed a butterface, she is also one of the one of the most fun “practical” bikes you will ever find. I chuck wheelies and chase down liter bikes on Palomar all the time on mine, then commute 4-500 miles a week. Also, from what I am told, while the streetfighter 1098 could be vastly improved by professional suspension set up and a high mount exhaust to unclutter your footing. 140 rwhp plus a mountain of torque, and rock solid old school Ducati handling. Obviously you chuck those Ducati trademark lubricated footpegs too.

    • Goose

      As a former due ‘Strada owner I’d add I found the bike to be a truly weird dichotomy. Everything Ducati was great, everything that moron touched was crap. Frame, engine, suspension, great. What kind of idiot mounts the (rock hard) seat to the gas tank then makes the gas tank an all day project to remove? How poor is your understanding of mechanical engineering to mount the instrument cluster and the top of the fairing on two skinny pieces of aluminum with no triangulation, guaranteeing they’d shake like Yamaha’s tuning fork at the slightest provocation?

      Yup, the bike is a hoot on a twisty road, that is why I bought the ugly thing. Putting up with Terblanche’s incompetence made me sell it.

      • Vrooom

        To be fair, Ducati never really prioritized convenient access on any of it’s bikes. It takes me an hour to get my ST’s battery removed. It’s not as bas that Multi was though.

        • Goose

          I’m not a Ducati expert. All I have to compare is my mid-nineties Monster and the Multi. Working on the Monster was a piece of cake compared to the Multi.

        • Born to Ride

          Idk,not all designs are made equal on that front. My S2R1000 takes all of 5 minutes to strip down to bare engine and frame. Tank is held on by a latch and one pin, and the whole saddle comes off with the key, exposing the whole vertical cylinder head, airbox, battery, and wiring for the lights and engine. The multi however, yeah…. Not so much.

  • Mahatma

    I was sure the pacific coast would beat them all.

    • Gruf Rude

      . . . and they didn’t even mention the awful vacuum effect of the windshield that moved your helmet like a rowboat in heavy seas.

      • Mahatma

        They were so ugly that I once thought I’d own one so I could have bragging rights both ways estethically;)

  • DickRuble

    I find the Multistrada 1100s the most intriguing, desirable bike of the past twenty years. The only thing that keeps me from getting one is fear of maintenance and dealing with Ducati dealers.

  • DickRuble

    “within the first 50 kilometers of riding it.” Those Cleveland things have odometers in kilometers? Or were you riding them in Spain?

  • Oren Danger Ovadia

    actually here in israel people like the heist it looks good and with our 90-110kph speed limits its a fine ride ive seen some with over 20k miles on em! id like to see it with a 500 cc engine even a 450 it well styled and custamizable

  • Gruf Rude

    What, no mention of the horrible VTEC successor to the original gear driven cam Honda VFR800? Or the piggy VFR 1200? Two of the biggest disappointments in motorcycling.

    • Mahatma

      From the lack of love going hondas way here,when I clicked on this article I feared 2/3 would be hondas.Guess there are bigger let downs out there.

      Good article boys.One question:Why those ebay addicles you sometimes have here.Purely money,or does somebody on this site think those are actually a good idea?It detracts very much to this site IMHO.

      • Born to Ride

        They are gags? Burns posts them and generally they have some sort of irony to them. I don’t see any sort of paid advertising by Ebay on this site. I suppose the craiglist articles must be for profit too eh?

        • Mahatma

          Click on ‘Five tools every rider needs’ article and on my machine it directs it to http://www.ebay.com domain.Not many of them,but I find them annoying.

          Guess you adhere to the conform or die group;)

  • Vrooom

    The multistrada (air cooled version) was weird looking with that split fairing, but unlike most of these bikes handled beautifully and that engine is sweet. The PC800, while looking like it belonged in some film about a blasé yet dystopian future, did have a weirdly smooth engine, it felt like an electric bike. It wasn’t quick by any standard, but would cruise at 100 all day (once rode one across Montana). The maxi scooter comparison is a good one. No Buell B-last? That thing was a dog.

    • DickRuble

      The MS 1100s was also about 100lbs lighter than the new MSs. Go Xcountry on a scooter, be it BMW, then compare to the PC800.

      • Vrooom

        I was thinking terms of looks re the maxi-scooter. I don’t think there are a lot of those that can cruise at 100 for hours at a time, but the closest I’ve gotten to riding a maxi-scooter is a Burgman 400.

  • Douglas

    VRod (except the Porsche motor) for the godawful seating position (unless you’re over 6’3″)

    • 12er

      Im over 6’3 and foot forwards are just wrong, puts my knees in the sky…

    • http://about.me/PaulMEdwards Paul M Edwards

      Point of contention: The V-Rod motor was originally derived from the VR-1000 race bike and was in development by Erik Buell to be used in his next-gen bike. It was hijacked by H-D for their anniversary bike. When H-D added on unnecessary “cooling” fins, Erik distanced himself from it and eventually worked with Rotax to build an entirely new engine of his own design. H-D continued to screw it up and Porsche had to help them fix the problems they caused.

      http://lanesplitter.jalopnik.com/one-man-s-imperfect-quest-to-build-sportbikes-in-americ-1704285665
      http://thekneeslider.com/erik-buell-interview/
      http://www.adandp.media/articles/buell-builds-a-better-engine(2)

      I’m 6’2″ and I owned a 2007 H-D V-Rod VRSCAW. I found it quite uncomfortable to ride for more than 1 hour. It did, however, sound INCREDIBLE with the aftermarket Toxic Choppers V-LUX pipes.

      I also owned a 2007 Buell XB12R, which was a good bike, just under-powered for my tastes. I upgraded to a 2008 Buell 1125R, which I still have after over 63,000 miles. It is the best bike I’ve ever owned/ridden including the V-Rod & XB12R, my 2005 Yamaha FJR1300ATC & 2010 Yamaha FZ6-R, and many different friends’ bikes and demo rides from brands including: BMW, Aprilia, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki. Absolutely nothing tops the 1125R for the full package of price, performance, handling, and all-day comfort. I’ve taken many road-trips on the 1125R: 4,000 miles in 10-days was easy on this bike.

      My Motorcycles (past & present):
      https://goo.gl/photos/E2fkezp5nyngBDjo8

  • DickRuble

    What’s missing here is the biggest disappointment of the XXI century, after mucho ballyhoo and PR BS, Victory birthed the octane to everyone’s horror, crushing Brasfield’s faith in humanity.

    • Old MOron

      Hey, after I upvote you, you go and add that bit about Brassfixtures’ faith in Humanity. I’m not sure anything could shake his faith in humanity.

      • DickRuble

        I hadn’t finished editing my comment. You can take your upvote back if you disagree.. The beauty of Disqus.

        • Old MOron

          Naw, I just wanted to call him Brassfixtures.
          Besides, that POS Octane crushed my faith in humanity.

  • Old MOron

    “Here they are, in no particular order.”

    I see a very particular order, which is that the bikes must be long out of production. Oh well, no one expects you to step on your dick just to amuse your readers.

  • JMDonald

    I always looked at the 1100S as the A10 Warthog of motorcycles. Anyone who flew one loved them. I would think anyone lucky enough to have ridden an 1100S felt the same. The Pacific Coast was way too wussy hipster for me regardless of its utility. My favorite Monster will always be the the 1100 EVO. All you need to know is what you like.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Most disappointing bike I ever was exposed to was my ’74 Honda MT250 as a kid. Two strokes and breaker points ignitions do not mix. On a good day the bike ran, not well, but it ran, turning gasoline into raggedly combusted forward motion, sort of. It is amazing I stayed in the sport. The ’79 RM125 (with CDI) changed all that, and here we are today!

    Recently rode a friends Triumph Thruxton R and was disappointed by it’s narrow power range (4K to 7K). I am more jaded than Mr. Ruble it seems 😉

  • schizuki

    I remember the print rags ball-washing Pierre Terblanche and lapping up his design philosophy bulls*** like cats on cream. Must have been his accent that made them gaga – the bikes were naked-emporer hideous to anyone with eyeballs and a cerebellum. What a con job he pulled off on Ducati and the bike press.

    And I don’t want to hear about the Supermono or whatever it was. Doesn’ make up for the rest.

    • DickRuble
      • Goose

        Except its little more than a copy of the 916 with a cylinder removed.

        • Kevin Duke

          Actually, it’d be more accurate to say the 916 is a copy of the Supermono…

          • Goose

            You’re right the mono came out a year sooner but, given the resemblance I find it hard to believe they weren’t developed together. Given it takes much longer to develop a street bike than a track bike I don’t think the mono coming out first shows it was the original.
            Or, let me put it another way, if this is truly Terblanche’s work why is everything else he he designed from interesting to fugly? OTOH, Tamburini has a long history of gorgeous bikes. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe Terblanche had one great design in him and this is that bike, too bad everything else he has done hasn’t shown nearly this much talent.

  • halfkidding

    The most disappointing motorcycle has to be the new Harley Sportster. That is the non existent new Sportster to replace the 59 year old current model. Try to get your mind around this. 59 years. It’s like packing up the family and going down to the local motor mile because you said to yourself, I need a new car that’s like a Sportster. So up and down the boulevard you go, looking for the Packard dealer.

    • Kevin Duke

      You realize that’s not even close to true, right…?

  • Gary

    I am familiar with the Pacific Coast. Wretched, pathetic bike. The only thing it did well was serve as a torpedo. I was riding with someone who crashed one once at 60 mph, and it behaved exactly how you would expect 600 pounds of tupperware to behave, having been set loose at 60 mph. It skimmed the tarmac without friction, and torpedoed a car parked some 200 meters away, exacting revenge against the four-wheeled universe. “With my last breath I spit at thee ….”

    • Born to Ride

      Never seen or ridden a pacific coast. But this comment made me nearly choke to death on an ice cube. You have a way with words sir. lol

  • Donald Silvernail

    Wow, I started this list with great anticipation. Silly me, I thought I would find out what **currently sold** bikes didn’t impress.

  • Infadel Macgee

    All the adventure bikes are ugly . The Duc should be compared to the other adventure bikes . I think the vstrom should win the ugliest trophy . The Duc is beautiful in comparison .

  • Infadel Macgee

    And you guys are just being tards about the streetfighter. It’s an awesome bike and yes I have ridden one a few times .

    • Kevin Duke

      If it was truly awesome, it would still be in Ducati’s lineup.

  • ddraper32309

    Even with it being under powered, and always being confused as a moped, I loved the PC. In Florida during the fall and spring it can get real cold riding in the morning, but the afternoon’s can be hot as hell. When going to FSU, I could carry all my books and stash all my jackets in the back bucket. Great bike.

  • Speedwayrn@yahoo.com

    As the years go by I find myself liking the Multi 1000/1100/620 series more and more. I used to own one. Like the 999 as the years go by I am liking PT designs more and more. Maybe he was just too far ahead of time. After all the Kawasaki Versys was just a rip off of the air cooled Multistradas so somebody at Kawasaki liked them.
    In the not so distant future my Motus should be showing up on this list….

  • Flubbly

    Royal Enfield Continental GT would be on my list. Lipstick on a pig.

    As for Terblanche’s Ducatis: I appreciate his designs, and believe the 999 doesn’t get the respect it deserves. I for one think that the aircooled Multistrada looks much more purposeful than the current Angry Bird.

  • novemberjulius

    I personally don’t think online reviews are too nice, but rather too harsh. They all seem to draw attention to the cons off each bike. After reading a review I feel less inclined to buy the bike because of the potential drawbacks (poor braking, buzzy motor, handling feel, etc.).
    Furthermore, most of my future bike buying will probably be used bikes. I can’t afford the new stuff, but it’s hard to find a user review out there.
    I did enjoy this list though, and I wouldn’t mind owning a PCH if it were in good condition. :)

  • Novatoan

    What, no hate for the R1200C? Completely outside BMW’s wheelhouse.

  • Patrick Trammell

    It is apparent when you rode the Katana that you either didn’t know how to ride or just simply afraid of it. Yes it is heavy in the front end and with that you loose straight line speed but if you grow a pair she will corner with the best of them having the weight in the front is a beating flicking it thru corners but the feel it gives you and added grip on front tyre compensates for that. I take my Katana on track and she does not park in the corners to take naps additionally long trips are great it is the most comfortable sportbike you can ride being its a sport touring. So having this bike on the list I firmly disagree with

  • Ron Austin

    This Suzuki Marauder is claimed to be an 800, but it sure looks a lot like the 1600 Kawasaki Mean Streak clone that Suzuki used. Those rocker boxes are unmistakable.

  • Scott

    Pacific Coast? I used to see them around. It had a cool trunk, but that’s about it. For this to be on your “most disappointing” list means that you really had high expectations for it? Really?

  • The Goat

    I’m surprised one of my past bikes made this list, the 2006 ZX10R, that thing was a beast, handled great, and was super fun, of the 31 motorcycles I’ve owned it was one of my favorite bikes.