Why Isn't Every Make and Model of Bike the Same?

Questions along this line seem to come from MO readers with regularity, especially whenever an out-of-the-mainstream model is tested.Examples: "Why does Harley continue to use that antiquated V-twin?" "Why does Moto Guzzi turn their engine sideways?" "Why does BMW use a flat twin?"These questions are usually followed by the statement that everybody else uses a more-modern, more-state-of-the-art, or simply more-conventional configuration and that Harley, Moto Guzzi, Ducati, BMW, or whoever should get with the program.Geez. If they did, wouldn't the world of motorcycles be incredibly boring?Imagine every showroom filled with rows of identical inline-four crotch rockets. Is that what people want?I don't think so. Variety is the spice of life, and adding spice to life is what motorcycling is about.

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George Obradovich
George Obradovich

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