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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

The Next Big Thing: MD Readers’ Responses

On May 15, 2001, I asked MD’s readers to e-mail me with their thoughts regarding the next big thing in motorcycling. As usual, the response was overwhelming (well over 100 e-mail on this subject within 48 hours) and insightful. Here are just a few of the many responses (unedited) that we received.

  • Hopefully the Next Big Thing will be naked bikes with full sport
    specification motors, frames, suspension and brakes. These bikes would
    have all the performance and handling of the sport bikes, with the
    exception of a more upright (read comfortable) riding position. They
    should be even lighter than their sporty siblings due to the absence of
    fairings, etc. How about it manufacturers? Lets put the good stuff on
    the naked bikes too!!

  • Back to quarter mile times. With top speed restrictions in place, the
    next big thing will be VMax styled bikes with 180-200 hp. How long will
    it be until a stock bike breaks into the 8 second bracket? This could be
    fun.

  • We will always need smaller, lighter more powerful bikes, but we need to
    re-invent the wheel so to speak.

    We need hydraulic rotational hubs instead of chain drive & more
    ergonomically styled bikes (the 1986 Suzuki Nuda immediately comes to mind).
    We need Heads Up Displays incorporated into our helmets (including a rear
    view camera) & we need better transmissions, something along the lines of a
    single gear hydrostatic drive (with the hydraulic hubs of course)or at the
    very least thumb operated clutchless shift buttons. Oh & all sportbikes
    should come from the factory with Ohlins forks on them until the time when
    front swingarm technology becomes a viable alternative to conventional
    forks.

    Externally we need a tiered licensing program where new riders at least 16
    years of age must ride a Streetbike not exceeding 250cc’s in displacement
    for a minimum of 2 years, but log no less than 4500 miles without a gross
    negligence incident. After that criteria is met the rider may ride a bike
    of any size displacement he/she desires. (that alone would deter most of
    the squids from even attempting to ride a bike)

    We also need to ban all vehicles with more than two wheels from using public
    roads on weekends & the speed limit will be lifted in its entirety from
    7:00am Saturday until 10:00pm Sunday. Any squid caught riding without
    protective gear (Helmet, long pants, gloves & boots at a minimum) will be
    banned from riding indefinitely. Any rider that causes an accident out of
    gross negligence while performing wheelies, stoppies or any other asinine
    stunt will be immediately sent to the StarGirlz Extreme Correction Center
    where they will repeatedly have the crap kicked out of them until they
    acquire the equivalent of a 4th grade education.

  • How about Cafe-racer replicas, but with updated technology? Lightweight
    single- or twin-cylinder powerplants, low clip-ons and maybe retro styling?

    People keep saying the naked bike craze is upon us, but here in Northern
    California, it’s all about high-performance modified sportbikes and custom
    cruisers. I rarely see a “naked” bike. I think this “fad” that everybody
    is touting really is not a fad. At least it isn’t here!

    When GP racing goes 4-stroke, expect to see a lot of GP-replica bikes on
    the street, with the stickers and everything……

  • I would suggest that the next big thing in America
    will be the marketing and use of a four stroke
    motocross bike re-configured for commuting in the
    urban environment. I’m not talking about dual purpose
    bikes. The best example at the moment would be the
    KTM Duke 2. I can envision Honda’s new four stroke
    motocrosser being reconfigured in a similar fashion,
    not just the addition of lights and a horn, but
    serious street only rubber as well. In europe the
    Duke 2 comes equipped with Pirelli MT-60s.

  • Easy. The luxo-Lexusing (and some Volvoing) of Motoland:
    The new Wing and the BMW C1 are the precursors. Acura 2000cc 2 wheeled sedan.

    -Seatbelts
    -AC
    -Airbags
    -Hondamatic
    -navigation
    -fully enclosed
    -pitch and roll sensors (these angular rate sensors are easy to add to the
    airbag accelerometers) for automatic outrigger extensions for low speed or
    stoplights/intersections.
    -no road feel or environmental inputs to the “rider” whatsoever (this is a
    Honda remember)
    -no motorcycling skills required either as all sensors feed a high speed
    gyroscope for complete 3-axis stability (sorta like that really cool R/C
    Tyco motocross bike toy)
    -sportbike, cruiser, SUV (adventure touring) versions available (only
    cosmetic and noise synthesis issues)
    -no M class license needed
    -automobile insurance rates
    -all other genres will be obsoleted.

  • It’s already arriving: Power standards. Suzuki Bandit 1200, Yamaha FZ-1, Honda Hornet 929 (coming soon, I hope). Neither cruisers nor sportbikes. Power and suspension of a sportbike, more comfortable for commuting.

  • Hmmm. Let’s see. Motorcycles are a want, not a need. What do we North
    Americans want in the way of motorcycles that hasn’t been met yet.
    Tough for me to speak for my fellow motorcyclists ’cause I don’t
    particularly like cruisers, though if they actually handled, stopped,
    and accelerated I might be swayed. Honda’s VTX is just too much, but I
    realize that, in this country, too much is not enough.

    Sport Bikes I like, but I know I don’t have skills or the cojones to
    use their full potential and I don’t want to feel like a poser riding a
    bike that is so much faster than I am. They’re stunningly functional
    bikes in that they do what a motorcycle should: Go fast, stop hard,
    handle very well. As recreational vehicles for those who can use them,
    they’re great. For everyday riding by moderately skilled motorcyclists,
    they’re much more than we need.

    Dual sport bikes are an underdeveloped catagory, but they’re all-round
    practicality probably condemns them to ho-hum sales levels for the
    forseeable future. Too bad.

    Standards. As much as the motorcycling press celebrates horsepower,
    go-to-jail top speeds, the newer hyper-standards fall into the too-much
    category. Remember, back in 1969, when the CB 750 came out, and it was
    fast! Now, the same bike-essentially- is considered a beginner’s bike,
    for God’s sake! Have beginner’s skill levels really increased that
    much, or are the magazines just interested in selling us what they like,
    and what their advertisers have for us.

    I’m interested in 750-900 cc standards, maybe shaft drive but not
    necessarily, low maintenance, ultra-reliable. Gee, kinda like a Honda
    Nighthawk, only the Euro version with dual disks front, single disk
    rear, and contemporary styling. How about a Bandit 750? The ZR-7 is
    close, but an up-dated engine would be nice. More than enough power,
    unless you’re a motorcycle magazine editor. A bike that would perish in
    the press, but would serve the needs and wants of middle-aged geezers
    like me. Not a new category, though, just the return of the UJM.

    I know; not gonna happen.

  • What the market needs are big V-twin standards with 90lb/ft of torque, 125HP and a sub 500lb wet weight that can handle and stop well. Something like a SV650 on steroids with 1200cc’s displacement or a Aprilia Mille with no body work. How about the Yamaha MT-01? Honda’s VTX1800 motor is probably too heavy to get packaged in the weight requirements I listed. As an owner of a highly modified ZRX1100, the only thing I would wish for out of it is less weight and more low end torque. That V-twin sound would be nice, too. I’ve spent quality time on a Monster 900S and came away thinking it would be the perfect motorcycle with double the power and a lower price. We can’t have everything, though.

  • Regarding your May 15th “The Next Big Thing” article,
    I’d like a sportbike/touring multi-purpose motorcycle.
    You’re probably saying that already exists, for example with Honda’s VFR.
    But what I’d want is not a “compromise” such as the so-called sport-tourers.

    I’d like a bike that can be modified according to the type of riding I want to do.
    Adjustable settings, like windshield height, handlebar height and distance from seat, suspension softness, etc.
    You’ll say some of these settings are already available, some electric, others manual.

    But I’d like all of these on one bike, for example a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10. There could be electronic controls in the cockpit to adjust the settings between “full-sport”, “sport-touring”, “long-range touring”, “commuting”, etc.

    “Full-sport” would lower the windshield for aerodynamics, lower the handlebars for riding position, stiffen suspension, and so on.
    “Long-range touring” would make for a softer ride, adjust the FI for added torque and less peak HPs, and diminished fuel comsumption.

    That’s my 5 cents’ worth. And thank you for your wonderful website. Keep up the great work!

  • I think the next big thing will be a more practical bike, with a factory windshield and storage, that gets fantstic gas mileage. Something to make commuting on a bike pracical again and to fight off the high gas prices. Maybe something like a less “plasticky” pacific coast that gets 100 mpg? If it’s possible for the GEO Metro to get 50 mpg, a 500cc bike ought to get 100 mpg easy.

  • I think the next big thing will be function over image cruisers or
    performance standards. That could take several forms. One would be a water
    cooled lighter weight, good handling, but relaxable cruiser. Harley will be
    forced to this by emissions and such and in fact they are already working on
    a water cooled “cruiser”. The monster S4 is an example of this concept. It
    handles, is light, performs but has a style all its own. A suzuki TL/TR
    1000 with sit up and beg seating and a little more comfort and attention to
    styling would be another approach. The FZ1 is another version of the
    performance standard in the flesh. If the FZ1 sells then Honda will make
    one and Suzuki will make one probably from their TL/TR 1000 – we can only
    hope.

  • My prediction: Trikes for aging boomers equipped with airbags & roll-over bars. BTW, I’m 42 so I think I’m entitled to poke some fun at my g-g-generation!

  • I don’t know what the next big thing will be but I know where the
    manufacturers have been missing out on a large population of mature long
    time motorcycle buyers. Two segments, the middle weight all purpose
    dual-sport bikes like the Kawasaki KLR650 and the liter class or larger
    sport touring segment.

    I have been into these segments for years and many of my experienced
    friends have too. We have long been frustrated that the motorcycle
    builders don’t spend any R&D budget on these types of bikes. These are
    easily the most usable and sensible types of bikes to own and ride but
    the builders put all their effort into the fad & fluff bikes. At the end
    of the day anyone who really wants to ride a motorcycle a lot needs and
    wants something relatively light weight with great power, brakes and
    handling with the ability to carry luggage when desired for long trips.
    It needs to have a great seat with comfy ergos, quality suspension and
    wind protection. It needs to have ABS, detatchable luggage, heated hand
    grips, 12V outlet, and how about a single seat with a long trunk that a
    tent and mattress will fit in that can double as a back rest. There is a
    huge number of motorcyclist who always ride solo so why have a back
    seat. How about adjustable seat, foot pegs, handle bars, levers etc. A
    250-300 mile range and a few other things.

    Why haven’t Honda put removable hard luggage and higher handle bars on
    the VFR800 and the VTR1000. Why hasn’t Kawasaki made improvements to the
    KLR650 and the Concours. We would buy these bikes if they would upgrade
    them once in a while. The list is long of the things that they could do
    to develop the “all arounder” category both in the dual sport and sport
    touring factions.

    I see renewed popularity in the standard and naked bike segment with the
    Suzuki Bandit, Kawasaki ELR1200, and the Yamaha FZ1. This is good news
    to me since it means there will be some activity in the middle ground of
    motorcycling instead of it all being put into the extreme ends of the
    sport.

  • I see the next big thing as a Free-Style specific bike with longer travel
    suspension and handles all over for hanging off the bike.

  • Although not a “new” thing, I think Super Motards can wipe sportbikes off
    the face of America if given enough publicity. And, given enough popularity,
    manufacturers may advance super motards the way they did with motocross and
    sport bikes. Thanks for listening!

  • I have a couple of ideas…

    1. Customizing – I don’t mean the standard chrome here, saddlebag there,
    I mean totally original cutomizations. Tanks, paint, original extras etc.

    2. Trikes – Ugliest thing you can do to your bike, but becoming very
    popular. I seem to see them all of the time.

    3. Resorations – I love seeing an old bike brought back to life, or even
    a bike rescued from under a tarp, behind the woodshed.

    What do you think???

  • Houligan Thumper Supermotards. KTM’s Duke is outdone by Honda using the XR650 water cooled single, a
    headlight shroud in the shape of Woody the Woodpecker, and a horn that gos .
    . . Ah, never mind.

  • I know people have been saying bikes can’t get any
    more powerful for the last 15 years, but I really
    think were are coming up to a ceiling. Maybe 160-170
    horsepower in a GSXR size package is attainable in the
    next 5-10 years, but I think it is eventually a dead
    end.

  • How about the new, trick, single cylinder, four stroke dirt bike engines on
    sports bikes?
    GP bikes with gyro controlled spoilers mounted on each side of the front and
    rear axles that pop out (on the high side of the bike) in corners to push
    the tires down and create down force?
    Dual Sport bikes that are 90% dirt and 10% street?
    Helmets with voice activated phones built in for the corporate commuter?
    After market fairings for naked bikes(sinful huh)?
    Solid color sports bikes?
    Automatic transmissions on entry level bikes?
    Extremely naked cruiser bikes?
    Blinkers that are flush mounted on the bike yet “project” their light out in
    a large pattern next to the bike as an image?
    Even lower gas tank systems to create less weight high on the bike?
    Aerodynamic brush guards (like on desert bikes) for street bikes to protect
    the handlebars and levers in a fall?
    Japanese bikes with the cans tucked under the seat?
    Radiators mounted on the front forks, in front of the rear shock, under the
    engine?
    Ooops, lunch break is over.
    C’ya

  • …that I want from Honda is a 325lb sportbike with high-quality,
    super-adjustable suspension and the CRF450R engine. Oh yeah, and a
    supermotard, too, with the same engine.

  • It would be a small market, but I think if they built a bike set up for the
    1/4 mile, that may take off. The current bikes are very quick in the 1/4, but
    they still need to be modified to make better use of them. I bike like the
    Bandit 1200 or ZRX with BIG motors and a wheelbase of at least 60 inches or
    even 62 inches. They would have to have a low center of gravity and enough of
    a fairing just to tuck behind.

  • Why not make a high sport tour? I would like a bike that has really
    great looks, a super strong motor, a superb suspension with high-end
    components from the factory, basically a multipurpose street bike. I am not
    talking about anything made right now something different. The
    manufactures need to quit making bikes for a specific segment and make a new
    segment. The FZ1 is great but I would like fairings and first class
    suspension and brakes. A Mille R has a good start except it lacks long
    distance riding position and a second seat. Why not make something really
    light weight that handles extremely well that is comfy? Honda could drop
    the VFR down under 400lbs, add 30 horsepower and put a real suspension on
    it; and they might have a good start.

    PS Why doesn’t somebody update the YSR50 idea?

  • The next big thing is already upon us ! When Victory Motorcycles entered the
    burgeoning cruiser market in 1999 with a bike that boasted the largest
    displacement, best handling, and advanced techincal and ergonomic features,
    the Japanese manufacturers knew they had a different kind of American manufacturer to
    contend with. The 2000 model year saw Victory introduce a cruiser variation which it
    dubbed a “sport cruiser.” This bike came with huge 50mm stanchions, 180mm
    wide low-profile rear tires, and dual front brakes with a 300mm floating rotor
    and 4-piston calipers. While Victory has been slow to gain mainstream acceptance
    in the cruiser market place (where buyers seek an independent rebellious image –
    within the confines of peer recognition and acceptance of their brand choices) it
    was quickly noticed by its foreign and domestic competition. Honda’s recent
    introduction of the VTX takes this trend toward muscular cruisers that offer solid
    braking and handling and rams it forward several notches. This is the motorcycle
    category that offers the most room for improvement and should be the most fun to watch !

  • Urban Assault Bikes, i.e. Trailies oriented for urban roads. Already
    popular in Europe, they will break through here if one of the Japanese
    makers puts a new, hi-tech version forward. Needs to be multi-cylinder,
    light, functional. Most likely Japanese candidate would have the SV-650’s
    engine with a whole new motorcycle wrapping it.

    The current Euro offerings, while wonderful bikes, are simply too expensive
    (BMW 1150GS, F650, Triumph Tiger, Aprilia Capo Nord), or unavailable here.
    (Honda Transalp, Africa Twin, Cagiva Navigator, Yamaha ??, etc).

    The other possibility is a breakthrough in Trials riding, as the BMX crowd
    gets a hint of the Gas Gas magic…

  • I would like to see a single or V-twin ( something like the Honda VT 500
    Ascot of 1983, minus 100lbs.) that is small ( about 53-55 inch wheelbase),
    light (300 lbs. wet weight) and configured as a real sport bike, with low
    bars, low seat height and c.g. and about 60 to 70 bhp with a flat torque
    curve. This would be a real sport bike, with real world, usable power, and
    would probably sell like hot cakes to every boy racer or racer wannabe.
    Unlike the heavy, powerful “sport bikes” like the Hayabusa or ZX-12R, it
    wouldn’t have to cost $11,000 or thereabouts. Perhaps in could be based on
    the engine of the Honda XR 650 L or Kawasake KLR 650, in a massaged form.
    This would be my fantasy bike, and I think that of a wide spectrum of the
    motorcycle buying public.

  • I suspect that the Japanese companies will soon take a long term look at the aging rider profiles and produce more introductory level bikes that are not overly bland (like the current set).

    A good candidate for a small, light bike that would command attention from younger riders would be Supermotard. European makers seem to be having some luck with them and there are a number of new models. Inexpensive (relatively) and good dazzle factor.

    These bikes are really fun and there seems to be some growth in Super TT racing to help promote the concept.

  • I think Honda has set the pace. Cruisers that are actually performers
    and handlers! They will sell every VTX they make and they will also
    produce smaller ones that out perform the competition. Perhaps trick
    frames that still look like cruisers.

    Also, a sport touring bike that isn’t a pig would be nice. Sort of what
    an ST1100 should have always been. The BMW doesn’t get there with it’s
    boxer, too dated.

    Aprilia has hit something with its muscular scooter too.

  • I would like to think that after producing specialized motorcycles–like
    sport bikes–cruisers–dirt bikes–touring machines–that some manufacturers
    would take a look back and produce a modern do everything bike like most of
    us who used a bike for everything rode. It is true that this type of
    machine was capable of doing many tasks but excelled in none of them. That
    didn’t make it a failure. When you read about today’s sport–go fast
    machines–it is recognized that only a very small percent of the riders of
    these bikes can ride it at anywhere near it’s limit. So why spend all that
    money to satisfy 3 to say 4 percent of the owners of these bikes. You have
    bikes that are intended to run on the highways and by ways in everyday use
    and they don’t even have a center stand that the owners can do routine
    maintenance with out having to buy a race stand for a couple hundred bucks.
    Yet the manufactures say it would cost the owner too much if they equip the
    bike with one from the factory. In the past all bikes had center stands and
    if we intended to race them we simply removed the stand and went at it. I
    doubt the factory equipped center stand cost more than an aftermarket race
    stand.

    However it seems to me that there are a whole bunch of us would be very
    pleased to have an all purpose bike. Riding a race bike does not make you a
    racer. People who race motorcycles are like the rest of us–the big
    difference becomes most apparent when that person throws his or her leg over
    the race machine and the green flag is waved in their face. At that time
    you know it isn’t the bike that made the racer–it was the person. Most of
    us ride on the street. In the good old days–and perhaps today–a lot of
    the people who were top notch on the race track would not ride on the
    street.

  • The “big thing” seems to be the “average thing”, powerful, stylish and
    practical motorcycles for the proletariet. You know, bandits, ZRX, FZ1,
    standards, but with some styling, some reasonable storage, and ergos that
    make them comfy enough. The kind of bikes that you ride to work on every
    day?

    Motorcycling is moving out of the niche’s and into the main stream. The next
    generation of bikes will incorporate the best of the new technolgy, and
    mrege it with comfort and style of the old technology. More and more people
    are riding, and the bikes of the superbike and cruiser niche dont serve the
    “motorcycle for transportaion” riders at all.

  • Give me a very light, relatively smooth, and fast single-cylinder
    sportbike–maybe one full-race version with rear-sets, clip-ons, and
    bodywork and another nekkid version with a real handlebar and real-world
    ergonomics.

  • I might be a bit biased with my FJR Petition and all,
    but I think performance tourers is it. Sportbike
    power, handling, and good looks, with carrying
    capacity, weather protection and all day comfort.
    Just a thought.

  • Great website…I do read it daily ;) The next big thing may not be BIG at
    all…but small like the new BMW C1 200. As gas prices and congestion
    increase, more cagers may look to riding the dots and start lane-splitting
    with the rest of us. But these new converts may not like the openess of a
    really motorcycle and may go for more creature/car like features offer by a
    bike like the C1, a windshield with wiper blades, ABS, seat belts, no real
    need for a helmet, crumple zones and a safety cell roll cage. The C1 also
    get 70 mpg with a steady wrist, and could be the perfect transition to a
    real motorcycle for all those cagers….we will see.

  • Yea, I can tell you where I believe the next big turn in bikes will be.
    Lets call them “Motorcycles that Make Sense”. Motorcycles for people who
    like to ride motorcycles, instead of ones for people who like to own
    motorcycles. Bikes that you can commute on, ride the twisty roads on or
    take a long trip on. “Do it All Bikes” with decent windshields and
    weather protection and hard bags and shaft drives. A big alternator to
    power electrics (vests etc.) is also a must. Bikes that can be ridden all
    day across three states without beating you up, but still able to take on
    the twisty roads when they present themselves. Bikes more like the Honda
    ST1100 and the Kawasaki Concours or BMW RT1100. You know, the bikes that
    originally defined the “Sport Touring” class. And I am NOT talking about
    chain driven Sport bikes with a set of soft luggage hung over the back
    that everyone in the press has recently started calling “Sport Tourers”.
    Don’t let anyone fool you, a Sport bike with bolted on luggage is still
    just another Sport Bike with poor wind protection, bad ergos, and chain
    driven. Try ridding one of them from Maine to California, I dare ya.


    The new Yamaha FJR 1300 is the first new entry into the true Sport Touring
    field and looks to be a real good start. Expect more to follow from the
    other manufactures in the coming year. I can hardly wait myself.

  • The next big thing could be lightweight, relatively inexpensive, sporty
    bikes that use V-twin engines for big torque and great “real-world”
    performance. Think of an SV650S with sleeker styling (not necessarily more
    bodywork) and good ergonomics. Now put in a low-stressed, high torque, big
    cc twin motor (maybe a chain-drive version of the 1400 intruder motor), and
    sell the thing for around $7500. The engine would require nearly zero
    maintenance, and performance for everyday riding would be fantastic. So
    what if it doesn’t fit into a “racing” catagory?

  • As boomers age, we want more comfortable bikes. We also want bikes that look
    great (no surfer boy paint jobs) and offer top level performance. I feel
    that we will see the rise of more performance oriented, Universal / Nude /
    Streetfighter motorcycles (like the Yamaha FZ1) which are upright and
    comfortable, yet are full-power, much lighter, and have premium suspension
    bits. I personally thought the FZ1 would have been more exciting and
    appealing if it cost more, but was loaded with exotica. It should have been
    400lbs … with top quality forks, shock, light weight materials all around
    and a full bore R1 engine. Watch for others to jump into the streetfighter
    performance wars.

    Another trend which I hope will emerge is a morph between a high performance,
    Super Motard and a comfortable giant trailie like the BMW GS. I envision a
    KTM Duke II or Husky NOX with a Ducati 916 engine in it (weighing 300lbs) It
    must be trick looking (get an Italian to style it) and capable of carving up
    back roads like a sport bike. It should also be capable of at least light
    touring duty, but also able to handle rough fire roads or city streets. This
    type of bike would make the ultimate fun bike and performance all-arounder!

  • Rider Aid. We will see the use of computer control for critical motorcycle
    systems. We will see brake-by-wire systems, semi-automatic gearboxes,
    throttle-by-wire and more sophisticated engine control systems. We will not
    see the widespread adoption of ABS, traction control, or active suspension.

    Brake-by-wire means that the rider will control an input device that sends
    an electronic signal to a computer processor that controls the braking
    system. This will permit the computer to process rider input along with
    data acquired from sensors that gather brake system related data to optimize
    brake performance. Brembo has a lot of research going on in this area.

    Semi-automatic gearboxes are essentially shift-by-wire systems. The rider
    will control an input device to make upshift and downshift requests that
    will be processed by a computer. The computer will control engine speed and
    shift the transmission gears smoothly without clutch or throttle control
    input. Ducati Corse’s efforts in this area have been widely publicized.
    The technology is widely used in Formula One.

    Throttle-by-wire means the rider will control an input device that will send
    an electronic signal to a computer processor that controls the throttle
    bodies (eg. with stepping motors). This will permit the computer to process
    rider input along with data acquired from sensors and the engine management
    system to optimize throttle response. The GSXR already controls one of two
    throttle butterflies by wire, but we will see full computer controlled
    systems on future engines.

    Fly by wire systems widely used in aviation set the standard for computer
    control of critical vehicle systems. As the cost of powerful and reliable
    computer and electronic component technologies comes down, the safety and
    practicality of such systems on motorcycles available to the consumer means
    they will be adopted. Once you have computer resources on the bike, there
    is no shortage of ways to use them.

  • HERE IS WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE. CUSTOM FRAMES
    AND COMPONENTS FOR SPORTBIKES LIKE THOSE OFFERED
    FOR CUSTOM HARLEYS. (SCRATCH BUILT “BUELL” TYPES)
    THESE DONT HAVE TO BE HIGH TECH JUST SOMETHING
    TO PUT A LITTLE PRIDE OF WORKMANSHIP INTO.

  • How about sport touring bikes leaning toward the touring side with very low
    maintenance requirements and forget the extreme horsepower.

    BMW has some good ideas with the R1150RT but the bike is rough at legal US
    road speeds and city driving and the bike is too expensive to purchase and
    maintain.

    How about hydraulic lifters (no adjusting), direct port fuel injection (no
    sync), adjustable weather protection (warm in winter & cool in summer),
    shafties (no chain lube), good seating (comfort for 400 mi days) and less
    than 550 pounds wet (park it in the garage). Also include plenty of
    storage, torque at low RPM for roll on and vibration free between 30 – 95
    mph and linked power breaks. An ST doesn’t need 12 sec 120 mph 1/4 mile and
    top end of 140 in the US – no autobahns here and I doubt purchasers are much
    interested anyway.

    After all, we just stepped out of our sport touring 4 door sedans.

    Wouldn’t that be something? Almost as nice as your WEB site. Thanks for the
    news.

  • what we need is sportier sport/touring bikes that can wheelie on their
    backs at 150mph…with integrated luggage…

  • Based on what I’ve been seeing and reading. I’m guessing that the next big
    thing is going to be sport tourers. I think they will come in two breeds
    the 1150GS, Navigator dual-purpose style and the R1100S, Futura, FJR1300
    style. The VFR800 is suppoesed to come with Factory bags next year, the new
    FZ1 will have factory hard bags available later this year. The Futura is
    already sold out in my neck of the woods and I hear people all the time talk
    about how they hope the FJR will come here next year.

    I think as the average age of motorcyclists increases, older riders are
    going to want more comfort but not at the cost of performance. I think older
    riders are becoming more concerned with safety/comfort items like electric
    vests, ABS reflective nylon riding gear but they don’t ‘want to look like
    Goldwing riders. I think that baby boomers, the largest group of
    motorcyclists, have found that they really like touring on motorcycles but
    want something that is better suited to getting them around than their
    softail.

    Just my guess. Or maybe its just what I hope happens.. Course I’m too young
    to fit into the baby boomer group…