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The Next Big Thing: More Readers’ Responses

Although MD was offered millions of dollars by unnamed industry giants for exclusive rights to these brilliant insights to the future of motorcycling, we decided that some information just has to be free — so here it is. (The original article was published on May 15, 2001, and the first set of responses were published on May 18, 2001).

  • How about electric or fuel cell powered bikes. How
    about convertable bikes – different body work on the
    same basic bike for different styles/looks depending
    on your mood that day. Fluid drive is another
    possibility. Better automatic technology. How about
    softer seats on MX bikes for us older guys. How about
    motorcycle only quickie oil change stores…

  • How about Hyper-motards? These are supermotard with sportbike class engines. Maybe with 70-80hp and 300lbs weight with beautiful aluminum frames, 6 pot brakes…YUMMY!! And how long until motocross bikes have no real gas tank and simply put fuel in an enlarged frame member?

  • These are truly exiting times for the motorcycle enthusiast. We can ride
    bikes that we couldn’t even dream about when I started riding nearly 30
    years ago. I think the next big thing, if we can get by government
    regulations and clean air restrictions, will be the Supermotar bikes. These
    big singles (and maybe smaller v-twins) are already popular in Europe and
    are easier to ride to the limit than the big sport bikes and are not
    intimidating to beginers. With a quick change of wheels these can also be
    used as a dual sport/trail bike. Look at the new Husky 610 for a current
    example, but 40lbs lighter and with a smoother motor.

  • I THINK THE NEXT BIG THING WILL BE PRODUCTION SUPERMINIS FOR ADULTS. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YAMAHA BUILT A YZ150F FOR THE 80CC CLASS I WOULD BUY ONE IN A SECOND. MANY OF MY FRIENDS WOULD ALSO. VERY FEW PEOPLE WILL PAY BBR $12,000 FOR THE ULTIMATE MINIBIKE, BUT LOW COST SUPERMINIBIKES FOR ADULTS….OOOHH YEAAA!!!!

  • The next big thing will be lighter, faster, convertible luxo
    touring/sport-touring bikes. Suspension will improve and automatically
    adjust to road conditions. Your bike will warn you of traffic congestion
    and accidents miles before you get to the end of the long parking lot and
    will plot an alternate route with suggested speeds to arrive at your
    destination..

    We will see “Heads Up Display” on the memory selectable automatic
    windscreen. We will see integrated electronics such as GPS, Thermal imaging
    of road hazards, cell phone, and all band radio utilizing MP3 files.
    Satellite tracking anti-theft devices with remote ignition disabling which
    will eliminate any possibility of your bike being nicked while your are in
    your favorite watering hole. If you come out of the watering hole and you
    have had too much of the hard stuff the bike will not start but will call
    you a cab instead. ABS will be standard and the front brake lever will
    eventually disappear, so will manual transmissions.

    Kids will not believe you when you tell them you used to have to operate two
    separate brake levers AND select six different gears ALL at the same time!
    Life will be good and Honda will even offer more then one color selection of
    your preferred mount. Harley Davidson will sell the fastest bikes in the
    world based upon their soon to be perfected VR1000. The Aztec brand made in
    Mexico will be the most popular bike sold in America and will come standard
    with custom paint jobs and air shocks for instant ‘low rider’ conversion.
    I can Hardley wait.

  • Standards, or semi-standards (e.g., Yamaha FZ-1). Motorcycling is
    attracting an older demographic, who aren’t comfortable on sport bikes and
    fondly remember the standards of their youth, but want modern performance.

  • The next big fad in motorcycling??

    After seeing the recent trend in motorcycle-powered
    cars and sandrails (4 wheels), I have been wondering
    when we will see a production three wheeler (ala
    modern Morgan trike) utilizing sportbike engineering
    methodologies and materials.

    Corbin has built something but that is “cute and
    friendly” — I want something that screams “fast”.

    Ok, its just a wild dream…

  • It’s just my opinion but I’d like to see The Next Big Thing be
    SuperMotos. In one of your previous articles (‘Dual Sports & Singles’) you talk about big
    singles – which is ‘surging here in the U.S’ now… I’m in the UK and interest in
    SuperMotos is growing – certainly this year, with Foot & Mouth closing down all off-road
    riding(for 4-5 months at least), many people has switched to Super Moto &
    Super Moto racing…

    A big Husky with Street Bike wheels and a loud exhaust – tremendous
    fun! Wheelies in most gears and not good for more than 70-80mph top end -
    o.k. in a country with speed cameras at everywhere! (Here in the UK
    anyway…)

  • I may just be wishfull, but id love to see “ultra v-twin sportbikes”. Imagine if bike makers thumb thier nose at superbike rules and go with more displacement. Oh and get yamaha and Kawasaki in on the action. Imagine a 1200 five valve yamaha v-twin sportbike that could give the R1 a run for its money. Or a how bout a 1300 aprilia. I also prefer half naked so we can see the engine.

  • There are several places in the world where tariffs, laws,
    & economics all “encourage” certain classes of bikes.
    Hanoi, Bangkok, & Kuala Lumpur are invested with 110cc Honda Dreams–
    they’re a blast for zinging from point A-to-B, parking, carrying
    families (6 is record I saw in Hanoi– 3 is very common).


    Here in Singapore the commodity bike is the Honda CB400F
    “Super-Four” with VTEC engine. For city weaving,& 13K+
    red-line for commuting– it’s perfect. Even if the local 200cc-400cc
    license class vaporized, it’s fun factor & acceptance will keep it
    popular.

  • What I’d like to ride is a dual sport Buell,,, 100 hp / 400 lbs. Lots of suspension, comfy seat, integrated luggage. Desireable ‘adventure touring’ ended with the death of Airhead Beemers.

  • High performance, lightweight, comfortable (for 6+footers) feature laden
    sport touring bikes. This 44 year old wants to replace his ancient Suzuki
    GSX1100G, but the big 4 don’t seem to be listening…..

  • Personally I would like to see the next big thing be improvement in Singles like some of your articles have talked about.


    Give us a 60 RWHP single
    Probably in the 600-700cc range

    50 ftbs torque
    4 or 5 valve head (you can use things like Ti valves since you have less to put into the motor)
    250-300 pounds fuelled up
    Make a naked and faired version (naked version just use a conventional round 7 or 8″ headlight.)
    Showa upside down forks.
    Long swingarm (R1, R6 as ref.)
    52-55 inch wheelbase
    Digital gauges
    And the Clincher: If you could sell it for under $8000
    I’ll buy one.

  • I would like for the next big thing to be something very simple – affordability. Cheap transportation is what started motorcycles in the first place (well, that and the performance factor). In my neck of the woods, a GSX-R1000 costs nearly as much as a small car. I can appreciate the performance of this motorcycle but only a select few can afford to buy it.

    PS – I own a SV650S (great bike) and think that it is a step in the right direction.

  • to me the next big thing we should all want would be the ability to
    quiet down all bikes and especially the new four-strokes that we have
    now and will have in the future, i feel the manufacturers and the
    aftermarket people have really dropped the ball in this area.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised to see singles turn into the next big thing. This is a long shot but with 600′s making over 100hp there is a need for a supermono series of bikes based on the fire breathing short stroke singles. Make about 50hp, very light weight and very user friendly. First they had singles, then twins, then three’s and then fours. Now we are on the return back, fours became threes then twins and next will be singles. I for one would love to see a supermono the size and weight of a two stroke 250. Wouldn’t you?

  • Super light street singles that are legal should be the next big thing. Something like if Aprilia took an LC4 640 motor and stuffed it in an RS250.

  • We need a small, affordable, comfortable for two people, motorcycle. Say
    in the 500CC-750CC size range, $4500-$6000. I love my wife and she likes
    both driving her own motorcycle and riding on the back of mine. The
    limiting factor of riding together is the out of proportion, small size
    of the rear seat. We need to get equal seating capacity in the rear
    seating area and get equal comfort front and rear. Togetherness…
    Those who want to ride alone have been taken well care of, now lets work
    on Couples who want to ride together without the expense, size, weight,
    etc. of a full dressed tour bike like Gold Wings and Electra Glides.

  • With all the popularity small bore 4 strokes have with
    the hop up shops, I practically guarantee the next big
    thing will be a mass produced 80cc MX rolling chasis
    with a high performance, liquid cooled, small bore
    thumper engine.

  • I don’t know if it will happen, but what I would like to see as the next big
    thing is a revival in modern form of the classic cafe racer style street
    bikes. These would be well engineered lightweight bikes with one or two
    cylinders with a displacement of 500-750cc. They might have a trellis frame
    and would have high quality suspension and brake components. The overall
    design would be high tech minimalism, with little or no bodywork. The
    Suzuki SV650 might be the precursor of this type of bike but needs a little
    refining. I think the resurgence of big bore naked streetbikes shows that
    there is a market for riders who don’t want a cruiser or a race replica, yet
    appreciate performance and want something that “looks like” a motorcycle and
    is not uncomfortable to ride.

  • Maybe not a new category, but I vote for the growth of supermotard. Cool
    looking, light and maneuverable, great for city commuting and the bad roads
    we often have to ride on. Also exciting racing (race on Sunday, sell on
    Monday, or whatever that expression is).

  • I look for 4-strokes to invade other types of riding because of Yamahas
    success. I’m talking trials. I’ve heard rumors of Scorpa possibly trying to
    use a modified YZ250F motor. Why not? They already use Yamaha 2-stroke
    motors. Seems like a logical step. This would really test the 4-stroke
    industry because of the necessity of the bike being light. With the average
    trials bike weighing around 160 lbs or less, can a 4-stroke really get that
    light?

    Or maybe a lightweight Harley cruiser? Yea, right!

  • What would be nice to see……..

    A re-vitalization of small bikes. Scooters have made significant inroads
    in the past couple of years. Piaggio has set up shop in the US and Vespa’s
    are riding the nostalgia wave to its fullest. With the price of gas being
    what it is, (and what it will continue to be – it ain’t goin’ down anytime
    soon – regardless of what kind of rabbit your president tries to pull out
    of his hat this week) small displacement bikes, scooters and sport singles
    make the most sense. I’d love to see North Americans embrace (super)motard
    bikes the same way Europe has. This site in particular has really been
    playing up the virtues of sport singles. Keep it up!

    What will likely happen…….

    With the boomers desperately trying to retain their youth, I envision an
    increase in the popularity of large(ish) displacement sport tourers. The
    revised ST1100 is the worst kept secret in the industry. A replacement for
    the venerable Kawi Concours has to be coming soon. And the new Wing has
    definitely been developed with a sportier edge. The boomers still have a
    lock on the market – what they want is what everyone will get.

  • The Next Big Thing will be a modern Pacific Coast with more efficiency,
    more power, BMW windshield, BMW heat and BMW compact disc player,
    (automatic transmission?), a Honda price, and Honda dealership
    convenience.

  • Well, one area to be watching is the Scooter Business. I think that
    with the urban sprawl/crawl, the little runabouts will spring up like crazy.
    Yamaha’s Vino, the Piaggio, and others that have a “Vespa” quaintness, or an
    Italjet speed, will be the next rage. Hot rodders will tinker to get these
    little rats to get to 80mph, yet still be “cute” to fool the local police.

    Besides, just think of all the cool fashion apparel that can be sold,
    especially the color coordinated styles, not just black…

  • It is hard to predict, but I would like to see the following:

    1. More technically up-to-date dual sport bikes. Bikes that are good at
    both ends of the spectrum.

    2. The return of centerstands and decent sized gas tanks.

    3. More technically up-to-date, light weight adventurer tourers, a modern
    Kawasaki KLR 650. A Suzuki SV 650 with long travel suspension, large gas
    tank, centerstand, and large dual seat would be a good place to start.
    4. Clean burning, low cost, new rider friendly two strokes.
    5. Super motard sportbikes.

  • There will probably be many “next big things” in motorcycle models but I
    think kids motocross bikes are in need of an update. Consider that Honda
    used to make MR50′s (with a 3 speed and manual clutch) and CR60′s, Yamaha
    had YZ60′s, while Kawasaki continues to make KX60′s and the newer KX65.
    Continued growth of the motorcycle industry requires an influx of new
    riders. The 4-6 year old PW50 class at any local motocross is usually
    20-25 riders in my area so there are lots of young kids getting involved in
    motorcycling. Most of those kids bikes are relatively old designs and only
    get new graphics each year. I hope somebody besides KTM and Kawasaki will
    start making updated 60 cc class kids motocross bikes. Maybe the rumored
    YZ125F four-stroke (for the 80 cc class) will lead the way for a new
    generation of kids motocross bikes.

  • I’ve been riding bikes for a long time, and I get tired of hearing bikes are too fast, too much power, nobody can handle this much power. Those comments were said about the Suzuki GS1100, a slowpoke compared to today’s 600′s. I want lighter weight more powerful bikes than today’s GSXR 1000. progress is good, we need radical advancements in power and suspension.

  • In the short term I’d expect only evolution, not revolution. For example I’d hope to see all-purpose bikes with say several pre-programmed modes, e.g. ‘sports’, ‘touring’, ‘city’ etc. To complement this it would be nice to see gearbox modes, at least a high and a low ratio. Proper infinitely-variable electronically controlled valve lift/timing is also long overdue. Perhaps more bikes with BMW-style suspension. Certainly more ‘twist-n-go’ scooters (already at plague proportions in London). More ‘green’ engines (lean-burn, diesel, electric).

    Longer term? Maybe stupidly over-engineered things with air bags and roll cages and compulsory ABS, electronic tracking systems and 3000 rpm rev-limiters. If the EC bureaucrats get there way. More hopefully, some fabulous breakthroughs in AI, gravitronics and inertial physics to allow bikes that float free of gravity and depend on no tyres, that can accelerate, turn and stop as fast as a human being can stand, and with a range of sensors and super-fast artificial intelligence assistance to thread you safely through stop-go city traffic at say 200 mph. Now THAT’S what I’d call personal transport!

    Oh well, we can but dream ..

  • How about motorcycles for short people? Put Honda’s new 450cc 4-stroke
    engine in an alloy street chassis, say 350 pounds wet, with a 28″ seat
    height, and you would have a fun bike, appealing to beginners and
    small riders.

    The numbers of female riders entering the sport are up sharply, yet for
    many women (and short men), the only bikes they let them touch both
    feet to the ground are cruisers. As a result, many end up on relatively
    heavy and powerful large cruisers before they have the skills to handle
    them competently. Granted, the availability of appropriate bikes will
    not solve the problem that exists between the ears, but at least
    new and small riders would have a choice.

    My wife has been learning to ride for the past year. Our (shared)
    criteria for a starter bike were: light weight, decent handling,
    standard (as opposed to kicked out cruiser) seating position, a low
    seat heigh, and minimal plastic. Until the appearance of Buell’s Blast,
    absolutely no contemporary street bike available in this country fit
    the bill. Honda’s 250 Nighthawk is a miserable excuse for a motorcycle,
    both underpowered and ill-handling, and with too high a seat. The Rebel
    is just as bad, but with the added liability of feet-forward controls.
    Kawasaki’s Ninja is not bad, but it’s clad in expensive to replace
    plastic, and doesn’t have the appropriate power delivery for a beginner,
    and again has a seat height that is discouraging to many.

    I got to ride a Blast a couple of weeks ago, and was very disappointed.
    The low end torque and abrupt clutch are bad news for someone trying to
    master clutch and throttle control. The handling and brakes are good,
    but arguably the brakes are much too sensitive for a beginner bike. The
    reach to the shifter is long for someone with a short foot, and the
    rest of the controls are sized for large hands. The best thing I can
    say for the Buell is that I hope it encourages the Japanese to
    re-evaluate this market sector and introduce some good bikes in the
    250 to 500 cc range.

    Ultimately, we found a 1975 Honda CB125S, which has proven to be a
    great starter bike. While she was cutting her teeth on the 125, I
    restored a 1989 Honda VTR250, a bike that strikes me as superior in
    every way to either of Honda’s current street offerings in this size.
    I’ve been riding for 40 years, and I still find the VTR250 a fun ride.
    There are many joys other than massive horsepower to riding a light,
    flickable street bike.

    The Japanese make many excellent small bikes, but they aren’t making
    it into this country. We are the poorer for it.

  • I’ve been riding sport bikes (mainly Ducati) for about 4 years now. I
    love the speed, the power and the good looks. Recently I bought a
    Ducati ST2, mainly because I found a really good deal. I love the
    speed, the power, the good looks, the saddle bags and the everyday
    convenience of the bike. Why should I suffer with aching wrists, very
    small carrying capacity and more power than I’ll ever need ON THE
    STREET? I can go just as fast around the twisties (usually faster than
    friends) with loaded saddlebags and in relative comfort on the ST2.
    Plus I save tons of gas money because I can ride the bike everyday to
    work, and I don’t have to worry if it’ll rain because I have my rain
    gear with me at all times. I don’t have to worry how I’m going to take
    paperwork or tools or extra clothes like I would on a pure sportbike.
    It is the most practical vehicle I’ve ever owned. If gas prices stay
    the way they are, I think motorcycling will see a lot of new faces.
    Many of them will want a practical bike. Many will want a practical
    fun/fast bike. I think that sport touring bikes could be the next big
    thing. There are many new entries to the market too. Look at the new
    ST bike from Aprilia. Now if Honda would just add saddlebags to that
    VFR, we’d have a real battle. When all the speed freaks are crying
    because their bikes have been banned because they make 200 hp and go
    220mph, I’ll still be blasting to work everyday at 90 mph, and I’ll be
    able to bring my own lunch. Give us speed, power, good looks and
    convenience!

  • For Honda: Open class VFR tuned to about 125hp/80lbs @ rear wheel to give more torque with improved creature comforts, but keeping current configuration/mission intact. The following features/options: variable valve timing, improved wind protection, heated grips, panniers/top case, head/tail light modulators, fog/running lights for conspicuity, electrical accessory outputs, strong alternator, steel brake lines, adjustable bars and good mirrors. And some color choices, say silver, yellow or blue. Not counting panniers/top case option, they should be able to keep weight the same or even reduce it some given newer technologies.

  • We need to look at the innovators around us to look into the future, and
    understand our demographics.

    We have an aging population of bike riders with lots of money to spend, (ie
    Harley Davidson) old men scoots. But want good value for dollars spent.
    We also have a concern for gasoling prices skirocketing but how to still
    have fun driving.

    So lets look at what Corbin is doing with Three wheeled vehicles that can
    still use the bike lanes, or Ducati’s three wheel design that will still
    give the feel of a motorcycle.

    Then there’s BMW with its C1 increasing its CC’s with an semi-inclosed
    concept.

    I also see so many more Goldwings converted to trikes around now days, doing
    shopping missions.

    Sooner or later a major manufacturer, read:(non risk takers) will introduce
    a assembly line manufactured high quality trike bike and it will take the
    market by surprise, and they won’t be able to build enough of them.

    Based on this, I see out future leading to effecient, trike type
    semienclosed vehicles that can be used as runaround utility vehicles, that
    pack lots of style and fun.

  • Scooters? (In the states that is)

  • DUAL-SPORTS – the ultimate in everyday bikes! Now when I get my CRF450 2002 its going straight to DS
    duty.

  • I suspect that the lightweight design along with the technology developed
    for the MX or Cross Country 4-stroke motors will find its way into street
    singles. I am working on an Aermacchi based 500 single. Yes, the old
    Harley Davidson Sprint. The total weight should be around 200 lbs. The
    engine will be supplied by Dick Linton from GB and the frame I will make
    myself. The frame is being designed from Aluminum with Ohlins suspension
    front and rear. It will have 24 degrees of rake with 96 MM of trail, Dymag
    wheels, CF airbox with RAM air all this with a fairing based on current
    125GP technology.

    It should be quite interesting to ride in Single GP. :)

    I think that this will be the next concept to expand as the fuel crunch
    moves on us, crowded driving conditions and general drivability concerns are
    best met with a quality single. How often can a person ride a GSXR 1000 at
    anywhere near it full potential? That is a lot of wasted potential and a
    lot of money for something that in the day to day grind is totally out of
    its element.

  • The next BIG thing!

    If there is any justice at all, we will see Dual-Sport / Adventure
    bikes with the development and build quality of Honda’s Transalp or Varadero
    currently offered in Europe brought to the states.

    Maybe Kawasaki could develop the KLR into the refined piece that the
    public deserves.
    The KLR could be a 700CC Single or an EX500-derived 750cc Twin with
    all the real-world power anybody needs in a lightweight do-it-all package!

    Yamaha has the Liquid-cooled 660 single or the 850 Twin— where’s
    the bike?

    Suzuki’s 1000CC twin currently powers CAGIVA’s Adventure Gran Canyon
    for foreign consumption and is even used in a flat track bike.!?

  • I think the next big thing will be a semi-automatic transmission like in formula one racing. the shifter will be a electronic device actuated by the left thumb, no clutch and the left foot will be put to rest. Maybe then the rear brake will be actuated by the left hand (replacing the clutch) since we have more sensibility in the hand than in the foot, we will be more precise with brake modulation (if they all don’t do like BWM and link the two brakes together via an ABS system, witch I don’t like).
    Or maybe the next big thing will be electric bikes since the price of premium gas keeps going up. It will be good for the environment but we will sure miss the nice sound our bikes make…

  • I think you guys already said it: powerful street singles. As
    cities get more crowded, gas prices rise, and workdays get longer,
    riders will want to squeeze every drop of fun out of their bikes.
    Riding a 1000cc sportbike slowly to the office/dinner isn’t fun,
    but ripping down an alley on a tall, fast, and crazy bike is
    a blast.


    Unfortunately the only really cool singles are expensive European
    imports, and I couldn’t justify spending 8K$ on one when I can
    get a new YZF600R for less.

    Look at how popular the SV650 is… people want a cheap, fun
    bike. Can you say “motard”?

    The only real stumbling block is fashion. “There’s no replacement
    for displacement” is the sad mantra of American riders. Perhaps
    the big v-twin KTMs will kick off this street-enduro thing. We’ll
    see.

  • It is already erupting in Europe: Sports GT bikes like the FJR 1300. Now
    that we can make bikes with more power than even premium street rubber
    can maintain traction for (GSXR 1000, R1, 929, etc.), we need to rethink
    where the money gets spent. I mean anyone who is approaching the
    performance limits of his one liter (or 600cc for that matter) sport
    bike on the street is living on borrowed time.

    It’s a simple matter of no longer leaving handling and performance as
    the only criteria. I believe we can now make handling, performance go
    hand in hand with comfort and utility. Important in this equation is
    factory supplied premium suspension. We shouldn’t all have to go buy
    Ohlins/Penske shocks for the back and have to cough up for a Race Tech
    revalve on the front after we’ve shelled out 10 large plus for our new
    machine.

    So here’s my idea of the next big thing: FJR 1300 (or similar) with
    terrific suspension as factory standard. I can already see my car with
    cob webs on it….

  • I am biased so this may be wishful thinking,BUT, I think comfortable,
    more powerful and competent Dual-Sports could be next. Call it the SUV
    syndrome. All these new four-stroke ‘crossers have surely made some of
    the designers draw a few concepts. Yamaha is conspicuously lacking in
    this line of bikes that, in the past, they were famous for. I think that
    these bikes will be more oriented to the street (ala KLR650) but be
    capable of trail and light dirt riding. Adventure touring, that’s what
    some call it. The overwhelming majority of SUV owners do not use them
    off-road and would never own a regular Jeep. It’s the same mentality.

  • Quite honestly, I think you wil see a new line of Scooters that will get 50+ mpg and be able to cruise down the hwy at 65+mph. With fuel cost increasing and really no end in sight for them slowing down, I feel that the american consumer will start to gravitate tward that type of bike? Helix!

  • In response to your article I must say that I believe we are seeing the next
    big category already and it was started with the VTX. It’s a cruiser right?
    Yet it has decent handling, awesome brakes, a great frame, liquid-cooling,
    and some serious power. Sure it’s still a little overweight and could use
    some ground clearance but it’s not trying to be a sport bike after all.
    Instead it has started a new competition for who can have the best
    “Performance Cruiser”. A cruiser that is comfortable, reliable, powerful
    (top speeds limited to 140mph! YEEHAA!), keeps the V-twin heritage, and is
    still sharp as hell looking. So in my opinion this is it, we are seeing a
    new category of cruisers that might actually be worth buying. (FINALLY!)

    Now we just need to see who competes first: Yamaha? Kawasaki? Suzuki? I hear
    Harley has something on the way!

  • How about a QUIET cruiser. One that the operator doesn’t become an
    instant jerk on the road. One that gives us a BETTER image, instead of
    the new milllinium chopper bad boy, Brando movies image. One that
    PROMOTES motorcycles, instead of giving us a poor, to extremely poor and
    we’ll show that in the voting booth, image. I’ll put my money down for the first one.

  • You are seeing the beginnings already… the return of the UJM. Finally
    manufacturers are giving us standards that handle like sportbikes, have
    decent power and are comfy to boot! Can I get hard bags with that new Bandit
    1200S?

    P.S. Did I forget to mention how affordable these new standards are?

  • I think the next big thing will be the customization of scooters. Just
    look at what they are doing to the little Honda Civics. Why not rake and
    chop a scooter? If the function and design for a machine is good, then it’s
    just begging for someone to make it look absolutely ridiculous. Just my .02
    worth.

  • You are right about the dramatic improvements we have seen. Where do we go next? I look forward to what happens next.
    Off the wall idea? How about ………… a diesel single, enduro / dual sport bike.
    Emissions may be more tolerable, since there is less regulation, if any, for a diesel motorcycle. The torque would be phenomenal. A diesel may offer better fuel economy, and less maintenance. Diesel is a safer fuel to handle also.
    The bad news is, higher initial cost, weight and more cost of rebuilding a diesel fuel system. But these are toys, who seems to care when we want to play.

  • Naked, standard-style, performance-oriented
    lightweight bikes will alter the flow toward
    large naked supersports. Think of a cheap,
    comfortable, adjustable, maintainable, and
    even crashable Superhawk. Or a faster, more
    refined SV650.

    Consider a lightweight purpose-built (rather
    than “nakedized) 800cc twin with good ergos,
    built in sliders or crash bars, a centerstand,
    a single pipe, lots of available add-ons, six
    speeds, performance in the range of 90bhp, and
    priced in the low 7s.

    Or consider a nakedized ZX6R with comfy ergos,
    inexpensive gauges, and a beautified engine.

  • I think honda is onto something with big HP cruisers that handle/brake
    well… I think we’ll see large improvements in the cruisers market next in
    terms of hp (while still maintaining the style elements) and handling…
    even if it is a heavy and long wheelbase bike, one that has at least SOME
    cornering clearance and a respectable amount of HP, say, the basic styling
    of the Road Star with 110-120hp and brakes that really work and a bike that
    can be hustled thru the twisty at a reasonable clip would be right up my
    ally… my last bike was a 99 R1, fabulous motorcycle, but I want something
    like a cruiser now but don’t want to give up ALL of the performance I’m used
    to… sure they have the FZ-1, nice bike also, but I’m looking for more of
    a cruiser than that… just my .02 worth

  • I think that with insurance cost and the rising cost of gasoline that
    smaller displacement bikes will start getting more attention as a way of
    getting new people interested in the sport. The ninja 250 is getting WAY
    old and some manufacturer could make a bundle by making a 400cc or so sporty
    bike.

  • It’s been tried before, Honda’s treatment of the classic
    British single, Suzuki’s Goose, SR500…none
    really worked.

    How about using the latest technology instead of the
    warmed over retro stuff all of those bikes had?

    Combining the latest advances in Motocross singles with
    good suspension and brakes could give a 250 lb road
    single that would be a huge amount of fun. Something that cornered
    fantastically and rewarded skill. Please..please not another 350 lb,
    40 horse slug.

  • snip
    We can’t really look forward to an even lighter, more powerful open-class
    sportbike. The bikes in that category are already too good for mere mortals.
    Besides, what would the reviews look like? “Gee, this one will wheelie over
    backwards in fourth gear at 150 mph without using the clutch!” “This one
    will do 7.3 second quarter miles with the optional six foot swingarm
    attached.”

    Sorry Dirck, but this has been said since machines started going faster than
    a horse. It is still horsepucky.

    We can definitely expect lighter, more powerful bikes. They will just have
    “fly by wire” throttles and brakes connected to computers that evaluate how
    much traction is available, the pitch/yaw position of the chassis, the
    current level of directional g-force, tire temperatures, etc., all working
    together to provide the rider with to maximum amount of performance that can
    be used at any given instant.

  • Honda will offer hard luggage for the VFR800
    The ST1100 will go on a diet
    BMW R1150RT will stop surging.
    There will be no waiting or dealer gouging on Harley big twins.
    Sportster engines will get the balancer so you can use the upper rev range and keep your dental work intact.

  • I’m hoping and have been hoping for some really powerful standards. I currently have a BMW R100CS and a S1 Lightning. I’m hoping for a VTR 1000 standard with a real gas tank. I know that the Bandit, ZRX and FZR kinda fill these niches along with the Monster S4. Everytime they come out with a standard it comes with cut rate suspension, detuned motors and missing a gear in the box. I’ve been comtemplating building a VTR standard but the little gas tank is an awful expensive update. I have a need for big gas tank (5.5+ gals.), real motors with mid AND topend, 6 speed trannys and hard bags as an option. It should be a crime to sell a bike without a hard bag option. It’s not that big a deal to come out with a hard bag and brackets that fit most models without relocating turn signalsand pipes. If Givi can do it couldn’t the Big 4? Enough rambling. Great site, thanks for the daily motorcycle fix.

  • I’m not so sure there will be a next big thing. Motorcycling is essentially
    a leisure activity. People want to have fun and have it in different ways.
    Manufacturers are constantly searching for what they think is the Holy Grail of motorcycling.
    Currently it’s the lightest, fastest sports bikes and the biggest, badest cruisers.
    This is what the market demands.

    The market may change or even compromise. The next Holy Grail may be the
    do-it-all cycle. A motorcycle with power, speed, good handing and brakes,
    looks, attitude and most of all, character. A bike that is always there to be
    enjoyed, on most roads in most conditions, for short blasts or the long haul. A bike
    that doesn’t lead the class in any one area but which scores 90% in all of them. I’m not
    thinking CBR600 here. I thinking more Kawasaki ZRX1200.

    People aren’t always honest with themselves when they buy a bike. They care
    what others think and want to be noticed. Faster, lighter, bigger, badder,
    etc…..If we’re honest about what will give us the most fun, the manufacturers will
    surely provide. At the moment they’re telling us what we should have and we
    believe them.

    The realistic limits have been reached in many areas. Now we know we can
    have it, perhaps we won’t want it. Do we want a 200HP super bike or a 3000cc
    cruiser? Bikes should be manufactured for maximum enjoyment. Sure, there will be
    technological development such as new valve systems, semi-automatic
    transmission, innovative design and materials. Motorcycling will always remain a visceral
    and emotional experience. Perhaps the next innovation will be to quantify the
    fun factor when developing a new bike.

  • Adventure bikes. Imagine if the KTM 640R Adventure were as technologically
    advanced as their 520 or Honda’s 929. All but the BMW 1150GS are
    technologically old. Think about it, we have massive resources going to
    every micro niche of Sportbikedom and Cruiserdom, but the dual sport world
    is laughable. We need four classes: Maximim Moto (imagine a YZ426
    SuperMoto done right, not neutered like the DRZ-S), Maximum Adventure (KTM
    Adventure with an awesome engine and 40 fewer lbs), Civil Adventure (Aprilia
    Pegaso), Titanic Trail (1150GS needs competitors). Low seat height versions
    are also needed for the ladies – this is REALLY important.

    As a foundation for my hypothesesis, look to the Euro market and more
    importantly, look at US SUV sales. The only image in Americana that is more
    powerful than the Loner Bad Boy (as personified by Harley) is the Explorer,
    the Pioneer, the Road Less Travelled. Environmentalism only serves to fan
    those flames because it makes people more interested in seeing America’s
    glorious countryside.

    Give me a technological tour de force that can rip up a curvy road, boom
    over any bad city street, drone on the highway and not be an impossible
    horror on anything tougher than a smooth dirt road. I know it ain’t gonna
    be a moto bike, but the 1150GS would scare me silly on any sort of dirt, and
    I am a 240lb ex-footbal player. I know the XR650L can do all of these
    things, but look at it – it is a dinosaur. Yeah, a high tech 640 Adventure
    R, that’s the ticket. The R1 of the dual sport adventure market.

    Then we push the whole lifestyle thing with REI gift certificates, etc.,
    etc. We’ll then infiltrate the Sierra Club and take over!

  • If gasoline prices continue to rise, high mile per gallon scooters with
    luggage capacity ( unintimidating yet practical ) might become popular.
    Thanx for the forum.

  • I think the next big thing will be “Muscle Bikes” wether thats in the vain of Hondas new VTX or, more along the lines of a modified V-Max.ie; handling, as well as muscle.

    There was the Honda X4 that never made it to our shores, and in England, the naked CBR1100. While being sport orientated, maybe the North American market siuts a criuser (read:HondaVTX) based bike as better seller. Either way, a “Muscle Bike”.

  • well, you forgot to add to your list that the naked bike thing has been done
    also, as well as the retro thing, the street fighter thing (buell,
    speedtriple, monster), also the power cruiser that does handle, stop and go
    is being done currently. so whats next you say? well, what do all of the
    above and the ones you mentioned have in common? they’re all big
    displacement. and even though sub 400lbs is considered light by today
    standards, they are still heavy when you get on a 200 or 350. what? 200 or
    350? there is nothgin out on the market like that now you say. exactly.
    and that is yet another look back for “new” ideas, just like the naked and
    retro thing.

    there are no more cb 200′s, 350′s, little sub 400cc yamahas or suzukis
    anymore nor are there any of their equivelants on the market today, and they
    are coming back in style. sort of. maybe not neccessarly the steel,
    chrome, cafe racer apeal but their size, weight, ease of effortless use
    round town are certaingly being rediscovered. proof? on a small scale i
    cant remember how many times i said in my healment in heave city rush
    traffic “i would give both of my thumbs and this heap of liter displacement
    shit up for a cb 200″, well, my friends did just that. kind of, they still
    kept their liter superbikes for weekend rides but they comute and play in
    the city’s evening glow on small displacement bikes. thats right, 175cc’s
    of fun. these bikes are great for the city, less worries of damage or theft
    and they hone your skill for the weekend and are a welcome change from the
    liter hyper bike.

    so, my guess is that no one will get rid of their liter rockets but people
    will rediscover the joy of small displacement bikes again. and no, not the
    virago type cruiser but rather something of the shape of the cb400 super
    sport of yeasterdacade. and given todays technology those bikes will be
    even lighter and funner. and no, i dont mean a buell blast, but rather
    someting that is fun, light, quick, and reliable and looks good too.

  • Amphibious dual purpose bikes? A combination wave-runner and dirt/street bike -the Kawasaki ‘Frog’ or Yamaha ‘Alligator’ maybe.

  • The biggest foreseeable change will be the inpact of the 4 stroke GP bikes. We
    will be riding 350 pound 200 hp bikes in a few years.

    I am still waiting on new suspension technology. The current combination of a
    single rear shock and forks has been around since the 80′s.

    A completely new Ducati 996 would be nice.

    Its hard to think of things that haven’t already been delveloped. When I am old
    and decide to buy a cruiser, I would like a big motor in a lightweight package,
    but retain the comfort of a traditional cruiser

  • The answer to the next direction is easy for me. I would like to see a sport
    touring bike with real horsepower, handling, and a little less weight. I ride a
    ZX11 and my riding partners ride a cbr1100xx , and a hayabusa. We are all tired
    of the riding position but refuse to give up the power and handling . I know
    the concept has been tried a couple of times in the past. When it is attempted
    manufacturers take an existing model and neuter the motor and give up handling
    and add weight. So when they are finished they have a heavy slow bike . Why
    would someone buy that when they can have the original with power and handling.
    Just give me a gsxr1300 motor wrapped in a stylish package with an upright
    seating position less than 600 pounds first then I will go into sales and make
    a fortune. They have the numbers which tell them the buyers of the heavy
    sportbikes are older. Their backs are not as strong but the desire to ride,sport
    tour and spend money is..

  • I agree with your article, where can things go? Being the lucky owner of an
    R1 and a Hayabusa, I can’t imagine what will come to be “normal” in 5 years.
    I remember when the introduction of the SRAD GSXR-750 took EVERYONE aback.
    The R1 was un-fathomable (and still kinda is, objectively). Now there’s the
    ‘Busa with it’s HUGE horsepower, MV Agusta, and the new Gixxers. Unreal.

    Ways of the future….different means of fuel? Safety features like
    protectors or bags (may be detrimental), usable turbo bikes would be a lot
    of fun, maybe new tire technologies for street for better grip/longer wear,
    thumb rear brakes as options/included feature….

    Who knows.

    I think you guys should publish what people are writing in, maybe someone
    within the major 4 will take some suggestions to heart.

  • I think the next new thing will be a touring bike with a turbocharger.
    Something in the 750cc class that produces over 150HP at the high revs and
    get 75MPG when ridden with a degree of sense.

  • Has been discussed here before. I would like an ultra light weight single or twin sport bike, with 60 – 70 RWHP. Think this might sell enough to justify development.

  • How about naked, small V-twin sport bikes. Something like a 600cc V-twin with single sided swim arms. Like the Hornet of old. If I’m wrong then light naked sport bikes.

  • I predict the next “trend” will be “super crusiers”
    and Honda has just started the ball rolling. I believe
    they will get bigger, faster, & handle better.

  • In a word, titanium. It’s proliferating into a variety of consumer products as the price to refine and cast it continues to fall. Imagine dirt and street cycles with engines, frames, and wheels made mostly from titanium. How about a 250 lb 1000cc sportbike or a 90 lb 250 MX bike. I’m just speculating that these would be possible…

  • 600cc 4stroke single street thumpers. Not the dual sport varety. Something
    more along the lines of Ktm’s Duke II. Basically a supermotard YZ426 for the
    road. That sounds like a whole lot of fun to me. Nose wheelies anyone.

  • Being that I’m in California, gas mileage will be a BIG thing.
    Looking around Europe and South America, I see that bikes are
    much more prevalent than they are here in the ‘States. And
    while there’s the occasional “big bike”, most of them are small.
    250cc or so. Why? Because gasoline costs MUCH more there than
    it does in the U.S. Sure, I could sell my Vmax, GTS-1000, and
    Venture Royale and buy a Vespa. But we Americans are power-hungry.

    However, with the rapidly rising energy costs practicality is going
    to be more of an issue. So I see the next “big thing” as a
    litre+ class bike of varying configurations (sport, cruiser, tourer)
    which still retain acceptable power, but is extremely efficient on
    gas.

    Consider- Bike manufacturers have self-imposed a power limit.
    Hayabusas, ZX-12Rs, R1s are simply more bike than most people can
    handle. Around town, even on the freeway at 80 mph, thes bikes
    aren’t doing much more than idling.

    Bike manufacturers have done a great job of reducing weight,
    increasing aerodynamics, and building power. Maybe they can make
    a faster bike, but WHY? A better thing to do would be to take
    all of the lessons learned from that R&D and keep the power at
    a usable (and even breathakingly fun) level, and increase economy
    and efficiency.

    Imagine, a bike with a 500 mile range, with the same fuel tank
    as used on bikes today. A bike that will jump when you snap the
    throttle, and make us happy. One that’ll even do the quarter mile
    in 10 to 11 seconds. Will any of us be disappointed with
    the fact that it only hits 140 or 150mph instead of 190? No.

    That, my friends, is the “Next Big Thing.”

  • Scooters, why we could even start a new Hells Angel chapter here in Phoenix
    where they all ride Scooters! Gosh I could even be leader of the pack!
    Please withhold my name to minimize the beatings.

  • Sporty performance roadsters using all the latest hi-tech engines brakes,
    frames, etc..simple and light, yet with latest and greatest technology.

  • commuter econo bikes–bikes with decent power that get great milage.
    BMW’s F650.
    Honduh’s Pacific Coast
    .
    those 500 twins; EZ500, ninja 500, CB500, etc.
    Suzi DR400 in street gear with larger tank.

    Marketing will press to get new blood in the showrooms;
    weary commuters that want to ride in the diamond lane but
    can’t handle the UJM power/weight/ergos/graphics.

  • Can you say Super Motard? If not you soon will. The pendulum
    swings. We have open class sport bikes that even the mainstream moto
    press are warning are “for experts only”. We have over chromed,
    underpowered cruisers capable of making even a corporate accountant feel
    cool. We have two wheeled Winnebagoes with color matched trailers.

    What we don’t have are light, simple, let’s go ride and have a good
    time bikes that are street legal. With the loss of a lot of public land
    open to riders Super Motards make sense. I would love to see the big 4
    get on this bandwagon. I would buy a Suzuki DR400 based Super Motard in
    a heartbeat. Can you imagine, sub 300lbs, 40bhp and some nice sticky
    17inch sport rubber. Sounds like great fun to me.

  • Naked V-Twin Hooligan machines! I thought this would be the year of the V-Twin machine. With monstrous torque, potentially light weight, razor sharp handling, comfortable riding positions for an aging demographic, and styling that would allow entrance into any motorcycling subset, V-Twins should be the next big thing. Ducati delivered, and Suzuki delivered their motors to Cagiva, Aprillia gave us an ST. What is the holdup with the rest of the manufacturers? Honda has the engine from the RC51, Suzuki could easily build an SV1000R, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Aprillia need to pony up.

    Power Cruisers! Honda has upped the ante with its VTX1800. Blistering performance in power and braking is going to be the norm in big bore power cruisers. You won’t have to build your own custom anymore if you want 100+ h.p. and 100+ lb feet of torque, great brakes and radical styling. Yamaha should be the next to release their new V Max followed by Harley Davidson, Victory and the rest. It will be few more years before the bulk of the manufacturers can catch up.

    Dual Sport Thumpers! With the advances in fourstroke technology look for street legal versions from Yamaha, Suzuki, and now Honda. Kawasaki better get with the program. There are still a whole mess of dirt roads that need blasting. Build em before the radical enviornmentalists get to em.

    What ever the future brings I’ll be there riding and enjoying every mile.

  • The next big thing will be less a category of motorcycle and more of an evolution in motorcycling. With motorcycle technology finally maturing, we can now concentrate on user friendliness. The concept may be comical to the experienced rider but it will be essential to the growth of the sport. For example; imagine how many ladies might become interested in motorcycling if they could get one with an automatic transmission. Keeping people in the sport is easy. Getting them interested in the first place is the hard part. Why cater an entire industry to young men when we can attract almost everyone? Imagine the income potential, the numbers of people rallying against land closures, and the volume reduced costs we can realize.

  • Looks like we’re at an impasse. I think it’s downhill from here, with cruisers taking over the market, and forcing the rest of us to remove all bracing and gusseting on our frames and swingarms. New anti-performance tests will be concocted, and the biggest (and heaviest) POS will be chosen as the winner. As far as off-road, the new four strokes will become so powerful and light, an underground two-stroke movement will secretly develop the new “one-stroke” engine, capable of producing immense amounts of power, while being EPA legal, and overtaking the four-stroke movement…
    Oh, dark days are ahead.

  • I’ll tell you what I would like to see. Open classers? They are already so fast that you can’t use them on the street the way they are intended. And 600cc sportbikes, while better, are also so fast that to ride them hard you will be inviting guys in cars with lights to come play with you. But, with all the new high performance 4-stroke singles being built, a 65hp 275lb sinlge cylinder sportbike is possible. Acceleration would be good, and you could trash anyone on a tight, twisty road. And it would be FUN! Wheelies, stoppies, etc. would be a piece of cake. Sure, posers would still buy the new 150hp GsxrCbrYzf hyper bikes…all the better. While they carefully roll around shortshifting, we’d smoke them on any of our favorite set of curves, and sit waiting with a smile at the other end. Look at KTM’s Duke and Suzuki’s SV-650. Everyone who rides them says they are a blast. Take it to the next level and you’d have one hell of a fun, useable motorcycle. Super-light sportbikes…the!
    next big thing.

  • I keep thinking it’s got to be something in a mid-weight sport-touring bike.
    I’ve got a Concours and I love it, but it’s heavy. I can’t help but think
    that something like the Honda Deauxville (sp?) would go here stateside. I
    had a Silverwing and loved it, but it was heavy and not-quite-sporty.

  • I predict that the next big thing will be great sport-tourers developed with the emphasis on “sport.” This class has languished a bit until recently. But the new Aprilia Futura, Yamaha FJR-1300, Ducati ST4-S and rumored ZX-12R based Kawasaki model provide evidence that this market segment may be the next big thing.

    These bikes appeal to (ahem) “mature” sport bike riders who want something fast, relatively light, agile and comfortable, with enough storage to stay on the road for a weekend or a week. A sport-tourer with a big, sport bike derived motor and chassis offers street credibility along with creature comforts. Sign me up!

  • I think that on the road bike scene, we’ll see more of the “naked bikes”. I think you’ll see the cruiser regress back to Harley-only, and be replaced by a more performance-oriented twin market.

    In the dirt, four strokes will continue to get the development money. I hope that dual purpose bikes come back. They were some of the funnest all-around bikes in the 70′s.

  • I hope the next big thing in motorcycles will be ergonomics and comfort. I am 6 ft. 5 inches tall, 34 waist, 42 inseam and 190 lbs, and live in Phoenix,AZ.

    I hope to see a motorcycle that would adjust with a push button from a cruiser style to a standard style: the integrated footpegs and foot controls would slide back towards the rear of the bike, the seat would rise to a height predetermined by the rider, and the handlebars would extend and rotate forward. It would be great to be riding and with just a push of the button adjust the ergo layout to match your riding mindset, your personal comfort level, weather and traffic conditions, or to adjust the ergos for better control in the curves or to look further ahead in urban rush hour. Ideally, the ergos should adjust to the point where the pegs slide back far enough where you can control the bike safely from a standing position like a dirtbike, then you could “stand and stretch” to refresh your joints and circulatory system before sitting down again. This would largely eliminate the need to pull off the road to “stand and stretch”, and miles covered would be determined by gas tank size, hunger, or “potty stops”. When you come to a stop: the seat would automatically lower, if needed, so that your feet would be flat-footed on the ground for balancing the bike.

    Next, the seat would have small aircells that randomly inflate and deflate to eliminate the dreaded “hotspots”. In fact, it would be designed to massage your cheeks! The compressor on late model Goldwings could easily be modified to pressurize these cells. No more “numb butt” !!!! If aircells are too complex, then small rollers under the foam that could be rotated anytime with a knob for your left hand, or a lever with your left foot.

    The starting point of this design objective would be a custom frame for each rider or a suitable variety of frames based on rider dimensions. Currently, manufacturers design a bike from a “one size fits all” viewpoint centered around ergos for a 5 ft. 9 in, 34 waist, 34 inseam rider ( my guess as to average rider, maybe you have more accurate facts). Those riders not specifically this “normal” size have to give up comfort, and possibly some operational safety because they don’t fit. The more outside of normal size a rider is, the greater the disparity in comfort and operational safety. This necessitates aftermarket purchase of highway pegs and crashbars to mount the pegs, forward controls and/or floorboards to allow changing the riding position, different handlebars and/or risers ( not to mention the cost of new lines for brakes, throttle, and wiring! ), and finally a custom seat based on leg length and butt size. No wonder Mike Corbin is a big success! Most riders of non-average size automatically figure these costly modifications into the purchase price of a bike they are considering to buy.

    This could be a considerable marketing advantage for the first bike manufacturer to take a lead in ergonomic design, with concomitant cost savings by reducing the plethora of models offered. Let me explain: currently buyers are forced to choose a bike based on their perceived riding style: cruiser, sport and/or race replica, standard or “naked”, sport/touring, dual sport, or gran-touring. Is it any wonder that many riders have two or more bikes: that the model they choose to ride is based upon their upcoming ride? Unfortunately this costs extra in upkeep: maintenance and insurance, more aftermarket modifications,etc. A look at Honda’s model webpage currently has 25 models in 6 categories I listed above. What if Honda offered bikes ergonomically designed that could transform themselves to cover two or three categories in the ways I mentioned above? Realistically, every ride we take involves some elements of all the riding styles. Should not the bike evolve to the riding style, instead of forcing the rider to stay in the painful racing crouch, or the cruiser numb butt position,etc? In short, fewer models that do more things by adapting to the rider’s desires. Honda might have 10 models that appeal to an even larger group of buyers based upon this design philosophy.

    This biometric trend has been underway in automobiles for some time. Seats are adjustable fore and aft, with tilt and height adjustment in high end models. Steering wheels can be set to various tilt levels, and some cars even have adjustable foot controls.

    The incorporation of ergonomic design into motorcyles does not involve a huge increase in overall weight, The footpeg/controls would slide fore and aft by pneumatic pistons in rails designed in the frame bottom. My guess is the pistons would be about the size of a steering damper seen on sport bikes. The seat would rise and fall by a screwpost (electrically driven) or the aft movement of the footpegs would also actuate a lever arm to elevate the seat. Alternatively, the frame rails for the seat could trapezoidally be altered to change the seat elevation. Handlebar angle could be changed by including a mechanism found in a common socket wrench: hit a button and rachet the bars forward or back a click. Finally, handlebar length would be adjustable by pneumatic pistons inside the bars. The hydraulic brake resevoirs would compensate for more/less length automatically, shift and brake rods would slide internally to increase/decrease, and wiring would have take-up spools to keep a tidy look over the adjustable range.


    Now for some personal historical perspective. My current bike is a Suzuki 1500 Intruder which has been reviewed by some editors as being too stretched out a riding position for smaller riders. I do not have this problem because of my size, in fact, that is the main reason I bought the bike: to be able to stretch out my legs. But my butt goes numb on a long trip because the cruiser layout and wind pressure concentrates my weight on my cheeks. To ameliorate this design flaw ( italics, for emphasis ), I have added a windshield, crashbars and highway pegs. Also, I have rotated the handlebars as far forward as the windshield would allow to compensate for my long arm length.


    Yet, this is still not an optimal ergonomic layout for me. When using the highway pegs, operator safety is decreased by the amount of time it takes to shift the feet back to the foot controls. When butt discomfort sets in, my mind is distracted from the road. Eventually, numb butt reaches the threshold level where I feel my safety is compromised and I pull off to “stand and stretch”.

    When time to destination becomes critical, I have motored down the road moving my heiney to the passenger seat, or leaning the bike one way as far as possible and moving one cheek off the seat on the uphill side to “cool a hotspot”, or what I call the “Moto Guzzi Riding Position”. Must be a hilarious sight to oncoming motorists! When finances allow, I hope to get a better seat, forward controls, handlebar risers, and drag bars as I still lean too far backwards to my liking. Unless, I could buy the bike I described above!

    My previous roadbike was a 1987 Honda 1200cc Goldwing. Great bike, but an ergonomic disaster for me. In fact, I sold my ’87 Goldwing because I was too crowded. My knees were higher than my thighs, and my size fifteen feet hit the motor. While riding my Wing, I would get terrible cramps in my thighs unless I moved my butt to the passenger seat and/or stretched my legs out on the highway pegs! Fortunately, when the cramps hit, I could stand on the pegs, but my pillion passenger complained bitterly about the view ahead!!!


    My other bike is a Suzuki ds650 Dual-sport. Loved the view over traffic, and how light and flickable it was. Stock seat was a vinyl covered 2×4! First thing was to add lots more foam and bigger cover. But still the seat to peg relationship was too little for a guy my size. Also, the bar to seat distance was too close. Most of the time, I would sit in the passenger position to try and optimize the ergonomics for me. Three bikes designed for various riding styles, yet none of them ergonomically comfortable for me.

    Design an ergonomically correct bike for my size and allow the bike to transform to my chosen riding style!

  • The next big thing will be KTM stepping into street bikes with the new
    V-tvin engine developed last/this year. What are they doing with a Honda
    and a Suzuki v-tvin street bikes at their plant. And why are they
    presenting an article in the last KTM magazine where they compare the
    size/weight of the three engines. HMMMM…….

  • definitely be Bigger Things That Perform, better known as the Power Cruiser.
    Were on the cusp right now: the Honda VTX. The high-performance sportbike
    war is in full swing with the GSXR 1000, 996, Aprilia RSV, Honda VTR1000.
    That’s been with us since 1985. The Power Cruiser trend is just beginning.

    I’m sure we’ll see someone step up to the plate to match or outdo the VTX.
    It’s easy to see why: these bikes don’t have the “crotch rocket” danger-boy
    stigma, and the “biker” stigma has pretty much gone through its changeover
    to American Icon status. Nothing left to do now but feed the need of
    American riders for something bigger, flashier, torquier. Cruiser makers
    (including HD) have gotten the message that “new” cruiser riders want power
    and performance along with style from their machines. Witness the brake and
    suspension quality of the VTX, and the new counterbalanced Beta engines from
    HD. We will continue to see upgrades to engines (water-cooled from HD next
    year) and performance components from all cruiser makers. The era of the
    new-as-old cruiser is quickly ending.

    This was an easy observation, with rumors of the VTX and a 2-liter V-Max
    swirling around since 1999. But the VTX is the first volley.The OTHER Next Big Thing I think will be Performance Scooters. With the
    international oil consortium finally getting the balls to start charging
    Americans $3 a gallon for gas, I think a shift towards easy to ride, easy to
    park, cheap to own but powerful scooters may be upon us. They don’t have the
    motorcycle stigma or cost attached to them, and they’re starting to look oh
    so Euro (Ahem, Yamaha Vino). With Vespa getting back into the game, you can
    bet that friendly-looking but powerful (250cc or more) scooters with be all
    the rage as gas prices really start to climb. When people understand they
    can ride two-up and stay with traffic, let alone park wherever and get
    60mpg, they are going to get very popular. I say 2002 will be the Year of
    the Scooter.

  • How about dual-sports (again)?

    Back circa 1970 they were the hottest class on the planet because for a big
    bunch of the population–teens and twenties just getting into motorcycling
    because it looked fun, offered a macho image, and was affordable, Now their
    kids are about to arrive at the same point.

    These people can’t afford or insure a sportbike and the stdge factor may
    eliminate cruisers. But those do-it-all singles offer a low buy-in, and can
    emulate the style of the MXers seen sailing across TV screens.

    Make DS bikes cool enough and still affordable and they will sell like
    carbon-fiber hotcakes. They are cheap to insure and offer the strong
    fuel-eficiency that will be needed in a $3.50-per-gallon world.

  • My humble opinion is that next categorie to be successful will be the “not that fast sportbike”, like Suzuki’s sv650s. Rider will get tired of been beaten up by their bike. Every middelweight is now too much bike for many rider. I think that a bike that would offer the style and the ergos of true sportbike with a reasonnably powerful engine would be very appreciate by lots of rider. . I think that rider would appreciate more to dominate their bike then to be overwhelmed by it. I think (and I hope ) that this categorie will devellop well so that major player will invest more in that categorie instead of investing in the devellopment of bike that have the same power-to-weight ratio as the space shuttle.

  • Gasoline is over $2 a gallon. My crystal ball says 250 cc and smaller
    scooters and bikes will bloom in such an environment.

  • How about more liter class v-twin standards. I would like to see more Ducati Monster style bikes with the comfort and dependability of a Japanese bike. Wouldn’t be interesting if Honda replaced the good old Nighthawk with a Superhawk powered naked bike?

  • Single cylinder four stroke road racers are and have been very populer in europe, but not here.
    This has alot to do with the operater licencing system that they have, graduated displacement class’s.
    It will happen here eventually( new riders on a cbr 929, instant death)
    The suzuki goose prototype of a few years ago was in the rite direction.
    Just think a yz250f powered road racer, reminds me of my ducati mach I.

  • Well Dirck, I’m not sure where we might be headed for the next big breakthrough! I would hope that we could take the technology of all of these hypersport machines, which I enjoy at times, and let it trickle down into something like an ultra-light motorcycle that has the stability of say a big touring rig out on the open road, with the ability to carry just about all you would need for say 4 to 6 days on a short tour and not look like a huge 1/2 ton touring rig! This motorcycle would also handle about 99% like a full on sport bike, cost about 1/3rd the price of a new loaded Goldwing or K1200! But still be as comfortable as a Goldwing or K1200! This machine would also average around 70 to 90+ mpg. This machine would also accelerate like a modern sport bike, and be available in any color or trim package you choose! Every manufacturer would try to beat out the competition so the consumer would be the ultimate winner in this whole deal! What do you think? I understand that this will probably not happen, but if we are dreaming why not! I am sure that most will look for more sophistication, gadgets and the like. I hope they simplify things to the point that to pick a bike to do just about any ride accept riding the off road would be a no brainer!!! I have been riding for over 25 years now, I have ridden and owned just about every kind of bike out there. Right now I would accept a price war among the leading manufacturers. I find it very hard to justify any motorcycle over $10,000.00! I realize the cost of technology and modernism can get expensive, but why do they need to upgrade half of the bikes on the road every 2 to 4 years?I currently own 7 motorcycles, 4 off road and 3 street machines. I would be happy to reduce that to 2 if there were machines out there to do what I stated. 1 on road 1 off road!

  • Easy… Just look at the VTX1800. With The Motor Company’s new water pumper
    coming out can the other manufacturers be far behind? The VMax is due for a
    serious update as well. The giant power cruiser isn’t exactly my cup of tea
    but I’ll bet they sell a bunch of them.

  • Super motards by all the Japs. See Husaberg and KTM.

  • Couldn’t resist replying to this one. What seems to be missing from the MC world at the moment is a cruiser
    style machine, but with the looks, fairing and performance of the
    current sportsbikes.

    Imagine:
    Frame: Stiffness and lightness of sportsbike, riding position and comfy
    seat of Virago. Single sided swingarm. Back rests all round.
    Engine: VTR1000 or SV650. Big kick-arse twin, or maybe even IL4?
    Fairing: Nice and sexy, great wind protection, maybe even dash storage
    ah la ZZR.
    Shitloads of tank capacity. I hate filling up!

    Think of it as an unholy mating between the Yamaha TMax500, the Virago
    and an R1. My 2c.

  • With the popularity of Standard motorycles in Europe and Japan, and the definite interest in the recent Bonneville release here in the U.S., I can’t see why the manufacturers haven’t jumped on the gun and produced a ‘Standard-Sport’/'Sport-Standard’ model. It seems so obvious to me that this category has never been completely nailed.

    The problem is the Manufacturers forcing you into either a Standard plain vanilla ‘boring’ bike, a Sport model for fetal-position die-hards, or a Cruiser for people that think that a motorcycle is something to sleep on. Most ‘men’ I know, whom are currently the leading purchasers of motorcycles, believe a motorcycle is a technological marvel of metal and rubber. They like to take their girlfriends or wives for daily jaunts once in a while. They like twisty roads, but don’t go 150mph. (Ever see a sport-riders girlfriend, they’re the ones with teeth marks on their knees) Average-Joe’s also don’t want to lug around a 600 pound cruiser just to go down the street or ride the twisties out in the country. They know the capabilities of recent motorcycle technology and expect to see it in their rides.

    And, I mean no disrespect to any one MC group, to each his own. I’ve often contemplated purchases in all these categories prior to making a purchasing decision. Always, I’ve been forced to go ‘standard’ when what I really wanted was sport, cruiser, standard, and sport/touring rolled into one. Sport for it’s lightness, leaning angle, and power; Cruiser for it’s 2-up capability and flat-footed riding position; Standard for it’s perfect riding position and all-around goodness; and Sport/Touring for its ability to carry 2-up and luggage.

    A few years ago when it was rumored that Honda was coming out with a Monster-like machine for the U.S., many I know were anxiously awaiting. As it turned out, it was another sport model (vtr1000), v-twin with cramped riding position, passenger non-friendly seating, high seat height, faired, etc. etc. What a chance they had.

    The problem with Cruisers:

    Well, do I REALLY have to list these?
    Snoozing riding position (Am I REALLY in control with my feet over my head?)
    heavy
    underpowered
    no ground clearance
    1970′s frame, shock, brake, etc. technology (or at least it appears that way)

    The problem with Sports:

    Usually inline 4′s too much unnecessary/unusable power, weight, width
    Seating position for most ‘average-joe’ riding is too crunched when not on the back-roads
    shocks a wee bit tight
    seat height often slightly too high for many people
    power delivery high in rev range
    Very poor passenger seat/riding position due to no seat, 2nd story seat, half a seat (ala monster), and raised rear pegs
    Fairings

    The problem with Standards:

    Usually a detuned inline 4 taking up too much width and adding weight.
    sometimes underpowered
    shocks substandard (usually non-adjustable)
    lack of rear discs
    low ground clearence
    no water cooling
    Poor passenger seat/riding position due to substandard seat or raised rear pegs

    Bikes that come closest and why they miss:
    Ducati Monster:
    performing v-twin saves width
    slightly lower seat height, than say a Suzuki Bandit
    definitely an adequately equipped and performing machine
    no fairing, mono shock, heavy-duty fork look, braided lines, brakes, etc.
    machine look
    Bad:
    passenger seat? is there one?
    cramped rider rearward footpegs
    cramped passenger footpeg height
    slightly too short of wheel base for 2 riders
    no water cooling
    maintenance?

    Triumph Bonneville:
    Good:
    seat height
    very good riding position for both rider and passenger
    adequate same-level seating
    standard placement footpegs with some ground clearance
    engine performance compared to ‘older’ models definitely improved and larger discplacement
    good-enough sport performance for weekend twisties
    Bad:
    Not a V-twin
    No water cooling
    ‘classic’ look not really needed to sell motorcycles to old guys
    No mono-shock, ‘fat’ rear tire, machine look. (It just looks old and cheap)
    Spokes?

    My perfect motorcycle: (And I believe I know the market darn it!)
    Starting with a 900cc Monster
    raise the handlebars to ‘standard’ riding position
    lower the pegs and move them forward to ‘standard’ riding position
    lengthen the wheelbase a bit, we don’t really need to turn THAT sharply
    lower the seat another 1/2″
    give it a FULL seat for 2 riders
    lower the passenger pegs
    keep the ground clearance
    add water cooling
    drop the headlight fairing
    have Japan produce it

    Starting with a 800cc Bonneville
    Well if we can’t have a v-twin, we’ll keep this engine but add water cooling and up the cc to 1000 or so
    dump spoke wheels for mags (we really don’t want spokes and tubes to fulfill our nostalgic craze, do we?)
    dump the classic look by giving it a techno-frame.
    beefy inverted fork tubes, yeah!
    can you say tachometer?
    bigger, boxier, non-stamped-look gas tank.
    have Japan produce it

  • Im sure u are gonna get plenty of interesting responces but … I think the
    problem is internal rather than external. U might have goten to a point
    where u dont need a new motorcycle direction but do need something new in
    your life. When a person concentrates on one thing in their lives for
    pleasure, when that thing gets boring, instead of looking at a broad range
    of new things they focus on the familiar. In your case motorcycling.

  • The U.S. market needs to offer affordable sportbikes for adults. In
    particular, something like the Honda VTX800 you published in the rumors
    section last year (please bring it to the U.S., Honda, and I’ll bring the
    money). VFRs and Katanas aside, most sportbikes have become too racetrack
    focused for the real riding needs of a daily commuter (plus most of their
    color schemes should stay on the racetrack, in my opinion). And the FZ1,
    Bandit, ZRX, etc. don’t quite cut it for me because they have double-cradle,
    rather than perimeter frames, and tubular handlebars.

    My ideal bike would have:

    * Wet weight of no more than 450 lbs.
    * Aluminum perimeter frame
    * About a 56-inch wheelbase
    * Minimal bodywork other than a frame-mounted fairing, for cheaper insurance
    and good looks
    * Fully adjustable suspension front and rear
    * A medium displacement, 750 cc would be ideal (the 94-97 VFR 750 F engine
    would be my top choice)
    * 5.0 gallon gas tank
    * Mild engine tuning so it can average 45 mpg. (Sacrifice some power for
    economy.)
    * Above-the-yoke clip on handlebars, about the height of those on the early
    nineties sportbikes
    * Retail price of $8,000

    The frame, engine, brakes, suspension and other parts could be second or
    third generation, so no new development costs are incurred. In short, I want
    a mid-sized, affordable, sportsbike/sport tourer without all the plastic and
    gaudy graphics. Think Super Hawk with a bigger gas tank and better fuel
    economy. Or the Triumph Speed Triple if it had Japanese bike reliability.

    Well, enough rambling. Thanks for the great online magazine.

  • The next big thing? Well I admit to not being creative enough to predict
    the whole bike but the next big component on bikes will be automatic
    transmissions. Why? Simple enough. While many adults would like to
    experience motorcycling, most (that I know at least) are put off by manually
    shifting and having to coordinate hands and feet. They wonder why the
    learning curve on a machine they consider a little (or a lot) dangerous has
    to include the one thing they have dreaded learning to do in cars: shift
    gears.

    To most potential rookies it just seems a bit unfair and overwhelming to be
    asked to learn balancing, counter-steering, enhanced situational awareness
    and split braking, all without an instructor in the cockpit. Throw in
    learning the intricacies of a manual transmission and for many it turns them
    off to bikes in general no matter how much fun it appears to be.

    The first manufacturer to make a lightweight, adequately powered bike with a
    no shift gearbox and linked brakes will make a ton. Important note: this
    machine must look like a honest-to-God motorcycle, not a scooter. I’m
    thinking of a Honda Rebel with the brakes and tranny from a Polaris ATV.
    After the novice feels comfortable with this machine, most will be hooked.
    Then the whole world of “other” bikes will open up to them like the clouds
    parting after a Midwest thunderstorm.

  • Sport tourers will rule within the next five years. Most naked bikes and
    sporties will have fairing, pannier and bar riser options. The faired,
    bagged and shafted bikes will be marched to their power, weight, and handling
    end points. Now, here is THE, really, BIG THING. I think that a growing
    population of United Stoates based tourers seeking new destinations, will
    discover Mexico and Central America. The interest in Mexico from all biking
    segments will explode. The bike-Mexico explosion will in turn ignite a
    massive worldwide financial interest in the area. “Honey, lets take the LT
    to Belize, this time. Okay?”

  • GT/Muscle bikes. I don’t know if it will be the next big thing, but it
    should be. I know they are already here, and while they are nice bikes, they
    all compromise. I want to see a bike with agility nearing that of an all out
    sportbike, but the power curve of the V-max. A Hot Rod. While the Ferraris
    of motorcycles, sportbikes in general, are awesome I want a big block Mustang
    (sorry I’m a Ford man). Something that is a blast on curvey roads, straight
    roads, boulevards, anywhere. Wouldn’t it be nice to do a second gear roll on
    wheelie and not have to break the sound barrier to maintain it. A bike that
    could hang with sportbikes, and still wheelie by the cruisers light after
    light. You know cool looks, state of the art frames, brakes, all that. I
    think that the VTR 1000 and Buell X1 Lightening all on the right track, but
    neither are what I am visualizing. I had high hopes for the FZ1, but it
    aimed it’s sights on the Bandit, not a bad thing, just not for me. The ZRX
    1200 is kinda cool too.

  • Give us state-of-the-art dual-sports! The only reason nobody wants a dual-sport these days is because the selection is so poor. Honda made a big mistake years ago when they dropped the XL line. They should bring back XL’s based on the new water cooled XR’s and 4-stroke CR’s that will be coming out in every size from 125cc and up! I’ve been waiting more than 10 years. Suzuki is on the right track.

  • Liked your question, now lets see, what sportbike was produced in the last few years that everyone wanted, but nobody got. Hmmm…. There were only about 50 Ducati supermono race bikes ever built, and with their special pendulum type dummy piston they were capable of rpm (and horsepower) beyond the reach of any other single cylinder machines. If Ducati were to put it into production using less expensive materials (no magnesium) and made it road legal for the same price as a 900ss, we would have a whole new type of sportbike, with extreme lightness being the attraction, with superlative handling and a useable amount of horsepower (which if we were honest, we would admit has only about as much as we could use).


    Aprilia would then make one, then Yamaha….

  • Hi guys, I enjoy the site and visit often. What I look for in the next bike craze (as much wishful thinking as
    anything), is the move to sport and sport standard 750cc V-twins. This
    market is wide open with only the Ducati, which is out of most peoples
    price range. The Japanese companies could build high powered versions in
    the 600 supersport chassis with similar horsepower and more torque than the
    600 4 cylinders — and would sound much better also. Also a more powerful
    Suzuki SV650 bumped up to 750 or so cc’s would be nice.

    In reality I also expect the move back to developement in the 750 street
    sport bike just because the open class has gotten out of reach on most
    peoples talent scale. Another thought that hits home is insurance rates. I
    used to pay more for my CBR900 than I did for my cars, which even at my age
    (37) that seemed rediculous. I just recently checked on insurance rates for
    a FZ-1 and it is still out of line with what I am willing to pay. I am
    considering a 600 class bike since there are few choices in the 750 size,
    but I prefer more torque in the lower rev range and a bit more personality.
    If a 750 v-twin were available I would seriously consider it. Besides, my
    wife has laid the law down that the next bike I get will have to stay a
    long time and not get traded like my last few choices. So I have to make a
    very wise decision….any advice. Thanks for the opportunity for input.

  • From 17 years experience as an H-D owner and as a dealership employee, I’ve always joked that with the success of the latter-day Springer front end, the only logical next step would be a model with a tank shifter and a foot clutch.
    One never knows, do one ?

  • You know Dirck, if one or two laws were changed to favour 2 wheelers that
    recognized the fuel consumption/ pollution possibilities as well as
    relieving the pressure for new highway capacity – something you can
    certainly relate to in and around Toronto at least (I don’t imagine it’s
    the only one in North America..?). Then, rather than putting a miriad of
    new sport bikes or Gold Wings on the roads I could see the “sport
    scooter” becoming the thing. Something offering anything up to a 100mph
    cruising potential with brakes and handling to match (in both 1 and 2
    seat configurations as well as available luggage capacity ). Of course
    seat belts and some semblance of crash protection (A la, BMW) will also
    have to be part of the package.

    Along with this there would be a parallel development of the Super
    Motard – “street fighter” concept, for the “traditionalists” among us.

    Of course this could also lead to a new generation of “Mods ans
    Rockers”…!

    Regardless, made sufficiently user friendly and sold in large enough
    numbers who knows commuting might even become fun again..

    Like I said, first tho’ some significant politico’s need to see the
    light……………. ……………isn’t it nice to daydream
    about how things might be in a “perfect world”.

  • It will be practical motorcycles.

    Bikes with the emphasis on torque, smoothness, fuel economy, and ease of
    maintenance. They will be ergonomically friendly, environmentally
    friendly, economical to own and operate, and will provide superior weather
    protection. They will not cater to the boy racer crowd, nor the long
    grey-haired, bearded, leather bound badass crowd. They will come in
    specially sized and configured versions to fit women.

    They will still be quick, but the current emphasis on performance will be
    subdued. Comfort, convenience, safety, and utility will be their
    hallmarks. They will be quiet and clean; many will run on alternative
    fuels. Annual sales will exceed a million units. They won’t necessarily
    be cheaper, but a much larger percentage of the population will see them as
    acceptable for primary transportation than do now.

    Timeframe… beginning within the next ten years.

  • Aye! Always talking about old FJ100-1200. But any one remember Katana 1100 of 88 and ZX-11.
    Long, heavy, big, but whit so umpphhh. Real bike for real men !
    Currrently riding an RF900, not using all the top speed, but always all the torque.
    I am too youg for an ST1100 and too old for the little one like R1,CBR,GSXR.
    I need a bike for work,travel,style,place for girlfriend and luggage, but don’t forget all the power and performance.
    Why not building back the one that was working whit today tech. aka Kat1100, ZX-11, RF900 whit a seat, etc…


    If a was a car guy, you could call me the “VIPER” type

  • I think you said it already. …and slow, overweight, air cooled, v-twin cruisers with flexi frames and poor brakes…
    This is the big opportunity for improvement, bikes like the Hunwick Harrop will set the trend, and the VTX and its successors will follow, adding performance to the cruiser market, at an affordable price point.
    PS Great mag Dirck

  • The Nighthawk ‘S’ was a standout with the press and the public. Full size, shaft drive, hydraulic valves, good handling, comfortable seat but zero torque. Since Honda hasn’t jumped into the naked bike market yet, why not a 1200 cc version with modern frame and an eye for a sub-500 pound weight? The low maintenance naked bike.

  • Sorry if I’m a bit late with this… I try to read every day but sometimes I miss a few.


    My thoughts for the next big thing are:


    Fuel injected dirt bikes with electric start. After a couple of years when people get used to this, the manufacturers will start to shift things around on the bikes. The fuel tank will go under the seat, the airbox where the fuel tank currently sits and the rear suspension under the motor. The point of all of these is to get the weight low to help handling. Hub drive probably won’t happen because it would add too much unsprung weight. Two wheel drive dirt bikes would be good too!

  • Thank you very much for this imaginative and in-depth article on what the next bikes should be. I am 57 years old and have been writing ang complaining about the lack of choice in the sport touring segment. Since I first saw articles on the FJR 1300 I have complaines even more. Your resume is complete. I was once national production manager for a Japanese auto manufacturer and had to go to Japan on a number of occasions. The problem with those guys is that their culture does not seem to permit them to express fully their imagination hence they wait for the other before doing what they seem the right thing… Keep on expressing your ideas and they will eventually listen.

  • Only one of the responses to your question touched on what I’d hope (but don’t expect) to see from major manufacturers for the US market…


    More choices for non-biker commuters


    One of your respondents called for a 100 mpg 500cc bike with weather protection and integrated luggage. Hear! Hear! Not that I’d purchase one, you understand. Nor would 99% of your other readers. But something along the line of the Yamaha T-Max 500cc “scooter” now available in Europe or Honda’s rumored 600 cc scooter would, I think, greatly expand the market for two-wheeled transportation in our increasingly congested urban commuter landscape.


    Here in Seattle it’s not at all unusual for commuters to spend two hours a day commuting 20-30 miles to and from work. Riding a motorcycle can cut that commute time in half. But relatively few commuters make that choice. Why? No reasonable automatic transmission bikes with integrated luggage (sufficient to pick up a few groceries on the way home) and decent weather protection.


    Though I’m perfectly happy to continue my commutes on my BMW or my Triumph, I’d love to see hundreds of others slipping along on more purpose designed two wheeled commuter vehicles. With more riders comes greater clout. More parking for bikes, greater awareness of bikes, less fuel consumption, less congestion, etc. etc.


    All in all, I’m appalled by the snobbery motorcycle riders typically exhibit toward “scooters” and their riders. We need all the allies we can get out there. Rather than focus exclusively on what we’d like to ride, how about some attention paid to vehicles that might appeal to a truly underserved market segment?

  • It’s never a BIG thing, just a modification of what’s already here. A
    BIG thing was the GTS1000 by Yamaha. Only it was nearly 10 years ahead
    of it’s time. Like the Duke II. I think Yamaha ought to drop a BIG V
    twin (VMax motor?) into that GTS Omega frame and give it third
    millennium styling. Maybe LCD tail/signal lights, Xenon driving lights,
    and optional “STD” bars (not for me!), along with bags & GPS. Or how
    about just bringing the FJR13000 here!!!!! Or a street-only YZF 600/650
    a la Duke II, with serious wheels/tires. Motorcycling is changing, and
    we’ve finally realized the RZ500 & TZ750 are/were a little too extreme
    for real humans on real roads. The BMW R1150RS is very close, just
    heavy. Look at BMW’s 5-series autos. You can get the same body/chassis,
    with a 2.0,2.5,3.0 six, or a 4.4 or 5.0-V8, the latter being 400hp.
    Suspension goes from mom’s shopping car to the M5s real-world race-track
    handling. And you can get most of these in a WAGON! Why Yamaha or Honda
    hasn’t figured this out….
    Take their BEST chassis, make extreme sport, sport, sport-touring,
    touring, and standard (UJM) versions of susp/displacement/styling, and
    let the customer decide how far he/she wants to go. talk about
    custom….

  • I hope the next big thing will be Sport Tourers. I am riding a MZ Traveler and while it is a great bike it is a little rough around the edges. The Honda ST is fine but a little to heavy and who needs to cruse at 140.

  • I don’t usually throw my two cents into the pot, but I did on this one.
    Reading the responses that you posted, I was amazed at the general concensus
    out there. Maybe I’m not alone after all! 44 years old, and I’m always
    struggling to find most of the attributes I want in a particular bike. (The
    factory took this model to point X. If only they had just done this and that!)
    Seems as though you have created a valuable forum for market driven
    production. These factories need to make fewer model decisions based on sales
    histories, and more based on focus groups. They can’t get a history if they
    don’t make it right in the first place.

  • 1) A Street Tracker. Take a SV650 or TL1000 and give it
    the handling and of a Flat Track bike. Set it up so
    that it could be driven on the street and in some
    amateur Flat Track events. Make it so it could actually
    win in the more serious classes without major
    modifications.

    2) So you like 600cc Sportbikes that are light and
    flickable? Why not make a real honest sportbike with
    that is less than 500cc. Not a toy, but a quality bike
    that a grown-up would want to ride. I remember hearing
    about 250cc race bikes that make 80 hp and weight in
    less than 300 lbs. Wouldn’t that be fun! Make it very
    light first and have great handling. 2nd give it as
    much power as you can cram in 275 lbs. Mmmmm!

    3) I am fairly tall. However I have several friends
    (not all are women) that are vertically challenged.
    They have a hard time riding most bikes. They either
    have to spend considerable money to have a bike
    modified, or stand on their tippy-Toes when they stop.
    Sometimes they have to buy a kiddie bike that does not
    have serious brakes and suspensions (or Cruisers.) I
    don’t think it would take that much engineering to make
    bikes more ajustable for my mini friends.


    4) (This has been mentioned.) I have never ridden a
    Norton or BSA single that was set up for road racing.
    But boy they do look cool. I would love to own a retro
    but modern engineered Large tall single set up with
    clip-ons and a mini fairing. Maybe a megaphone looking
    exaust with a removable baffle (that we would only
    remove on closed courses ;-)

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond.