Day by Day cartoon

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Nothin- the Japanese companies got nothin!

Just for fun last night I sat down and browsed the Japanese motorcycle company's websites to see what they might be offering that would tempt me like that Triumph Bonneville tempted me last Saturday. For the record, I am not shopping for a motorcycle, but it never hurts to have a little look around. Right? But Honda. Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha have no motorcycles that I would consider throwing a leg over every day for the next few years. None. Nada.

Those 4 motorcycle companies have completely turned their collective backs on "normal" motorcycles. Now there are only 3 styles of motorcycles, if, for the sake of argument, we ignore the big-bagged, GPS equipped, 8-states-in-4-days touring bikes, and I have no problem ignoring those behemoths. The other 3 styles are the V-twin cruisers-"I wanna be a Harley and look like a bad-ass," the full fairinged, mufflers tucked up under the seat sport bikes-"I wanna be a road racer and drag my knee on the ground." and the dual-sport, 12 inches of suspension-"I wanna look like I can commute across the Sahara without refueling" bike.

They don't sell any normal, roadster street bikes that just say, "I want to commute to work and take a ride on Saturday morning without pretending to be something more than a simple motorcycle." The Honda CB line of roadsters is all gone, so too the Kawasaki KZ line of low-piped, room for 2 people on the seat, feet go under you, not in front of you, motorcycles.

So- if, and I'm saying if, not when, I get ready to move up from my little Vento Phantom motorscooter and buy a "real" motorcycle, I won't be going into any of the Japanese dealers to shop. If I've got a big enough wallet, I'll go get the Bonneville T100. If not, I guess I'll be shopping on EBay for a normal motorcycle that suits my fancy.

If anybody happens to have a 80s vintage Kawasaki KZ750 twin they would like to sell, I'd be interested in seeing it.

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