The V-Max goes like stink, but there's not a drop of cool in it. A V-4? Kidding me?
No likey V-4s? I love 'em. From what I understand, they are complex and expensive to manufacture, hence their rarity.
I've ridden a V-Max and thought it was pretty comfy and handled reasonably well. It had atrocious on/off throttle response that would be deal killer enough for me. The fact that I could put more fuel in my pockets than it's capable of storing makes them completely useless IMO.
My favorite V-4 is the one in the old VFR 750s. Excellent sound, buttery feel, like a fine tuned triple that engine.
Cool... yeah, that's not something you can buy or wear or put on you. If a guy is a dork, he can ride a $150,000 custom bike and guess what? He's still a dork. If a guy is cool, he can ride up and down main street in Daytona during bike week on a pink Vespa wearing a ballet tutu and guess what? He's still cool.
If he's wasting his time parading up and down Main St in some avian like display of plumage trying to entice the females, I'd question his kewlness. After all, kewl guys today pick up chicks by demonstrating their command of text message abbreviations and knowledge of cell phone apps.
Performance... That's a package deal. Performance is useless if I can't ride it 100 miles without being in pain. My son has a CBR 929RR and I can't last 15 minutes on that thing. If I had a dollar for every time I heard "If you want fast get a sport bike" I could pay cash for the new Guzzi. I usually chalk it up as clueless babble from a window licker (not you, Jason, I like you). People don't understand about TORQUE.
Torque can be achieved through gearing. A lot of sport bikes are geared tall in first gear so they can take off during a race and keep the front wheel near the ground and in the high gear for top speed. Even my Duc STs had silly gearing like that (surely a parts bin thing). A couple of sprockets later, she's as "torquey" as you like.
And there are plenty of aftermarket gadgets to make sport bikes more comfy. My riding partner has a little Ninja 650 that he absolutely loves. He's closing on 60 and rides his Wing more now for the comfort, but last we talked, he was thinking of putting some peg lowering brackets and a new seat on the 650 to make his featherweight more geriatric friendly on our day long scoots.
Who the hell decided that cruisers are supposed to be slow and cumbersome? That Guzzi is nice and I love the concept of something between a standard and a cruiser, but I figure my Kingpin would spank that thing.
Until some clever aftermarket guy makes some go fast parts for it anyway.
If people would refuse to spend 20K for "cool" and demand better motorcycles... we would get better motorcycles. But no... Victory has seen the writing on the wall. What sells is apehangers and whitewalls. What's next? Girder front ends? Kill me now...
Starting to feel that Guzzi now aren't ya?
The Kingpin was SO CLOSE to the total package in a cruiser... all it needed was some horsepower, big saddlebags, a better seat, some radial tires, and to lose the goofy floorboards. Easily done. I bought it because it was the only cruiser platform that didn't need complete re-engineering to be MY BIKE. The way things are looking, my next bike will be from Italy because I'm too old to start conforming now. My friends and family would think I had lost it and put me in a home.
Better than living on the street I suppose.