Originally Posted by 4 inch pistons
Just for fun--OK. I don't want to make anybody angry or start a war.
Awesome, a motorcycle conversation on a motorcycle forum. Whoda thunk it possible?
I think the issue is a function of the aging of riders, their level of disposable income, and the recent trend toward long distance touring on bikes.
Undoubtedly, the great majority is spent by people who want a shiny new toy, but there is great value in a bike that could be used nearly year round (depending on location) and for a variety of endeavors.
My FIL bought a 70s Honda inline 4 in the 90s. I remember riding it and thinking how crude it was even then. It was certainly passable to take the honey on a SLOW afternoon putt through the country, but I would want no part of it commuting amongst texters, or blazing Tennesee backroads.
When I think back to my first single purpose streetbike, it was a 1984 Honda 700. It would still be a good bike by todays standards even if it was carburated, had low end suspension, steel frame, and wore bias ply tires. That bike was over $3k new.
Today, Yami is selling a similar bike in the FZ-09. It is considerably more capable and can be had for under $8k new. Given the rate of inflation over the last 30 years, I'd say that's a pretty commensurate price for this day and age..
If I were in my 20s I'd be happy as hell with such a bike to commute and take weekend rides on. The ergonomics of such bikes have taken a toll on my skeleton over the years. I need something a little more forgiving these days.
So now the question becomes "is a vic worth that much more." Well let's consider the latest rendition of the XR. It now has an MSRP of $16k, roughly double that of the Yami. We also know Vics have a lot of markup. Right now there are two local shops offering $2k off new Hardballs. If you get a mil discount or test ride coupon, there's another $1k off. So now we are talking about a $5k premium over the Yami.
Let's forgo looks since those are totally subjective. The Yami is faster, stops quicker, is lighter and thinner. All good qualities in a sporty MC IMHO.
The Vic OTOH is more comfy for rider and WAY more comfy for passenger. It has much nicer fuel delivery. It is way less maintenance intensive (no valves to adjust, coolant to change, chains and sprockets to replace frequently). It has a low center of gravity which makes it very easy to handle. It has a low seat height and long boards making it a good fit for a lot of various sized humans. Its heavy weight and low COG make it very stable in cross winds. It comes standard with a large luggage capacity. It holds about 2 gallons more gas and gets better mileage. It comes with about triple the warranty.
Given all that, the Vic still runs like a sport touring bike and is comfortable enough stock to ride across the country 2 up on a whim.
The Vic came near perfect stock, though I did roll a Stage 1 and a windshield into the deal and later added a top box and some passenger floorboards.
My last bike was a Yami FJR. I easily bolted on several thousand in parts to get it the way I like it. New suspension, new seat, fuel controller, new handlebars, bar end weights with a throttle lock, new windscreen, highway pegs, a top box. Oh yeah, that one started out over $15k to begin with!
Personally, I think the Vic lineup is generally pretty reasonably priced, though some of that Ness stuff is insanely priced. I definitely appreciate the capabilities of new bikes over their predecessors. To me, the ratio of value : dollars hasn't changed appreciably. My use of bikes has grown considerably over time. I'm happy mfgs have kept up!