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Just for fun--OK. I don't want to make anybody angry or start a war. Back when I started riding in the mid 70's my small Honda never got washed and I rode it every where. It was not comfortable, the bars buzzed, the wheels were wire spokes and if it fell off the kickstand it was not a big deal. Sure it did not cost much and today an aftermarket exhaust for my Vic cost more than that NEW motorcycle.

Fast forward to today. We spend $20,000+ on 2 wheel Lazy Boy recliners and then go to work spending thousands more on $700 seats, $1,000 exhausts, changing the bars, lights, air filter, everything trying to eeek out another ft lb of torque or hp that is really useless since the bikes are really fast enough in stock formation.

After we do all of that, we probably will trade it for the new Indian, Street Glide, Vision, Cross Country, (insert your choice here) and start all over again. If we don't, we most likely are wishing we could.

THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO EVERY BODY and I know that. I am one of the worst on the planet having owned 9 different bikes since 2004. I have logged between 10-15,000 every year so I do not have garage queens. I ride 12 months a year if the temp is 50 or above and I do 2 or 3 12-1500 mile weekend mountain trips and would do more if I were not married. I am trying to go thru ReHab right now and settle down to the way it used to be and settle in with the Kingpin as I do believe it is the best ALL AROUND MULTI FUNCTION bike I have owned--not to mention the coolest looking "motorcycle".

So as I stand back and look at the money I have spent on paint and chrome in the last 10 years, I have to ask myself, "When did a motorcycle quit becoming a motorcycle?" It started off as cheap fun on 2 wheels and over the years turned into a money pit type "mine is bigger(and has more chrome) than yours" type competition--and in the Harley world many refuse to acknowledge it as a true motorcycle.

I am gonna post this elsewhere as I am truely bored today. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject---all in good fun.

Now let me go to Witch Doctors and see if he has anything new for the Pin!
 

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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!
 

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My first bike was a super 90 honda I paid $150 for. It would run 70 mph and I rode it at 70 most of the time so I blew it up 3 times.. Didn't know if there were aftermarket parts for it or not .. I was 13 so I didn't have any money and actually picked up coke bottles to put gas in it.. Mowed lawns to pay for the rebuild parts etc. didn't put any money into the next 2 motorcycles either.. Broke my foot and totaled the Susuki when a car ran over me so the next 25 years were spent in the dirt on a 360 Yamaha for a few years followed by a 250 Elsinore.. I did spend some money on the Elsinore a different expansion chamber better shocks and I can't remember how many rebuilds but enough to require two different new jugs.. Sold it in 1995 as I was getting too old to keep falling off the thing plus it needed a new crank and who knows what else .. I was out of the motorcycle business forever I thought after that ... Well that is until one of my friends moved back and came over on his bike.. He let me ride it and boom motorcycle fever hit me.. Bought a 98 Virago and I'm not sure what happened but I found myself buying things like windshields, saddlebags, and chrome goodies .. Was doing allot of traveling on the bike and when they came out with the VTX I was in a situation I could sell mine and get the bigger bike.. Put some money and time into this bike too.. Windshield, bags, chrome and polished everything aluminum .. 2011 I am still traveling allot on the VTX (107000 miles) and am getting tired of strapping everything on the bike and since most if my riding buddies had gone to goldwings, baggers etc they were always waiting on me to strap my crap on the bike. so I found a great deal on a used XC that already had a ton of aftermarket stuff on it.. I haven't had to put much money into this bike but I do wash it.. I put D&D exhaust, Lloyd's filter, have a PCV so I am spending money.. I intend to do cams timing wheel etc probably add an amp.. I can't think of much else the bike needs but the desire to make ones bike unique isn't so strong with this bike as I have the only Victory in the group of guys I normally ride with.. I do look frequently at the aftermarket so I never say never on customization ..




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Imagine what MC's will become in the future. I have ridden bikes since my Honda 50 mini trail. I loved that thing! love my KE175 Kawi too. I just kept stepping up thru the years to bigger and better and to tell you the truth when I wound up with my Kawi 1700 Voyager, I thought I went to far. That was bike was great to ride but I had to do so much to it to fit me. Money well wasted. My VTX1300c has so much dam work done to it that I cant even sell it cause I'd loose my ass. Hell I even took the ugly cheap looking seam out of the tank. Money well wasted.

I ran into a buddy at HD on Christmas eve at closing time. He works there now and when we seen each other he couldn't wait to show me his brand new SG. Now here's a guy for the last 6 yrs I have known him has ridded a Shadow aero 750 every day to work. his only transportation. He loved that Shadow and it never failed him. When asked when are you going to step up? He always stood up for himself and expressed that he was perfectly happy with his bike. It was a Motorcycle! Well today, he expresses a different comment about his new SG. It's his dream bike and trust me this man will leave that thing stock for probably ever. He doesn't have much money and to just be greatfull that he has the opportunity to even own this beautiful bike, well lets just say It shows all over his face and he deserves it. The new SG is a nice bike.


When I sold the Voyager I knew I had to replace it with something that had a stereo and a fairing. That Voyager like I said was a great road bike, just wasn't me. The street glide and Cross country were my choices. My XC is all the bike I want. I don't even look anymore or think of owning anything else. It's my dream bike now and it's not just a motorcycle. It's my Motorcycle.
 

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Its all your fault. No one force you to keep up with the Jones. You do what you want to your bike car boat what ever you have.
No one forces you to do any of it.
 

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Its just one of those things you do when you get a bike. you change things to suit your taste. Its a hobby like said. my first bike in the 70s was a CB200 and I did nothing but replace parts when needed..It was a rider not a cool cruiser.
 

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Like everything else ...... For me , the internet has fueled my obsession to make changes and upgrades......

Sitting now in my recliner , in between feedings , perusing for the next upgrades..... :)
 

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Like everything else ...... For me , the internet has fueled my obsession to make changes and upgrades......

Sitting now in my recliner , in between feedings , perusing for the next upgrades..... :)
Honestly, that is a problem for me. The Vic is so damn good, there is nothing for me to try to fix. If I got a Road King, I could drop $5k in a heartbeat making work. And then it still wouldn't be as good as my XR. But it would be purdy...
 

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They are still motorcycles to me and more than a hobby but less than a way of life. Just something I have always loved to do. I think I will keep the two Vic's I have now for as long as I ride or until something else happens I can't foresee.

I went through a period with the XC where I split my resources on adding or replacing parts to make it run better with more power and to make it look good to my eye. I do these things for me and me alone. I don't try to keep up with the Joneses or top them. It's just pride of ownership and making it my own unique ride.

I want to do some things to the KP but it will have to wait for a bit. It's one of those nice things about having two bikes; you can take one down to do things to it and still ride. It takes the pressure off of trying to do it as fast as possible to get back on the road. Still; I will line up the parts I will want/need, a painter, and whatever else first so when I get started on it I can move along and not get stuck waiting on money or whatever to finish it. I had to do that years ago on an old Harley I had and did not like it one bit.

I'd like to get one of the new Indians. Not the first year but maybe the 2nd or 3rd so if there are any bugs to work out; they are done with them. Unfortunately it will take a windfall of some kind because I won't sell the two I have now to get one. The Chief Vintage in blue would be the perfect bridge between the two I have now.
 

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I remember back in the day when I started riding, there were not any aftermarket parts, if you needed something for your motorcycle you had very few choices:
1) go to the dealership and order a stock replacement part
2) go to a bone yard and pick the part you wanted (stock for that bike or not) and install it.
3) make your own part (and hope it did not break going down the road).

In todays world, no one wants to try #3 on my list, so the aftermarket parts world was born. and for them to survive they have to find some way to pit you against your buddy and his bike, so the looks of our bikes has been used and abused, first for us to justify spending the greenbacks on the parts, second by the retailer wanting to sell the parts, and third by our buddy so he can one up you again. All of this is just a vicious cycle.
 

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The scooter gods got together and decided we didn't like having a generic bike. Your XC looks just like his XC oh and look there's another one just a different color. My XC after a few bucks looks just like a Street Glide. Look the point is we can now make these ours by putting different parts on. You don't have to go all out and change from stock in the performance area but for looks its nice to know there are options to make it look like I want not how they want.


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In todays world, no one wants to try #3 on my list, so the aftermarket parts world was born. and for them to survive they have to find some way to pit you against your buddy and his bike, so the looks of our bikes has been used and abused, first for us to justify spending the greenbacks on the parts, second by the retailer wanting to sell the parts, and third by our buddy so he can one up you again. All of this is just a vicious cycle.
Not running in the customizer circles, I never thought much about that, but it makes a lot of sense...and some interesting looking rides. Perhaps this is what the OP was getting at?

As to building your own parts, there is the slight issue with cost to construct your own machine shop and the education to become skilled enough to engineer something that isn't going to fail and kill you.

Several years ago I bought a steering damper for a bike that required welding a rod to the frame. I called around to the lawn mower repair places and none of them wanted anything to do with the liability of welding on a motor vehicle. Fortunately, one of them pointed me in the direction of an old boy out in the country who built himself a big shop where he welds on semi-trailers. He didn't bat an eye at my little job and seemed to enjoy playing show and tell with his shop. His weld lasted as long as I had the bike and the $25 he charged wouldn't have bought me a decent strap for his welding mask. I don't see it as a wimp out to let pros do what they do.
 

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I live on both sides of this "issue".

Ive got an old Yamaha XS650 hard tail.....its a "motorcycle". I keep it in mostly clean oil and air filters....when something falls off I put it back on....other than that I ride it. Its rough......but its fun. I do ride it alot - probably 8K miles last year, not bad for a fat guy on a little bike.

Then my Cross Country. I probably spent close to $1K on it in the first two weeks I owned it, granted thats a drop in the bucket to what some spend (and thats likely all I will spend on it, its setup like my last bike was). None the less I see your point. My Cross Country HAD to have louder pipes, satellite radio, a mount for my phone....etc....etc.

.....nah it didnt need any a that crap, I just WANTED it.

I got almost 4 years out of my Vision before I lusted after this Cross Country......I keep telling myself, THIS is the last bike.......but who knows.

****....I already lied.....I bought a 99 V92 the other day....but thats different....:rolleyes:
 

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Not running in the customizer circles, I never thought much about that, but it makes a lot of sense...and some interesting looking rides. Perhaps this is what the OP was getting at?

As to building your own parts, there is the slight issue with cost to construct your own machine shop and the education to become skilled enough to engineer something that isn't going to fail and kill you.

Several years ago I bought a steering damper for a bike that required welding a rod to the frame. I called around to the lawn mower repair places and none of them wanted anything to do with the liability of welding on a motor vehicle. Fortunately, one of them pointed me in the direction of an old boy out in the country who built himself a big shop where he welds on semi-trailers. He didn't bat an eye at my little job and seemed to enjoy playing show and tell with his shop. His weld lasted as long as I had the bike and the $25 he charged wouldn't have bought me a decent strap for his welding mask. I don't see it as a wimp out to let pros do what they do.
That is the whole thing with it, it is not a wimp out, but more and more people (including me) would rather not chance their life to some homemade part that might or might not break. I have made a few parts for the Harley I owned but nothing that would put my life in danger, I made a few breather covers, a set of exhaust tip that looked like silencers, and some axle bolt covers that looked like another set of foot pegs.

If we just look back at yesteryear we will see that our forefathers built almost everything for themselves with the help of a few people and very few pros. About the only thing that I can think of that even back in the day that was mostly done by a skilled tradesman was blacksmiths. The older generation built their houses, dug wells, raised and slaughtered their own food, cut fire wood, and many other things just to survive day to day life, all without one walmart, kroger, or target.
 

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The older generation built their houses, dug wells, raised and slaughtered their own food, cut fire wood, and many other things just to survive day to day life, all without one walmart, kroger, or target.
Which should be a testament to the benefits of teamwork, specialization, and an ecological economy. Being self reliant led to a life of struggling to survive. Today we live like kings because people have the opportunity to specialize and do things like creating computer networking, medical advances, and mass transportation rather than everyone being stuck lugging their own water from the well and growing their own food.

There is something to be said for being a jack of all trades and I've done my share of knuckle busting over uncooperative machines. But I'll be the first to admit, I suck at it. I have the patience of a wet hornet. Last year I dropped a damn bike off the stand to save $50 on a tire change. Probably dropped the value of the bike by a couple grand. Live and learn, die and forget it all...
 

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I'm one that likes things simple. I also like my comfort and I need a certain amount of utility.

There is something to be said for the visceral appeal of a thumping v-twin, but fuel injection and electric start sure make things easier. I still have kick-start dirt bikes... but I doubt kicking this Victory to life would be much fun.

As you all probably know, I'm not a big fan of electronics and gadgets. To me, those things take away from the motorcycle experience and provide distractions that divert my attention from the task at hand. I like my front and rear brakes separate, not linked, I like selecting the gears myself with a good old fashioned cable clutch (but a sixth gear is damned handy), and a throttle cable is fine by me. An infotainment system is unnecessary... since my motorcycle is exciting and fun in other ways. Want to be entertained? Roll that 'loud grip' toward you some... I promise you won't be bored any more!
 

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Simplicity is what motorcycling is about for me too. I love to run away from the **** that life throws you and twisting the throttle on any bike is a great therapy. I ride my wife's 750 Aero from time to time and although the power is nothing compared to my XC it is a fun around town bike. Looks bigger and rides bigger than it is. Funny how cruisers this size were the norm at one time. We certainly have evolved as cruiser riders into a great time in our lives with what's available today. 3 American names in motorcycling now available to us and they are all in competition for the best title.

Infotainment systems come in handy for me. I get board traveling long distances on straight flat roads. Not much in the way of twisties and hills in south Florida. I find myself shutting the stereo off a lot more these days just to hear the symphony of my bikes new performance so I can relate. Besides you really cant hear **** after 70 mph.
 

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I think the easy answer is we started riding when we were young poor and indestructible. We rode what ever we could afford bum borrow or steal. As we age we make more money or body is telling us we are not as tough as we thought we were, so comfort becomes important. There for the recliner motorcycle becomes priority.

Just my 2 cents.

MrBill65
2013 Gold Mist Victory Vision
 
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