Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey
Nope, it is quite easy to create a fake and boring motorcycle...the Japanese have become masters of this. CV carbs with small diaphragm vents to reduce throttle response or fuel injection designed to only respond so quickly. They seem to see these traits as desirable so oafs aren't startled by a 'sudden'--yet commanded--response of power. Limp suspension with imprecise damping. Excessive steering trail to ensure that wobbles and instability don't frighten the inexperienced, serve only to dull the steering feedback in the twisties. Crappy Transformer-like instrument clusters with glitzy displays that will soon fade, crack and craze. Miles of phony engine and frame covers to conceal poorly designed or poorly integrated components (Suzuki Vulcans and Yamaha Viragos are among the worst in this category). Brakes designed to intentionally not startle inexperienced users and therefore have broad engagement zones and poor final amount of available friction.
It is quite common for manufacturers to pasteurize, homogenize, filter and blend something to the point that it becomes as interesting as a block of Velveeta. If you haven't ridden a bike that doesn't suffer from those traits, you owe it to yourself to seek one out.
I tend to like my motorcycles with instant feedback, honest hardware and real suspension and brakes. There is no fake anything here. Every part has a purpose or it didn't make it to the final design. It's honest, spartan and raw. It's also the most 'alive' motorcycle I own.
It's pretty bad when a Harley engine can be described as 'responsive and snappy' compared to so many of the failures listed in this thread. The reality of 65+ ft/lbs of torque available over a 30 MPH spread in every gear makes it a willing backroad accomplice. Every tweak of the throttle is met with an immediate lunge forward. It steers right now
and will stand on its nose if you ask it to.
I consider all late model motorcycles to be fake, especially Japanese bikes. They have been so highly refined that they have no character, no personality, no "soul" left. They may be reliable, but what good is that if you don't want to ride them because they are drop dead boring. The same thing has happened to new cars, but most people use them as transportation only, so they actually like it. But to me a motorcycle is 100% a recreational machine. I would gladly give up some of that safety and reliability to have some character. Just ride ANY 30-40 year old bike, and compare it to any new bike, and you will immediately notice a huge difference. Harley is pretty much the only company that still makes bikes with any character. Harleys still vibrate, and they still have that sweet off beat exhaust sound. I wonder if that is a big part of why they still sell so well?