Originally Posted by aterry1067
One company seems to be standing out....Yamaha. Yamaha seems to be the one Japanese big 4 that are taking the lead with innovation and quality. The S 10 is the first big displacement dual sport(>1000cc) bike that actually has dual sport capability out of the box, and so far the quality has been superb. This seems to be the first Japanese bike that could give the GS a run for it's money, and begin to steer sales away from the Germans. Yes, I am well aware that the V-Strom has been around for a while, but I think most would agree that the V is mostly a road bike, that many owners have outfitted to become off-road capable.
Yamaha have usually done good, honest, well thought out, slightly portly reliable stuff. Ever since the 70's.(that I can remember)
I have never owned a YAMAHA until recently but they have never gone unnoticed either.
They have always been a bit "out of the box". They get put back in on occasions when something didn't quite work but they seem to pop right out again regularly.
They also tend to be in a bit of demand from other manufactures for performance engineering on occasion.
Now that might not have been such a great success because they dared charge what it was worth. I mean the cheek!! At the time it was all about power and lap times not touring but it is now fairly collectable.
But on the other hand back in the 70's Suzuki wasn't so afraid either...
I think Suzuki have just fallen into a "cheap trap" lately though. It's hard to do advanced stuff if everyone expects 3/4 the price of everyone else so they have gone for "bang for bucks" load em up and ship them. Good value for the consumer though.