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To woo a generation that’s increasingly uninterested in owning a car, motorcycle manufactures are investing in new and expanded lines of middleweight motorcycles, pitching them as cheaper, more fuel-efficient, and unquestionably cool ways to get from A to B. Honda Motor (HMC) has been particularly aggressive, with three new models that start at $5,799 and claim up to 65 miles per gallon—67 percent more than a Honda Civic.
Traditionally, American motorcycle riders have preferred big cruisers, powerful touring bikes, and high-performance sport bikes. Harley-Davidson’s (HOG)popular Fat Boy starts at $17,699 (if you want it in black; colored models start at $18,099). BMW’s (BMW:GR) best-selling bike is the 525-pound R 1200 GS, which has a $14,950 price tag.
These types of high-end machines can be too intimidating for new riders, casual enthusiasts, or anyone getting back on a bike after several years away from the sport (including baby boomers eager to revive their inner Dennis Hopper). High sticker prices and insurance premiums are part of the equation, but more practical issues such as seat height, ergonomics, and weight are important, too. Nothing is more embarrassing than dropping an $18,000, 725-lb. Harley as you maneuver off the dealer’s lot.





With the industry struggling to regain market share—U.S. motorcycle sales in 2012 totaled just 450,000, down from 1.1 million in 2005—Honda is eager to lure a wide demographic of riders, including younger buyers. “The younger buyer is saying, ‘I don’t care about all the plastic, aerodynamics, and everything like that. I want something I can park on the street, and if it gets bumped over, I can pick it up and move on,’” says Tim Buche, president of the Motorcycle Industry Council.
Rivals including Kawasaki (7012:JP), Suzuki Motor (7269:JP), and even Harley-Davidson are aiming for this market as well. Harley recently announced its Street 500, a completely new model based on its popular V-Twin Revolution engine, available this spring. Kawasaki in 2012 refreshed its lineup, with an all-new Ninja 300, an entry-level sport bike, featuring the same caliber of styling reserved for its high-end models.
Experienced riders may turn up their noses. This kind of bike can prove underpowered for serious track days, lack the comfort needed for cross-country trips, or simply disappoint during any hard-core “adventure” riding. But such critics are missing the point. Motor Cyclist named Honda’s CB500F “Best Bang for the Buck” in 2013, saying: “We sometimes forget that not everyone is into motorcycling for an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride. For some, transportation is the main goal. Others are just happy to be outside. We get it. And so does Honda.”


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Harley is expanding to offer lower displacement bikes but BMW and Ducati are sticking to the higher end of the market. Do you think that is a mistake for them. Just look at where the growth in the market is. Its at the lower end. I think that BMW and Ducati are resisting a change that has to happen. Good for Harley for expanding and trying to bring in new customers.
 

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its great opportunity for them. Generation Why doesn't have the means to purchase new vehicles. Even if someone came out with a 600 hp RWD coupe DCT, and swathed in carbon fiber sold for the low low price of $15,999 not one could by, they still dont have $15K...

however $5K for a new 1/4 liter bike is much easier to swallow for a young fellow...
 

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Smaller bikes for less badass riders..... I can see the angry small bike riders feeding into this.
IMO a HD street is the lowest any self respecting male should go in terms of CC's.
If you're the type to buy a Vespa......

 

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I would hope that anyone who buys a motorcycle, buys it because that is what they want, not based on what others think or how badass they think they want to be. Don't be a lemming. Undoubtedly there will be "badass" Big Twinners that look down upon Street riders, because they are smaller displacement and they are liquid cooled and not a "real" Harley. They do it with Sporty riders. But I think that the "legends in their own mind" are the minority. Judging by what I see on forums and the riders I talk to, most are not prejudiced like that. Most have the attitude that it is not about what you ride, but rather that you are riding. There is always the bigger is better (or badder) mentality that some people live by... more cc's (or ci's), ,more horsepower...... that will never stop.
 

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I would hope that anyone who buys a motorcycle, buys it because that is what they want, not based on what others think or how badass they think they want to be. Don't be a lemming. Undoubtedly there will be "badass" Big Twinners that look down upon Street riders, because they are smaller displacement and they are liquid cooled and not a "real" Harley. They do it with Sporty riders. But I think that the "legends in their own mind" are the minority. Judging by what I see on forums and the riders I talk to, most are not prejudiced like that. Most have the attitude that it is not about what you ride, but rather that you are riding. There is always the bigger is better (or badder) mentality that some people live by... more cc's (or ci's), ,more horsepower...... that will never stop.
thats the only way to do it, buy what YOU need and what YOU know and think is right for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Personally I don't think having a larger displacement motorcycle has anything to do with being badass.

I've met some pretty whimpy guys who ride 600cc+ sports bikes before.

I've also met some gnarly dudes who ride lower CC bikes.


It really comes down to your needs. If you just need something to get you from point A-B locally you don't need a 1000cc motorcycle... Actually you would probably have more fun a lower CC motorcycle.

In general if you have made the decision to ride on two wheels that already sais something about you. It takes some courage to do so. And I have respect for all riders (except for the idiots who end up as statistics)
 

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Personally I don't think having a larger displacement motorcycle has anything to do with being badass.

I've met some pretty whimpy guys who ride 600cc+ sports bikes before.

I've also met some gnarly dudes who ride lower CC bikes.


It really comes down to your needs. If you just need something to get you from point A-B locally you don't need a 1000cc motorcycle... Actually you would probably have more fun a lower CC motorcycle.

In general if you have made the decision to ride on two wheels that already sais something about you. It takes some courage to do so. And I have respect for all riders (except for the idiots who end up as statistics)
haha i've seen it a number of time.
see guys riding 600+ cc bikes that they shouldn't be, and some end up getting hurt in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I believe in riding what you need. If your commute is 5 miles down the street to work I don't see a point in getting a 1000cc super sport.

Everyone is different though. If I'm going to get a super sport I want to be sure I'm trying to use it for its capabilities.

Lots of track days across the country. I don't see a point in getting a machine designed to be a track day performer and leaving it to pull on family cars on the freeway. If I just wanted to enjoy freeway cruising I would get something more comfortable.
 
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