2014 Yamaha XJR1300
When I see poor souls bumbling about on you-know-what cruisers, I can’t help but think that what they really wanted was a retro-style muscle bike like this or the CB1300, but Big Marketing just pulled the wool over their eyes to such a degree that they got a bike without handling, brakes or comfort instead. I mean, this thing gives you easily accessible and equally impressive straight-line performance paired with actual control and capability, all in a package that won’t work to compress your vertebrae over each and every road imperfection. Plus, all the air (and oil)-cooled character you can shake a stick at. It’s even suitably oversized, you know, so you feel manly. Seriously, can someone give us a genuine explanation as to why all Americans don’t ride one of these? One which doesn’t involve cowboys and western horse saddles, please.
2014 Yamaha Tricker
You know what American kids definitely wouldn’t want?Definitely not the same kids obsessed with skating and fixies and mountain bikes? They definitely wouldn’t want a light, simple, affordable bike that’d be equally at home jumping curbs, tackling a skate park or hitting trails in the mountains. No, all that sounds awful.
2014 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
Ok, bear with me while I describe the most undesirable bike in the world. It’s got the comfort and luggage-carrying ability of the big ADV bikes, but thanks to an all-up weight of just 460 lbs, it’s actually enjoyable and easy to ride off-road. It’s also equipped with a proven, reliable engine, modern styling and decent suspension and brakes, as well as real off-road wheels and tires. Why would you want something like that when everyone knows you need at least a 636 lbs bike to park outside Starbucks with any sort of self respect?
2014 Kawasaki Versys 1000
2014 Kawasaki Estrella
Just look at this pretty little bike and its 250cc, air-cooled single. I’m not even going to attempt sarcasm or humor here, we don’t get this bike in America because motorcycle consumers here think a 600cc supersport is a starter bike and anything under 1,300cc is for wimps. We don’t use bikes as transportation and we insist on holding on the ideal that we’re rugged individualists riding down desert highways in pursuit of adventure even though the vast majority of us live in congested cities and rarely travel at over 55 mph or have the chance to take long trips. We don’t want small bikes even though the average level of riding ability among motorcyclists is in need of improvement. We don’t want affordable bikes because we’re indoctrinated into a lifestyle of debt. Crushing, crippling debt that leaves average young people unable to try anything new, new stuff like getting a bike for practical, city transportation. That’s why we don’t get pretty little bikes like the Estrella or, in fact, most of the other stuff on this list. Humph.
Should Wes put away his violin or do you agree that some things need to change? Out of all the bikes listed, if we could only have one, which should it be?