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
The Ninja 1000 and Z1000 are great bikes, but how does the same engine housed in a taller, more spacious, more distance-capable, more passenger-friendly package sound? Then why we don’t get it here?
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?
Avid ADV rider! This Blog is all about the adventure in adventure riding. Researching new bikes, routes, accessories, learning about other riders and hopefully a great place for others to comment and explore with me. PLUS, up and down's, wildlife, my dogs, my life!
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11 thoughts on “NOT SOLD IN AMERICA”
A nice list of bikes. My favorite would have to be the Honda Super Four. I’ve always liked that small four.
I don’t agree with the statement about boat anchors coming out of Milwaulkee. HD makes a good dependable motorcycles. Along with my F800GS I happen to own an Ultra Classic which is what I use when my wife wants to go riding. We are very fortunate to have such a wide selection of bikes to choose from. To each his own.
I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Wes….
My heart is pumping fast for 6 out of the 12 bikes presented in this article….
So no, I can’t pick one! LOL!!!
WTH….pick them all
Liked the comment about the Tenere 🙂
On behalf of anchor manufactures I highly object to your suggestion that a Harley be used as a boat anchor. It’s shape would make it a better mooring where the weight of an object holds the vessel stationary via a chain or rope to a bouy on the surface.
That said I am hoping to be able to see the new 500 and 750 Street Harleys due out soon.
awesome read, thank you!
Real motorcyclist do not play a role in market forces impacting the superficial U.S. motorcycle market, as function and form are seen to be merely manifested in 100 miler weekend cruising v-rods over all other types of practical, functional and stylistic types. Complete troglodytes that we American’s are, we get what we deserve.
wow…OK nice comment
Pick one, huh? Okay, the VFR. I’ve wanted a VFR since they came out in the ’80s under the “Interceptor” name, and I’d still love to have one. Although that FTR is a fun looking ride, and I’ve seen a cafe’d version that’s nothing less than *awesome*! Oh, yeah, and the CB400 — I mean, c’mon, what a great all-rounder! Stylish, light and nimble, quick…it’s perfect! Of course, if the XT660 Tenere had been available in the US in 2010, a Yamaha would be my main ride now instead of my Wee-Strom. On the other hand, a big liter bike like the XJR1300 or CBR1300 would be great for some two-up sport touring…
Forget it, I can’t choose! Yamaha, Honda — why do you keep the good stuff away from us?!?! 😉
they claim demand?