Poor journalists. It must be very difficult to sound excited by a tool that just does what it was designed to do in a most efficient and comfortable way.
They sound almost depressed that the engine doesn't have a big top end wallop. I don't understand why such a non-linear power output would be desirable to someone trying to keep their tire stuck to the road. I suppose nowadays with traction control its a moot point, but personally, I like a bike that responds proportionally to my inputs. I guess 30 years ago or so I may have been "intoxicated" the first time I experienced a surge of top end inline power, today, not so much.
And these days when you can get a Multistrada or BMW of similar design in a 160 hp package, a poor old 120 hp mill with a table flat torque curve must seem like a sedative. To me, when I'm running two up, packed for a week, up the side of a mountain listening to XM thru my earbuds, rowing a gear box to keep the engine up in the revs where it makes power and vibration is just not an attribute I find attractive. I'll take the smooth, refined power on tap everywhere approach. I find that not only do I like it better, but my passenger also enjoys it more too. The fun for us is in hustling the smoothly thru the corners, not in blasting off between them.
When the journalist indicates the suspension is "soft," it makes me wonder, with respect to what? A Duc Pannigale setup for a pool table surfaced race track or a motocross bike? I didn't read that front end dive was throwing them off their lines or that the bike was wallowing too uncontrollably to ride at a sporting pace safely. Instead they tell me that it's not as playful as its little brother, but with the excellent ergos and wide bars you can push it thru twisties as fast as you please. WTF?
I suppose the V1K is still in a sport category, like it or not. And there is no doubt these guys could do a better sales job by reciting specs that tickle the funny bone of many or us sporting enthusiasts. We tend to find having the lightest weight is kinda exciting. Peak dyno numbers usually fill our peers with glee too. Where is the exhilaration in a bike with enough trail that it doesn't change direction with our thoughts? Sure such geometries make the bike borderline unstable, but we all come to motorcycling with the cat like reflexes of Marq Marquez right? We can handle it!
Well maybe not "we." Personally, I like a bike that trades a little "flickablity" for a whole lot of "feeling planted." A bike that I can get caught out in 50 mph cross winds without losing control of my bowels.
As a psuedo-sportbike, I'm not beginning to get a little worried that Kaw may have a challenge getting sporting enthusiasts on board with it. OTOH, the more I read/hear about how milquetoast it is, the more stoked I get to get it out to a mountain range!
Last edited by saddlebag; 01-01-2015 at 06:29 AM.