Last year, when shopping for a motorcycle after being bike-less for quite a while, it seemed like I was frozen in time. "New" motorcycles seemed to be the same as they were twenty years ago, cruisers in particular (Gawd! They still have chokes). It was like shopping for a car and finding a showroom full of shiny, new Dodge Monacos.
Sport bikes seem to be almost the same. I don't know if Suzuki has really changed their Gixers that much over the last ten or so years. And the Versys is a modified Ninja with people calling it a "modern UJM".
Is the motorcycle industry fresh out of new ideas or is there a Star Wars bike right around the corner?
I can't speak for cruisers, but I can say pretty confidently sportbikes are constantly evolving.
Here's a quick example of the CBR 600 -
1987 CBR 600 - dry weight : ~400 , 83bhp
1999-2000 CBR600F4 - dry weight : ~375, 110bhp
2007 CBR600RR - dry weight : ~341, 118 bhp
That's a pretty big improvement - they've taken out 60 lbs of weight and added almost 40 crank horsepower since 1987. It takes a serious amount of mods to get 40hp out of an average sized car engine - it took alot more to get that out of a bike engine! Remember these bikes are already minimalist to begin with - 60lbs dry weight reduction is huge
. They've achieved that by reducing wheel weight, engine weight, redundant frame members - etc. all of which takes a lot of engineering for very little reduction at a time.
All research numbers from wikipedia.