I'm getting a new motorcycle, and a rant.

I’ve been riding a 10 year old Suzuki GS500 for almost a year, but it croaked. I’m still holding out hope that I can fix her, but the bike isn’t in good enough shape that I want to sink a lot of money into it.

So I’m buying a new 2003 Suzuki SV650S. I also considered the Honda Nighthawk 750, the Kawasaki ZR7S, and the Suzuki Bandit 600S. But I liked the newer design V-twin.

And I considered the unfaired SV650, but I liked the fairing on the SV650S, such as it is.

And I considered a used SV650S, but Suzuki just redesigned the frame and fairing for 2003, and the new one looks much better. The old one looks too much like the Katana–like a squished marshmallow coming down the road.

So I went with the SV650S, in the wierd orange color that will probably look so 2003 in a couple of years. I considered the silver color, but it was so boring.

So here’s the mundane pointless rant: what’s up with the American motorcycle buying public that makes so many interesting (and useable) motorcycles DOA (if the arrive at all)?

Europe gets two bikes that I think I’d like a lot: the Honda Hornet 600 and the Yamaha FZS600. We don’t.

All we get are scores of cruiser style bikes. I don’t hate cruisers, I kind of like them. If I had a bigger garage and won the lottery I’d probably own four or five. But I get to do most of my riding on my daily commute to work, and I just don’t fancy the cruisers I see for that.

Or else we get dozens of race replica sports bikes. Sure, a bike like that would be fun on the racetrack. But there isn’t a racetrack between home and work.

Or else we get musclebound 1000 plus cc bikes like the Yamaha FZ1 or the Kawasaki ZRX1200R. Is there any reason on God’s earth that I need that much power to zip around suburbia?

All I really want a bike in the 500-750cc range with a partial fairing and a comfortable upright riding position, and I don’t want to pay $3K for power that I will never conceivably use, and I don’t want to have to wind it up to 9000 rpm to get any torque at all. Is that so wrong?

And what’s with the names? In Europe, they have cool names for bikes. All we get are numbers.

I think it all comes down to variances in national cultures.

The French seem to like giant ‘traillies’ which are not trail bikes at all but are very competant touring bikes in long suspension clothes.

We Brits like our power bikes, but there seems to be a nascent supermoto craze.Bikes are less a means of transport these days, and more of a weekend leisure thing.

Italians like anything with a certain amount of style, hence the MV, the Monsters etc, it does not seem to matter much what the exact role of the bike is, so long as it has that ‘something’.

The US seems stuck on machines that don’t do corners, at least its the impression we get over here.