Am I seeing a trend here? People buying bigger and bigger motorcycles, and eventually ending up converting them to trikes.
Today I read a review of my Vulcan 900 Classic LT on this website.
The relevant quote:
"In recent years the Big Four Japanese manufacturers have dabbled in the more diminutive touring class, offering fully functioning longer-haul machines that are easier to ride and handle than their big brothers. It's not to say they are small bikes--just comparatively, yet a bit more manageable. One such off the showroom floor bike is Kawasaki's Vulcan 900 Classic LT" - Toph Bocchiaro, Baggersmag.comOK Hold it right there. "in recent years?" "diminutive?". It's as if teeny weeny tiny*** bikes like the Vulcan 900 are a new invention. Not so.
Let's put the size of the bike in perspective, and to do that, I will go by weight. I'm sure I could pick a lot of things to measure size, but I like to look at weight because the weight is what makes it fall over, and hard to lift up and push uphill. The weight also kind of indicates how big it is in length, width ands height, as well as how much metal is used vs. plastic. I'm not going to put a colourful bar graph here, but look at the numbers and compare.
The Vulcan is over three times my own weight. Any heavier, and I would need a reverse gear to back up a moderate incline. Any heavier, and I would be looking for a three wheel conversion.
- The Vulcan Classic 900 weight is 657.1 lb.
For comparison, here are some historical weights of what we call normal bikes, all functional motorcycles, and a few current normal or even excessively large bikes.
- Triumph Bonneville Thruxton 1969: 350 lb 2004 remake: 451 lb
- Vincent Black Shadow 458 lb.
- Brough Superior SS100 1925 400 lb. (top bike of the day, the "Rolls Royce of motorcycles")
- Honda Gold Wing (1976) weight 584 lbs. Latest Version (2010): 792 lbs
- Harley Davidson 1929: 420 lbs. 1970 Electra Glide 750 lbs (full touring model)
- Harley Davidson 2010 Dyna Wide Glide: 647 lbs.
- Yamaha V-Max 2010: 683 lbs.
- Triumph Rocket III 2010: (2300cc) 807 lbs.
Notice how the bikes seem to have increased in weight over the years? Here is my question. How fat are we now, that a 657.1 lb bike is called diminutive, while in 1929 a 420 lb Harley Davidson was a heavy bike.
***Here are the synonyms I found with an online thesaurus for DIMINUTIVE.
Definition: tiny, petite
Synonyms: Lilliputian, bantam, bitsy, bitty, button, little, midget, mini, miniature, minute, peewee, pint-sized, pocket, pocket-sized, small, teensy, teensy-weensy, teeny, teeny-weeny, undersize, wee, weeny
Notes: Diminutive words can be literal or metaphorical, are often terms of endearment or affection, familiarity or intimacy, but sometimes also suggest condescension or dismissal.