Sunday, November 07, 2004


Oh brother, it's another misguided attempt at an American sportbike

Here we go again. For the umpteenth time in the last few years, some American dude with a lot of money and time on his hands has designed and built a half-baked sportbike that he wants to sell for more than twice the price of the average Japanese repli-racer.

The motorcycle (pictured at right) is the Roehr RV1000, a 120 crank-horsepower, 24,000-dollar obscurity with -- you guessed it -- a large displacement V-twin engine. I'm about to nod off just thinking about it. In fact, the only mildly interesting thing about the bike is its supposed dry weight -- a claimed 335 pounds. Regardless, it seems we have yet another ill-conceived piece of expensive American iron on our hands that will soon have its backside handed to it by virtually every 7,000-dollar Japanese supersport on the market.

Who are these guys' target demographic, anyway? The Ducati crowd, maybe? Fat chance. I just don't get it.

Just in case there are any budding American engineers/designers out there reading this article who have ambitions to build the first great American sportbike, here are some very basic requirements:

1. An inline, transverse, 4-cylinder engine (or perhaps even a V-4) capable of putting 155 to 165 horsepower to the ground

2. Fully-adjustable front and rear suspension

3. A six-speed, sure-shifting transmission

4. A dry weight of no more than 375 pounds

5. An MSRP of no more than $10,500

If you can't manage at least those 5 things, don't even bother turning the milling machines on, boys. In the meantime, best of luck to Roehr Motorcycles -- they're going to need it.