Originally Posted by garandman
Suzuki has made shaft drive bikes in the past and offers some cruisers that are shaft drive.
But I think the sportier bikes shy away from that. The Ducati Multistrada, Triumph Tiger 1050, New KTM Adventure are all heavier on the sport and lighter on the touring, and all have chain drives. I think Suzuki will maintain that focus, especially after Honda's shaft-drive middleweight failed.
A buddy has an interesting approach. He doesn't believe lubricating modern chains does any good so he doesn't do it. And he seems to replace his chains no more frequently than anyone else. So if you follow his approach, you get a lighter, more responsive bike and replace chain and sprockets every 20-30,000 miles. Other than an occasional adjustment, that's it.
I agree that sportier bikes tend to lean towards chain drive, GS and Tiger 800's are as well. Weight savings and ease of gear changing are two very good reasons.
Having a chain drive would not be a deal breaker for me as I have only owned chain driven bikes.
As for maintenance, I lube my chains when they get noisy or before a road trip. Adjust once in a while. My factory chain on the DL went 18,000 miles and I am sure I could have gotten more but I often change things out early.
but that photoshop of the front end is even uglier than the concept bike!