Originally Posted by Phlemdog
There are no bar-hop bikes, only bar-hop riders.
Well, that could be said of any subset of bikes, if you want to get technical...
You can tour on a sport bike. You can do a trackday on a Goldwing, or a cruiser... There are lots of debates about what constitutes a "Cafe Racer"...
But, there are bikes that are designed, and perform best with specific functions in mind. The current Sporties (my bike included) has dismal suspension, poor brakes, forward controls, and less than sufficient lean angles (brought about by the "low and long" look crowd) It was designed with style and looks at the forefront of the drawing board. Call it what you want but it was designed with certain concessions to function in order to achieve the "look" that is popular with a large segment of potential buyers. There are guys that will take a new 48 and then lower it further, add apes, and do all sorts of things in the name of "looking cool", and care not how it affects function. Comments like, "no it doesn't work well, but it sure LOOKS COOL!" abound when discussing certain mods.
The term "bar hopper" is just a common term used to describe a bike built with that design philosophy.
I've already improved my brakes dramatically by installing a four pot caliper from the XR1200. I've already improved MY comfort and control by replacing the stock forward controls with mids. I already have longer shocks in hand, and all the parts I need to do the fork conversion are on order as of yesterday.
When done, I hope to have what I consider to be a much more functional motorcycle, with decent brakes, longer travel, more compliant suspension with vastly improved ride quality, and improved lean angles for riding in places other than straight lines. To me, that is taking a "bar hopper" and turning it into MY idea of what a real Sporty should be, a bike meant to be ridden and not just looked at. I'm still making certain concessions to looks though. I still have a 2.1 gallon tank good for about 70 miles. I'm keeping the bias ply, tube tires for the spoked wheels. And there are a myriad of other things, but they are compromises that I'M willing to make because I also enjoy a certain "look" with my bike. Especially this bike... It's all about buying, building, and riding what YOU enjoy...