2023 Africa Twin 1100 manual (on backorder)
The problem isn't the hernia, it's when the bike becomes actually immovable. I've been there, I've had to drag the bike over the ground for a few meters, remove luggage and come up with creative ways of actually getting it back on the rubbers.My hunch is that the marketing departments see these midsize bikes as more of a downsize/customer retention strategy than an upsize/growth strategy.
I say this because as a young rider in the 1980s I went from entry level directly to the top (ie: SR250 to XJ1100) without wasting time and money in the middle, whereas as an older rider today it would be really easy to downsize to the middle.
The only piece that doesn't fit this puzzle is that the manufacturers delete cruise control and other goodies that are really hard to give up once you've experienced them. And so this old guy will keep riding The Beast for the foreseeable future, risking life and hernia every time he ventures off the beaten path.
As for bikes we ride, some countries have a tiered license system; you can't simply go from one class of bike to another. We also have a load of regulation in regards to what is actually allowed on the road further complicating things.
I as example decided to wait until I was 21 to get a full license that's restricted to 35kw for two years. Considering the 35kw market is relatively new all the new shiny 35kw bikes are rather expensive. Getting a beater detuned to 35kw requires a type rating a lot of said beaters lack and costs about €900 to get road legal again. This is all to have a 35kw bike to essentially bridge a two year gap.
Not to mention the entire cost of entry for young people is pretty significant already, you need;
A license, approx €1500
Something to wear, €500-1000 at minimum
A bike, at least another €1500 for a beater that may or may not even run properly; and said beaters are only worthwhile if you have some mechanical ability.
New bikes are mainly for older people with money, us youngsters can only wait for them to be cheaper on the 2nd hand market. Frankly, if you'd were to make a bike targeting youngsters it's gonna be the 300-400cc class and has to be under €5k new. Considering even bikes like the MT125, Grom and so on are already above that price tag indicates the difficultly.
Most of the young folks are looking for something that runs reliably for cheap, not some farkles. It's the "boomers" market that demands all the features and farkles.