Obviously styling is the single most subjective metric when purchasing a new steed, horsepower, handling and gearing are all relatively tangible aspects that can be debated on equal terms rider to rider. But styling is the spark of many debates, perhaps thats the motivation for the current trend we're in now? All press is good press?
Now while this is not particularly directed at the F6C, as it sort of shirks the trend for now, you can see blips of modern influence creeping through, headlight most noticeable. Headlights are actually an interesting piece of this. Remember the days of rectangle or circular? Thats all there was, well maybe one or two could be chosen, but that was the choice. Ease of the shapes and cost of manufacturing meant that tail lights, headlamps and signals we're usually proliferated through a lineup. But you know what, that didn't matter, because the overall silhouettes were always distinct enough that you could not confuse a Yamaha for a Honda.
Where it gets interesting is when you consider modern day manufacturing efficiencies. Production machinery through computer inputs now has the ability to quickly and cost effectively create small run components in ways that was never possible before. What does that mean? That now designers fiddle with the most inane details and quickly forget about the sum.
Design used to be about removing all the excess until there was nothing left. Then you we're done, no questions asked. I'm not sure when the philosophy was flipped on its lid, but now it seems like designers are trying to style components to within an inch of their lives. Would you like an example? Take the 1199 Panigale vs the S1000RR. Luckily Italians still do simple like no other, but Motorad has not been immune to the shenanigans that comes out of Bavaria's Style Haus.
Could this all simply come down to consumption? For consumption to be maintained styles must constantly shift, pull of the mass assaults you for not being current, ensuring much faster turnover. Conspicuous consumption meets obsolescence kind of theory if you will?
Now despite my rant I do in fact feel that the Valkyrie has improved its looks in leaps and bounds since the original. What used to look like a standard bike on a steroid diet has now morphed into a sportbike locked in a crusiers body. The plastics are not terribly overstyled, and where they are styled its soft blending lines instead of aggressive juts screaming LOOK AT ME.