That has to do with mechanical design, and i never said they were bad in that regard. The Japanese build very reliable engines. Where did I say different? That wasn't the point. Those bike at work i mentioned are still running after all those years. bit if you look at the build quality they look like something you'd find in one of those one dollar stores. Compare to the Tbird they aren't in the same league, not even remotely close. Today they are still not in the same league, but much better than the 80's.
We can disagree and thats fine, but lets first make sure we are disagreeing about the same thing.
Every night when I pull it in my garage I park it right in line with 6 of those 80,s jap bikes and am still amazzzed at what we got for our money back then.
Yes on some plastic was used in places that the t-bird gets metal but overall they are on par with qulity of welds, design and function! You can argue all you want with me but unles we are talking about small displacement bikes that were aimed at the beginner or to attract the very low budget buyer. I really would have to have you point out specifics as none of the machines in my garage look cheep in anyway and all would be on par with the price tag of the t-bird if they had to build the same bike and sell it tommorrow!
besides a a rear fender and headlight bucket I dont see any excessive plastic used except on my 1990 zx7 and that bike has the plastic to ensure its light for racing.
To me the question of cheep or quality would be based on the hole packadge and its intent not just that some plastic was used or not.
As said before I will make a fair comparrison in 26 years because as of right now the 80,s jap bike has the upper hand IMHO!