Discuss: What gives a motorcycle character?

Does a hand-crafted motorcycle always have it? Can Japanese motorcycles have it? Can a good bike have no character or is character the essential ingredient?

CHARACTER (krk-tr) n.

Some motorcycles have it by the bucket load while others clearly don't. So what gives a motorcycle its character and how, when some motorcycles are so similar, can one emerge as having character when others are branded bland.

Here's a dictionary definition of character:

1. The combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another.
2. A distinguishing feature or attribute, as of an individual, group, or category.
3. Genetics A structure, function, or attribute determined by a gene or group of genes.
4. Moral or ethical strength.
5. A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.

Is a motorcycle's engine at the heart of its character? Does a single, twin or triple have a head start over a four cylinder machine when it comes to character? Is it the sound it makes, or the way it delivers its power. Or do you just know a motorcycle has character, evening before you've ridden it?

If a Harley-Davidson cruiser doesn't go around corners very well, is that part of its character? But if a Honda cruiser doesn't go around corners very well, is that just a bad bike?

Is character a bike's look or heritage? Do the weird headlights on a 1150GS give it character or is it the unconventional front suspension or the cylinders poking out sideways. Or does the 1150GS indeed have any character at all?

Motorcycles like the 1992 Honda Fireblade, 1998 Yamaha YZF-R1 and 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R are revered and are already icons so how come the bikes that followed - bikes that were so similar - were never as popular nor will ever be remembered?

Can you design character into a motorcycles or is it just a happy accident?

Character: how do you define what motorcycles have it and what's lacking on the ones that don't?