Man, I love reading you guys, it's like I found my people!
52 years old here, life of sports, construction and just overall enthusiastic DIY mentality has left me with what feels like a failing body, aches in the morning. Grew up riding Japanese dirt bikes, my first road bike at 18yo was a Kawasaki KZ 440 LTD, making road trips to visit various girlfriends around the Pacific Northwest, leaning over the tank with my cool full-faced helmet resting on the gauges with my legs on the back pegs, full throttle, eeking out every little MPH I could get in the middle of the night trying to make time...
Later on, high powered sport and crossover bikes doing the same antics...
Now, looking forward to taking delivery of my new RE tomorrow, enjoying that same sense of freedom after almost 8 years of not riding.
Always been a HUGE fan of the Japanese bikes; lived in Lancaster, PA for a decade, commuting past the Harley plant in York. I've never liked Harleys and the lack of reliability, especially at the price point. I have the same questions as you regarding the RE reliability, but LOVE the idea of getting back to a simple bike that I can work on myself, and just enjoy riding a capable, reliable (mostly poorly maintained) Asian scooter past all the big, noisy-bike guys parked on the side of the road looking cool while they fumble with any number of issues related to owning/maintaining those monsters.
I'm hoping my new RE experience will repeat that smug feeling I got blazing down the road and waving at the big-name guys camped under an overpass.
And if it doesn't, the parts cost like $20, and I can buy like 4 bikes to their one.