Just picked up my 919 yesterday!
So there I was, riding almost happily on my old '82 GL500, struggling on highways to keep up with my cruiser friends, and never really trusting the miniscule single disc front brake.
My friend talked a guy he knew down to $1,200 for a 2003 Honda Shadow that he never rode, so I was about to buy it, I had to wait a few days for a check to arrive. A day before it came, my friend calls and says "Hey Steve, the guy with the Shadow, he had somebody offer him $2,400 for it. I reckon we can get him down to $2,000 though." I had a think about it, looked at the specs of the shadow. Single disc brake, 750cc V Twin, carbs, flames painted on the tank, forward controls. I didn't want to spend $2,000 on a bike I won't enjoy riding or learn on.
I did what anyone would do, I searched Craigslist for bikes 600cc-1000cc, newer than 2000, between $1,500 and $3,000. There was an SV650 for $2,500 but it was modded to hell, and started off as a faired model but was now a streetfighter... Then I saw a 919 that wasn't perfect, but looked good, and would be an amazing step up.
I told my friend that the guy can sell his Shadow to the person with $2,400, I definitely wouldn't want to spend more than $1,200 on that thing, and I went to look at the 919. It had a couple of issues, it had been dropped, he replaced the fuel tank and right peg, but the rear brake lever was bent in a bit, there are scuffs on the clutch cover, and the bar end is broken off. Everything else looked good though. I took it for a little spin around the block and it felt great. He wanted $2,600, but I got him down to $2,200. Took the title and sold my GL500 for $1,000 to a fella that wants to ride it from NY to California - good luck on that one!
Called my insurance and changed to the 919 - which made my premium go DOWN! I didn't like the indicators, they looked cheap and flashed too fast, so went on Revzilla, bought a Renthal Low bar, bar ends, new Oxford arrow indicators, chain wax, chain cleaning brush, some wire brushes too, and a pair of boots. Spent an hour at the DMV instead of lunch the next day, and had the registration transferred to the 919.
I went to pick the bike up yesterday, and the rear right turn signal was hanging. The guy gave me $100 though. I put my plate on, adjusted the mirrors, and went on my way home.
The bike itself is great. I didn't really open it up, but accelerating on the highway was effortless. Little lines in the road that gave the GL500 wobbles were eaten up by the suspension (which I hear isn't great, but definitely a big improvement on the GL500) and big radial tyres, and braking on the 919 wasn't a big, scary occasion. Two fingers was all I needed.
It sounds amazing, even with the stock exhausts!