Yea they are a great duo to switch back and forth! I see you have a Bandit page. The Bandit 1250s is on my very short list of possibilities if I don't get another VFR. I looks like it might be a nice middle ground between a 919 and a VFR. Any thoughts?
I had three strong motivators when I was considering trading in the 919: a wife that sold her bike and wanted to ride with me again, a love of sport touring, and a love for torque.
The 9'er was a hoot to ride. It has many characteristics that I just loved. But it's downsides for me outweighed the hoot. It is not particularly comfy for a passenger, it needs to be wound out pretty good to get to its power sweet spot, and I was spending too much money on mods trying to make it a something it wasn't designed to be, a long distance mile muncher.
As a former ST1300 owner, I had a short list that included bikes that could go the distance and not weigh a ton -- the Bandit, the Sprint ST, the VFR, and the FJR. The Sprint still turns me on with its good looks. But its ride posture was more aggressive than I'm comfortable with and it just didn't feel as solid to me as the Japanese brands. The VFR is a gorgeous bike and, as you know, very capable of going great distances. But I wanted something a bit newer and the VTEC models have a powerband that had an odd feel to it, almost Jekyl and Hyde, pokey at low RPMs and almost overwhelming as soon as VTEC kicked in. Almost on and off. The FJR has a great sport feel to it but it reminded me too much of the ST13 in weight and handling. I wanted something different.
Along comes the new Bandit 1250 and the amazing reviews and press it was getting. Gobs of torque down low in the most used area of the RPM spectrum. Acceptable weight and center of gravity. Decent wind protection. A very affordable $500 ABS option. A gorgeous engine that wasn't wrapped in plastic. And a heritage that exudes confidence, performance, and durability. This was the one for me. It meets all of my requirements and then some. And never one to settle, I added the Holeshot Stage 1 which really wakes things up and gives the powerplant more of its potential -- 115HP and 100 ft lbs of torque all down at 6K RPM and lower. Fun! It handles superbly, brakes on a dime, carries a passenger as if no one is back there, has optional OEM side cases and top case that match the bike, and more than enough alternator power for as many add-ons as you need.
If you have a chance to test ride one, I'd strongly encourage it. You may just be pleasantly surprised at how much bike you get for a very nice OTD price.