I wouldn't consider it detuned, but retuned. The 900RR only made about 16-20hp more and the carbs helped make that rediculous hole in the powerband at 5K that much worse. Also, longish stroke engine never really helped it stand out againt the other bikes of it's time.
Only when they re-tuned it for the 919 did the engine really shine if you ask me. With the right mods the 919 can be the master of many, on the street.
The bike may be put together with bargain-bin parts but with good suspension upgrades, the 919 specific chassis is a true gem of the past decade for street riding as far as I can see.