The strengths of the bike that "sold" me were:
1) One of the better looking naked Jap bikes
2) A fairly powerful bullet-proof 900 engine
3) A fairly comfortable riding position
4) Easy to ride, easy to handle, predictable
5) It's a Honda... no expensive problems (such as a Duc or BMW)
It is funny that the Weaknesses of the 919 are actually some of the strengths that we (I) were (was) "sold" on...
1) fairly powerful, but let's squeeze the last 10% out (in our dreams)
2) fairly comfortable riding position -- but maybe a little boring
3) good looking bike -- but just a little plain as well
4) Easy, fun to ride "touring" bike -- but let's make it a sports bike!
5) It's a Honda -- not as sexxy as a Duc, Triumph, BMW
I pretty much agree with the strengths
Here's my responses to the weaknesses:
1.) Yea, more power is good. If, however, they chose to give us the last 10% at the cost of a low-RPM, nice torque curve, I wouldn't want it. It's my daily driver and tourer, and I don't want to have to have to ride @ 10k+ RPM just to get some decent power.
2 & 4.) I like the riding position. If I wanted to lean over, I'd have bought a full sports bike. Anyone who buys this bike expecting a sports bike hasn't done even a small amount of research.
3.) I love the look. I dislike most of the other naked bikes cause they are trying too hard to look like some cutting edge sports bike. The 9er blends it's classic heritage with some modern touches (dual tucked exhaust, etc) while remaining classic and timeless. I saw my first 9er in 2002 in the Honda shop and was instantly in love. I was looking at CBRs, and saw the 9er sitting quietly by itself, and I said to the salesman "What is that?!". I couldn't get my mind off of it for the next four years until I bought a brand new '06, and there was no bike that I wanted more than that one, in a decent price for all those years, or since I bought it. I love the hidden frame, the classic front end, etc. That being said, any bike can use some custom touches, and the 9 is no exception.
4.) See above
5.) Again, if you bought one expecting it to be exotic, you didn't know what you were buying. I get a lot of people looking and smiling at my bike, or asking me "what is
that?". I'm sure I'd get more if I were on a Brutale or something, but I love a good sleeper...always have.
After a year's ownership, I still believe the bike is the best bike that I could own. I don't believe that it will be the best bike for me forever, but I love it, and will always have a fond spot in my heart for it.
Just my opinion, but I like my opinion...