My first impressions of the 919 Hornet - Wrist Twisters
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 11 Old 06-14-2008, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 189
Rep Power: 1
My first impressions of the 919 Hornet

Until a few days ago, I owned a VTR-1000 which I bought new two and a half years ago. I had never owned a V twin before the VTR and may never own another, thanks to the 919. Even though I loved the VTR's sporty nature, I never did experience the so called V Twin grunt. I just NEVER noticed it. It took forever to run in, initially freeing up a little at about 1000 km (600 miles) then again massively at about 2200 kms (1300 miles) then again at about 3500 kms. No, it was not gruntier at 3500 kms than it was at 1000 kms,, it was plain gutless at 1000 kms but better at 3500 kms,, even so, I was still waiting for that gutsy V twin power to kick in real soon but it never did. Don't get me wrong, it still had usable power, just not what I expected. Meanwhile, I had performed the air filter mod and got a noticable hike in "off the mark" power and it also stopped the clunky engine sounds at about 2000 rpm when rolling it on. I also set up the suspension, front vs rear, to match each other,, and generally tinkered with the bike and made quite a great little hot rod out of it in the first 12 months. From there I simply rode it and got more and more aquainted with it.

Deep down I guess I was only moderately impressed with the VTR. I still wanted to get back to 4 cylinders though but was not really wanting a rocketship and the more I pondered on which bike to buy, the more I just sat back and got confused. I am more into touring than being a suicide jockey on the road so the thought of lying down on the handlbars for the rest of my riding days and getting numb hands and aching shoulders became less and less appealing when I thought about CBRR's or GSXR's or the like, and, they cost a whole lot more.


Just one week ago today, I rode a 919 Hornet just to see what it was like to have 4 cyls buzzing between the legs again. I was not expecting anything to greatly impress me but from the moment I let out the clutch and started moving, I experienced a feeling I haven't had for a long time. The 919 took off with a reverence with its fuel injection and nearly threw me off the back and at about 3500 rpm as the engine leapt into life and I almost let the handlebars go. I was not expecting that. That power delivery alone was enough to capture my interest. This bike has more grunt that the VTR ever had,, and that's no exaggeration... Sitting upright was a little strange, for a while, but I soon forgot that as I felt more and more at home on this beast. The rear suspension felt a little mushy for my liking but other than that, this baby and I were put on this planet to be together, so 3 days later I traded the VTR and bought one. It's been 4 days now and I have done about 400kms (250 miles) and here's what I think...

The first thing was getting used to the upright position. By the time I got home from the bike shop (120 kms - 75 miles ** The long way,, if you get my drift), that had happened. I grew up on bikes like this so it was second nature to me. No problems... The first few times I conered on some exciting curves I had to sort of fight to lean right over but it was more having to remember that I was physically further up in the air and leaning it meant having to simply tip myself over a bit more than I would in the prone position to get to the same lean angle.

Second... Ahhhh. There isn't any second...

Everything else about this bike has impressed me so much that it has simply moved on from where the VTR left off... The power even from a barely run in bike is a whole lot more than the VTR. I don't like labouring a bike from new so I genorously used lower gears and more revs but the few times I rolled it on in top, I new the VTR just could handle this type of rush - no way. It wasn't even in the same league. The VTR does pull and hard at times but reaching about 8000 revs sees the bike almost out of breath. The 919 seems to just keep going, although I have not tried it out for top speed, as any fool can go fast, its the usable power I am interested in and the 919 is a clear winner here. I have taken it up to about 8000 rpm a few times in the lower gears and can not get over the pulling power this engine has. Getting up to 160 kph (100 mph) happens so fast that its not even funny. I have also felt that front wheel get very light under moderate to hard low gear acceleration and it seems that lifting it is just a matter of times and revs.

Seating is so comfortable compared to the VTR, I feel like I am in heaven. Hanging on at higher speeds is a breeze,, just put the head down a few inches and all is well. I wound up the rear damping a tiny bit and I have the suspension just where I like it. It's not race stuff but for my kind of riding it's more than adequate. Throwing this bike from side to side in the tight stuff is the biggest surprise to date... Wowww... It's easy and feels great and the low down power delivery makes for some very quick exiting of corners. When I left the shop the brakes were a little sad but in the first ride this changed to pretty darned good. I might put some braided lines soon and I bet this will step their performance up a notch or two.

Economy,, well you can't measure economy when running in. I certainly used the revs in a kind but exacting way, staying clear of top gear as much as possible so as to not load the new motor up. Second, third and fourth gear being my favourites even at highway open road speeds. Yet I was surprised to see that the first top up of gas revealed that I got slightly better than the best economy of the VTR, so I live in hopes that once I settle down after run in, I will get a reasonable gas mileage. I was still horrified at the gas pump at the cost of a tank of gas though as I have not filled up for about two months now,, but that not the bikes fault.. We all know about the price of gas lately - DON'T WE...!!!

All in all, I think I have received a shot in tha arm since owning this bike. It has revived my interest in riding and even though I went down in engine size, I have definitely gone up in performance.. No Doubt about that...!!!

What a surprise this bike has turned out to be... In a single word.... GREAT..!!!

CeeBee919 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 11 Old 06-14-2008, 04:10 AM
Tirone Choolaces
marylandmike's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 11,177
Rep Power: 1

Awards Showcase
Wrist Twisters Event Attendance Donation Donation 
Total Awards: 3

Great writeup Cee....919 is my first bike so I guess I will be forever spoiled.

marylandmike is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 06-14-2008, 04:12 AM
Community Admin
Ken's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 4,396
Rep Power: 1

Awards Showcase
Extraordinary Ride Donation Extraordinary Ride Donation 
Total Awards: 4

Nice report. Many miles of smiles ahead for you!

2009 Honda Goldwing
Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.
Ken is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 06-14-2008, 05:20 AM
Legatus Legionis
SV650s's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The woods of CT
Posts: 9,680
Rep Power: 1

Awards Showcase
Community Leadership Donation Donation Community Leadership 
Total Awards: 6

Nice initial ride report - Curious; what is the price of gas?

All the best of luck with the new Hornet.

SV650s is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 06-14-2008, 05:21 AM
Franklin McGillacutty
riquefied919's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Aurora IL
Posts: 1,181
Rep Power: 1
I was reading your write up and thinking of ridin my 9er.......I love my 9er

riquefied919 is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 06-14-2008, 05:29 AM
Isn't That Somethin'
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Bradford PA
Posts: 1,028
Rep Power: 1

Awards Showcase
Total Awards: 1

Glad you're happy!!! Welcome to the madness

jd31goalie is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 06-14-2008, 04:37 PM
(Quintus) Pilus Prior
Sniper's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,490
Rep Power: 1
I really enjoyed your write-up. I was really torn between the VTR and the 919 when I bought the 919. So I was very interested in what you had to say.

Fuel mileage is as hi as 50 mpg if you take it real easy. If I run what I consider fairly hard, it astill does 40mpg. My 600RR does alot worse.

Stainless brake lines help some, but don't expect night and day.

Happy Trails.

Sniper is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 06-14-2008, 07:34 PM
nallac's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 60
Rep Power: 1
Originally Posted by MisterMike View Post
Nice initial ride report - Curious; what is the price of gas?
about $2.12-2.15 a litre for 91 octane(the lowest grade we have)
3.8l to a gallon= NZ$8.05ish a gallon
about US$6 a gallon.

not good!

nallac is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 06-15-2008, 08:09 AM
8th bike and 2nd 919!
hkspwrsche's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: richmond va
Posts: 233
Rep Power: 1
Originally Posted by CeeBee919 View Post


Hammer time

hkspwrsche is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 06-15-2008, 08:58 AM
Tirone Choolaces
marylandmike's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 11,177
Rep Power: 1

Awards Showcase
Wrist Twisters Event Attendance Donation Donation 
Total Awards: 3

Originally Posted by hkspwrsche View Post
Hammer time
Can't touch dis....da da nah nah...

marylandmike is offline  
post #11 of 11 Old 06-15-2008, 11:04 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 22
Rep Power: 0
Killer write up!! It never gets old hearing the praises.

Smitty is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Wrist Twisters forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome