No experience with the Kawi's, so no opinion other than the styling which had me saying "uuuh ... well ... okay, I guess.
Did ride a stock '07 Bandit -- OMG, that motor! Of course, with 36% more displacement than the 919, it better
have more oomph. Being counterbalanced, it's one of the smoothest inline 4's I've ridden in a while. Frankly, given the power and smoothness, it would make an excellent interstate armchair with a proper windscreen and saddlebags: considerably better than the 919.
Another thing it has a whole bunch more of than the 919 is weight, and I felt every ounce of it whenever I tried to get it to do something other than go hellaciously fast in a straight line. Every time I tried to get it to go around a corner it fought me, and anything other than mild acceleration from the apex was strictly out of the question -- despite the "updated chassis", any bravery with the throttle caused significant frame flex that was obvious in the seat moving in relation to the pegs and handlebars. At least it was predictable, if a bit scary. Another comparison is wheelbase -- the 919 feels shorter than its 57", while the Bandit feel longer than its 58". Maybe it's the overall balance of the setups, but the Suzuki had me worn out on a twisty road in a couple miles, while the 919 has yet to make me stop for any reason despite going considerably faster on a given stretch of road.
Keep in mind I have lots of experience on the track, and the feedback I get from The Suzuki tells me it would take considerable modification, lightening, and frame bracing to get it to do what I like to do.
For me, the Honda has it all over the Suzuki by a tremendous margin.
On the 919 being "soulless" -- too subjective for evaluation. To me, it's got plenty of character, and doesn't need endless tarting up to give it "soul". What it is and what it is capable of doing prove to me that despite its characterization as a parts bin bike, which isn't really the case as it actually shares very little past engine cases, some transmission components, and the usuals such as calipers and handlebar switches, it is a good looking and competent bike in it's own right.
And I still smile whenever I look at it.