I'll heartily disagree with the first line of post #16. The 919 was a near miss. Were it not for Fuel Injection, the 919 was 10 years old when it was introduced. Cast iron front fork clamps? Steel handle bar, shifter and brake levers? Hey Honda, there's this new metal out. It's called aluminum. Hell, the kick stand on my Super Duke is aluminum. Why'd they de tune the awesome CBR900 engine? The 919 could have been really special.
The Speed Trip is really heavy feeling. Great engine. Sounds like a farm tractor.
The 675 Street Triple R is a cool little bike. My friend let me ride his a couple of times. Plenty fast; light and narrow. <That's what I'd have, if I was to buy another bike.
The 2014 FZ9 had a cheap suspention, from everything I've read. So like most Jap bikes, by the time you correct all the deficencies, it no longer a bargain. I don't know about the newest ones. Another friend has an FZ9. He says it'll get close to 50 mpg, which is pretty good. The yellow one is sharp. Tempting......
Couldn't agree more with this post, especially the first paragraph and the last.
The 919 could have been something really special with just a little more thought. It mostly has beautiful lines, only to be spoiled by that hideous front end, even Ducati has USD forks on its GT1000 for petes sakes. And that skinny, flexi thing they call a frame? As you said, it was already old at its time of release.
And I have said it a few times already, so pardon me for saying so again, but as you say, by the time you correct bikes like the 919 and most other Jap bikes, not only money, but time and effort, its the price of a European equivalent that comes out of the factory already sharp.
Actually, the Jap bikes are not cheap anymore and very close in price to European bikes in retail, in NZ and Australia anyway. Pre 2009 you could get just about any Jap bike for under $20K, no longer possible (I am talking higer end of the scale, litre bikes, etc.). 2008/2009 there was a massive price hike with Jap bikes in NZ. They all run about mid $20K's, very close and in some cases the same and even more expensive than some Euro's. Actually, from what I have seen, the Euro's are becoming better priced.
The Europeans already come out highly spec'd and their reliability getting very close to the Japanese, IMO (maybe with brands like BMW, just as reliable).
Don't get me wrong, I like Jap bikes, I just wish the likes of Honda would get rid of what is obviously accountants running the joint and stop relying on the old parts bin as they have done for the past 20 years or so. Yes mate, its time to put down the skinny forks, the generic brakes and suspension, the same ol mirrors and bits and pieces you have been using for the last few decades. Hire some stylists/designers from Italy as well, as the Italians are about the only nationality that can style anything from a handbag, an under and over shotgun to a motorcycle, not just beautifully, but turn it into a work of art. Maybe the Germans as well (BMW, Merc, Audi, etc).