Why is the 919 so nimble? - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 51 Old 01-05-2017, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Why is the 919 so nimble?

I guess it doesn't really matter but I've been test riding a few bikes, Ninja 1000, Speed Triple and S1000R, but no matter what bike I try out, my 919 still disappears underneath me despite weighing the same or more. The S1000R was the one that surprised me, with all the mass centralization and 20-30lbs lighter you'd think it would feel smaller and even more nimble but it just isn't! So what exactly did Honda do with the 919 and that early 90's engine?
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post #2 of 51 Old 01-05-2017, 12:12 PM
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Wide handlebars + Lazy Geometry and relatively low COG make for a really nice package. The smaller displacement engine also utilizes a smaller flywheel which aids with gyroscopic precession affecting the effort it takes to change directions.
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post #3 of 51 Old 01-06-2017, 01:26 AM
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919 too...

@ Ditch, good to know the 919 feels that nimble as you say. Plan to go test ride one and a Suzi, '03 SV1000 next week or so. Hope I felt what you did, many say the same. Not sure what to expect from the SV1000. Both bikes have a strong legacy from all I've read.

@ LDH.......Good answer.

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post #4 of 51 Old 01-13-2017, 03:35 AM
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owned the 919 since 08 ... since then my OTHER bikes have been >>> Buell lightening -TT SV650 -SV1000 -VStrom1000 - BKing (2) cb1000r- z1000 (2) - R1200s -vespa250 - DRZ400sm >>>> there's a reason why i kept it !!!
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post #5 of 51 Old 01-13-2017, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
..and relatively low COG
First thing I noticed. My V65 felt top heavy. With a passenger, it was hard to hold up when stopped.

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post #6 of 51 Old 01-13-2017, 06:49 AM
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My 919 is ok but I wouldn't call it Nimble, my SV650 was much more nimble and I could ride it faster in the twisties then my 919. However on the highway or backroads that aren't super twisty the 919 is much faster

07' 919 - In Progress

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post #7 of 51 Old 01-13-2017, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernieD2 View Post
@ Ditch, good to know the 919 feels that nimble as you say. Plan to go test ride one and a Suzi, '03 SV1000 next week or so. Hope I felt what you did, many say the same. Not sure what to expect from the SV1000. Both bikes have a strong legacy from all I've read.

@ LDH.......Good answer.
Ride a 919 and SV650 back to back, you'll see how cheap the SV feels in comparison. Great bike but different level of quality feel.
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post #8 of 51 Old 01-13-2017, 08:16 AM
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In all honesty I have ridden both back to back, the SV had upgraded suspension and the 919 bone stock. Personally for backroads I would choose the SV anyday over the 919 because of lighter weight and the V twin chacteristics. defining backroads I mean like Tail of the Dragon style very twisty. For normal riding I prefer my 919 there is more power everywhere. I do need to eventually upgrade the forks with stiffer springs. Would love a new rear shock but for the price of that I would go buy a new bike with better suspension stock

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post #9 of 51 Old 01-13-2017, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Hard to beat a well setup SV650 in the canyons, even by today's standards. Suzuki's are always special cranked over on their side.

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post #10 of 51 Old 01-14-2017, 03:15 PM
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Glad you noticed this characteristic too....thought it was only me.
I had VFR, big fatty girl of bike......sheeesh....she was fat and felt fat.
919, feels like an agile cheetah.

enjoy the ride.

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post #11 of 51 Old 01-15-2017, 07:35 AM
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Something must be wrong with mine then. I've always felt that the 919 was really heavy steering. The 599 is WAY more nimble, as was my Buell Firebolt. And both of those are slow compared to the Street Triple R.


I do know it is under-sprung for my weight. Maybe my steering stem bearings are too tight? I am running Bridgestone BT-XXX (14? 21?). One of the commuter/sport touring tires. I think I'll try some Pirelli's next, I know they have pretty sharp profiles.


If I can't get the bike to handle in the next year, I think I might try trading for a GSXR-750 and converting it to a naked.

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post #12 of 51 Old 01-15-2017, 08:33 AM
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Steering bearings may indeed be too tight.Try to adjust/loosen that first.
Take her for a ride and see what that did.

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post #13 of 51 Old 01-15-2017, 07:04 PM
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Jm you're thinking too much. The 919 certainly isn't as nimble as people in this thread make it out to be.

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post #14 of 51 Old 01-15-2017, 09:10 PM
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Dunno....pretty nimble to me.

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post #15 of 51 Old 01-15-2017, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
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Dunno....pretty nimble to me.
Well yeah, compared to your last bike. It's all about perspective and confirmation bias.

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post #16 of 51 Old 01-15-2017, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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With a low pipe, it's about as nimble as 900cc's can get.

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post #17 of 51 Old 01-16-2017, 03:16 PM
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don't get the "with a low pipe" reply?
what does a low pipe have to do with it being (feeling) nimble? pipes dont weigh that much to begin with? or was it sarcasm?

Anyhoo....it's a nimble bike compared to "most" bike feels.
only lighter feeling bikes are 600's and below.
this really is an awesome bike.

Wish Honda would have continued to manufacture there out.

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post #18 of 51 Old 01-16-2017, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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A light low pipe moves a noticeable amount of weight from the tail to down where it should be. It makes a huge difference, way more than you'd think.

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post #19 of 51 Old 01-16-2017, 03:27 PM
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wow....Never would've thunk that a pipe...especially these that aren't that heavy to begin with, would make a noticeable diff....thanks for pointing that trait out.
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A light low pipe moves a noticeable amount of weight from the tail to down where it should be. It makes a huge difference, way more than you'd think.

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post #20 of 51 Old 01-16-2017, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
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A light low pipe moves a noticeable amount of weight from the tail to down where it should be. It makes a huge difference, way more than you'd think.
No necessarily.
High pipe mass can be useful as part of a strategy towards having a higher the Centre of Gravity, and/or a more advantageous routing of the exhaust system.
The lowest possible C of G is NOT desireable in and of itself.

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post #21 of 51 Old 01-16-2017, 05:33 PM
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Not sure what formula Honda Engineering used to design the 919 but whatever they did, low COG or low exhaust or high exhaust.....they did a fine job.
the bike does indeed feel nimble in the turns. At slow speeds, high speeds, freeway, twistes etc...
And not because I came off a VFR (aka fatty girl) bike.

I also own a CB1 and it's light as well, steel frame and all.
both feel bout the same in lightness, yet the power delivery is obviously different.
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Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
No necessarily.
High pipe mass can be useful as part of a strategy towards having a higher the Centre of Gravity, and/or a more advantageous routing of the exhaust system.
The lowest possible C of G is NOT desireable in and of itself.

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1997 Kawasaki ZX7
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post #22 of 51 Old 01-16-2017, 05:35 PM
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wow....Never would've thunk that a pipe...especially these that aren't that heavy to begin with, would make a noticeable diff....thanks for pointing that trait out.
The highest mass density is the engine unit.
Within that, the highest concentration of mass will be in a zone including the gear clusters of the tranny section and the crankshaft.
To get maximum change of C of G, that is what begs to get moved up or down.
Light cans up high, are negligible in relative effect.

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post #23 of 51 Old 01-16-2017, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageHunter View Post
Not sure what formula Honda Engineering used to design the 919 but whatever they did, low COG or low exhaust or high exhaust.....they did a fine job.
the bike does indeed feel nimble in the turns. At slow speeds, high speeds, freeway, twistes etc...
And not because I came off a VFR (aka fatty girl) bike.

Amen and you nailed it well.

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post #24 of 51 Old 01-16-2017, 07:14 PM
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VH, what year was your VFR? My 01 isnt that much heavier than a 919.

The good thing about a 919 is how stable they are. You could drag knee pucks, and pegs pretty easily. (On a track only, with adult supervision.)

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post #25 of 51 Old 01-16-2017, 09:56 PM
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Found this earlier. Pretty nimble I reckon or just stupid.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=...ture=endscreen

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post #26 of 51 Old 01-16-2017, 10:15 PM
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Don't know if that video worked. It's the video link in this online chat.
http://www.stuntlife.com/forums/164-...tunt-bike.html

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post #27 of 51 Old 01-17-2017, 06:58 AM
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my VFR was an '02.
it was in pristine shape.

I was the 2nd owner. A family member was the first and only owner before me.
He owned it for 14 years. Then I took it over.....from day one it was heavy. I just couldn't get used to the feel of the bike.
and being a V4, well, torque "feel" everywhere. 1st gear, 2nd gear...and upward. Never got the feel for the throttle control either. She was either ALL ON or ALL OFF...but nothing in between.

Alas, I've found "MY" bike. the 919er.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper-x View Post
VH, what year was your VFR? My 01 isnt that much heavier than a 919.

The good thing about a 919 is how stable they are. You could drag knee pucks, and pegs pretty easily. (On a track only, with adult supervision.)

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post #28 of 51 Old 01-17-2017, 06:21 PM
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Mine is sn 01. It was not prestine. But it cleaned up well.

Ive never ridden any VFR, other than my own. But I gather that the 02, which was the first year for the VTec, was heavier, and the throttle was much more abrupt. I've managed to take about 17 pounds off this old motorcycle. I weighed it once, while way low on fuel. The scale i had it on said 475.

It does take a little more muscle to get the Interceptor to turn. But you soon get used to it. Like the 919, on the street, it is rock solid stable. I understand a good rider on a track can get the Interceptor to misbehave. I can't.

Your's is prettier, tho.
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post #29 of 51 Old 01-17-2017, 06:57 PM
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mine "was" prettier but yours is just as sweet if not sweeter.
my other ride is a Honda CB1. it's got the sweet sounding gear-driven cams....Oh that "whiz-whirl" jet turbine sound it makes at 10K rpm.
sweet.....I'm sure the gear-driven cam VFRs were nice.
Mine, did indeed have V-tech which I think Honda screwed it with that design. And it was horribly abrupt on the throttle....as I stated.."ALL ON" or "ALL OFF".

My cousin, on the other hand owned it for 14 years. He loved that bike......LOVED it.
He never wanted to part with it. Said it did everything well...I believed him, just was not the bike for me.
He gave me a good deal on it.
I got it for $3K with 14K miles....never dropped.
I almost had it sold for $4500 but alas, I got greedy and wanted $5K for it and well....that's another story.

Never the less, it did eventually get sold and I turned around that same day, as fate would have it, and there was this nice, shinny 919 waiting for me. It was basically a trade for trade.
Bought the 919 for $3k, sold the VFR for $3K....so go figure.

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Various Yamaha YSR50, YSR200, YSR80
1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
1998 Yamaha R1 (first original R1)
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250
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post #30 of 51 Old 01-17-2017, 09:38 PM
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I've told this story before. I'm a late bloomer. At age 47 I got my first street bike. My 600 Bandit was docile at speed but otherwise kinda top heavy. In 7 years I put almost 100k miles on it then sold it to get something more. I went looking for that elusive "nimble thing" on a budget. Big sister 1200 Bandit though the same frame was a chore to break from a straight line at any speed. Gyroscopic forces galore. I rode a TL1000 and a Buell - they were just beasts. The SV650 was totally flickable but I wanted something more substantial for touring. The 650 Versys was enjoyable but had no bottom end. The 1250 Bandit was smooth and powerful but sluggish and top heavy at low speed. The R1200GS was surprisingly light and nimble feeling but it nor the maintenance were in the budget. Then I rode a 1050 Tiger - OMG! Tons of torque and gobs of nimble. But I couldn't find one in my price range. I was about to give up on the "nimble thing on a budget" idea when I test rode a 919. Done deal. I bought one two weeks later. That was 50,000 miles ago and I'm still lovin' it.
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post #31 of 51 Old 01-18-2017, 06:31 AM
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Ken:Great story. Agreed.

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1984 Yamaha Seca 400
1984 Honda CB125
1987 Yamaha RZ350
Various Yamaha YSR50, YSR200, YSR80
1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
1998 Yamaha R1 (first original R1)
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1997 Kawasaki ZX7
1989 Honda GT650 Hawk
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post #32 of 51 Old 01-18-2017, 07:04 AM
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The tires and pressure make up like 50% of how the bike feels. Changing off of old squared off touring tires and putting on fresh rubber certainly makes the bike feel new

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post #33 of 51 Old 01-23-2017, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Not sure what formula Honda Engineering used to design the 919 but whatever they did, low COG or low exhaust or high exhaust.....they did a fine job.
the bike does indeed feel nimble in the turns. At slow speeds, high speeds, freeway, twistes etc...
And not because I came off a VFR (aka fatty girl) bike.

I also own a CB1 and it's light as well, steel frame and all.
both feel bout the same in lightness, yet the power delivery is obviously different.
They did the same thing with the ST1300, incredible how light that thing feels for 735lbs.

They don't make bikes like the 919 any more, their obsession with centralized mass actually raises the COG. Some like it, I don't car for it, I prefer the weight as low as possible. The CB1000R for example is said to feel much higher and the 919. You can even see the difference by looking at them side by side on Motorcycle Ergonomics

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post #34 of 51 Old 01-23-2017, 04:19 PM
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Found an old press release which made these points to explain why the 919 feels so nimble.
Wide handlebars.
Low seat height.
Low weight.
Upright seating position.
Tuning and gearing modified to boost low end torque.
This last point is interesting.
'Hondas quest to make its naked bikes FEEL and sound better. The company says the 919 frame is tuned to emphasise some of the engines vibration in the lower frequencies, particularly from 150 Hz to 400 Hz'.
Sounds cool right. So maybe the 919 hornet has been made to FEEL better.
It makes me feel better to ride it!

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post #35 of 51 Old 01-23-2017, 04:54 PM
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735lbs? WTF is that? are trying to ride Rosie O'donald?
sheesh.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditch View Post
They did the same thing with the ST1300, incredible how light that thing feels for 735lbs.

They don't make bikes like the 919 any more, their obsession with centralized mass actually raises the COG. Some like it, I don't car for it, I prefer the weight as low as possible. The CB1000R for example is said to feel much higher and the 919. You can even see the difference by looking at them side by side on Motorcycle Ergonomics

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1984 Yamaha Seca 400
1984 Honda CB125
1987 Yamaha RZ350
Various Yamaha YSR50, YSR200, YSR80
1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
1998 Yamaha R1 (first original R1)
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1997 Kawasaki ZX7
1989 Honda GT650 Hawk
1989 Honda CB-1
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post #36 of 51 Old 01-23-2017, 04:55 PM
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can you post the link to the article?
thanks.
it appears then that when you have a combination of factors all working together, the light weight is astounding.
Quote:
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Found an old press release which made these points to explain why the 919 feels so nimble.
Wide handlebars.
Low seat height.
Low weight.
Upright seating position.
Tuning and gearing modified to boost low end torque.
This last point is interesting.
'Hondas quest to make its naked bikes FEEL and sound better. The company says the 919 frame is tuned to emphasise some of the engines vibration in the lower frequencies, particularly from 150 Hz to 400 Hz'.
Sounds cool right. So maybe the 919 hornet has been made to FEEL better.
It makes me feel better to ride it!

VintageHunter
Location: Shambhala
"always looking for that next find".
1984 Yamaha Seca 400
1984 Honda CB125
1987 Yamaha RZ350
Various Yamaha YSR50, YSR200, YSR80
1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
1998 Yamaha R1 (first original R1)
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1997 Kawasaki ZX7
1989 Honda GT650 Hawk
1989 Honda CB-1
2007 Honda 919
2001 Honda CBR F4i

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post #37 of 51 Old 01-23-2017, 05:50 PM
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/...ou-a-buzz.html

Here is the article I saw. Cheers.

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post #38 of 51 Old 01-23-2017, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Vintage, take a ride on an ST1300, they are amazing, it's just that they get appallingly hot if it's hotter than 75-ish ambient. You'd swear it's lighter than a 1st gen FJR though, which was somewhere around 130 lbs lighter.

Getting rid of the awful stock 919 bars and replacing with plain old Renthals quells of 80% of the handlebar vibration that article speaks of, which is where I find the human brain detects the most vibration.

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post #39 of 51 Old 01-23-2017, 07:13 PM
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fak...no thanks. I don't think I'll enjoy saddlin' up to Rosie Odonald.....I'll stay with my 919er....but thanks for the offer.

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"always looking for that next find".
1984 Yamaha Seca 400
1984 Honda CB125
1987 Yamaha RZ350
Various Yamaha YSR50, YSR200, YSR80
1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
1998 Yamaha R1 (first original R1)
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1997 Kawasaki ZX7
1989 Honda GT650 Hawk
1989 Honda CB-1
2007 Honda 919
2001 Honda CBR F4i

VintageHunter is offline  
post #40 of 51 Old 01-24-2017, 05:17 PM
919 Rider
 
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Flinders island
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Don't have a problem with handlebar vibration. I enjoy the feedback I get from the 919 handlebars. I would ride without gloves more often if I wasn't scared s..tless about busting up my hands.
I grew up riding honda big bore dirt bikes, XR600s. To me the 919 has a similar "feel" to these bikes.
I've ridden my 919 down gravel roads and bush tracks, other than getting bogged in soft sand and bottoming out on the exhaust, the bike has handled it well. On gravel roads the bike feels very safe, better than my old GPZ 750 which is terrifying on gravel.
Also the 919 recovers well. I've had a couple of near misses but each time I just hung on and the bike has righted itself.
In my opinion honda have done an excellent job at building a long lasting, reliable, safe, well balanced motorbike.
Ken Phenix likes this.

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