The 919's backbone is a single...
The 919's backbone is a single tube of rectangular steel, which the swingarm straddles at the rear. The nice aluminum sideplates you see actually bolt to the frame and swingarm, but not the engine-although they give the appearance of doing so.
If all your riding consists of twisted pavement then this Hooligan is The Bike. The street-fighter has become a rapidly expanding market in the States, but this begs the question: Why did Honda bring a very competent but still-lacking machine into an escalating brawl? How hard is it to bring fully adjustable suspension to the field of battle these days? The Honda is most happy being thrown side to side during tight canyon sorties but the true mettle of a standard/street-fighter is versatility. The seating puts my feet in an awkward position (behind my torso) and the pegs are a bit high for my 6-foot frame. Add a motor that sports the notchy fuel injection of the 929 and I'm left pondering what could have been. The styling is current with its flat-black-bad-ass look, and coupled with the underseat exhaust makes for a "tuff" look. All said, I'm picking out small inadequacies but they add up-the 919 is a very capable machine but has room for improvement. It's one hell of a tease but I'm gonna have to pass for now.
I must admit that I'm pleasantly surprised by the 919. Coming into this test, I had visions of the ill-fated 1993-'95 CB1000, a bike that looked like a sleek urban street weapon but turned out to be a slow, heavy blunderbuss. And when I learned that the 919 was equipped with non-adjustable suspension and a "tuned for midrange" version of the old 900RR motor, it only reinforced those fears.
Thankfully, the Honda 919 is nothing like the old CB1000. It's a seriously fun package to ride, with zippy performance to back up its streetfighter looks. This thing is unbeatable in the city; the motor's low/midrange acceleration lets you shred traffic with ease, and nimble steering habits and crisp brakes give you the confidence to handle any situation that may arise. Even the spring and damping rates are a decent compromise.
But for the same amount of money, I'd get more power and nearly adjustable suspension in the Yamaha FZ-1. And that's hard to overlook.
Excellent for city work, the...
Excellent for city work, the 919's seating position is slightly more upright than the FZ1's even though the handlebar is lower. While comfortable, the seat's slope limits you to a single position over a long haul.
Suggested retail price: $7999
Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse, inline, 4-stroke four
Valve arrangement: DOHC, 4 valves/cyl.shim-under-bucket adjustment
Bore x stroke: 71.0 x 58mm
Compression ratio: 10.8:1
Carburetion: PGM-FI, 36mm throttle bodies
Front suspension: 43mm cartridge fork, 4.7 in. travel; no adjustment
Rear suspension: Single shock absorber, 5.0 in. travel; adjustment for spring preload
Front brake: 2, four-piston calipers, 296mm discs
Rear brake: single-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Front wheel: 3.50 x 17 in.; cast-alloy
Rear wheel: 5.5 x 17 in.; cast alloy
Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Michelin Hi Sport
Rear tire: 180/55-ZR17 Michelin Hi Sport
Rake/trail: 25.0 deg./3.9 in. (98mm)
Wheelbase: 57.5 in. (1461mm)
Seat height: 31.5 in. (800mm)
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal. (19L)
Weight: 485 lb. (220kg) wet; 455 lb. (206kg) dry
Instruments: Speedometer, tachometer, LCD odometer/tripmeter, temperature gauge, lights for neutral, high beam, turn signals, low oil pressure, fuel injection warning
Fuel consumption: 32 to 42 mpg, 37 mpg avg.
Quarter-mile: 11.09 sec. @ 121.77 mph (corrected)
Roll-ons: 60-80mph/3.68 sec.80-100mph/4.02 sec.