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Honda 919

Updated on February 11, 2015

My Dream Street Bike

I've had a number of different motorcycles over the years, everything from minibikes to cruisers. But the street bike that I've most wanted, the Honda 919, has never been in our garage. I've studied this bike for years, test driven it, but have never been in the place to actually own one. Some years back I was blessed to have big cruiser but realized that having grown up on dirt bikes I wasn't suited to the ergonomics of the big cushy cruiser. So I tried the sport bike or crotch rocket and found the same thing, it just doesn't feel right. Then I discovered this thing of beauty, the Honda 919. They call this type of motorcycle a naked sport bike. For me it fits right in between, not too hot, not too cold, it's just right. The positioning of the rider is optimum for the way I am used to riding and has the feel of the dirt bikes I am most comfortable with.

I hope this lens is informative and stirs you to take a test run on this wonderful machine. Thanks for stopping by.

Its Story

The Honda 919 or CB900F (also called the Hornet in Europe) is a standard or naked motorcycle based on a sport bike engine but with a more upright seating position and revised engine and gearing, providing performance and comfort between a typical sport bike and a cruiser. In some ways the concept dates to a 1994 design study created by American Honda's R&D chief product evaluator Dirk Vandenberg in cooperation with Cycle World magazine, a street fighter-like one-off custom based on the Honda CBR900RR, with the fairings removed, high, tubular handlebar, and tuning and gearing modified to boost low-end torque. Vandenberg saw a market in the "older sport bike crowd" who are seeking high performance without an awkward riding position or racetrack style bodywork.

It was introduced in 2002 and its last model year was 2007, after which it was replaced by the CB1000R. After compliance with tightening emissions regulations became untenable, it was replaced by the more performance-specialized CB1000R. In 2006, Motorcyclist recommended used 919s as a good buy, saying of the new bike, "at $7999, it wasn't exactly cheap, and saddled with a coat of flat-black paint called Asphalt, it was less than visually electrifying," however, in the used market it became a great value. In the US market, the 919, like the 599, was expensive, because, being intended for the European market, they were made in Italy, and so had to be imported to the US against unfavorable Euro exchange rates.

The Daily Telegraph welcomed the new bike, saying, "the new CB900F Hornet leaves your knees in the breeze and your smile full of bugs as it reintroduces you to a feeling of undemanding, rewarding two-wheeled fun that has been missing from the market for a long time. " Comparing it to the Hornet 600, the bike was reminiscent of the standards of the 1970s, sometimes called universal Japanese motorcycles.

Quarter-mile performance was 11.18 seconds at 120.7 mph (194.2 km/h) tested by Motorcyclist, while Cycle World measured 10.92 seconds at 123 mph (198 km/h). Having the lowest weight in its class and a good power-to-weight ratio, it stands well in comparison to bikes with greater output like the Yamaha FZ1, and the wide, high handlebars ease quick turning and make cornering enjoyable. Cycle World saw the 919 as a practical solution to the real-world problem of imperfect roads and traffic, rather than a mere compromise between a sport bike and a commuter or touring ride.

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    • worldsguitarcom profile image

      Worldsguitar.com 5 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

      I use to own few sports bike myself and my favorite still the Honda CBR F4i, I still think that Honda should've made some 1000cc bikes with that look, I've been a Honda fan and still I'm, they make some good bikes!

    • angelsigh profile image

      angelsigh 5 years ago

      I will look into this bike...if I can put my feet down then maybe this can be the one :)

    • profile image

      transcriptioncity 5 years ago

      Thanks for the lens, my husband loves bikes. :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      20 - 25 years back I perhaps would have taken to it blindly, as the bike sounds great! As AJ says, I guess, over time it has been a shift towards cars!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I used to love bikes when I was in my late teens and 20s, and rode different types of bikes when I was in Goa, India. Since moving out to Dubai and subsequently, Toronto, I haven't ridden one. I'm more into cars now, but the Honda 919 looks terrific!

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 5 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I have been a Crotch Rocket type of guy in the past, but these days prefer to take the corners a little slower and ride in a more comfortable seating position. I have a Suzuki V-Strom DL650 Dual Sports bike these days which is equally at home in the winding mountain roads, cruising the highways or in the city. It is a very versatile and fun bike to ride.

    • Loveyourshoes profile image

      Loveyourshoes 5 years ago

      I just impaled my 2008 CB600F into the side of a truck last week and have been very lucky to just have minor injuries but miss it already and cannot wait to be back on the road. A fairing would be nice though sometimes especailly on England's highest motorway..very windy. Thanks and great lens

    • CanDoDaddy profile image

      CanDoDaddy 5 years ago

      Give me a full fairing on a German engineered bike built to silently eat up the highway all day long and leave me fresh as the wind itself at the end of a winding day.