Years sold: 2002-2007
MSRP new: $7999 (2002) to $8499 (2007)
Blue Book retail value: $3195 (2002) to $4885 (2007)
Basic specs: A 919cc, fuel-injected, inline-Four that made 101 hp and 65 ft.-lb. of torque, allowing the 457-lb. “standard” to cover the quarter-mile in 11.14 seconds at a tick faster than 120 mph and manage a top speed of 142 mph.
Why it won: As far as our annual Ten Best Awards are concerned, the 919 won a total of, uh, none of those honors during its 6-year existence. Heck, it never even won an Honorable Mention. But that doesn’t mean this naked bike isn’t worth serious consideration. Far from it. The 919 is a smooth and highly refined all-rounder that’s perfect for everyday commuting, comfy enough for extended rides (especially when equipped with a set of soft saddlebags), surprisingly adept at straightening out a stretch of twisty blacktop and just plain fun no matter what kind of riding you might be doing. As stated in our 2006 “Hot Rods & Hooligans” comparison of the 12 bikes most likely to help you lose your license, “The 919 walks softly and carries a big stick. It isn’t a showoff but can really walk the walk.”
Useful resources: Do a little perusing around the ’Net and you’ll find quite a lot of information related to the 919. Some of it is on forums dedicated exclusively to the 919 and its naked little brother, the Honda 599. One good example is www.919.org, which not only involves discussion forums but also provides hands-on tips regarding tuning, chassis and electrical modifications, tech assistance, 919s for sale and even photo galleries of members’ bikes.
As the name of another site suggests, www.fireblades.org is not 919-specific and instead deals with several high-performance Honda models, but it does include a very useful 919 section. And, as is the case with most motorcycles, there are all manner of sites hawking parts and accessories for these reincarnations of the UJMs of the past, as well as a variety of reviews, videos and for-sale listings.