Re: Making the switch, so long Honda ...
Nothing wrong with basing your purchase choice on aesthetics, especially when you're choosing among bikes that are already better than we are and can't be ridden to max potential on the street (where we ride 95% of our time) and will be improved over last year's offerings.
He's likely a street rider, who may or may not do track days. Are his skills such that he'll be using the maximum potential of the bike on his way to work, or on his favorite twisties? If he is, then he's riding too fast on the street, and all of you will be tapping away on the keyboard to let him know it.
If he does track days, then what will he get from the 'superior' performing bike in the class for a day? He's probably not going to be 'discovered' by Gary Mathers, or Mel Harris, now, is he? And I'm sure he doesn't want to toss his 2004 wonderbike bike into the runoff of the track because of some faux GP antics, so he'll probably be riding the bike at a level where it wouldn't matter which of the new liter bikes he's on.
And if that is the case, then what's wrong with basing your choice on which one looks best to you? When one bike has only a slight performance advantage over the other, aesthetics can be a clear 'performance' advantage in a rider's eyes.
Going by some of the posts I've seen in this thread, I'm lead to believe that there are some here who are extremely concerned about the numbers associated to a bike - weight, horsepower, torque, etc., when that rider may not be any more likely to take advantage of what those numbers may offer in the way of lap times at a track. And if that's the case, then who's really the poser, the guy who buys based on what looks good to him because they all offer more performance than he can use, or the guy who buys a bike because it's 8 lbs. lighter and makes 3 more h.p. at 11,000 rpm and won't ever ride the bike to a level where it's noticeable?
Okay, bring it, you know you want a piece of this