It's been said a million times. The 900 doesn't do anything perfectly, but it does everything well. It doesn't tour like the voyager, haul like the V2K, or get the MPG of the 500, but it's somewhere in the middle of all of those. It's a good bike. I don't think anyone is saying someone jumped off a Harley and went "Holy cow this is the holy grail of motorcycles!". They jumped off of a big Harley and hopped on what they believed to be a 'little' bike because of the small displacement. They found that the ergos and size of the bike are about the same but with much less weight, and it has much more power than they expect, and they are able to keep up with their Road King in it. In a drag race? No, but there's no reason the two can't stay together in a little 'spirited riding' around some twisties, and that impresses people because of what they have pre-conceived about a 900cc motorcycle. Truth is technology has changed, and you need so much more than displacement to tell the story.
Also, these aren't strangers. The people who have ridden my bike are some of my closest friends, and some family members. I love to swap bikes with friends, it's fun. It wasn't an 'insult' to him it was just fun. We were out riding, and actually, HE offered. We were waiting on his wife to come back in from a 'pit stop' and I was looking at some new highway pegs he put on the bike. He invited me to sit on it and see where they fit, and then he said "You know I've always wanted to ride one of these why don't we swap?". We were both impressed! The Harley was top heavy and harder in low speeds, but, had excellent torque for pulling steep hills at low speeds in high gear. Also very smooth and very comfortable. He said my bike was faster than his. I don't think it was faster, I think he was so surprised in the power of that 'little' 900, that it was faster than he expected. Though he also rode it to my wedding and actually road it for 45 minutes to the church then, on the interstate, etc. with my CMA chapter who were all there. I didn't want to ride and deal with my tux, so he rode it there and the wife and I got some of our pictures on the bike. He said it was like a Cadillac and that it was really fast! Again, this is someone who has ridden big twin Harley's for 30 years, I think he's just really impressed by what this 900cc metric can do, it's not what he expected.
Not everyone is a snob. It's not a 'privilege' to ride with these guys these are my friends. Some of them ride metrics, some Harleys, some both! One guy rides a 1700 Voyager, and has a '47 Harley in his garage he rides every once in a while. It's just about riding, not about being a bunch of tough guys trying to be cool.
I don't care what you ride. Just ride. That's not what being on a motorcycle is about for me, it's about the ride. Anyone can buy a Harley. It's just a machine, it's just money. There's nothing 'special' about being an owner of a Harley, or a large displacement metric, or anything else. If that's what you want go for it! I'm sure at some point in the future I'll be on a bigger twin bike (Metric or Harley, depends on what my options are then!). It's not a birthright or some sort of special thing... it's just something you bought.
Keep the shiny side up folks!
"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8 (NIV)
2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer
2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)
Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack
Past: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic LT