The problem with most new bikes is that they are no longer really machines. They are a mass of plastic, emissions crap and computer circuits. Back in the '60s and earlier they really were machines. They were made of metal, and everything on them was mechanical except for the rudimentary ignition and lighting systems. My Genuine Stella is like that, that is why I love it so much. Despite being made in India, it still has soul. It is metal, and has absolutely nothing on it that it does not need. And it is beautiful. It's style is part of it''s design, not added on top with plastic panels. Vintage British bikes are like that, Sportsters are like that, other than on late models they are not all machine, they have electronic parts too, which kind of kills the "soul"
As for Honda going after new riders, that is not a bad idea if they intend to survive. Most of todays young people would choose an iPhone, iPad, iPod, or a MacBook over a motorcycle. Sad but true. But I see these bikes as going after older riders as well, riders who would otherwise be on cruisers. This gives them another option. The population is aging, and not nearly as many riders can tolerate the "sport" riding position. They might also bring back some riders who gave it up because they didn't like cruisers for some reason. I can't see this being anything but a "win" for Honda.
As for the "parts bin engineering" that is a great idea. Keep the proliferation of parts to a minimum. Maybe parts will be available longer. Triumph did it this way, with their modular engines. Ford has been doing it forever. Many parts that fit the early Mustangs also fit my '64 Fairlane. The entire drivetrain, steering, suspension, and brakes are the same, and have the same part numbers.
2002 Vulcan 750, 2001 XT225
2008 Vino 125, 2009 Genuine Stella
2012 Zuma 125, 1980 Puch Newport moped