The more I see this bike, the more I like it too, SmokeEater.
R1_Dave, Yamaha made quite a few changes to the 2002, giving it a more "redesigned" look. Tail section being one, also the tail light. Plus quite a few more.
What is a big bonus for the new 2002 owners will be in the weight reduction of the bike.
The forward facing airbox is new, along with the detachable subframe for easier access.
The tail section is starting to grow on me. The "Millenium Falcon" taillight is looking better all the time. Every sport bike out there was starting to look like the R1. I like the cut outs and angles. It reminds me of the stealth fighter with all those hard angles to break up the radar. Hey! Maybe? Wouldn't that be cool? Flat black paint too! Could it be that its a stealth bike? Not that I have any concerns about being picked up on radar.
You know, you are right! It is VERY reminiscent of a stealth! I was lucky enough to see one of those close up and they are pieces of art. Very sharp angles, very clean lines.
Yamaha did a great job of the tail light on this bike. Its very sleek.
Flat black, huh? Yeah, I could see that.
I think Yamaha DID do this design because they wanted to be front of the pack in looks/design. And you are so right when you say that many other bikes were looking like the R1. Again though, expect to see knock offs of this in the near future if there aren't already some in the making now or on the road already.
Pick that bike up in "stealh mode" and in flat black color on radar?