Found a new buddy today, he got a new 04 R1 over the weekend. Actually he is a co-worker of a friend of mine and he dropped by with my friend to ride (break in) his 04. I have a 99 with akro slip-on and Ivans airbox mod, shimmed needles and 45tooth> rear,stock> front (520) gearing. This old clunker of mine was dynoed at 141Hp last summer and surprised the hell out of me in doing so. Luck I guess. The ride was about an hour 1/2 long because it was a little chilly (53). He had around 220 miles on his 04 and said he was comfy with it hitting 10k rpm already and was willing to do some comparison tests with mine. I will try to keep it short and sweet and get the major differences aside without too much blah, blah, etc. Firstly in all the roll-on tests we did, 2nd 3rd and 4th, the 99 would consistently pull away from the 04 anywhere from 4k rpm to 5k rpm, with as much as 3-5 bike lengths, the higher the gear the more the 99 pulled. I did notice that he was able to stay in a lower gear much longer and rev alot longer, while I would bounce off the rev limiter, his would be barely cracking the 10k barrier, basically the start of the 04 kicking ass and not even breaking a sweat! So we did one roll-on from second gear from around 4k rpm for mine and took them through the gears down a stretch of about a mile. My 99 pulled away in second pretty handily, third and I probably had him by 4 bikes and by the time I hit fourth he was reeling me in and pretty much side by side, I hammered it into fifth and he just slipped on by, and pulled me about 3 bikes. I ended up in sixth and nearing 174 mph at redline, with him about 7 bike lengths ahead and still pulling my wheezing 99. I shook my head and let off only to return to the spot we marked to finish and he told me he only got his 04 into fifth and around 11k rpm when we shut down!! Not only was his bike only in fifth but he said his bike registered 171mph on his LCD. Now I know what rour thinking, my bike hit 174 and his only 171 but he was at least 7 bikes ahead? well once again my gearing is lower (which explains the better drive in the lower gears) and the speedo is way off because of it. My guess is my bike may have hit a legit 160mph and his with the stock gearing was probably close to the 170mph mark, give or take a mph or 2 (given speedo error). The funny part is his bike was only nearing his power peak in FIFTH! That damn 04 bike is geared for the autobahn! Given enough stretch, in sixth, I imagine a legit 185mph or more is possible. Provided the ECU doesnt step in and cut it off. I got the chance moments later (god bless him) to take a quick spin on his baby and I will say this bike handles pretty sweet, more solid feeling, but with just as much nimbleness as my 99. The riding position is just a tad more forgiving on the wrists but still very aggressive. The power down low is kinda neutered because of the super tall gearing which is an easy remedy, but it actually does pull the bike up to around 100mph in first gear, amazing, considering my 99 will only approach maybe 70mph geared accordingly. the brakes seemed very good, but then again I didnt get to hammer any curves and test the real power. I will say that 2 fingers was all I used during my brief ride which was more than enough to halt it quickly. Seems like the motor really doesnt build OLD R1 steam until at least after 6k rpm, with the bottom half a little softer for newbies, and a killer punch at 9-10k rpm on up for experienced riders. All in all I would love to have one, the suspension seemed stiffer and ready for more aggressive riding as is, compared to my 99 when I got it new. Not overly harsh, but a little more ready for speed. I loved the styling in person, it was the blue version. The exhaust didnt really sound anything like mine did stock, it has a more raspy and evil sound to it, more intake noise and whirring sounds when you twist the go grip. Excellent sounding bike I thought, even for stock setup. Guess I would sum it up by saying that yes I will get one in april, and if you like the older 98-03 R1s and want a bit more of everything then this is the bike for you, just get reeady to spend some dough on sprockets unless you are the autobahn type guy who only cares about maxing out 6th gear to see what itll do. Otherwise drop the gearing and hang on cause I imagine it would be like the older R1s down low, then build steam up into the meat of the power quicker and explode up top like a damn gp bike. Yeah yamahas shorter stroke/larger bore wonder bike is NICE. Now go get one and if you already have one, swap them sprockets already and hang on. Imagine that>7 bike lengths on my 99 and only in fifth! bastard!!