Re: '04 U.S. Model Preview
Hmmm. I guess I'm a tad disappointed that the 'spy pics' were authentic after all.
I would never buy a bike for how it looks, and that's good for this Honda. Since all we can judge the 1000RR on is looks at this point, we might as well have at it...
In the most positive way I can say, I honestly hope it rides better than it looks; I don't think it's going to win any shootouts based on its appearance alone. With the 600RR already a year old, the design isn't exactly fresh and new, and although it (this general new design theme) has grown on me, it just doesn't approach the excitement and sleek (dare I say sexy?) look of the '04 R1. The increase in displacement is going to be this bike's biggest plus, and I'm guessing the total balance, handling, and feel of the ride will be near-perfect, so it's going to be a contender.
That said, I do like the solid black RR more than a little. All business and no flash!
What's up with the rounded (ala 954) swingarm on the brake side, and the squared, boxy design (ala 929) on the drive side? What is it, a Jekyl-n-Hyde thing?
The exhaust cooling 'intake vents' on the tailsection look kinda awkward. The 'ram air' intakes also look like a bit of an afterthought, instead of being smoothly integrated.
The lowers definitely come up too high, like highwater pants on an old guy with a fat arse. This doesn't matter a bit on the solid black RR, but it makes the red and silver ones look like crap, IMO. Maybe some paint would help them out, but they'd still look too big. Chain will rejoice; the monochrome scheme looks the best!
The seat is shaped a little differently, but doesn't look any more padded than the 954's, so it'll likely get some complaints.
So much for the speculation that the brake resevoir in a previous photo had been 'Photochopped', or that the heel guards on the rear pegs were imaginary.
I like the damper and the instrument cluster, and the tailsection, even with the stock undertail exhaust, looks sweet. The front fender is also more organic than on past models, and it looks great.
The bike looks pretty good overall. I don't know; maybe it will grow on me some more as time goes on...