154hp + super light weight + comfort + great handling.....
....equals pure fun on the road and track. I rode a 1996 CBR900RR and was amazed back then at the bike. Sounds like it's even more capable now. I'm looking forward to an MO comparison with the new R1, GSXR1000 and ZX9R. Ballpark time for that test? Need a test rider? I volunteer!
I bet it is uncomfortable for commuting. It probably doesn't even have factory hard bags available. Get real Honda, NOBODY is gonna buy a bike like that! You'd have to be dumb to spend $10K+ on that when you could have a brand new KE100 for thousands less.
After a couple of friends told me of their track experiences with on 929s, I fitted mine with a Scotts dampner and have been very pleased. Even if the 954 doesn't unseat the Gixxer power-wise, the RR is a much more humane package. 400 mile rides are no problem for this 50 year old. Try that Gixxer boys!
It seems to me the actual technical advantages this bike has over the 929, at least for the average sportbike rider, are trivial at best. That's not a criticism, as some model year changes are sure to be rather meaningless. But I doubt many 929 riders who have their bikes set up just the way they like would lay out a few thousand to trade up to a 954, and start all over again. In fact, if I was in need of a new sportbike for the spring I'd look for a leftover new '01 929 which would probably cost a couple thou less than a new 954.
I agree that it's rather astounding that these bikes still do not come with a good steering damper standard. This is a critical modification that virtually everyone with experience on the bike installs (review the posts at www.cbr929.net), for the simple reason the bike is an accident waiting to happen without it.
The pointless knife-edged styling changes detract from the bike. It's also a shame the 959 carries on with such messy graphics.
For my money, I'll keep my 2k 929 until I can trade it for a Honda GP-derived V5 with traction control and electronic shifting. In a solid color, please.
Great job MO to get the first 954RR test drive and give it to us within 24 hours of your ride! But lets be serious, the compitition is relentless and the soon to be released Yamaha R1 and proven GSXR will still rival the Honda. Honda wants you to belive that there 954RR is "all new" but the simple fact is that the 954RR is JUST A BORED OUT 929RR!!! Just go online and do some investigating and you will find that Honda had to do something to compete with the R1 and GSXR, but they did not give the time to the bike that it deserved. Therefore they polished up the 929RR and bored it out. Its a holdout. They are going to use this bike for the next two years to hold them until they can really unvail their "all new" bike in 2004. Super sport riders should be mad at Hondas R&D department for overlooking possibly the most exciting and competitive class on the market.
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