2004-2005 Honda CBR1000RR

Smart Money

By Tim Carrithers, Photography by Honda

Also Smart

2004 | $6930
Kawasaki ZX-10R
The new-for-'04 Ninja came with all the big numbers: 162-horse monster motor, 436 lbs. wet and a 9.92-sec. quarter-mile time. Stock suspension is on the taut side. Gearing is preposterously tall. Everything else is deadly serious.

2004 | $7655
Suzuki GSX-R1000
A roomier, comfortable alternative to the radical '05, the king of '03 fell behind a bit '04. The clutch is notoriously fragile. Suspension is compliant at first, but goes limp too quickly. Two-pad front calipers were a step backward.

2004 | $7655
Yamaha YZF-R1
All new for '04 with a slim, friendly chassis, the Yamaha is drop-dead gorgeous if you go in for that sort of thing. It won our '04 shootout despite a shortage of thrust below 7000 rpm. This party starts at 10,000.

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