Honda CBR1000RR studio side view

YEARS SOLD: 2004–2007

MSRP NEW: $10,999 ('04) to $11,499 ('07)

Blue Book Retail VALUE: $4750 ('04) to $6270 ('07)

BASIC SPECS: Introduced in 2004, the CBR1000RR was the all-new successor to Honda's CBR954RR. Its 998cc inline–four features ECU-controlled ram air and dual-stage fuel injection and an under-tail exhaust. This model's cassette-style stacked six-speed gearbox and shallower 28-degree cylinder slant made for a compact engine design that allowed a longer swingarm and shifted the weight bias forward. The chassis features a die-cast alloy frame with an inverted fork, Unit Pro-Link rear suspension, and radial-mounted front brake calipers. Another innovative feature, the Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD), automatically varies damping force based on speed and rate of acceleration.

WHY IT'S DESIRABLE: The CBR1000RR applied technology and design traits born out of HRC's successful MotoGP program. Honda's manic attention to mass centralization set a trend others have followed. The CBR may not have been the lightest among its liter-class rivals, but it offered a superb balance of handling agility and steadfast stability. The 2006 model year brought a host of engine and chassis updates highlighted by valve train, steering geometry, and suspension calibration revisions.

THE COMPETITION: When it rains it pours, and the superbike precipitation came down in 2004 as a thoroughly updated Yamaha YZF-R1 and the new Kawasaki ZX-10R. When the shootout was settled, we enjoyed a green spring as the new Ninja raised the bar for street and track performance. Suzuki answered with its vaunted K5 GSX-R1000, and Yamaha remained in the mix with a ride-by-wire R1 in '07.