I AS THERE!”
Okay, so I know most of us reading this magaz ine were there’ or at least born, breathing and riding in 004, but at the time I was running Two Wheels Only, magaz ine. This meant that as editor I got to ride and review most of what was on offer back then and it was a bumper crop. Scottie’s right about the litre- class sports machines: this was just before the world got tapped into adventure bikes. I ran a GSX R1000K3 for a year and put 15 ,000 miles on it and loved it they’re well worth a look as was that year’s new F- R1 (5 ) which had 0bhp extra on the out- going model and under- seat exhausts. And don’t forget that there were K4 versions of both the GSX R75 0 and 00. But for me, as a collectible sports bike, that first 10R was a beast and I think a good nod for the future. But what about bikes that weren’t full- on sportsbikes? ell, you’re in for a treat… In 004 we would see the launch of the smaller brother to 003’s 1000 the 75 0. This was a sweet- handling four- cylinder that is still a great urban tool today. ou can pick one up for just 00 and a later version dispensed with the bikini fairing and introduced a half- faired version. A similar but more budget- oriented style of bike was Honda’s CBF6 00: think cheap Hornet’. These are now starting at 15 00… A classic? Maybe not, but a very usable machine. KTM released the 990 Duke in ’04 and the few that are around start at 3000: uirky. For the sports- touring fans how about Ducati’s ST3? This was introduced to replace the ST2 and the engine was a twin 992 cc motor with two- inlet and one exhaust valve per head. Capable and reliable, can you believe this can be bought today for 3000 or under? e mentioned adventure: Suz uki released the sweet DL6 0 Strom in 004 and today that model starts at 15 00. If you like your metal heavy then the Japs released the Kawasaki N2 000 and a 004 model will still set you back around 000 today. If you think British is best, try the first Triumph Rocket III this .3 litre inline triple is immense in both sizz e, character and (still) cost at between ££ 66 000-- ££ 7000!
Kawasaki's sweet little 2004 Z750 can be had for around £2500 today. Ducati's 2004 ST3 was a lovely sports-tourer: £3000 or less today!