I fully believe that all the Y2K bikes were purposely power restricted because of the 183 mph limit thing. That sucks big time. The 00 Busa isn't in the same league as the 99 Busa. I believe that the 12R has the most potential. Howeva'....there have been a lot of reliability problems with the 12R because of the oil-check sight glass being a bolt-on last-minute addition. The glass gives erroneous readings causing you to overfill. While this is an easy fix (drain the oil completely and add exactly 4 quarts, or five or whatever, ensuring an accurate fill) I don't feel comfortable w/the fact that the little sight glass was bolted on at the last minute. Little things like that make me worry. How can you overlook something so important when building a brand new company flagship that was supposed to put the sportbiking world on it's ear? With all the hype the 12R received prior to it's release, you would thing it would've been "better conceived" Also, I believe SR mag had the shootout of 12R vs XX vs Busa. They felt that the 12R wasn't real refined, as compared to the other two; I.E. unfinished plastic in the cockpit, wire looms hanging out. Spotty build quality. Not refined enough for a company's flagship bike. I'm curious to see what Kawasaki does w/the 2001 model. Maybe they'll tweak it the right way. Even though I'm not a big Kawi fan, I really like the fact that the 12R comes w/a 4-1, as opposed to the other bike's 4-2. Less weight, one less thing to drag and ruin, and possibly one less thing to replace if you go down. The 12R is much lighter than the other two. I love the Blackbird. Very comfy. Way fast, and smooooooth. (Like "is this thing running?", kind of smooth) I've ridden one before. But, I don't dig those linked brakes. I felt like the bike was doing things on it's own, and that's not cool when you have it cranked over, entering a blind turn at about 60-70mph. Also it's kind of heavy. Never ridden a Busa, but have read enough and talked to folks that've had one for a year or so, so I can form my own knowledgeable opinion about it. So, I'd have to say:
1. Busa (only because it has better build quality than the 12R
2. 12R Monster motor, mucho tuning potential. (Once someone figures out the trick to the "black box", this thing is going to rip peoples arms clean out the sockets!) And light weight.
3. XX Darn LBS.
'97 Katana 750