OK everyone, I need some opinions and advice here. I'm going to be upgrading from my '01 M750 to a Superbike. I've got really 2 main choices I'm looking at as far as local bikes are concerned, an extremely low mileage '04 998 Matrix and an extremely low mileage '05 999S. Both are within $2,000 of each other, so price isn't that big of a concern. Now before you go to the default answer of "999S, DUH!", I know a lot of you don't particularly care for the Matrix Edition, let's weigh the factors here.
I've wanted a 998 Matrix Edition ever since I saw one at a dealership (I even have a pristine tank off of one that was crashed). I know that under the paint it's just a standard '03 998 with a TiN coated fork and Ohlins rear shock, but I love that color. Besides, few will disagree that the 916 series of bikes are probably the best looking every designed. Single sided swingarm, Tamburini sexiness! It's also a biposto which is important because my girl really enjoys going for a ride. (BTW, she prefers the 999S over the 998, based on looks alone, but it's a monoposto and would require mods before she could go for a ride.) Disadvantages, it's 100% bone stock. That means an exhaust of some sort, plus tuning (I'd probably pop for dyno tuning if it's not too outrageous). Another worry is the low production numbers for the bike, especially when I finally take it to the track (do I want to take a chance of wadding up my rare bike on the track?).
Advantages of the 999S...well they're pretty obvious, full Ohlins suspension, full Termi exhaust (I think it's a full system), more power out of the box, and what many say is a better handling chassis. I wouldn't hesitate to tack it to the track. Plus it's black, black is nice! Disadvantages? It's a monoposto and in order to keep my lovely and wonderful girlfriend (who approves of upgrading to a Superbike!) happy, I'd have to get a biposto setup. I'd still might get the bike tuned as well, but it's already got the exhaust. I haven't lusted after the 999 design like I have the 998, but it's looks have grown on me and I do appreciate the way it looks.
So from the novel I've just written you can see I'm honestly torn between the two. Would I miss the performance of the 999S if I purchased the 998? And would I miss the fantastic looks of Mr. Tamburini's design if I purchase the 999S? I need to hear some input, especially from people who have owned both generations of bike! Thanks for making to the end of this post!