I realize I`m late coming to this discussion but here`s my opinion. Buy the Blackbird, I had an 03 loved it and sold it and bought a valkyrie because someone wanted to ride with me but then never did. Now have a 98 carb blackbird, not sure which one I prefer to tell the truth. I`m 67 yrs old have arthritis in both shoulders but with some minor modifications (vfr bars, etc) the bike fits me almost perfectly (inseam 28`), I can sit in the saddle for 12 - 13 hrs a day and be comfortable, mileage is between 35 and 40 mpg depending on how I run. The bike is as comfortable sitting at 100mph as at 60, your choice! I test rode a vfr and to tell the truth the vtec just absolutely ruined any enjoyment of the ride.