5th gens were only made for 4 years (1998-2001), but I only saw one 2001 model for sale in the entire Pacific NW this past year. Not sure if that means they tailed off production in 2001 (getting ready for the 6th gen), or if the people that bought 2001's kept them and took really good care of them. I'll give my experience between the two: 2007 RWB test rode from a local dealer: Bike was very smooth, even the vtech transition was smooth such that I didn't notice it the first time. It was rock solid on the freeway, very composed. Steering felt a little heavier, though this particular bike had squared off tires (stupidly I only looked at them post-ride). I came away from the ride feeling very "meh" about it, and at the time I was riding a Ninja 500 (one of the most "meh" bikes every produced). 1998 VFR that I bought 8 months ago: Much more visceral riding experience. The cam gears are intoxicating and give the bike a very mechanical sound. It feels lighter and more flickable, however I had new tires put on immediately after purchasing it so it isn't a fair comparison. It definitely feels more sporty than the 6th gen, and there is some property of the engine that makes it more exciting. I can't put my finger on it, but on the 5th gen I want to rev it and accelerate hard. The 6th gen felt much more magic carpet-like, and so doesn't goad me into hooning around.