Thanks I should have thought of the VIN - this confirms that it's a 1999. The number is JH2RC46A4XM******, RC46A being the 1998-99 model and X being the year of manufacture 1999. As for the colour I think this is explained by it being a European thing. This Youtube video shows a yellow '99 in Ireland:
Hi - I've just bought my first VFR, a 5th gen model in yellow. The documentation says it was first registered in March 2000 and I believe the Pearl Shining Yellow paintjob was only for MY 2000. However it has the fast idle lever on the left handlebar, which I thought was only on '98 and '99 bikes and was replaced with the automated wax unit for the '00 and '01 bikes. So what's going on here? Was it a leftover '99 bike that didn't get finished off until early 2000? I'm just interested to know what I have here, a '99 or a '00.