As is well known, the RC51 has remained unchanged since 2002 with the SP2.
Only color schemes were changed between the model years and country (US vs. European color schemes).
All current front line 600 and 1000's undergo complete redesign every two years on average.
Not only engine, but frame redesign as well, utilizing all the latest techniques.
You can't expect parity again these newer bikes on an RC51.
The only twin that has kept pace is Ducati with the 1098 and now 1198's.
That bike has the weight and power levels on par with the latest Liter-bikes.
It's a shame that Honda abandoned the RC51, but that racing, and the RC51 was a race bike first, and street bike second.
When racing dictated Honda needed a 4-cylinder 1000, then that what it did.
It moved on.
I suggest you do as I and many others do, enjoy the RC51 for what it was and is.
A very fine V-twin that really isn't that heavy (have you looked at the weight of the 2007 GSXR-1000?), has power where it's practical (mid-range), and a distinct sound that easily separates it from the pack of 4-cylinder bikes.
Close you eyes and you can't hardly tell any brand of 4-cylinder sportbikes apart.
But when an RC51 fires up, you have no problem.
If a Ducati has the characteristic dry clutch and demo rattles, then the RC51 has it's wonderful camshaft spur-gear whine.
As I tell everyone, it's not the quickest, fastest, or lightest bike on the planet.
But it farts, belches, whines, vibrates, and but definitely talks to you.
In short, it has a unique character and history, and that's why I bought one.