Just realised I never responded to this in-depth analysis. Its funny but I didn't figure that the RSV was so close in age. I think in my mind I associate the Aprilia with being a much newer bike that this gen Gixxer. Nice that they have such different manners between them despite both being superbikes.
The more I read on this, the more I'd quite like to have a go at a project, more to tinker than to ride. Although both my parents rode bikes when they were younger, they've always dissuaded me from having one. My uncle however has always had at least one bike. Mainly Ducati's but he's had Blackbirds, 'Busas and an RSV Mille Factory. He's given up riding pretty much now but still has his absolutely mint 851 which will probably sit in the corner of his garage for the rest of his days.