I think the key is in the fact that the 96 is a torque motor. It has a longer stroke and a smaller bore. Therefore, it does not like a lot of rpm like the old evo's. Again, look at the dyno chart above, it makes the most torque at around 3000 rpm. Which for me is perfect because that is where my tach sits 90% of the time I am riding.
EARTH is the artist palette, HEAVEN is the painting.