I was concerned about the plug being longer, too. The truth is it is not. I look at the CR9E and the CR9EK side by side, every which way and they are the same length. The only down side as I see it is they cost about twice as much. I am curious how they will last. The make a similar plug that is used in the ZX-12R or Huyabusa that has a iridium electode but they cost something like $25 per plug, ouch!
I usually change plugs every 10,000 miles or so which comes out to more than once a year