Regarding Erik Munck's article (May/June 2013 issue of OTL), I think it was presented very well and augmented with great photos. Because of it, I made arrangements for a demo ride at my local dealer. The purpose was to compare it with the '94 R1100RS I have had for more than 20 yrs.
The bike had all of 5 miles on the "digital" clock and loaded with all the options, except hard bags. My plan was to get acquainted with it in a fixed position first, then perform some slow maneuvers in a near-by parking lot. I thought a 30 min ride on the back-road twisties would be sufficient for the test.
After noting differences in ergonomics (turn signals, tach location, etc), I mounted it to check seat height and mirror adjustment. No problems there. One thing about the mirrors....it is not possible to move the handle bars to move the rear view field of view (like on the R1100RS). I then set the choke, hit the starter and it fired right up.
Low speed test:
I tried a simple figure eight as low speed (both first and second gears) and had difficulty maintaining a constant rpm (surging sensation).
Shifting was very smooth (unlike the clunky R1100RS). So much so, that at times I lost track of which gear it was in (had to view the flat screen display). But consulting the tach was a bit difficult since it was set below than the speedo (the R1100RS has them side-by-side).
This bike jumps on throttle-up and is very flickable...what a joy. I dreamt of being on the Dragon's Tail again hugging the turns and maintaining pavement contact. It handled like a real sport bike.
You could stop a mile-long train with just the front brakes alone! However, trying to bring her to a halt with the rear only was a chore. The ABS and ASC will come in handy when pushing the performance envelope here.
Stability at speed:
I was having so much fun with this bike that the 30 min schedule had gone up in smoke. I was 90 min late and looking for a slab back to the dealer. Coming off the entrance ramp, a pair of semi's were neck and neck making a seamless entrance impossible. So I found 5th gear and punched it. A moment later I was clear (ahead) of the tractors and doing 80 mph (impressive). Turbulence was not noticeable, but smoothness was.
This could be my next bike, if I could only commit. Maybe another demo is the key.
Would anyone else like to comment?
2013 Valencia Orange F800GT, 1994 Marrakesh Red R1100RS