One line summary - 3+ bikes for the price of one with a gearshift more addictive than drugs. The detail: Disclaimer: When reading this, remember I'm a BMW fan - yes, I even like the separated switches for the indicators on my bike. I've ridden a couple of 'litre' bikes before, but by no means an expert. 10am, Thursday morning, a quick intro to the main bits of the bike and I was on my way into the traffic in Rain mode - recommended by the sales guy 'until you get the feel for it'. As I'd just climbed off my F800ST, the riding position felt very strange at first, but the softer throttle pick up and easy clutch made it very easy to dribble along with the traffic on City Rd. Turned onto the Monash Fwy and a chance to twist the throttle. Response felt very much like my F800 - rapid, smooth progress, but certainly not 'quick'. That's enough of rain mode then - time to release some more horses. A quick look at the dash, two presses of the 'mode' button on the right hand switch block to get to Sport, clutch in and a new type of bike suddenly appears. Slight moves of the wrist give an almost instant response - still very smooth, but the huge surge towards the redline sees the gear change light coming on very quickly to one of my favourite features - powerassist gear changes. Simply - once you've pulled away in first gear, you don't need to touch the clutch to shift up. As long as you have 'some' throttle on (i.e. more than none) just nudge the lever and, faster than you could reach the clutch lever, it's snicked up to the next gear. It makes a great 'pop' noise as the engine pauses for a micro-second before engaging again. The wider open the throttle, the better the noise. It's extremely addictive and I found myself changing down as often as I could just to be able to change back up again. Change downs are (almost) as smooth thanks to the slipper clutch. So after a wonder down the freeway with a couple of cars with bike enthusiasts inside jostling for a look and wave, off for a bit of twisty stuff up into the Dandenongs. Time for the next 'bike' with the selection of Race mode. Brutal is the best word I can think of to describe it. The full power thumps in instantly as soon as you even think about opening the throttle. You have to pump through the gears just to try and keep up - thank god for the brakes that prior to this were really only being brushed to wipe off speed. My lack of time with the bars on this bike made the counter steer seem a bit harder than the nice straight bars on my F800, but a decent shove along with a bit of weight redistribution saw it tip in and hold a line very easily. After an hour in the seat, and going reasonably hard, the bike was throwing up quite a lot of heat. Not sure it will be much fun on a 40 deg commute in heavy traffic, but as long as you get to change gears a couple of times, you'd put up with that! Riding back into town, I dropped it back into Sport mode - too much temptation otherwise (and no point rushing into the back of anything with 500m in front). The change in temperament was just as noticeable, and almost relaxing compared to Race, and made for a still rapid, but less hectic ride back to the dealership. Really glad it was dry on my first ride, but now keen to see what Rain mode is like in the wet. God knows what 'Slick' mode is like - you need to put in a special plug in under the pillion seat to be able to select it. For my skill level, I wouldn't need more than Race mode on the track. This will be my next bike - just a question of timing. There's a 3-4 month wait at the moment if you place an order today. Thunder Grey will be the colour for me, although apparently at least 50% of orders are going for the Motorsport tricolour. Can't see that it's worth the extra $750, I'd rather spend that on an Akrap can to make it sound even better. Pop, pop, pop.