Today I had the rare (for me) opportunity to ride a quite expensive BMW; as per.... My friend Will has a bung leg, and this poor beastie hasn't been ridden for over six months, so being a self-sacrificing sort of chap, I offered to take it out for a gallop. A total of around 600kms, from home to Bulga at the top of the Putty, and home again. So, what's it like? Well, it's a mixture of good, brilliant and disappointing. The good is that it was surprisingly agile in the Ten Mile; I wasn't going to ride past the Grey Gum because I wasn't sure about the bike, but having got there and learned a lot about it, I thought 'What the heck?". Sublimely planted in the corners, and the Telelever suspension was unobtrusive to the point that I didn't think about it till I was at Bulga explaining it to Alison. Brakes are very sudden with very little feel and feedback, but no doubting their power. I can see why people buy these devices to ride round the world. But I COULDN'T live with one round town. The reason is the power-band. At 80kph in 6th gear, the engine is doing 2,500 RPM. Wind the throttle on, and ..... nothing happens. Well something does happen, but only when you've waited for a thousand more revs to gather their impetus. The only way to ride it round town is to be prepared to be in at least 4th if not third. That's ok as long as you're prepared for it, but I wasn't; the Hornet picks up quite readily from around the same revs in sixth, and given the image of the BMW as a big torquey 1200CC engine, I was surprised to say the least. So, what did I really like? The electrically-adjustable screen; run it up for the long boring stretches and lower it so you can hear the revs and other sensory inputs in the twisties. And, fabulous seat!!! The instrumentation is great; ambient temperature and time is a luxury for someone used to the Hornet's basic fare . What didn't I like? The gearbox would require a long period of adjustment (rider) coming from a UJM. The seat height is, err, high; I'm used to being able to plant both feet flat on the ground at the lights. The proliferation of controls on the handlebars is dazzling, but the classic BMW indicator separation takes some getting used to, and trying to cancel using your right thumb when your hand is at another place on the twist-grip had me LOOKING instead of doing it instinctively. (I believe later model BMWs now have the usual UJM configuration?) Anyway, this isn't supposed to be a detailed review, just some random thoughts. My thanks to Will for the loan, too .