Well I rode one yesterday, and liked it so much that I went back again today to ride it again. Some background on me may shed some light on how awesome the bike is: I am utterly cheap. I've put about 83K on my '99 SV 650 that I bought used. I like Japanese reliability. I am cautious and am not prone to excess. I just bought a hi-viz 'Stich. I plan things out, hate being surprised, and almost never waste anything. That being said, I am seriously, seriously contemplating buying this Italian bike
First off, I rode the bike with TC set to 4, and wheelie control set to 3 and then 2. Always in Sport mode. When I started it, I almost peed myself. It sounds amazing. The sounds only get better the harder you ride it. I kept rev-matching downshifts into 2nd at 55mph just to hear it. As far as power is concerned, it has so, so, so much of it. The wheelie control and indicator light on the dash is amusing. All I could think of every time I nailed the throttle was that the bike is like a rabid dog on a very big chain. I'd roll into the power in 2nd gear and the light would flash. At one point, feeling quite brave, I opened the throttle quite quickly in 2nd gear: the result was impressive acceleration, a brief lift of the front as the light flashed, a clutchless shift on the quick shifter and more light flashing as the wheel got about an inch off the ground. I could do without the quick shifter. It's slick when you're really on the gas, but I felt slicker using the clutch. Speaking of which, I never noticed the slipper clutch. Like I said, I've never ridden a cooler sounding bike rev-matching down through the gears. My buddy dropped 3 gears and claims to have simply dropped the clutch. He said it just sounded like it was 'winding up,' but I can't trust the slipper like that and it sounds abusive.
Anyway, on day two, I figured that I should ride it like I owned it. As such, I tried cruising at 70 (39mpg indicated) and cruising at 50mph in 6th (it tolerates it and returns a claimed instant 42mpg). It really, really is smooth and comfy. Ultimately, I need to call my insurance people. And beg my wife.
I keep telling myself that I'm not an Italian bike kind of guy, but I've got the fever in a way that no Ducati has ever given me.