First impressions: Damn this is an uncomfortable bike to sit on in the dealer. It just doesn't feel too good in the crotch. This in itself almost convinces me not to ride it.... Thank God I reconsider.
After finally getting the bike started (it had a dead battery), I roll off onto the alley, the whole time hoping I don't crash this beautiful bike. Immediately once I start rolling the uncomfortable seat and the narrow ergonomics fade away, maybe it's the sweet exhaust note, maybe it's the tight feel of the bars... either way it doesn't matter, this bike feels right. Making my way to Spanish Banks I understand why people don't like this bike in traffic. It feels like it's gonna stall at every light and your ass gets real hot, just not hot enough to actually deter one from buying it though. Now for the review.
Ergos: Yes the bike feels narrow and maybe a little TOO hard in the ass, but it gives you room to move your ass around. I can tuck on it too! ME! and I'm 6'3"! The displays are not much of a change from the RR, easy to read and the lap counter is a cool feature. Nothing to much to comment on here, it's not for touring, but really what bike in this class is anymore?
Suspension/Chassis: HOLY SHIT! This bike is tight! I was a little concerned about the bike being frozen in the corners, Eric (Spacely) assured me this wasn't the case, and he was right. The Duc may hold the line better than any bike I've ever ridden but also allows a degree of adjustment if you come in wrong. In fact it was so well set in the tight corners that when I went from a hard left to a hard right I found myself turning in too tight and realizing I took the corners too slow. By the ride back I had become more comfortable with the bike and surprised me with the speed I carried through the corner! Basically it was the opposite of the 600RR, I liked the heavier set chassis and the "cornering on rails" feeling I got going through the turn. Let's just say you have to try the trellis frame before you can EVER put down a duc, the bike allows you to feel the inconsistancies in the road without letting them control you, it really likes to keep it's line where you set it. Simply Amazing.
Edit: I'll also add that before one of the corners I downshifted to slow down since I was carrying a lot of speed into the corner and I accidentally ended up in neutral, this bike helped me carry that extra speed through the corner and saved my from binning it.
Brakes: Let's just say they do their job! This is a much heavier bike than the jap ones I've ridden but it stops the same. I should know, I had to slam on them (yes both of them) coming out of a hard right hander because of a careless pedestrian. On that note, they get a thumbs up from me.
Engine: Yes, it sounds REALLY nice (the fitted Termignoni system helped). It's a little winded sometimes, but for the most part it's nice and throaty. A lot of guys told me that the RR would have decimated this thing coming out of the corners and on the straights with their acceleration and top end. Well even if that WAS true the cornering power and fact that I don't like high speed straights would have been enough... but it doesn't have to be. This thing pulls! Say all you want about V-twin power, it's just as powerful as an RR off the line. It pulled strong and hard with nice linear power. I will add this though, I understand why they throw slipper clutches in the starter v-twins, it engine brakes like a bitch!
Overall Impression: Who gives a fuck if it costs $20,000+!!!!??? Sell your car! This bike is not a power machine and it's definately not a stunter (I didn't wheelie at all!), It was made for the corners, not for starbucks and CERTAINLY not for the garage. I think it should be a crime to not ride this bike religiously every sunday.