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Took this for a test ride last week from the good folk at Spectrum Motorcycles on Barry's Point Road. In short it's a cracking machine.

I'll confess - I've been wanting to ride one of these ever since they first were introduced some years back now. The idea of a Z1000 naked made more useful had, and still does have, huge appeal for me and could well result in the ultimate sports tourer. IMHO at least.

Climbing on before heading off I was reminded in no small way of my trusty Triumph Sprint GT. The bars felt slightly wider (Perhaps due to their angle as much as any actual extra width) but the pegs, screen height, orientation and the general feeling when moving off were similar. This is a good thing and as the ride went on I was reminded of the 750cc Kwaka ZR7-S I owned back in 2001. That was a 4 cylinder semi faired 'Roadster' with a slightly prone riding position and the ability to ride for long distances in relative comfort.

First off I'll say that anyone who reckons that they need any more power or performance than this machine offers is either Valentino Rossi or simply telling fibs. It's V Quick and V smooth with it too. There's a bit of vibration there just to remind you what's propelling you at such a rate but some mental readjustment was needed after the 650 Vstrom I'd ridden to the dealership on.

There's a buzzy urgency to good 4 cylinder machines that I find highly addictive and this bike was no exception. The beauty is that it's smooth with it too and overtakes involve choosing between gears, not in terms of 3rd, 4th, 5th etc but rather by just how loud one wants to swear when one opens up the taps! Owners of KTM Superpukes, S1000Rs and the like may well scoff at this bike's limp-wrested 143 Bhp but for this Ex-Pom used to a diet of H-Ds, VStroms and the like it was - How shall we put this? Life affirming!

Think my Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport but with faster scenery. You get the picture.

The only snag is that you'll become lazy with the gear changing riding this bike. I suspect it'd get away with 2 gears at a pinch - A bit like the Triumph Rocket 3 I rode years ago that only really needed 1st and 5th much of the time.

So - Am I going to buy one? Well - I want to ride a Duke Supersport first and I need to sell the trusty Sprint GT before anything further can happen. However it is definitely on the shortlist. If you're wondering then I'd recommend you get yourself a ride. I've a feeling you'll like it.