Test ride today
Took a GSX-S1000 ABS out today for about an hour on different roads and was very impressed.
The first thing to strike you is the sound, it's amazing for a stock set-up and quite addictive! The power is very impressive too, the extra 20 odd horses over my CB1000R certainly show... it was leaving my mate on his R1200R for dust!
Handling was very good, however sometimes the back end felt a little skittish. I took my CB over the same route afterwards and it certainly felt a more 'planted' over the same roads. It didn't bother me too much and may well be sorted just by setting the suspension correctly.
if your concerned with the throttle response.... don't be as it isn't an issue. My CB had throttle response issues way worse than this bike, in the end I decided to fit a PCV to smooth it out.
Seating position for me (6' 1") was very good, natural position was arms slightly bent which kept me nice an relaxed for tipping it into the corners.... which incidentally takes the lightest touch of counter-steer to achieve. My only criticism was the the rear brake pedal was a fraction too small, or in slightly the wrong place for my foot to come forward off the peg and find it naturally.
Second test ride of the day was a Z1000SX, a bike I really wanted to like. I think it's slightly better looking than the F and it's also a fair bit cheaper and available from stock, so it had a lot going for it. In the end though it failed to impress. It didn't feel anywhere near as powerful as the GSX-S1000 (even though on paper it is) and the seating position for me wasn't fantastic. Add to that the horrendous vibration through the bars and seat at 8-9k and the feeling that I had to wrestle the bike into the corners rather than the seemingly effortless 'push, tip and go' of the Suzuki and I left knowing the zed wasn't for me.
So have I made my mind up? Very possibly yes, but My local Honda dealer has offered me a cracking deal on a new VFR1200 which I'm thinking about taking for a test ride.... watch this space!