Fired in a quick 120k ride yesterday to get a feel for things prior to the Bendethera ride next weekend. First impressions (mainly based on back to back comparision with a 2008 DR): The bike is noticably higher at the seat than the DR but the balance of the bike is great - probably because the centre of gravity is lower with the under seat tank. The steering is very very nervous - don't know if this is based on tyre choice. I never test rode the bike with the standard fitment OEM tyres. I had the shop fit Michelin S12's (more on that in a minute). The ergonomics are great in relation to leg room and reach to bars - although I did move the bars forward to the maximum marked position (I'm 183cm tall) I couldn't ride in a standing position on the DR. I can stand riding the 690 and feel very comfortable. The power is fantastic - 20hp isn't a huge difference in a car or on a sports bike but the difference of 20hp when compared to the DR is pure grin factor. Using the power to get out of corners is amazing, the bike literally launches itself forward. Throttle control must be used or you'll quickly learn that highsiding hurts. I read an article on a US bike site and the Jurno was saying he could do roll-on burnouts just using throttle (no brake). I can confirm this actually works. Leaving St Alburns pub yesterday and performing a little show for the spectators, I was planning on just poping a wheelie as I was leaving. The wheelie turned into a wheelie-burnout as the rear broke traction (on tar) and had me power drifting and wheelieing at the same time . The gearbox is very slick - snicks into gears very sweetly indeed. It's very close ratio though, so be prepared for changing a lot. It's not dissimmilar to doing a track day at Oran Park - continually up and down the gears. The brakes are unreal on tar and hard packed dirt but trecherous on the loose stuff - it takes very little input on the lever - 1 finger braking is the order of the day on soft stuff. Back to the Michelin S12's. I've never used them before so don't know how they normally affect handling. One thing for sure, they howl like a banshee on both tar and dirt. I didn't check tyre pressure before setting off (:eek1) so don't know what pressure the shop decided on. What I can say is I didn't like it at all. The first half of the ride saw me leave St Albans heading north along Settlers Rd up to The Great North Rd then to Letter A and into the Watagans. I couldn't come to terms with the bike at all. As mentioned the steering is nervous but the tyres were making things decidedly worse. I couldn't get the front to hook up no matter how I entered corners and even on straight sections the feeling was vague at best. At the point I stopped for a comfort break and decided to head back, I thought I'd try reducing tyre pressure a little (particularly the front). I didn't have a gauge with me so just went by tyre feel. Instant TRANSFORMATION - I was on a completely different bike...now the bike made me feel like Stefan Merriman. I can't adequately describe how this changed the handling and feel of the bike. However it resulted in me punting along the lower reaches of Settlers Rd at 120k, feedback from the front was awesome and 100+ through those great sweepers on the flood plains was a breeze. Getting home I checked tyre pressures!! 8psi front 16psi rear Leaves me in a bit of a quandary on what pressures to run in the future. Given how much air I let out (seat of the pants guess) I'd say pressure was set around 22psi from the shop and for my riding style this was way too hard. I might try it at 16 front and rear although any feedback on S12's would be appreciated. Well that's about it for now.