I took a Futura for a 17 mile test ride today. The bike was not broken in so I was limited to 6000 rpm and the sales guy riding along on a Triumph watched me closely. :-) The ride included a little of everything, some in town, a few miles on the interstate at highway speeds, a really rough back road, and some twisties.
First off, I LOVE the look of the bike. Everything about it (except the license plate braket) push all my lust buttons. It is trick in every way. So the sales guys warms up the machine before we take off. We get geared up. As I'm pulling through the parking lot approaching the street...it stalls. Restart. I pull out onto the street, go half a block and pull in the clutch to stop at a stoplight. It stalls again. I restart and attempt to find neutral. No luck, just goes right through neutral when I shift up or down. Fortunately I didn't have the problem the rest of the ride. We cruise through city streets approaching the interstate. Fuel injection seems very glitchy down below 3000 rpm as evident by the two stalls and take offs from stoplights. Bike seems to run very rough in town at low RPMs.
We get on the interstate and I accelerate up to 70 or so. I'm 6'1" and the wind protection seemed okay, but almost equal to the protection I get on my Busa with a sport touring screen on it. Ergos are very comfy, ass is happy, legs are smiling, thumbs up! Engine is smooth on the highway...way smoother than I expected. I couldn't feel any of the reported buzziness in the bars that others have reported. Power delivery seemed okay, but I could only take it to 6000...and I come from riding a Busa, so everything seems a little down on power, just takes a bit for my perception to come back to reality. I'm sure she wakes up quite nicely at higher RPMs.
Pull off the interstate onto a rough backroad. No problems here. I wish I would have had more time to stop and play with the suspension settings. :-(
Road clears up to a resurfaced section that has some twisties. Didn't want to go too crazy with the sales guy right behind me, but all felt well.
Back through town to the dealership, some biatch in a Civic nearly hits me head on as she uses my left turn lane to pull into a store on my side of the street. Sales buy probably crapped his pants. Pull into the dealer, let her idle. Seems to idle rough, my brother was with me and he kept thinking it was going to stall while idling.
My overall impression after the ride are different now. The bike is still sexy as hell, but the actual demo ride made me have some reservations due to what I thought was subpar FI and only okay wind protection. I've read numerous posts and articles about how the FI is like buttah and the wind protection was excellent. I didn't see either of those.
The exhaust, though functional, just doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the bike. Exhaust note is VERY important to a lot of us bike riders. I which they would have offered/manufactured a set of OEM performance slip ons for under the tail. Maybe someone will make them. Dunno. Mirrors are too small. I had trouble seeing much of what was behind me even after carefully adjusting them.
One thing to note. I looked at the serial number on the steering head. Assuming they follow standard numbering the way everyone else does this Futura was #184 (or #183, can't recall). Maybe they ironed out the FI in later builds. I hope so. But I was THIS CLOSE to writing a check for a deposit on the next non-demo Futura. After the ride I told the salesman I had to think about it. And the more I think about it later today, I've come to the realization that I'm going to wait until 2002 and see how they tweak and improve the Futura, and see how Honda's 1000cc VFR turns out...or just keep my bike.
These where my impressions. I think it's a great bike and I'm sure almost everyone who buys one will be very happy with it. But I don't think I'm ready to shell out $14-$15K OTD based on what I road today. I'll hang out on this mailing lists gleening information for the future.