Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Castle Rock, CO 80108
OK. A few thoughts...
First off, lets clarify some of the similarities and differences between the Falco and the Mille: The engines are nearly identical. What is different is the cam. Also, the fuel map on the stock Falco chip is severely de-tuned when compared to the Mille (and not very smooth, although this may have been fixed); De-restriction on either bike makes a HUGE difference (22 hp on the Falco); The sitting position on the Falco is very similar to the Mille (I could hardly tell the difference when seated on them side by side); Suspension wise, the front end is the same (to the standard Mille, not the R). The rear shock on the Falco is different from the Mille and is a piece of crap; The stock exhaust on the Falco is the equivalent in weight to the anchor on the Titanic, and it completely robs the bike of it's soul by supressing the sound to that of a lawn-mower.
So what does this mean. If you rode a stock, restricted Falco, you have no basis for comparison to the Mille (or a unrestricted Falco, for that matter). If the salesman put you on this bike for a comparison to the Mille, he is a fool. All this would have done for you is to give you a feel for the sitting position of the Mille while moving as opposed to stationary. You cannot draw any useful conclusions with regard to suspension or engine performance.
My two cents: Having to choose between the bikes you are considering is like having to choose between being stranded on an island with (insert favorite porn star here) or (insert other favorite porn stare here). Personally, having experience with Aprilia and knowing the reliability reputations and maintenance costs of the two bikes, I would go with the Mille over a stock 998 and a Mille R over a 998S/R. Hope this helps.
Don't try to keep up with my life, you'll only get hurt.