Now, in this review - please bear in mind I'm not a small bloke (about 6ft, and weighing about 17 stone) and I'm used to riding larger sports-tourers, so some of this may be just what you'd expect from a sports bike. But it's my review, so it'll be from my perspective ;)
First thing I noticed getting on the bike (a red one) was that the seat was very high up. I felt very odd perched that high up. It's a small bike - so I hardly had to lean forward to grab the handlebars. I guess this meant that despite the high seat position the riding position was actually not too racey - unless you wanted to hunker down.
So, then. Time to start the bike. I'd heard some sound clips on the 'net, but it's quite a different idle noise to most bikes. The overriding sound is a sort of blowing-whistle at low revs. You can sort of hear an engine under there somewhere. The throttle is responsive and the controls are easy and light. I guess that's what you could say about the whole bike - it's very light. In comparison terms, at 165kg, it's actually the same weight as kissycat1000's CBR400RR.
So, pootling around town. The throttle is responsive - more than I was expecting. I'm used to riding carb bikes which are a little more forgiving when twisting the throttle. I gave it a bit on a dual carriageway and even leaning forward I was surprised by it wheelying in first. Whoops ;)
And then there was the noise. Oh god, the noise! You open it up and instantly it starts snarling like a highly tuned V6 with open pipes. That'll be because it's a straight triple, and it has a similar technology to the EX-UP valve found in some Yamahas - in the Triumph it opens a valve in the headstock to take in more air into the engine (which obviously makes it louder). I found myself doing that a lot more throughout the ride, partly for the acceleration but mostly for the noise ;) The power delivery is good throughout the rev range - but the torque is obviously down compared to the Blackbird. It's happy to be ridden without too much attention paid to gears, but the majority of the power and the torque is found at the higher end of its 14.5k range.
Coming from my sports-tourer background, I did find it very hard to corner confidently on it due to my bulk and the high seat position shifting the centre of gravity up so high. Additionally, the brakes, although good, alarmed me because I pitched forward slightly (not alarmingly - and remember I'm heavier than most who might be considering this sort of bike, and should be sorted out by firming up the suspension somewhat) and there seemed to be nothing underneath me.
Given the lightness of the bike, and the frequency which you'll want to change gears if you want to have a blast, I'm surprised the clutch was such a laid back affair. I felt it could have done with a lot shorter travel on the clutch - although it was perfectly useable and indeed very easy around town.
I actually saw a bloke on a CBR600F heading down the A46 to Stroud from Cheltenham (where I live), so I decided to follow him and make use of his knowledge of the roads to have a bit of fun. I managed to catch up to him after several miles - he wasn't hanging around. I actually followed him all the way to Tesco's where I got off and apologised for following him and explained that I was on a test ride and was glad to follow someone who knew the roads a little better. He drooled over the bike. I started it up and blipped the throttle which had him drooling more. I even let him sit on it to see what I meant about the seat height.
In the end I came back, confidence slowly, quite slowly growing. Got back, and explained to the bloke that mainly because of the seat height and combination of my weight I didn't feel it was right for me. Shame - what a fantastic noise!! Anyway, it has a trip computer, so just before I left, we decided to see what it had recorded. I covered 38 miles in my hour long trip, with an average speed of.. 38mph, of course. Top speed I hit was 135 *cough*. Now, mpg is normally around 40 for that bike. He said he'd never seen it that low when I brought it back. I did explain I was wringing it's neck, but I put a fiver worth of fuel in on the way out because the low fuel light, and the light was on for the last few minutes of my journey back to the dealer. Anyway. The thing showed 12.8mpg Oh. My. Ghod. Even my Blackbird gets about 30mpg even if you wring it's neck (rather harder because roads aren't much like 4 mile airstrips...)
UPDATE: I've just realised the trip computer was clearly telling porkies. The fuel light was on when I left, so I put £5 of fuel in at the start of the trip, and the light came on in the last couple of miles as I was heading back - so working that all out it comes to a much more respectable 30ish mpg.
I decided to take the 'long way back' on my Blackbird to compare while it was fresh in my mind. The Blackbird clearly has more torque and power, by a long way, and I was far more confident throwing it into the corners (well, hardly a fair comparison due to the fact it's my bike after all) - so I think I'll be keeping the B-bird for now. I should try out some other bikes like the CBR600RR and ZX-6R to see what I think of them.
Oh yes, meant to mention the handling. The thing stuck to the road like glue. I guess they've done some good work with the frame and the shocks becuase bumps that might unnerve me on other bikes didn't make me lose confidence - even despite my precarious position.
Hope you've enjoyed the review :)