This is my first litre bike and was bought by me as a way into 1000cc machines without the insurance bankrupting me. I came from a background and love of inline 4s.
At first I thought this was a terrible mistake but as time goes on I've grown to love this bike more and more.
• It takes time for an iL4 rider to learn how to ride it and what gear to be in.
• No Fuel gauge, just a warning light.
• Eats batteries - buy the best battery you can afford and keep it hooked up to an optimate.
• Over geared - Get a 16 (or even 15) tooth front sprocket.
• Hard work in town - What do you expect it's a big twin, it was always going to need lots of clutch feathering in slow traffic.
• Clocks look like they were stolen from British Leyland...
• Quite a thirsty bike when doing stop/start riding, sometimes the light comes on (with 4/5 litres left) at 90 miles.
• Burns oil.
• Starter sprag clutch is real weak point and is very expensive to replace.
• It shakes bolts and screws lose with the big V-twin vibrations.
• The rear brake master cylinder gets cooked by the down pipes and the brake slowly stops working.
• Very tall - not for the stumpy of leg.
• Pain in the arse to check the oil.
• Very economical at long distance motorway work - Mine returns about 50mpg sat at 90mph.
• Surprisingly comfortable, I've done a 620 mile day from the south of France on mine.
• The drive out of corners is deeply, deeply addictive and flatters your riding making you look faster than you are.
• The handling on sweeping A roads is very easy and stable. For a big bike it's pretty nimble. I've had it shake it's bars when it's hit cat's eyes etc. but it hasn't slapped despite provocation.
• Clocks are incredibly comprehensive if you can figure out how they work
• Italian exotica carries a surprising amount of kudos with fellow bikers. I'm always surprised at how much attention my Mille gets.
• Even on the standard can it sounds great.
• There are loads of bling parts available for RSVs and they are quite easy to tune for even more grunt.
• An active and friendly online community.
• Once I'd dealt with the awful maintenance of it's past owner mine has been very reliable.
• Very handy under seat storage, I've got half an RAC van under there.
• That big 'ol fairing is great for distance work and weather protection, this really is a sports bike that will tour.
• The lights - especially the high beams - are excellent.
• The front brakes are the best I've ever used - Braided steel lines attached to four pad, goldline Brembos! Single finger pressure is all that's needed to stop.
• Very tall - good for the bigger riders.
• Decent pillion seat, not like the brillo pad most bikes have.
I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this bike until I took it on some long distance, high paced ride outs with riders who are much more experienced than I am. It was so good on these ride outs that I'm properly impressed by this machine. It flattered my riding and cosseted me through long days in the saddle. It kept up with or kept in sight some very quick machines - New Fireblade, ZZR1400, 'Busa etc. All the good points about the Mille have really impressed me, it's a real rider's machine and the bad points have faded in my estimation. You get a hell of a lot of bike for your money when you buy an RSV. Sure there are bikes out there with much more BHP/top speed but for real world riding this bike will stay with pretty much anything.
Try one, you might like it.