Anyone who knows anything about bikes can tell you that V-Twins are more about torque than power, this bike has pleanty of torque!! It catapults you out the bends with ease. And very smooth all the way through the gears. Just about manages to pull away in third and away to 75mph(ish).
I don't know where MCN get there fuel consumption figures but I get 55mpg average. I fill up every 200 miles with plenty in the tank to spare.
"could buy a far superior Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom or Aprilia ETV1000 Caponord for the same money"
They may out-perform the XRV on the road, but as this was originally a road-going version of the Dakar winning VT750, it can't really be put in the same category as the "designed, built and bought for the road" Capo and V-Strom.
Off-road this bike feels light and agile and so easy to ride. You don't have to rev very high, just keep the bike in second at low revs and let the torque of the engine pull you up any hills, flies up 1 in 1 gradients or even steeper!! The suspension may feel a little wallowy on the road but it really makes sense when you hit the gravel!! It really aids the bike to keep a straight and true path without causing the rider any dis-comfort whatsoever.
After trading in my ZZR600 3 months (about 5,000 miles) ago for an Africa Twin, for real life riding I can't rate this bike highly enough.
The only thing I must say is be careful when choosing your tyres for this bike. There are lots of styles to take into consideration, from out and out mud/sand, to sticky tarmac!!
BTW I'm 5'7" and have no trouble with it so I don't know what the rest of you are complaining about!! LOL