On the country roads you have to remind yourself the S1’s only a 650 twin with just over 70bhp. Initially I was slowing down too much for the corners and gassing it on the exit, but you soon learn to ride it like a 250 and carry the corner speed. The handling and suspension allow you take liberties, too. The S1’s incredibly light, 45kg less than a standard Kawasaki ER6N, and it has a shorter wheelbase, too. Both make it much sportier – it’d run rings around the stock ER6N.
Like the racer, power is by Kawasaki’s ER6 parallel twin but on the move I’m a little deflated by an exhaust tone which, with baffles fitted, sounds too conservative. The S1 looks like it will sound amazing, as the race bike does, but the road version has its amp turned down far too much. Overall, though, once you recalibrate your brain and remember the Paton’s ‘only’ a 650 twin it’s enjoyable to ride. You end up having fun, attacking corners, revving the little twin to the redline and all the time you aren’t doubling the national speed limit.
We can’t ignore the poor build quality. The bodywork doesn’t match up perfectly, the backlights don’t line up 100% and there are wires and block connectors flapping about freely.
We love the looks, the styling, the history, the light handling and the exclusivity but we can’t ignore the poor build quality and the fact it needs more character, sound and emotions considering you don’t get much change from £20,000.
It’s got some top notch kit, like fully adjustable Ohlins shocks, Brembo calipers and twin exiting Termignoni exhaust, as you might expect for the price, but elsewhere it’s a bit basic, with standard Kawasaki clocks for example.