I THOUGHT MICHAEL had lost it, and we’d have to trade him in for a younger model, when he said this base model is easier to ride. He’s obviously not quite at the pensionable stage, because he’s right. It’s small degrees, but with bikes this wildly potent, that little bit of extra control makes a big difference. Make no mistake, it’s no CB500 and places great demands on your physical strength, reactions and concentration. But the base model keeps all of the mind-boggling, limitless feel while handing you back a little control – and it’s £4k cheaper. It’s still a lot of cash, but it’s a big step closer towards sensible money.