Well, I figure since I must be some kind of inadvertent beta-tester for this bike, I'd chime in with first impressions. I don't know why people in the UK are having to wait until mid-March, but that is strange.
I have had nothing but Cagivas and Ducatis, all have been powered by a Ducati twin of some sort (650, 750, 900 and now 950). My last bike was a Cagiva Gran Canyon with the 900cc Ducati twin. Fantastic bike, and this one is very much the spiritual successor to that bike, only with about 40 more hp and key electronic aids. But they don't interfere much unless you really need them. I am just back from a 50 mile ride, the maiden voyage, and it was essentially a mix of twisty smooth mountain roads, then twisty undulating/poor surface roads, and then about 10 miles of dirt. No bags, just stock and bare.
I waited for this bike because, frankly, I am 50 and have no need/don't trust myself with 160 hp in the 1200 Multi. This thing is flickable, fantastic handling machine, and I personally never found myself wishing for more power. I am 6'-3", and I will say that I need to look into a more proper seat adjustment (there is a way underneath the main seat. I found myself a bit cramped between the tank and the front of the raised passenger seat cushion. Height is fine, and I do like the support of the rear seat raised section. Small gripe and I will deal with it in time. The stock Scorpion tires are great for touring and sport riding, and they were very predictable and no issue with the wet roads. In the dirt, well, I'd prefer something slightly in the knobbier area. But the bike is so light and predictable that I never had any sketchy situations, and there was mud, puddles, loose gravel, etc. The various ride settings do work, especially int he dirt. There is no jerkiness when you let off the gas, and the throttle response is similarly smooth when accelerating. The brakes are absolutely superb, these Brembos are so much better than the Nissin on the Gran Canyon. They just stop like mad, and the ABS worked perfectly on the wet road. I have the stock exhaust, and while quiet at low speeds, it does open up and sound nice under a more full throttle. Still, this things begs a Termignoni....later on. The MPG indicated 39 mpg (not imperial, Brits!). Not bad, given I was on the throttle pretty aggressively for a good part of the ride. But not great. I guess 111 hp and a short gearing will do that. I have noticed that it's doing like 4500 RPM at around 70, so a different rear cog might help fuel economy. But the engine is just so smooth, you hardly know the kind of speed you are doing until the wind really starts getting loud. The wind protection is fair, I used ear plugs. No telltale side to side head bob like on the Gran Canyon, so that's great. But will report back once I do some more riding of distance. With the temp 40 degrees F, and rain, I was wishing for heated grips. To summarize, a fantastic bike with more than sufficient power, excellent handling (light weight and very nimble), super smooth and torquey motor, decent fuel economy, and outstanding brakes. It is so usable and predictable; I have no need for 160 hp, and this bike completely delivers everything I expected and anticipated. And no slamming shins on cylinders (BMW 1200GS). Thumbs are waaaaaaay up!!!!