Assume the position and fire the thing up, then. Thank God bike manufacturers have discovered making the rider comfortable is the best performance bargain: It's still a ways to the Mille's below-the-clamp clip-ons, but the shorter fuel tank makes grabbing them much easier, as does the narrowness of the tank. Yes, it's fast, with a flat powerband that feels like it gets out of bed even earlier than last year's bike. Twisting the throttle to the stop gives instantaneous full rut, and has the little shift light blinking in no time. Anybody here ever accuse the old bike of not being able to change headings quickly enough? Don't think so. In fact, we praised the Mille's ability to turn quicker than the typical 90-degree twin. Aprilia's decision to alter frame geometry in an effort to speed things up even more seems mostly unnecessary, really, but who are we to argue with Corser? Suspension damping and the rear linkage ratio, naturally, have been revised to complement the new layout, and yes, the Mille does seem to segue into corners more like a YZF-R1 Yamaha than a 996 Ducati. More so than last year? Too close to call.