Make that 31-inch stretch to the bars and you learn a few things: The massaged Weber Marelli fuel injection makes the fortified four as civil as anything from Japan. The '02 tweaks more low-end power than last year, foreshadowing a 118.7-horsepower peak at 12,500 rpm vs. 114.6. Still, opening the throttle below 6000 rpm delivers more intake honk than horsepower. While we're picking nits, slow-speed steering is heavy for a 485-pound motorcycle, and full-lock parking maneuvers can mash your thumbs faster than Don Vito Corleone. The MV gets a little cranky in traffic. The clutch gets grabby after a dozen traffic signals or so, and the exquisitely contoured muffler doubles as a seat heater. A segue to 10,000 rpm through a fast set of corners and a tenor shriek from the pipe-organ exhaust system says the F4 is happy. Keep the tach between 9000 and 13,000 rpm and it's bloody euphoric, inhaling curvy pavement in one big hurry. Perhaps the sweetest transmission yet affixed to a motorcycle turns gear changes into a game. That's a good thing, because shifting is something you do a lot of. Settle into this 4000-rpm-wide world and the F4 says this is as good as 750 cubic-centimeters can get. Unfortunately, the real world contains GSX-R750s that disagree.