And then comes the surprise: Onboard, you discover that while the engine cases are lard-ass wide, the tank is slender and the throttle pull is light. Though long, the gear-change effort is also light and the clutch pull modest, and the bike accelerates with seething abandon. Like the other original superbikes in this group, the XLCR is a narcoleptic turner, a function of the more relaxed steering geometry, longer wheelbases and larger wheels of the day. But overall, despite the sodden, horrid brakes, it's a captivating ride that left nearly everybody who tried it smiling. At least until it blew up.