If there's one experience that every red-blooded race fan craves, it's to actually a World Championship-spec machine. Tragically, fans can only sample these delights vicariously, through the experiences of the lucky few journalists who get to ride these things. Both teams and riders complain about these tests, rightly pointing out that the journos lucky enough to ride these bikes usually lack the skill to fully understand the bikes, and use them to their full potential. While that may be true - with a few notable exceptions - it is still a useful exercise, for it is as close to the reality of most ordinary bike fans as you can get.
But British biking paper Motorcycle News went one further. Why just test these bikes on the track, they asked themselves. Why not go the whole hog and try out a fully-fledged race bike on the road? The Ten Kate Honda team were both brave and game enough to play along, and MCN's World Superbike reporter - and all-round jammy git, as the British vernacular has it - got to take Johnny Rea's spare Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade out on the roads around the team's base in Nieuwleusen, in the east of Holland. Better still, they also shot some video of the trip, demonstrating perfectly just how far beyond road bikes these machines really are.
Here's the video: