As a street bike, the R3 is a joy. It’s a user-friendly, entry-level bike that offers enough performance to please more experienced riders. And it was fun on the track, too, although I did need to rethink my approach. I started out flogging the new R3 around the track as if it were a proper middleweight supersport, but soon realized my technique was too aggressive. Riding it smoothly was much more effective. Too much input at the bars, aggressive braking, and rapid-fire downshifts upset the bike. The more I attacked, the more out of shape the bike got. Once I eased up, the R3 became much more composed. Thunderhill’s west Middle Hill loop is tight, perfect for small displacement bikes. Even in the tightest corners I discovered it was better to roll through them a gear high as opposed to downshifting and upsetting the chassis, and there is plenty of torque to do so. Be smooth or suffer the consequences.