Yes, I appreciate what you say; it is brave buying a bike (let alone an 11 grand bike!) without having first ridden it.
All i'll say to that is: a few years back I bought a CBF500 which I kept for a year and a half, followed by a 700 Deauville, which I kept for 2 years. Both bikes were superb and did the job perfectly. I bought both bikes without a test ride and yet I loved and enjoyed them both.
The Harley Sportster: I took for a test ride, stayed out for over an hour and thought it was the bike for me, yet after a couple of months i'm going back to a Honda.
Says it all.....
Can't wait for my V4 workhorse!