I'm switching between bikes a lot at the moment and having had a Brompton for about 5 months (I think) I'm starting to get an overview of its characteristics. My brain must have gotten fairly accustomed to switching between bikes as I'm no longer momentarily surprised by the additional force necessary to achieve the same amount of braking as with my Dahon, and vice versa. The extreme upsweep of the M handlebar still takes some time to settle into. . . and I seem to have adjusted the way I ride the bike such that I'm not so aware of the flexiness. I seem to be pretty good at settling into the unusual steering handling characteristics too, in fact sometimes I find the Dahon's steering weird when I go back to it. It's interesting how much one can adapt to the handling of a specific bike and, given that fact, how one ought then to regard claims as to 'ride quality'.
So is Brompton essentially a finished item? I tend to think the S-type pretty much is, due to the fact that the shorter stem reduces flex in that area a great deal. Although the more forward riding position puts weight over the unsuspended wheel and there's no option for wide tyres.
The M-type makes more sense in terms of riding position in relation to the rear suspension but the long stem makes for a lot of flex. It strikes me that an ahead type of stem/steerer would reduce flex, in conjunction with some ovalisation of the stem tube.
I'm not sure if the braking is really good enough. Sometimes I think it is, other times it seems potentially dangerously underpowered. Certainly the brake levers need redesigning as in their current state they're totally unergonomic.
Should Brompton be changing the geometry very slightly so as to add trail and slow the steering response? Or is this a loveable characteristic quirk of the brand?