Nice picture, but I'm glad that the new Yak is the 55m and not the 54. Yak 55's (and especially the "m") are what I've grown up watching at airshows across the country. I've never seen a 54 in real life, and I doubt that many people have. I think there is only one flying in North America if I recall correctly. I'm actually surprised at how popular it became as an RC model. The 55m may not look pretty to some, but once you've seen it in real life you'll fall in love. It slowly lumbers along, tumbling and defying gravity.
As for the KE abilities.....I haven't seen AJ or Gernot have any issues with KE. Many Yak 55 foamies are known for there KE abilities as well. Throw some SFG's on her if you need more rudder authority.