I just learned to ride in May of 2007 by taking the MSF course. I bought an older Honda Rebel 250 to practice on and within a month of lots and lots of practice I started to ride my friends Yamaha V-Star 650. Its extremely well balanced, and has the perfect reach for hands and feet. Its got enough power for most, but I am already wanting to buy an 1100 for that extra oomph on the highway. Mine is loaded, with saddle bags, windshield, all chromed out, Hines pipes (yes, loud pipes DO save lives)and floor boards. It is an extremely comfortable ride.