Evening all. I am a new rider and I have been lurking around here off and on reading posts and gleaning the nuggets of advice. I reduced my wheel count by two in early July and picked up a 2012 Virago. Its a bit small for me, and there have been a couple of times on the freeway where I know more power could've helped me handle situations better, but I will serve my RE on it and then plan on going to a C50 or similar. I'm 32 and had a lot of people try to convince me not to start riding (Temporary Australians etc) but it was justified by necessity - $10 a week in petrol versus $70. Truly, however I have wanted to ride for years but never got my act together. Now I wish I had started as soon as my feet could reach the pegs. Every ride is a thrill, whether it is just down the road to the shop or a couple of hours through beautiful countryside. Starting as a commuter has been a good way of learning after the quick introduction through QRide. Had a few soaked days that made me appreciate what paying through the nose for fuel got me in terms of comfort and more than a few frozen mornings (I leave for work just after four so I'm not your typical northerner whinging about 10 degrees at 7am )that have taught me to check or and close any gaps possible before braving the wind. A friend put me on to Twist of the Wrist II via youtube recently and I have found it amazing how much the principles really have helped me improve and feel more confident on the road. I think I will always be a cruiser in terms of how I ride. I've spent a day on an R15 and a CB150 and even though the Virago feels like a naked with slightly forward controls (mainly due, I think, to the new straight handle bar design) I enjoy the riding position immensely and don't feel the need to be the fastest. That being said I do love being out in front of traffic so much more than waiting for someone to change lanes on me. I also watched Ride Like a Pro and have been working on my slow ride and maneuvering. This is a boon after finishing work at 7am and having to plod along through start/stop grinds. Anyway hi and all that. Hope you are all safe and warm! I did have a couple of questions: Does anyone have any opinions to share on the following gear: RST Cruz II Leather Jacket M2R Ignition Helmet Do QRide certificates expire? I was thinking about doing my R test now and just holding on to the paperwork until I've done my year. There was something else but I've forgotten. Thanks for reading guys. Look forward to reading what you have to say!