No so much a question as a tale on why I chose the Firestorm and how the first few months have been. It had been 7 years, give or take a year, since I had last ridden and I was eagerly brought back to the love of riding after watching the Long Way Round/Down series. The undertaking to get back into riding was supposed to have commenced with the purchase of a sound, reliable, mid-sized bike. I had ridden 250s and 400s before, so this time I wanted to get onto somethign with a bit more grunt. Something that I would want to ride, not just a means to get to a destination. Suzukis' SV650 caught my attention early off but the bike was just lacking something that I couldnt quite put my finger on. But then I saw the bike that was meant for me. The Honda VTR1000 Firestorm. For a 1000 it was slim and lacked the verbose fairing that turned me off so many other bikes. It had a certain casual, aggressive posture that was enticing. And this was only from a picture. I could hardly wait to see one. I joined forums and spoke to riders with a wealth of experience. Was this bike too much for me, was it too big, too powerful. No, no...the Firestorm is a forgiving bike, but it would deserve respect. So I threw logic to the wind and got swept up in the purchase of a Yellow 99 model. As fate would have it I never saw the bike until days after I had paid a deposit and had committed myself to by it. Due solely from the part that it was 600kms south of me. But the day came that saw me flying down to NSW to take ownership...no...to form a relationship with a unqiue peice of machinery. So how did I feel when I first saw the bike that I had yearned for and effectively paid for? Terrified. I did well to cover it up. I cant ride this, what the hell have I done?! I could just see myself dropping this gorgeous machine onto its side in front of an avenue of motorcycle dealerships and automotive mechanics. But I mustered what diminshing courage I had, slipped into my Dririder and Rjays and swept one leg over the rear cowl. And then things began to feel...right. My feet comfortably rested on the ground. The bike hunkered as I lowered my weight into the seat, and I opened up the ignition to a truly throaty rumble that would become part of the bikes name. Yes, I started off in second gear. Yes I sat at the intersection until there wasnt a single vehicle for miles. And yes, I swung way too wide out onto the main road, which was fortunately an excessivley wide piece of tarmac. I gripped the handlebars with enough force to bleach my knuckles white. And then I grinned. That grin is still with me. The Firestorm has taught me that this is a bike that deserves respect. Respect to be ridden the way the bike demands and was built to be ridden. For me thats not necessarily fast, but managing its generous torque gently and yielding to gear changes at optimum revs. And it has been a forgiving bike, coping with my in-experience with a gentleness that I feel many 600s would have never afforded me. I learn something about this bike every time I ride it. It still scares me in slow turns, but Im getting smoother and quicker through the tighter curves while learning to anticipate the bikes powerful disposition. I look forward to the time when we're both much more comfortable with one another that only time spent in the seat will provide. Sorry bout the wall of text. TLDR: Bought a Firestorm with little experience. Both of us are still in-tact. Loving the bike.