Hi all, I've just got my L plates and, well, I'm sure you know what comes next. I know this subject has been discussed to death but I have a few bikes in mind and a few questions about the process of choosing and buying a bike. I've been tossing up between the Honda CB400, Suzuki GS500 and Honda VTR250, in order of decreasing lust and increasing affordability. The VTR250 sounds like it'd be ideal for riding to uni - 4km and no faster than 60 km/h - and is very affordable. But I like the idea of getting a slightly bigger bike for freeway and country riding. (If I'm feeling confident enough by summer, I'd love to take the bike to Tassie for a week!) My budget is $4000-7000, including stamp duty, third party insurance, and rego if it expires soon. Ideally on the lower end of that range unless I get something really, really good. I've already purchased a helmet, jacket, gloves and boots. I'm a student and will be spending the next 2.5 years completing my Masters degree, so not too much disposable income for a while. Whatever bike I get now, I'm not going to be able to afford an upgrade until after I graduate. i.e. I want this bike to keep me grinning for longer than just the 12 months I'm restricted to riding baby bikes. So, specific questions: - Any advice for riding home on whatever bike I end up buying? That will almost certainly be my first 'real' ride on the road (beyond a test ride, if sellers will let me??). I only moved to Melbourne a month ago, which unfortunately means that not only will I have to concentrate a lot more on where I'm going than I would where I grew up in Perth, but I also don't have any bike-riding friends here who can help me out by e.g. riding a bike home for me where I can practice on quiet, familiar streets! - Will I find a 250cc bike infuriating for e.g. merging and changing lanes on the freeway or overtaking on country roads? How does the performance compare to your average 2L hatchback (Ford Focus / Mazda 3 / etc) at 110 km/h? - There's a low-mileage Suzuki GS500 advertised for a very attractive price in Apollo Bay, 200km away; it's enough cheaper than the ones around Melbourne that I'm considering a day trip just to check it out. But riding it home will mean twisty country roads followed by Princes Highway (guessing it'll be full of trucks) and the freeway from Geelong to Melbourne. That might be a bit too hardcore for me, considering that right now I've never ridden faster than 40 km/h. Am I crazy for even considering this, or should I go for it?