Hi guys and girls. My name is Jess. I'm 26 and live in Melbourne's outer Eastern suburbs. I've wanted to ride since I was about 17, but never really had the guts to get out there and get my license. I passed my L's on Tuesday (took the 2-day course at HART. AWESOME!) and I'm ready and raring to go! I come from a background of riding and racing mountain bikes but kind of got the itch for a bike with a motor when I met my current BF and he started taking me on the back of his SV1000. So now it's my turn to get something. I'm slowly paring down the list based on reviews, price, what's available and of course, what looks sexy. I've got a budget of $2.5-$3.5k for the bike (extra for my riding gear) and I've decided to thoroughly research each and every bike on my short list before buying (which means I won't be handing over any cash for at least a month). So far these are my top 10 (with the SV650 thrown in for luck): Honda CBR250RR Honda CB400 Honda CBF250 Honda VTR250 Kawasaki ZZR250 Kawasaki GPX250 Kawasaki ZXR250 Kawasaki FZR250 Suzuki Across Suzuki SV650SU (Wooo! When I win the lotto) Suzuki GS500 Now, I've been told that bike shops will let you test ride their bikes even if you're on your L's... and that some will even lend you helmets/jackets? Is that the general go, or is that just for a few awesome shops? If so, which shops would they be so I can head out and see what kind of bikes they've got on offer. I'm going to go back to HART and do a day/afternoon practise ride in a few weeks so I don't lose the skills I learnt last week. But after I buy my bike and gear, there will be nothing stopping me. Can you tell I'm excited? lol.