Just signed up tonight and thought I'd say "Hi" Been debating getting a bike for ages and recently decided to take the plunge and will be doing something about it as soon as I either get an IBL placement through my uni or get told I'm not getting one and find my own job. At this stage my experience is absolutly zero so I intend to do a HART course or equivilant and take it gently from there. I've always been fairly careful when it comes to driving and teaching myself new skills (not a scratch in 6 years) so I think I should manage to not kill myself I've been looking at what's around in the way of 250s and decided that I'm probably going to grab a Virago (or maybe a V-Star if funds allow) at this stage. I'm intending to stay on the 250 for probably 3 years as I'm back at uni full time after this year so I'm thinking the extra for the V-Star might be worth it as it's a little more comfy for me (and looks better IMO). Gear wise I think I've got pants (Draggin's good?), gloves and boots sorted and I'm still looking at jackets and debating helmet type (open, closed or flip face). This brings me to a couple of questions. Firstly, am I going to kill a 250 with long distance freeway trips? I regularly do runs from Melbourne to St Leonards, Torquey, Eildon, Euroa and the Prom and would be looking at maybe the odd Adelaide and Sydney/Hunter Valley trip as well. Secondly, any tips on what I should be teaching myself once I'm on my L's? At the moment I'm seeing low speed stuff as causing more problems then high, particularly tight U-turns, roundabout's etc. As for shifting and braking I'm presuming the concept is basically the same as a car? Basically be smooth, match revs when downshifting and manage weight transfer and brake balance for desired effect. I'm planning to just ride on local streets for a week or so, then do some highway/freeway runs off-peak, find some twisties and kill a day or two, then hit traffic and distance rides. Finally could someone alleviate/confirm some of my misgivings about various helmet types. For me an open face helmet seems the most comfortable due to better FOV and airflow but I'm a little troubled about what would happen should you try and stop a fall with your face. As for closed I'm concerned about the risks of misting on the visor and the amount of light the visor would cut out when riding at night. At the moment I'm probably looking at either a Nolan "Jet" or 100E flip face or similar presuming they'll fit my fat head. Anyway, look forward to hearing any suggestions or tips from you guys and hopefully I'll be out on the road in a month or so.