Well today I test rode both the Blackbird and the VFR. Thought I would drop a few thoughts on these from the persective of a rider new to "bigger" bikes. Before I do I'll give you some idea of what I was looking for and why to give a bit of background. The last two years or so I have been riding a 2004 VTR250 - mainly for commuting and just a lazy bit of riding. But recently (and yes I am slow!!!) the VTR has been getting a little "small" for me and I wanted to upgrade. So basically I was looking for a bike to commute on (about 20,000km a year) and something I can ride around on when the weekend hits for fun - not really into the twisties or track days just yet - but do like some corners like the GOR - something with a view. For the purposes of the review I am 6'4" and 100kg. Anyway, to the reviews. Firstly I took out the CBR and oh man what a bike. It had already been started and was just waiting for me to jump on and ride it. I was really worried at first about the weight and power of this bike - let's face it I was jumping on a bike about 100kg more than mine and about 900ccs bigger!! And talk about wide - the bloody thing is as wide as a tank - or at least that is what it feels like the first time I sat on it. Anyway, being conscious of the power of this beast I was pleasantly surprised to find that a light touch on the throttle was enough to get it moving and then I was all smiles. The bike is remarkably smooth, and the power curve seems to be remarkably smooth as well. And once I took my first breath - which was about 5 minutes after getting on it (I think my face must have been as blue as the model i was riding) I took a breath and opened her up a little. None of this sudden lurch and delay and then pickup for this baby - you wind the throttle on and she just goes. As I said no big jump but just pure unadulterated power that was smooth as silk. I thought I should try out some corners and manouevering and thought what the hell and tried a U-turn - the bike is so heavy and well-balanced that corners, although wider than a more nimble bike, are a doddle. A little more cornering and then I felt confident to take it through its paces a little more on some windy roads I found near the dealer. And that is when I fell in love - this bike feels like it is glued to the road and "looks after you" in corners. That is the best way I can describe it. The only thing I would say is that you lean into corners more than throw the bike into them - well as if I could throw 220kg anyway!! I was warned to watch out for the weight and balance when stopping but this bike is as good as stopping as it is at going. And although it is heavy the brakes pull it up well. Because the bike is so heavy you seem to get less travel when you accelerate or brake, and for my mind this bike is one piece of well thought out riding pleasure. Down one long straight road I opened her up and the pickup and pace is just unbelievable - yet it seems restrained too - it is almost like the bike knows it has so much power that it holds some back to make sure you are ok. But I think once the bike grows to respect you - then there will be just so much more fun to be had. Got back to the dealer and jumped on the VFR. By now I was a little less worried about big bikes, but as soon as I sat on the VFR I thought how comfortable and how much more narrow it felt than the Blackbird. And once I cracked open the throttle to get it moving I had to wind it on a little more - I think I had been spoilt by the Blackbird already. Pretty much did the same riding as I did on the Blackbird, but while the VFR had nice peg height and a little more upright position, it just felt a little "tinny" to me. It was fun to ride but felt nothing like the CBR with its unbridled power and road stickiness. So I won't say too much more about the VFR because like all things the VFR would be great for some, but for me it just didn't feel right. Actually this is going to sound dumb but the VFR actually felt slightly more comfortable, but in all other respects the CBR just felt and sounded and moved just right. I liken the VFR to a solid show horse, well-behaved and mannered and a little posh, but the CBR is a young stockhorse- not as pretty or immodest as the racers, but just as powerful and over time I bet just as loyal as a bloody good stock horse can be. I am sure many will disagree with my thoughts and I am sure many will agree, so take from it what you like, but while the VTR250 was my first love of riding, I see in the CBR the next stage........ Now for the important question - black or silver?