I finally got my unrestricted motorcycle license on Monday, December 3 2007. The following Saturday I went down to Whitehouse Motorcycles with the intention of sitting on a few bikes and taking anything that would fit out for a test ride. After spending an hour talking with a sales rep, I'd sat on a Yamaha FZ1-N, along with a Triumph Sprint ST. I wasn't really comfortable on the FZ1, and the Sprint seemed a shade too small. I discussed a number of bikes, including the Kawasaki Z750, Z1000 and Triumph Street Triple (which I really had my heart set on), however I was convinced that they would all be too small. I was told I should head over to the Wodonga store and sit on the Hyabusa 1300 and TLR1000. After leaving the shop, I went down the road to Online Motorcycles. The sales rep suggested the BMW super-motard, which I had sat on before. The bike is definitely big enough, but I'm not a fan of the adventurer/cross-over style. He then showed me the XJR1300 sitting in the parking lot and asked me if I wanted to take it out for a ride. With some trepidation, I agreed. We went inside where my license was photocopied, and I signed a document that mentioned an excess of $2,000 if I were to damage the bike. We went back out to the parking lot and Phil(sales rep) said it needs more fuel, brb. I stood around looking at the bikes for 10 minutes until he came back. He eventually arrived and said: it's got a brand new front tyre, be careful on the concrete. Have fun! I put my helmet on and swung my leg over, pulled the clutch in, turned the key and then pressed the start button. The bike hummed quietly until I gave the slightest twist on the throttle. It didn't take much for the motor to give a solid, controlled roar. I stomped on the gear lever to put it into first, gently eased the clutch out and gave it a gentle coax out of the carpark into the main road, no traffic coming, slowly made my way up to the lights and waited for the green. Turned left into Dean St, then left again into Macauley street. By then, my confidence had grown and I felt in total control of this massive bike. I was appreciating the tight sound of the motor and the smooth clutch. I gave the throttle a little twist and was delighted at the sensation of the torque and power that responded. I made my way back to the old highway and was blessed with a green light, and took that wonderful corner at 80km/h that takes you to the new Freeway onramp. Turning left, and left again put me on the onramp. I twisted the throttle as much as I dared and was thrilled and scared at the sensation of sliding slowly backwards along the seat. I gripped the tank with my legs, leaned forward and glanced at the speedo, 130km/h in second and I wasn't even on the freeway yet. I eased off and enjoyed the amazing stability and balance that the bike had to offer. I stayed in the lane to get off at the next ramp and geared down without the clutch back to second, as smoothly as though I had ridden the bike all my life. Satisfied with the acceleration, I rode through town, taking my favourite roads and bends at paltry paces so much slower than what I felt the bike could do. It felt amazingly solid and balanced, so much easier to ride than my current LAMS compatible ride. The centre of balance, the brakes, the suspension, the acceleration. They all combined to bring me to the realisation that this is what riding is really about. All within 10 minutes of ignition. The only downside was that the seat refused to hold me. I had to brace myself before twisting the throttle every time. The bike would idle effortlessly at 110km/h in its 5th and final gear at 3000rpm, and it didn't matter which gear I was in, it had enough torque to ensure I would need to brace myself everytime I felt spirited to overtake.