First, let me say that I've only been riding for a year, and have only ridden my only bike, a 1981 Honda CB750K. I can't compare my 2006 FZ1 with anything else, 'cause I haven't ridden anything else. Full disclosure over, let me say that I don't see how a motorcycle could get any better than a gen2 FZ1. It's extremely fast, though very gentle and easy to control. Not really a beginner's bike, although it's a great one to learn on once you have the basics down and feel you have enough discipline to control your throttle hand. (Frankly, I've always ridden near the speed limit but, since I bought my FZ1 a month or so ago, have found myself typically exceeding the limit - sometimes by a pretty wide margin.) I use this bike for pretty much everything: I commute about fifty miles every day (20 to work, and 30 back home when I don't have to be anywhere on time and can take the twisty back roads run errands; take day trips on weekends; whatever. This bike is perfect for all occasions. It's comfortable enough to put a couple of hundred miles on without a painful backside, and the riding posture is aggressive without putting too much weight on my wrists or back. Needless to say, I no longer hold up traffic when the light turns green. I guess the most endearing thing about this bike is its user-friendliness. I wasn't sure that moving up to a liter bike was such a good idea, and spent much of the night before delivery with images of making unintentional wheelies and stoppies all the way home. Nothing of the sort. This beast's a gentleman and handles as sweetly as anything I could imagine. Acceleration is gentle, and braking is firm but not grabby. The gearing is set up perfectly for the typical urban rider in that you won't pull wheelies in first, and you won't be the last one home in sixth. The transmission is extremely smooth and all controls are exactly where you'd want them. Best of all, it's even got a fuel gauge (a tremendous improvement over the CB750's petcock) and a digital clock. The thing turns on a dime and is very light and responsive in turns. It's behaved itself flawlessly and kept itself under control so far. However, when I take it up over 5000 rpm, I can feel 'er coiling up and getting ready to fly. Sounds silly, but it's as if it understands that I'm still a beginning rider, but is telling me that it's ready to open up and scream when I feel I'm ready to go there. Honestly, I love this bike and can't imagine anything better. For those who live in Northern Virginia, you'll understand what I mean when I say that I actually look forward to my commutes since I bought this FZ1.