My two bobs (20c) worth.
I guess you mean "first" bike and not "first big bike".
If you mean "first" big bike, hooley dooley, are you Captain Insano! (I do not mean that comment as an insult - please read on)
My "first" bike was a clapped out 1981 Honda CB250, and you know what? I absolutely love that bike. Some of my friends (rider and non-rider alike) have bagged the $%!^ out of me for it, but prior to owning it I had never ridden a bike before it. The bike was big (in physical size, not power), comfortable and most important of all, most forgiving. Because of the cheese cutter tyres, speeds around 90km/h were hairy (could only go that fast on a down hill - topped 80km/h on the flat). Apart from higher speeds, an excellent bike to "learn" on.
When I passed my riding test, I didn't ride for a while as my bike wasn't in the town where I lived. My desire to upgrade was enormous. I had been doing some looking around.
The local Suzuki/Honda/KTM/Ducati has an excellent range of recent model second hand bikes in stock. I went by a few times as I was lovestruck by a black/silver/red 2001 GSXR1000.
One of the dealers had offered me one of their demo Honda CBR600RR for a test ride. I have dealings with most facets of the motor trade in Wagga Wagga, and I knew the dealer reasonably well.
Holy $%!^, Batman! My first ride on a bigger bike (and "only" a 600?), and I near crapped my daks!!!! When I hit a bump, the bike took off (no control by me.....). Around town, I looked the complete dork (not consequential, I know), I had no idea at all. When I got out of town and opened it up a bit, the bike had a whole different feel. Even though the bike felt heaps more stable (which it was) at 100km/h(ish) than around town, I knew on this "600", my world could turn to $%!^ real fast if I wasn't on my game. I am a dude with mimimal motorcycling experience, I have bugger all game.
So after that experience, when I next went back to the dealership with my desire (albeit a bit dented) for a slick roadbike, the dealer gently moved me away from the GSXR1000. The bike shop had a 2000 model GSXR750 on consignment with low K's on it. Low and behold, it was the bike I did end up buying, and the words of the dealer as I left was "JUST -BE - CAREFUL!" Before leaving, the dealer went over everything with the bike, with strong emphasis that the throttle did not need as much as the ol' CB250. I see where he was coming from, and appreciate it, I wish there were more dealers out there like this bloke. This was the reason he sent me out on the 600 (albeit a bloody quick one) for a test ride, was to show me that a 600 can be what you want as much as a litre bike.
My first few days were "oh $%!^, what have I done!" I was not prepared in any sense of the word. After a while though, I started to enjoy it. Thanks to a good friend in another town who has been riding since day dot, he went over a few things that now makes the experience of riding my bike that much more enjoyable. Having just said that comment though does not make me any expert by the imagination, and I have many years of learning ahead of me.
Please don't be like me and put the "cart before the horse". I was determined to get a roadbike, I have become so immersed into bikes that I sold my current model Ford Falcon ute (for US and Canadian readers not familiar w/ Aussie cars, take a Ford Taurus and turn it into a pickup truck) for my bike. I am lucky I did not step up to 1 litre + for my first big bike.
Nomad, it is not my intention to be a motorbike nazi and tell you not to do this. If you have minimal motorcycle experience, IMHO a Hayabusa (yes they are God-awsome looking bit of kit) would be a bad move. If you do go ahead anyway, just do all the courses you can that are available, and prepare yourself as best you can. I guarantee you will $%!^ your pants if you are not ready for this bike. Respectful of it or not. Get a plan. Get some skills. Then get a bike.
Stwilli, if you lived over here in Oz, I could have put you onto a good bunch of folks at The Stable at Wagga, service and advice top notch. Mate, I can see where you are at, as I WANTED WANTED WANTED a GSXR1000 myself. Everytime I see one (as well as every other bike that goes past) I just lust, ooooooooo, hot dirty filthy lust. But, that's a later on down the track bike for Reesyboy. Maybe some courses on lower cap bikes to tighten up the skills, and to put the fun back into it???? I hope you get the zen thing happening with your bike soon anyway.
For all you good people who have read this, sorry about my long winded "War and Peace" reply. Particularily those who have read my similar comments elsewhere. I hope I'm not a broken record :wink: It's just that I consider myself as a new rider still, and the experience is still fresh for me (but not in my pants at times :shock: )
There maybe some who have done what Nomad has done and disagree with what I have said. I do understand that some people pick things up faster than others. Those who have treaded the path Nomad wishes to take and are still kicking on, good for you. I aint telling Nomad what to do or how to live his life, just an offer of an opinion that hopefully puts him on the right track (no pun intended - maybe
Nomad, just be safe, whichever way you go.