I started on an 03 gsxr 600. I knew nothing about bikes or these forums when I bought it only that I was getting a great deal (from what a new one cost at the time) I knew the power the bike had, and i've driven some fast cars in my time (drag cars ect.) Being on a fast bike is nothing like being in a fast car. 2 different worlds. I didn't take it out of my driveway the entire first month and didn't take it out of the neighborhood the first season. Now i'm just starting to get the hang of riding it. starting on a 600 gsxr is not what I would have done if I had to do everything over again but it worked out for me. Had a few close calls but no injuries yet. Yea I expect to go down sometime, we all do. But I don't ride the bike like i'm in a hurry or like i'm racing anyways. I figure it'll last long enough that i'll eventually be able to progress to that level at my own pace. my advice, get the new gs500f and get so good on it you can wring it's neck. then step up to the gsxr.