From OTB's First Bike Buyers Guide:
"Modern day high performance steetbikes are like NOTHING you've ever experienced, save driving a Formula One race car, or maybe a 20 year old funny car. I'm NOT kidding; the power to weight ratios are about the same, the sensitivity to rider intputs is about the same, and the ability to create mayhem in the hands of a novice is about the same. Some of the top-of-the-line sportbikes will turn 9's in the quarter mile,with top speeds pushing 200 mph right out of the crate. They are also heavy, top heavy, touchy and handle akwardly at low speeds, like in parking lots, city streets and in the driveway, where you are most likely to dump it.
So, you say, "what should I buy?"
Stick with a 600cc upper limit, and remember that todays cutting edge 600's are almost as fast, but even twitchier and less forgiving than the open class bikes. A better choice is in the 250-500 range- 250 for smaller, lighter riders, 500's and older 600's for larger riders, or those with a little or dirt experience. So how do you pick?"
......but what do I know, right?