First of all, thank you for this 1st hand information on the 450fx. I bought one this week but have not taken it for a ride yet.(living in Red Deer,AB which is 4 hr drive north of Montana/Canada border) my last bike was a modified XR 650R.I am pumped to ride this bike soon...may invest in some studded ice tires! I have a new carbide studded Kenda Washougal rear if you need one. Only one ride on it.