my mate has never ridden before and he got an XR600 6 months ago. He can go anywhere on it other than the steepest of hills and deep water. He cant get it sideways on purpose yet but i wont take too long. Its fast enough on the road and great in the bush. I'm only short..5' 7" but i can throw mine around easily. Great manageable and reliable bike, you can't go wrong with one. Thanks very much...I'm planning on getting a test ride on Friday...I'll post what I think! Just wish we had the same open land as in the rest of the world!!!