I've been reading these forums on and off for months as I got my "new" 89 YZ490 up and running. I can't argue with most of the negative critiques...the bike is a handful. What amazes me is the inability of the "experts" to see what the popularity is. I realize that the majority of their points come from a racing or playing perspective and I wouldn't choose this bike for race or casual play either. I've been riding for 30+ years and the YZ490 fits a particular niche that the experts can't seem to get...even though you'ld think after responding to 100's of 490 lovers they'd start to get the point. It's a vintage bike that people enjoy working on & modifying to their own taste. It's different - not like the other dozens of 500cc's that I see (blow by) every weekend. It's for the same guy that goes to the drag strip in his V-8 Vega and gets off on explosive power. Long desert trails and climbing are exactly what it's for. If you want to argue that there are much better choices for the racer or casual playtime user...most 490 owners won't argue. But if you want to: be different, scare the crud out of yourself and race the guys to that big tree 2 miles away (loser buys)...I'm drinking for free. By the way, I figured out how to get that 60-70MPH jackhammer handlebar effect caused by the engine to go away if anybody wants to know. See this is the unique fun that the YZ490 2 wheel rocket provides. There are reasons that many people love the 490 and it isn't because we're idiots or don't know better like the experts proclaim. It's because we love the uniqueness combined with that "scares me half to death" invigorating feeling everytime we twist the throttle. Can't be beat!