Bought this bike for $1000 after coming off a bad wreck on an 03 zx6r ninja and I gotta say Im having more fun on this than I ever did on my sportbike that cost ten times as much, and went three times as fast. Why, because you cant work on a sportbike in your garage. You cant take a part off and paint it, or sand it, or tear the carbs apart, or drill holes, their just too damn nice to work on. Another reason for my new obsession with this old thumper is that I feel like a complete hooligan rippin around the streets of LA on it. Sidewalks and curbs are my friend and we hang out a lot. I felt like my ninja had nothing left to teach me so I had to go a buck 40 everywhere to just enjoy it a little. It stuck to the roads, never needed work, always did exactly what I wanted it to. All of this is great, but you know what, that makes for one boring ride. My xt550 is a loose cannon, I take a turn hard I never know if its going to let loose or lift the front. I can blow wheelies out of red lights and freak the shit out of an intersection Ive done quite a bit of work to the appearance but really havnt had to change a thing with the engine. I did have to update the brake and tach cables, throw a hardier chain on it, and put a new clutch gasket on it, but the rest is bondo, paint, and electronics. Led signals were a bitch to get working, but once they worked it was a victory. Do yourself a favor, especially if your a beginner rider, and dont buy a sport bike. You wont learn as much, and youll crash before you get a chance to 99% of the time. Ive been riding hard for 6 years now and am thrilled to have found this whole new/old era of machines.