I've really been considering a new bike lately and with winter coming (prices drop in my area around now) I've had my eye on a few prospects. I almost had myself set on something with more of a sport touring bent. I've always reasoned that I'd ride longer distances if I could (my magna is NOT a distance machine) but I'd like to maintain a could sporty form as well. The SV1000S always seemed like a great prospect but then again, so did things like the ZZR-600. I've just had a hard time choosing more comfort or more sport. Well, I've finally said that hell with it and realized that I'm not a one bike kinda guy. So, I've been looking at sporty commuters. Things like the SV650S and the New Ninja 650R. The Yamaha FZ6 seems like an awesome value too. Then, a funny thing happened. I couldn't help it, but my fingers typed in www.buell.com and hit enter. Low and behold, there was a few nice little clips of Erik Buell talking about the features that they incorporate into every Buell. I grinned as I noticed things that other manufacturers are just starting to incorporate like the underbike muffler. I then noticed the rear shock on the Lightning. I noticed how it is mounted at an angle between the frame and swingarm...just like it is on the new Ninja 650R (or the Euro ER-6n) Interesting. One thing lead to another and I looked at the specs on an XB9R. Well well well, its more than I wanted to spend, but thats an 06 price...I'm sure I can find a nice 04 or 05 for less. Retail is for suckers anyway. Then I noticed that it makes more power but still claims to manage around 50mpg in the city. 65 on the highway I then felt that feeling...you know, the one where you start hearing "I want" in your head. I still don't know if I can bring myself to buy one (that motor and the belt drive) but the compact chassis, the lighter front brakes (they explain that the front brakes are nearly 7lbs lighter than traditional dual disc setups) and the focus on mass centralization (not to mention the thing just looks cool) are really appealing to a guy who tends to focus more on the technical end of things rather than the looks. So, I think I may actually have to include an XB9R in my search along with the Ninja 650R, FZ6 and possibly the Z750. I might try a new SV650S, but I'm not too sure...the seat doesn't seem to agree with me although a call to Corbin would probably solve that. Check out the short vid clips on the Buell website and see what you think. I'll be praying that one day they get smart and call Rotax for an engine, but in the mean time...I feel the Dark Side calling me and forever may it dominate my destiny.