This is mine. 2004 Yamaha R600. the next bike I get will probably be a Busa or an R1, but I am waiting to see what the 2007/2008 model looks like. This one has held up great and allowed me to get my skills where they need to be. In all reality, if it wasn't for the size of the bike in relation to me, I have no problem with the R6 at all.
As far as advice, the stat is that most accidents occur within the first 4,000 miles a new rider puts on his bike. I think most of that comes from simply not being prepared to be a target on the freeway. If you have no sense of your surroundings and can't instinctively avoid certain situations, you will probably end up in trouble. Depending on what city you live in, some people drive their cars like they are either trying to race you (simply because you are on a bike), or they are trying to hit you.
Other than the safety aspect, riding a bike probably produces close to the same feeling people had when they first jumped on a horse the first time. It's freedom, it makes your heart beat faster, and some might even call it "meditational". If you have a group of people to ride with, that is where you learn how to clean up any rough edges you may have.
I dunno what the law is in the US about letting newbies out on powerful bikes but it changed over here to stop people jumpin in 750's after the test. You are restricted. As the OP says he is a newbie biker the law must allow people to buy 1100's in the US ? Or is it HP related, a 70's 1100 will be, what about 60 bhp ? I spose that's fine. Its letting new guys out on Fireblades and Blackbirds that could be a problem.
They don't even have guidelines like that in the US. That's why you see little kids on 1300's and then dropping them. I took it slow and got a 600 and quickly learned that those get up just as fast and possibly handle easier than the larger engines.
If your talkin the old XS 11 Yamaha's those were good motors,new some old guys that used to do a lot of touring and had over 200,000 miles on them.I new one bike mechanic that fine tuned his and had torque and Roll-on power like a big harley,without having to downshift and rev like most 4cyl. bikes.Great Cheap bike that most people overlook.Been ridin since 69
No. The Duke will get to about 140mph if you are lucky. Something as old as my Ninja would wank over that with ease, although the Duke is 120 bhp approx its no match for a decent sportsbike, its whats known as a streetfighter, spose its like a Monster with more HP.