Yep, the 954 is my first bike. I actually did a lot of contemplating on this subject. I was going to start off with something a little smaller, and "upgrade" in about a year or so. I have several friends who all started out with 600s (R6, F3, and F4). All of them moved up to a liter bike after 9 mos to a year. And they lost lots of money in the process. I know that a bike is money pit that will never yield the money invested. So, I didn't want to throw my money away, and start over. I browsed at some of the newer bikes, and most of the new liter bikes are pretty much built on 600 frames. The 954 is a sweeeet bike, and has the same weight as an F4i, with a couple of more ponies stock. So why not get the 954 and trust myself to eeaassee my way into it? I'm not as young and stupid (I was going to say crazy, but it translates into young and stupid) as I was when I was 19. I trust myself to progress gradually. So, I opted to go with something that I felt would be with me for quite a while. Just my way of looking at it.
And Neeo, luckily the 954 has some of the best brakes out. Stopping has not been an issue (yet).
F3Bufford, I always wear safety gear. I want to enjoy this sport/hobby for quite some time.
Thanks for the advice though.........JB