Ive had an SV650 so i know the "other side of the argument" here. i got one leased to me for a test ride when i had my SV in for its service to do some miles on, or get home, as i said. Initially i was very pleased with the bike, the SV felt clumsy and almost over eager thanks to that Vtwin, but it soon became a love hate relationship. many factors could of influenced why, or how it wasnt working for me, iam pinning any problems on the riding position or the tyre choice (after stepping off my velcro-esque Conti road attacks). i simply couldnt gel at anything like the demands i put on my SV daily, as for the roundabout gp, forget it. i can see the market however, people who dont really want the race-bike image, but want a fairly decent 600cc+ bike at the same time that has some interesting design or possibly a new born. Being a Kawasaki its clearly meant to turn away potential ZX6R buyers, as the ER is called the Ninja649 in the US. its a safe option, but i quicly found many limits i didnt have on the SV, which i felt odd due to the reviews ive seen. my biggest real quarm is the welding an manufacturing of the bike looking very hurried or mis-managed. i trust the rear swingarm and frame to be bulked up as the obvious stress points would be subjected openly for a lot of punishment from any right-minded rider. engine is a dime, is all i need to say there :P, if you wanted the silky inline feel, not the stompy Vtwin, here's youre choice for the first bike. in many ways im vry subjective as i feel that the first big bike will shape the likes and needs of the next and usually much more powerful latter bike, so it needs to be a guddun, sorry kawasaki, i dont have a good feeling i get from my SV.