Dear Owlie, I know this post on the S40 is from 2009 and you have probably moved on now. But I have recently jumped up to the S40 from a Honda Rebel, so have been researching some of the issues Im having. Backfiring etc. But I thought it honest of you to admit that you almost dropped it , as I too almost did on my first weekend w/ the bike. Making the same right hand turn as I had moving off from a stop sign in my neighborhood, a stop I had made many times before on my Rebel. As a beginner rider I am used to making my turns from especially coming off stop signs from closer to the shoulder of the road, as I turned the tire got caught in a slight groove and I felt it getting "stuck"… could not straighten it out as I am a small framed woman, and feared if I accelerated through it, I would most def. go down…so I had to stop and straighten the bike out to proceed. After much thought on this my riding partner and I decided the difference in the rake of the S40 from my rebel is indeed different and I simply need to adjust my turning points. I started riding very late in life (50's) and it has not been easy for me but feeling this bike is a nice upgrade and enjoying it for certain. Thinking I will have this ride for a long time….