It’s a very pepppy little bike and if you roll the throttle wide open, it’ll take off. The reasons I found it good as a first bike is that the weight, wheelbase, and height were *almost* identical to the Suzuki GZ250 (the S50 is about 50 pounds heavier). While it does have good acceleration, the power band is pretty darn forgiving and the only thing that I think would get you in trouble might be if you’re too heavy on the throttle. If you take off with the throttle open wide the bike *will* respond accordingly.
I’ve recently moved up to the S50 and have been riding that regularly. My review on my transitional experience is posted up on the front page. I haven’t sold my S40 yet and took it out for a ride just a couple of days ago just for fun and while the S50 will leave it in the dust, the S40 can be a pretty zippy little machine. It’s a lot of fun to ride and the transition from riding on a 250 in the MSF safety course to the S40 wasn’t a very hard one to make. Just remember to be a little careful no matter what bike you’re starting out on and get a bike that won’t overly tax your abilities. In my case, I found the S40 filled the bill very nicely.
Keep reading and researching. All the information you store in your head prior to even getting on the road will likely reduce the amount of time it takes to come up with what the “right thing to do” when you have to quickly react. If you are really interested in increasing your knowledge, I can’t recommend the book “Proficient Motorcycling” by David Hough enough. It’s a great place to start in learning riding techniques in the comfort of your own living room.
~He who laughs last didn’t get the joke…