The S40 is a great beginner bike, especially if you aren’t a petite person. The power isn’t too much to handle, although mine likes a lot more throttle when changing gears than the 250 I rode in the MSF- that took a little bit to get used to, but after a weekend tooling around the neighborhood I was already bored with slow and took it on the highway. I ride mine for my hour plus commute every day and it’s great. I was nervous at getting on a 650 too, especially being the the MSF was the first time I had even touched a motorcycle, let alone rode one. But it’s very comfortable and easy to use, and the power isn’t there that I would assume you would find in a lot of bikes of the same size. If you read the 40 vs 50 review it mentions that the get up and go really isn’t there, especially for passing, but if you’re not doing 80 on the freeway (I don’t, the fastest I get is 70 on a local highway) it’s more than enough to pass at 55-60 without problems. Did that for the first time the other day and it performed admirably.
The biggest thing is that for the price you won’t find yourself trading up in six months- it only runs about a grand more than like a v-star 250 brand new, but if you can find one used you’re set. I walked out of the dealer for under 6000- bike, full gear and extended warranty(mine still has the manufacture’s on it even).