Martha, for her part, is delighted. She had previously tried the Ninja 300, but felt the engine character was too manic. “The little Ninja is just too much like a toy,” she said. “It fits really well, but it’s not for me.” Obviously, she hadn’t ridden the Ninja on a twisty mountain road, where its terrier-like personality is so enthralling... The CBR500R, on the other hand, was immediately satisfying. “It’s really sweet,” she says. “Not a lot of character compared to my SV, but very easy to ride. So smooth.” She was the first to ride it, too, a mere 7 miles on the odometer. Within a week, it was ready for the 600-mile service.