If you're planning to buy a bike soon, you'll want to shop around a bit and know the current value of a the bikes you've been eyeing. You can check the value of a bike here: http://www.nadaguides.com/MCHome.aspx?LI=1-10-0-2111-3-103-26530&wSec=13&wPr=0&wPg=2003& When you've narrowed your selection down to a particular make or even a specific model, its a good idea to learn what changes and revisions were made each year. Buying the newest bike model year isn't always an option financially and knowing what features were available each year will help you find a compromise with your wallet. Specific features/specs to look into are (there are MANY MORE - this is just a short list): * Fuel Delivery - is the bike carburated or fuel injected? - - - Fuel injection will give you easier, more reliable starts and more power but repairs, should you ever need them, will cost more. * Cooling - is the bike liquid cooled or air cooled? - - - Water cooling is better from an engine protection standpoint but it does add weight and maintenance. - - - Don't dismiss a bike because it is air cooled - there are a LOT of good air cooled bikes, especially the European ones. * Brakes - - - There's a lot of various here including mounting (radial or traditional), the number of pistons, the size of the rotors, etc. - - - Its impossible to compress all of the information on brakes into this list.