I've been reading some old threads about beginner bikes, and WOW is there a lot of debate. "Get a 600cc!" "NO, you'll kill yourself on a 600cc!" and so on.
I've always wanted a bike, and I finally took the plunge and bought a used Buell. I really love these bikes, from looks, to concept, to unique technology. Before this bike, I had never ridden before in my life.
Well, I'm about 2.5 hours of ride time into it. The first hour was spent in an empty parking lot. When I felt confident enough, I took it onto the San Jose city streets.
Comparing a Buell XB to a CBR or similar is probably like comparing apples to oranges, but I don't know for sure as this Buell is my only experience. It's 984cc, yet redlines at 7500rpm. So a lot of torque I guess? I certainly have NOT mastered the throttle yet, but I'm fairly confident about it. It opens up gradually through 5000rpm, then shortens up and really lays down the torque 5000-7500 (I have not spent significant time in this range yet). I find it manageable.
I approach the "cc" debate the same way I approach cars: As long as you respect the vehicle you're driving, the amount of power it has shouldn't matter.
Conclusion: If I can ride it, it's a good beginner's bike. My only complaint is that it doesn't indicate what gear I'm in, and I often forget because I'm thinking about so much other stuff (like not dying).
Next: Suppressing my fear of going over 50mph. No windscreen on a crotch-rocket format bike leads to scary wind resistance. (for me, anyway)