i think it starts better then my WR but truth be told my dealer makes a modification to them when new to make them start a lot better.. i didn't push the bike hard for several reasons.. 1 it is brand new. 2. i hate riding track where i always end up getting hurt 3. in august, as much as a shocker this was to me at age 45 and not unhealthy at all i ended up with a 95% blockage in my coronary artery! ended up getting a stent. doctor says he absolutely against me riding bikes. i am on several blood thinners and anti coagulant meds so getting a boo, boo is totally out of the question for me especially riding alone! so needless to say i was being careful.. personally i generally never push the limits of my bike even before my health issues. i don't evaluate the limits of any bikes i have ridden mostly because i hate getting hurt. dont get me wrong i am a solid B rider and ride with some experienced guys, but i hate needles and hospitals more then i enjoy pushing the limits. so unfortunately i cannot tell you where the limits of the bike are because truth be told i avoid washing out the front end. never had any spills on the wr due to high speed turns and didn't experience any unsettling of the FX either. ive ridden 3 seasons without so much as a fall and on some mostly nasty rocky trails. i am more of a technical rider i think. This is exactly how I ride. I ride really hard up hill and flat.... But the times that I have crashed, it was down hill every time. I always take a lot more time going down hill in the steep Rocky areas. And really all down hill not worth it to me... How do you find the gearing, would you ever consider going to a 51 or 52? I put a 51 on my WR and really liked it.