I rode a friend's 07 Honda CRF 450 a couple of weeks back and loved the power delivery (compared to my CR250 2-stroke). So, I started checking out 4-strokes. I checked out Hondas and Yamahas. Honda was offering some pretty decent pricing for 07 models, but I was a little gun-shy from reading about valve issues. I took home an 08 Yamaha Saturday night. The dealer wasn't offering much of a price break for 07 models, and I liked the wider pegs, shorter exhuast, and the slightly different front end. The white was only $100 more, and I haven't been much of a blue guy, so buying the white right away was less expensive than changing plastics later. I also had them install a skid plate and fuel screw (I had no idea what the fuel screw was, but 2 of the parts guys who have 06 and 07 models highly recomended it, I see why now, the factory one is a pain to get to) I finally got out of the dealership after talking snowmobiles with my salesman for an hour while the techs preped my new toy. (he knew nothing about bikes, I talked to the parts guys about the bike) I also bought three oil filters and 3 quarts of Yamalube. The parts guys said to switch to Bel-Ray Thumper Lube after three changes. I went to the track yesterday after the rain stopped (complete with factory warning stickers and all). Once I got the bike started and caught my breath (I thought I had strong legs, but this bike is slightly more difficult to kcik over than my 2-stroke, but I'll get used to it) I took it easy, runing it in low gear for a few minutes, then through all gears at 1/4 to 1/2 throttle for about an hour, like the manual says, along a desert trail and a few laps around the track. According to the manual, the next step is "operate the machine through the entire operating range" I wasn't sure about that one, so I left with one hour of light duty operation, a little dust on the bike, and a slightly darker header pipe. While my 2-stroke is definetly a blast to ride... I'm sure I'm faster around a track on my new thumper, even taking it easy on the bike. The new bike always goes forward and straigt, no wheel spin, and a little more confidence off the jumps for my beginner abilities. I was a little concerned about the engine noise. Maybe it was still a bit tight, because it seemed quieter after riding a while. The FAQ says these bikes tend to be a little noisy. I want to take care of this bike. So, any advice given on break-in, maintenance, carb settings, etc, I'll be glad to hear. Or just a "welcome to Blue" will suffice.