tough question... yamaha has been known for fit and finish of ther bikes. fit of plastic, design of frames and such. usually superb handling and awesome brakes. mechanically.. there all pretty good. 2nd gear is issue for all modern bikes... its not design problem.. it rider problem.. rider gets comforatble.. gets what i call lazy foot.. and doesnt get bike all way into 2nd and it comes out, then it starts to round off the dogs on gears. each manufacturer has seen spun rod bearings, recalls and such. there squeezing lotsa of power out of these motors for everyday use. yamaha has jumped onto new bandwagon with fly by wire, adjustable stacks... look at all bike now... yamaha had patent on EXUP valve... patent expired or something of sort.. now almost every liter bike out there has some sort of exhaust valve. yamaha definately wins in styling department. but in end.. its up to buyer as to what they want or need.