Sweet bike, Falling! I've always wanted to learn to ride one of those, but I'd be too chicken to take it on the highways out here. People can get really crazy with their driving.
Highways are hardly a problem - in fact, they're probably the safest roads. Straight, constant speed, fairly quick traffic flow even here in Europe, let alone in car-crazy USA. I try to avoid them whenever possible, even if it takes me a bit longer to get somewhere as a result - they're mind-numbingly boring.
Riding on normal roads is a far more demanding test of skill (and of luck, and of natural selection). Speed varies, there are crossroads and tight bends everywhere, and traffic can be a problem - although riding a bike can give you serious satisfaction when you overtake enormous lines of cars by fitting in spaces where a car wouldn't. If you apply caution and logic you can usually avoid serious problems. Most bike accidents are a result of the rider going too fast for the situation; too few people realize that a bike contacts the road on two very small patches of rubber, and when you're braking hard one of them effectively ceases to be of any significant consequence.
I highly suggest you give it a go, it really is an experience like no other. Well, it is if you're not a jet fighter pilot, or something
Go to a dealership and ask to try an easy bike - something like a Versys
or a Transalp
. If you're not tall enough for those, try a 250cc, or a lower 650 like my own. Do not
start with a crotch rocket - that's the fastest way to kill yourself; crotch rockets are not
When you've gotten comfortable with keeping the bike upright find yourself a stretch of empty road and see what happens when you open the throttle. You don't need to actually go very fast, but you do want to get a taste of the acceleration - you can easily stop accelerating when you reach the speed limit. When I did that the first time I had a smile on my face that just wouldn't go away.