For me, that's not as easy to answer as the question looks at face value.
I'm an old git and as an early teen I had racing heroes, like most fans. They were Lawson, Rainey, Chandler, and Ru$$ell. Each went on to race for the likes of Ducati/Cagiva, Honda & Yamaha, But even in the ages when dinosaurs roamed the tracks across America one knew which riders were riding for Kawasaki because they were painted 'nuclear margarita green. What audacity!
After my heroes migrated to other teams/brands, that coincided with me getting my licence. So, I bought Honda, Yamaha, and even Ducati litre superbikes. And all was bliss... until I got T-boned by a great big fat Ford Exhibition. That put me out of the saddle for over two years.
The greatest damage was to my psyche - oh there was plenty of damage to my musculoskeletal systems, too. It was the longest period of my life where I did not ride. I didn't even look at bike magazines - nothing.
And then I started lurking around the edges. A moto-voyeur... I stopped every now and then at dealers to look over the 'hardware.' And then one evening my wife & I had another couple over for dinner, and the other husband mentioned he had been out to a local dealer, checking out the 'goods.' He very innocently asked when I was gonna get back on two wheels. i sheepishly mumbled something unintelligible. When my wife piped up that she was actually surprised that I hadn't already showed up one day with a new bike.
The clouds cleared, angels sang, and glitter danced on the sunbeams. Oh hell, I was at the dealer within the week. I spent the preceding week scouring the internet. I had the money already in the bank! Boy, was I ever ready?
I had always rode/owned/raced litre sportbikes: several Hondas; a couple of Yamaha R1s; even a Ducati 996S. But this time I told myself I wanted something truly different... and no, HD, Goldwings, and BMWs didn't enter the picture.
So I examined Middle-weight sportbikes. The 600RR was quickly kicked to the kerb, as was the R6. I was not drawn to the Gixxer 600, but was tempted with the 750 variant. Also too, the Daytona 675, and at last the 6R 636. The more I read, the more more I narrowed it down to the Daytona and the ZX. The Triumph had only two strikes against it: tall seat height, and the nearest dealer was 60-miles from my door. The Kawi dealer was 10-12 miles away. The ZX only had one strike against it. It didn't have the exhaust note of the Daytona. Ten to fifteen years or more earlier, I'd have pulled the Triumph's trigger - without hesitation: That exhaust note, and more exotic.
What really ruined the recipe for the Daytona was my previous experience with Ducati. Months long wait for spares, odiously expensive shop times/costs. But damn it all to hell, I was in love with the 996S. Even doing my own valve adjustments/belt replacements was a pisser. My R1s only asked to have their valves checked every 26,000 miles; whilst the Duc demanded every 6,000 miles. And if one is stupid enough to ignore said adjustment intervals, the price was a belt letting go and the detonating of the whole top end, and not just any top end, but a desmodromic top end. Very Big Money !
As I said, I went to the dealer and saw the 30th Anniversary Spec. Ed. 'in the flesh,' as it were and fell in love. Went promptly home and tried to talk myself out of getting it. Took my son to the dealer a week later to show him; his favourite colour is green... 'nuff said.
So I had my friend drive be with helmet, gloves, and Dainese jacket in hand. I test rode 'my bike' to the bank to get the bank draught. Paid in Full! The 636 makes the last of four bikes that I've owned, where I paid 'cash' for them, the 996S, the last of two R1s, and my CBR1000RR.
And it was very different! To put it mildly. In truth, I was not entirely sure I had made the right choice... suddenly another R1 looked pretty damn good. But I am a stubborn codger and was not going to throw in the towel. I told myself to give it a year. At about the ninth month it all started to gel. To be brutally honest, my body & mind were not healed from the Expedition accident - I wasn't really fit to ride any bike. And I first had to be honest with myself that I couldn't ride any bike like my former self could. And that's the part that won the day. I had to interact with body positioning, steering inputs, inner foot weighing, much more controlled throttle/brake inputs. I had to ride with much more finesse. I couldn't count on a Hulk -like 998 cc torque-manic motor, and equally stout brakes and a tough minded approach to get me through the next complex of corners. I had to act (plan) more, and react a bit less.
Yes, I love my 'baby,' and no its only name is a gender neutral Zed. I'm a slightly slower, but a much more technically, proficient rider. And that's the very best thing my Zed has taught me.