Before you read my blurb on what/how to do stuff on/with motorcycles, you have to keep in mind that I am not a professional in any way...I only speek/write from my own experience and study, filtered through my own brain-mouth&hands filter.
If you're going to read something here, read about: Bike attitude.
So, about me:
So, now feel free to read about:
Are cruisers worse than sport bikes? I think cruisers are not as nimble (because of rake etc) than sport-bikes. I hear that they're actually worse on the back than sports? Some do look cool, though!
How dangerous is motorcycling? Well, in my mind, not very, but obviously more dangerous than driving a car...Because of my type/style, I'm in the lowest 1-3% of accident statistics (HURT report). Bottom line: bikers crash less often than cars do but, when they do, the consequences are much worse.
Do bikes stop much faster than a car? I guess it used to be the case, but nowadays a super-sport stops as fast as a small car: 40something meters. Does that compare to SUVs or trucks? I think not!
Is it true that every rider crashes eventually or at least spills the bike? I don't think it has to be...I did drop the bike (standing still) twice. I did drift unwilingly several times... but that's it. I think it is at least as feasible (but harder, of course) as having drivers that don't have accidents. I did take many falls on my dirt-bike, but that's another story :)
Is it better to "lay it down" when something bad is about to happen? NO. That is a sure way to cause something bad to happen for sure. You give up control of where you are going and also are not able to brake anymore. It is a much better idea to keep braking all the way and slow down much more before impact and possibly even steer around the problem.
Does counter-steering work? Of course - it is the main way to steer a motorcycle and believing it doesn't is not only plain stupid but it will also NOT save your life one day!
...and I think every beginner will benefit from doing the same...
Went to an MSF (quivalent) course: 16 hours and learned a lot. Right after that I got a brand new sport bike and had to keep the RPMs under 5k the first few weeks. I recommend you do it even if the bike is old...it takes the edge off and you have time to get accustomed to the bike.
Read quite a bit about motorcycles. "Proficient Motorcycling" and "Twist of the wrist" I remember as being very good. The last one excellent before heading out to the track.
Had a lot of experience driving cars in traffic. Not just driving, but usually driving...let's say faster than average. That is important, since it makes you learn patterns in traffic which help keep surprises away. Also, it's relevant since you're getting used to paying more attention than you might otherwise.
Kept messing with the bike and practising braking, countersteering, the stuff I read (cornering etc).
And enjoyed it every moment!