Wow, a T'Bird is lotsa machine for a first ride ! Yes, be careful as you learn, and watch out for the crazy Houston drivers.
You're right about the crazy Houston drivers. They can sometimes look right at you, wave, smile, or nod, then proceed to drive as if you were never there. I think anyone THINKING about riding should take the MSF class FIRST. Even though I still have so much to master in terms of RIDING the bike, I believe they did a great job of instilling the right safety mindset. Basically, assume everyone is trying to hit you
I do love the look and feel of my T-Bird, though. I am really happy I chose it.