New rider from Portland, ME
I took the Basic Rider Course in Maine this past August, and passed my road and written tests at the end of it. I was 51 years old. Prior to the BRC, I had spent a total of less than a couple hours riding motorcycles in my lifetime, all while I was in my teens. It was nice that there were only four of us in the BRC class that weekend, because we got to spent lots of time on the bikes - over 30 miles in a trucking company's parking lot.
I had a number of people tell me I should just get a beater bike, that I would end up dropping it, etc. I wasn't keen on idea of getting a used bike though that might have issues due to poor maintenance, and I also liked the added safety of ABS. I ended up getting a really great deal ($7274) on a new 2016 Versys 650 LT. I actually bought the bike before I took the BRC. I had also looked at the V-Strom 650, the NC700X and the F700GS, although I didn't ride any of them, since I didn't even have a rider permit yet. I have no regrets about getting the Versys 650. Being such a new rider, riding any bike is not going to feel completely natural to me, but I do feel relatively comfortable on the Versys. I also love how positive virtually everything I've read about the bike has been. I'm excited to do some touring/camping with it this year.
I'm already kind of thinking about getting something like a KLX250, CRF250L or WR250R as a second bike, not to replace the Versys, but for more off-road riding.
Portland, Maine, USA
2016 Versys 650 LT