Background: * I took an MSF class and got an M endorsement last year Dec. Have been trying to decide on my first bike since. * A few thousand miles of experience with step through scooters from 10 years ago in pretty inhospitable conditions. I think I've forgotten most of it though. I ride road bicycles though. * 32, male, 5ft 10.5in, 30in inseam. * Reasonably athletic - marathoner and can bench my body weight (170lbs). * I live in Manhattan, NYC. * Intended purpose: Riding to some places I go for running in, in and around the city. Occasionally riding to Jersey City across the river. Taking a long vacation trip on the bike once a year with my wife/kid/friends in the wife's car, potentially with the wife on pillion at times if we can get a friend to drive her car. Back roads to the extent possible but you cannot really avoid the highways here. There don't seem to be any trails around here. * Budget around USD 9k for the bike. Already have bought all gear. * Don't want to buy used. Just averse to the risk of owning someone else's problems, especially at a high speed on two wheels. * Don't want to spend more than $500/yr on insurance. The parking I've scoped out is expensive as is. * Don't want a bike that will need TLC frequently. I have very little time outside work and family and in that time I would just want to go out and ride. * Safety is very important to me. 2yr old at home that I want to see grow up (and ride with!). I had started out thinking I will limit my search to ABS equipped bikes. Had settled on a Honda CB500F but the damned bike with ABS is just not coming into the shops here. And I didn't like it that much anyway, it was more of a compromise "first bike." So I went and sat on a BMW G650GS at a local BMW dealership. LOVED the bike. They quoted me $9k OTD which seemed reasonable, though not overly so. I came back to think it over and saw all sorts of reliability concerns and a general consensus that BMW quality control is shot. Researching the BMW led to threads about the DR650SE and KLR650 and Wee-Strom 650. Of those only the Wee has ABS. The summary is: 1. Honda CB500F: Cheaper than my budget (less than $7k OTD), cheap to insure ($460/yr), sat on a non-ABS model and it was okay. Nothing great but okay. 2. BMW G650GS: Right on budget, cheap to insure, sat on one and it felt just right, LOVED the idea of it. But reports on the post-2009 bikes on the forums are TERRIBLE. Looks like I should exclude this on reliability grounds alone. 3. Wee-strom: Right on budget (will be less than $9k OTD), EXPENSIVE to insure ($780/yr), sat on one and it felt TALL - I was on tiptoes. Excluding this due to cost-of-insurance. 4. DR650SE: Under my budget, cheap to insure ($470/yr), no FI, tubes instead of tubeless, no ABS (!!), have NOT sat on it but like it on paper. Talked to someone who said they can do more than tiptoe it at a 5'9in height, so maybe it sags enough for me to mostly flat-foot it. Options are to: 1. Wait indefinitely for the Honda. The last I heard was end of May, but then that has been a moving deadline since mid-April. I'm frustrated with the wait! 1.5 Buy the CBR5000R - the UGLY faired and clip-on'd version of the CB500F for $500 more - which I CAN get in the ABS version right now. 2. Buy the BMW and hope that all the problems that have plagued others will not affect me. 3. Give up the ABS and buy a DR650SE. In the process also give up FI, tubeless tires. Questions: 1. What do you think of the reliability and cost-of-ownership concerns of the BMW vs. the DR650SE? 2. But how easy is it to lock the front/rear wheel on a DR650SE? Does the longer wheelbase make locking and sliding on paved street less likely? I don't want to start an ABS debate - I have seen people are pretty passionate about that topic on forums - so I am wording this question very carefully. 3. What do you think of the street-safety of the BMW vs the DR650SE? Is a newbie rider more likely to crash one vs. the other? 4. Wildcard question: What would you have done if you were in my shoes?