Honestly if you're newer I think you'd be happy with either. I've owned a couple DRZs, on my 2nd 701, and also currently have a DR650 (which is for sale :)). I'm constantly on the fence, mostly from a cost/value perspective about which one I should keep for the long haul. 701 is winning, but really you can't go wrong with any of them functionally. Just boils down to what you like most in what each bike has to offer. Happy to offer any insight I can if you have more questions. The best thing you can do if you're worried about skill development, is go take some classes from the pros. I waited way to long to do that and I suffered a lot from developing bad habits, as well as transferring a lot of street habits (that were also probably not properly developed) over to the dirt.