Well, I do not see why you have to restrict it to big bike or no bike.
My current bike is a hoot, and its only a 250.
I ride when and where its safer, I do not have the power to make a lot of stupid mistakes, the bike is light and easy to ride, and with the low power, I get to road race without risking tickets.
If all I had was a big bike, I would ride much less, because they are a pain in the butt and no fun unlless you are going very fast, but small bikes are light and easy, and doing 70 mph FEELS very fast.
Its like when you were 15 on an old 100cc bike, FUN!
And at the low price of a good used small bike (about $3000.00) there is no reason not to ride.
Since getting the small bike (down from a 1200) I ride a LOT more and enjoy it more.
A vintage bike is also fun, you can play with them more then ride them, but still get some nice rides in.
It does not have to be an iron butt ride on a big bike, or a commute to work every day, or a really fast ride on a sport bike, or a ride on an 800 pound Harley that costs $20,000.00, it can be a dual sport on mild trails, a small bike on the street, a vintage bike in the garage, or even a scooter.
Why does it have to be hard core or nothing?