I went thru a bunch of dual sports 5-10 years ago. Dr65o Suzuki (very good, little heavy off-road), DRZ400 (nose heavy, needs a 6th gear for highway, HARD seat, I liked the DR650 better), XR650L honda (rented for a week- Good, heavy, more engine vibes than the DR650), a plated, street-legal WR426 - light, better seat than the DRZ400, better everything than the DRZ. LAst bike was a 2006 Kawasaki KLX250s -the BEST. Light, low engine vibes, seat not too hard, OK for short freeway hauls, top speed 70-75 mph. I weigh 180#, should be better with a lighter rider, way better off-road than the DRZ400. Any bike can be too heavy in a bad off road situation. A 250 was my sweet spot, and should prove your best choice (for now). My old knee said I had to quit the off road.
Tell me Doctor, where are we going this time.......