Originally Posted by itsatdm
I shudder every time this question is asked. You will get 20 recommendations all at odds with one another. Many don't even fit within your parameters. Noob + Single track + 100 miles of highway = compromise.
Being able to flatfoot is important for some just learning. If nothing else it installs some confidence when you make a mistake. Most of these single track recommendation are tall bikes. You can search the webb for the specifications of any bike. Most include wet weight and seat height.
Mine are: Honda CRF250L. Here is a comparison with a DRZ400. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx1rlj2x0U8
. Tells you more than I can about the Honda.
You can learn on that bike. Start with pavement and work into dirt mode.
I just read a CW test comparison on the 250 DS bikes and the Honda being the heaviest weighed in at 308 LBS dry which I don't think is any lighter than the DRZ... It does look like a great bike at a low price point if your going to buy new..