After looking at the bikes available on the Australian 'Learner Approved' list Beachy and I decided that a Suzuki Intruder 250 would be a good bike for me to learn on.
Having had no previous riding experience, I found the bike to be relatively light, making it easier to handle and manoeuvre, particularly in traffic on the comute to work. ( The lighter weight also meant that I was able to pick it up myself in the embarrassing situation when I managed to tip it over while practicing my slow speed turns
The bike is very stylish in appearance and looks like a cruiser, so doesn't stand out like a 'sore thumb' when out with the big boys. There aren't many after market accessories available, but that wasn't an issue as it was purchased as a short term proposition to learn on until I had the confidence to move onto a bigger bike. I have added saddle bags to take my work gear ( and kitchen sink and coffee maker as Beachy would say!! )
It has five gears and enough pick up for city or country riding, but it didnt take long for me to keep looking for that extra gear.
On road trips with the 'big boys' it could keep up, but had to work really hard. She struggles maintaining speed up hills and if riding into a headwind. On a 260 km trip with Beachy on the m109r (very windy day) the Intruder used only 2 litre less fuel than the Boulevard (250cc vs 1800cc). Being a lighter bike, wind buffeting is also a problem on road trips, either in windy conditions or from passing trucks.
Overall I have found it to be an excellent entry level bike. While I could have started with a larger bike (650cc), the lighter Intruder has enabled me to develop confidence and build up my handling skills so that I can now look forward to moving onto a bigger bike with confidence.