How about a pre-08 ninja 250? or a ninja 500? If you got the time to practice and aren’t going to be disappointed with dropping your bebbe, you could go for an SV650, 650R, or the Ducati Monster. If you go new, you’ll be shelling out at least 6K. If you go used, I’ve seen 07 sv650s’s go for about 4500 used on craig’s list.
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…