I bought my GS500 before I knew how to operate a motorcycle or registered for MSF class. I had been looking for a used GS500 for a long time (about 2 years – can you believe it?) and a clean one with a good price came along, and I didn’t want to loose that bike. I didn’t know anything about motorcycles and didn’t ask for a test ride. I just spoke with the seller, and felt comfortable with him and the bike. The seller rode it to my garage and parked it there. A week later I did a walk-in to a MSF class; there were two no-shows so I got right in. I didn’t touch my GS500 until the evening when I finished my MSF class. Luckily, it worked out well for me. Nevertheless, normally it’d be much better to buy after you’ve taken the MSF class.
Those Rebels are awfully small and low, even for someone with 28” inseam, but that’s just a personal opinion. I was totally underwhelmed by the 250cc Rebels and Nighthawks even during the MSF class. Ever considered a 500cc Vulcan?