Have you considered the S model instead of the SF model? It is aimed more towards dirt than street, might do a little better on the ‘iffy’ surface that a lot of country roads have.
Yamaha has a couple good models too, the XT250 and TW200 especially.
I’m going to second Suggles suggestion of taking a class. Don’t know if you have yet, but it is a good start, and they may have a few different models of motorcycles that you can take a look at to see if there is something else you might like.