Honestly, I’m not the best person to say which is better. I’ve ridden neither. Everything I’ve read, and my experiences with other bikes tells me the 500R will be a friendlier bike.
As for the MSF, no the courses are not the same. The lot you practice in makes a big difference, but the individual instructors make the biggest difference. No matter how uniform the ciriculum, the difference between a good instructor and a great one changes everything.
When I took my courses we did it in a pretty big lot. We were able to get up to 40km/h and turn at about 30km/h (roughly 20mph).
When you do get your bike, I highly recommend some time in a large parking lot. If you have a stadium near by, they tend to have great parking lots for it.