The MSF class in my county is $20. They provide everything, you just show up wearing gloves, over-ankle shoes, jeans, and long sleeves. At the completion of the class you can either get the $20 back or donate it to the MSF. A certificate is then mailed to your house. You take it to the DMV, pay $10, then get your motorcycle license!
After reading your suggestions, I’m thinking 250 or 300, most likely from Craigslist. Of course, I’m taking the MSF first just to see if riding is what I hope it to be. My biggest concern is manual shifting, but I bet I’m just overthinking it.
As fun as a Grom looks, it’ll likely lack the oomph for the roads around here and the price puts it competing with used sport bikes. Plus I shouldn’t buy a new bike for my first.