Questions from a newbie!

  • Subjective, but make sure you've really thought out the 'only mode of transportation' issue. DFW isn't a very forgiving place to ride when you actually need to get somewhere - today's weather is an example. Summer heat is another.... traffic all the time is the biggie. You can't lane split, so highway riding here is a beating.

  • You don't want a KTM 390 SC (are they released yet) - if it's your only transportation, a thumper with a race posture will beat you down. The Ninja is a better choice. R3 is worth a look - not sure how aggressive the posture is on it. Don't discount a SuperMoto. Light, flickable bikes are good choices because you want light weight and control for commuting. If it's your only mode of transportation, a commuter is what you're talking about. For this reason, the NC700 is the best choice on your list You don't hear much about the NC700 but it's got storage, it's light and nimble, sips gas, respectable engine, etc. You don't have to get an automatic one and don't have to be in automatic mode. Truthfully, although I think it detracts from the ride, an automatic is ideal in your situation - the problem is, you may as well get a powerful scooter if you're getting an automatic... which... again... is a valid choice. You should look serious at the NC700 - your choice on the auto thing. I would personally stay away from cruisers. SV650 and Ninja 650 would also make my list. Nothing at all wrong with the 300's though. You won't outgrow the 300 any time soon - however, you may think you've outgrown it - and could leave a bad taste in your mouth. If you're looking at new because you need to finance - look at used bikes at the dealer. Keep insurance costs in mind - check before you buy.

  • Naked vs. Faired is personal choice. It's mostly cosmetic. It can matter at highway speeds, but only if you'd consider upgrading the windscreen on a faired bike. The windscreen on the faired bikes in that class offer very little protection.

  • Reliability - you left out Suzuki. All fine. KTM maintenance will run you more and be more difficult to come by. Depending on where you live, even something simple with a KTM could leave you without a bike for a week. The big 4 japanese bikes are well represented in both the aftermarket and OEM - parts and service are readily available in most areas.

Good luck.

/r/DallasRiders Thread