In anticipation of my move to San Francisco, I’ve bought a slightly used (salvaged) Suzuki DR-Z400 SM. The SM stands for supermotard. The idea behind supermotard bikes is to put street wheels and turn signals on a dirtbike. Compared to a typical sportbike, they are light, slow, and good on bumpy streets and dirt.
I’m 5’6”, so the bike is pretty tall for me. I can barely touch my toes to the pavement when I straddle it. But that height comes in handy; I can easily see over cars in traffic. In fact, I’m pretty sure I could ride over the roofs of those cars. The ridiculous suspension lets me ride over curbs and baby strollers without worries. It’s practical as well. Insurance is cheap. It’s slower (and probably safer) than my SV-650/S. It’s ugly in an endearing way. And it doesn’t have expensive fairings to fix after it falls.
Finally, it can do this:
OK, maybe it’s not safer.