I have been riding for a little over 7 years; consistantly!! Not weekend warrior(no dig intended), not only in the summer.. but as my main source of transportation.
I started with a Honda CBR 1000cc. I took the motorcycle safety course. Passed my written test, and the rest is history.
Don't let anyone choose a bike for you. You need to choose it based on what is best for you. I chose my bike based on comfort. Looks were a close second. I was originally obsessed with the Yamaha R1. After sitting on it, it just didn't feel right. I recommend you go to a dealer, not to buy new.. just to get a feel for your options. Be patient. I know it's exciting, but you want to buy a bike that is perfect for you.
When a friend of mine expressed interest in getting a bike and started riding, I rode with him to keep an eye on him. He started with a Kawasaki 250cc. The newer, sporty looking one. Needless to say, in a few months, he was over it and sold it. He then decided to buy a Triumph Daytona 675. Decent rider, but from observing his riding, he didn't look too confident. He is a little on the stumpy side.. when he's at a light, he is on his tippy toes. I cringe when I see people like that. I recommend you get a bike that allows you to have both feet firmly on the floor.
You also need to be confident, but not over confident. It's a fine line that you need to walk(or ride), and for me, it's always been about staying in my comfort zone. You have to be aware at all times.. don't hot dog! People are going to look.. it's hard not to. Motorcycles; sport bikes in particular, are very very sexy. You need to stay focused though. Car vs Motorcycle typically doesn't end well for Motorcycle.
People are on cell phones.. women do their make-up. Truthfully, motorcycles sneak up on you. I've been in a car many times where a motorcycle has come out of nowhere. I ride as if no one can see me. If there is room in front of me and a car is ahead in the next lane, I expect them to come over. 9 times out of 10, they do.
There is nothing else like it. I got rid of my 1000RR and found myself back on a bike, this time a 600RR. Plenty of bike, just had to adjust the less power and less weight. I ride it now consistently, rain or shine. I ALWAYS wear my leather jacket, gloves, and a helmet. I typically wear denim jeans, seldom wear khakis. Jeans are no match for leather pants, but they will save some skin if you do happen to go down. I do not have boots, though it would be a wise investment. Spyderco > Boots.
I don't know what city/state you ride in, but that also has a heavy impact on riding. I am in Southern California. I commuted daily from Anaheim/Buena Park to Glendale, through 5 fwy, 710 fwy, 60 fwy and so on... all of which riddled with pot holes, big rigs, distracted drivers, debris, you name it. Slick roads, most things you can think of. I've even accidentally run over a dead possum. I felt bad, even though it was dead. I was on a fwy transition and as I was corning there it was, right in my line. You just never know.
I am rambling. I am just trying to share my experience. If you have taken a rider safety course, good for you. If you haven't, I HIGHLY recommend it. I do not regret it. In California, all one has to do in order to ride a motorcycle is pass the written. Now there are limitations: No riding on the fwy, no riding at night and no passengers. That's how I remember the permit restrictions when I first started. Those may have changed since then. Point is, there are a lot of inexperienced guys out there, going way too fast, showing off, riding recklessly... w/only permit. The fact that you have M1 tells me you passed some sort of riding test, the question is; how extensive was the test?
I think I'm done. If I can think of anything else, I'm sure I'll add to it. I sent you a PM as well. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. I'm not trying to come of as a know-it-all by any means, just sharing my experience. As I said before, stay in your comfort zone. My best friend's dad who rides, told me that same thing when I started riding. He has been riding for 40+ years. He is very wise, very experienced and his experiences and advice have worked for me!!
Ride safe. Two on the floor at all times.