Originally Posted by Aufitt
yes the bigger 'scooters' are classed as motorcycles due to their engine capacity, so the loophole is a recent one in some states.
The laws will catch up eventually, similar to the the Manual and Automatic car licences being a different class.
I have never heard of auto and manual car licenses being in a different class. Not saying it doesn't happen, but I've lived in three states and nothing I have seen prevents a person from taking their test in an auto and hopping in a manual.
Twenty-five years or so ago I moved to Florida and bought a 5 speed Trans Am and taught myself to drive it. Ironically, Florida at the time required new residents to re-take their road test no matter how many years they had been driving. So I had nine years of driving experience, but less than 30 days in a 5 speed and I passed the test. So I think people should have to take a test in a manual to be legal, but I've never seen that to be true in the USA anyway.
In Texas, anything over 50 cc is considered a motorcycle and there is no distinction between auto and manual. The MSF course is required for new license and they supply the motorcycles which are 125cc and 250cc 5 speed manual transmission. There is no way to take the test on a scooter.
Back to the OP question, I would go with the Honda NT700. It's kind of old school and not that exiting, but if your interest is in Medium ST bikes it's a decent choice.