My 01 S was my first motorcycle at 16. Before that I rode my bicycle the 3 miles across downtown to school each day. That showed me cars don’t stop for smaller lighter things on the road reliably having been hit once. I had driven my little brothers PW 80 a few times but the DRZ was a major step up in power. I really would not want to learn to drive with it in any size of a town. I drove a car for over a year before I took the MSF basic class and got my M licensee. So far I have only crashed the DRZ on road one time. It was a lowside at about 30 on a banked corner. There was no real damage to me or the bike due to having all my gear on. I did not use it much only 4 to 5k on road a year. I have been able to take the DRZ anywhere my friends go they have KLR 650’s and some Honda dual sports. It is good for the short 10 mile trip to work and back I have now. As far as only driving a bike I would not. Hauling all your moto gear around school will suck been there done that. It was cool to have to go to a friend’s house taking it slow on good weather days but you cannot really carry another person or much stuff. You will be around a lot of new drivers the closer you get to school and will only make it worse. I was glad to have it but I chose to drive a car normally. I would recommend getting the S and ride it off road. Practice like you were on road for a year while you drive a car. Then take the class and go slow from there. I have seen some really messed up people that have crashed and lost limbs and major skin removal. It definitely keeps me from trying anything on the road at speed. I will keep my wheelies and jumps to nice grass covered dirt. At 21 I upgraded to a DL 1000 for the long 70 mile drive to college. I use the DRZ about once a week now. On the DL I have not had an incident on road with it yet and hope I never do because picking a 400+ lbs bike in the mud sucks. You really do have to watch out on the road as I have had to brake and swerve or brake and honk on many occasions on the road. I have never crashed a car on the road but most of my friend in high school did. A lot of them would have been killed if they were on bikes. I would really hope you learn to drive with a nice cage of metal around you for a while first.