Originally Posted by VolEngineer
Have you taken the MSF course? If not, take it. It is good no matter what experience rider you are, everyone learns something. Save on insurance too.
500R sounds like a good place to start, look at the 250s and Suzuki GS500f. If you really feel like throwing caution to the wind, the Suzuki SV650 naked and s models and the Kawasaki ninja 650R is about the max most would recommend for beginners.
+1 to all of the above....
And welcome to the addiction!!
Do get out there and take your MSF before even looking at bikes, and then once you've taken it, get out and sit on every bike you can. Luckily you're tall, so that will work to your advantage (as in, the seat height won't be an issue for you).
Also, when looking at bikes, be sure to budget between $700 and $1000 for GEAR (at the very least, armoured jacket with CD armour, gloves, helmet and boots). Along the way you can add other items (i.e. different jackets and gloves for different seasons, over-pants, kevlar reinforced jeans, etc....).