smoothness and appropriate speed are the keys to good riding. skill and confidence will grow with time and practice.
buy a copy of roadcraft police training manual, and practice the "system" in your car/bike.
Motorcycles are different from a car or bicycle as speed and position and manuverability are not the same.
boots, leathers and a well fitting quality helmet and gloves.
fit the best tyres on your bike and keep an eye on pressure and wear,
maintain your bike well.
avoid the temptation to race/speed on the road, aim for smoothness and safe progress instead.
go on some track days , it is so much fun and really lets you work on your skills safely.
another vote for VFRs here as a everything bike, but get a decent sized bike whatever you do!