Boysmom chimed in a while back and asked a doosie of a question. Wat should be budgeted to aquire a capable motorcycle... and the required gear?
Now first of all... no one should hold illusions of riding through a hail storm. Yes... lots of fellow adventurers have been caught in hail storms before... but take it from me... at 60 mph... hail hurts.
Lets consider some options though... sounds like she was looking for a commuter that could deal with the elements. You could roll two ways... You could go with a BMW... that's a great option... but realisticly you'd need 10 grand to pick up a nice 1150GS and the safety gear to go with it. You may aquire it for less... but I couldn't guarantee it.
The other option is a Kawasaki KLR650. With 5 grand you could have a nice late model klr and all the gear necessary to make it a rock star commuter.
Either of these bikes would have hardbags... electric outlets for heated vests (which would be your best bet) and heated grips.
Another good option... not quite as rugged perhaps... would be kawasaki versys... that would be somewhere in the middle.