What is a good starter bike?
You aren't buying a suit of clothes. Your friend is stupid. He wants you starting on something a seasoned rider should have. He shouldn't recommend anything he isn't paying for. Go to a few shops and find something used that won't be a great loss when it falls over and drags the seat out of your jeans. Think about this because that's part of learning. Slow falls won't kill you. Getting pinned under something you can't escape before some idiot cager creams you isn't so romantic. You learn on something cheap and light that isn't faster than your brain. When I started riding I tried out a Kawasaki A7, H1 and G3TR. At 5'7" and 120, the H1 had me like a flag on a pole. I got the G3TR and learned, street, trails, whoopde doos, then moved up to a bigger bike. The little G3 was easy to fix, whatever I broke, and cheap as shicken chit to own. My chubby little girlfriend enjoyed the G3, especially when I took her on the dirt.
My first was a Honda 90, learned a lot on that little bike. It wasn't fast at all but I learned how to make it go faster by learning the tricks of adjusting the line in a corner, learning to lean, using engine braking, etc. Find some nice used bike and from there step forward as Rome wasn't built in a day and neigher will your riding unless you build up the skill to keep stepping forward.
Wait until you complete the training class. THEN you will have a better idea of what sort of bike you want to ride as a beginner.
FInd a decent Honda Shadow. Perfect motor cycle.
A 600 what? A single cylinder air-cooled bike is very different to an inline 4 cylinder liquid-cooled bike – ask your buddy what he was thinking about. Personally I believe I benefited from beginning on a 50cc 4 stroke, then a 125cc 2 stroke and so on. Any mistakes I made were not magnified as they would have been on a 600cc inline 4.
The 600cc racing motorcycle is physically the same size as the 300. What is a "good starter bike" depends on WHY you want a motorcycle and where you plan to ride. Who will tell you what is good depends if you listen to "Old" or "Bold."
This is a Very Personal choice. I dig Triumphs and Harleys. But, rode a 650 Honda 8 years. Many are Happy with a scooter. Go to the Honda dealer, Sit on a 250, then a 440 Rebel. Feet Flat on pavement, off-stand? Good. What Fits you best is Very important. Like, picking out a puppy? Cute? Yes, But, does the dog Like you?. Then, Try One. Don't get too small, like a125 , or too big/heavy to start off on, like a 650. Nor too fast , like a Ninja or Y-3. Nor huge, like my Harley. Do not be disappointed in a month, this is Normal. Many trade up soon to a 500 or 600. A 650 is minimum what I recommend for freeway. A 750 is better.
MotoGP riders started their racing careers on 125cc or 250cc bikes. You should too. Get a Honda Rebel. The 500 if you think the 300 is too wimpy for you. As Clint Eastwood says: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VrFV5r8cs0
Would recommend a ninja 400 or yamaha r3. If not the honda cbr500r which is still a 2cyl sports bike but its 500cc instead of the 250/300cc beginner bikes
At least 600 or 750 used Honda Shadow. The problem with CBR's is a 300 is going to be too small and a 600 is going to be too powerful for a novice. After you have your endorsement it is dangerous riding something that doesn't have enough suspension or power for your weight. I tiny little Rebel or CBR300 is great for parking lots, but once you got the mechanics of staying upright and stopping where you want then you need a bike that's going to be big enough that basic road conditions and comfort aren't going to be hazards. Buy used because most new riders do drop the bike, the least financial loss will be an already dinged bike.
Maybe KLR Kaw or similar dual sport 500 to 650cc . Main reason to suggest that type is your size and weight- you are tall enough to flat foot a duel sport, the engine are tuned for low end power to haul your as-s easily without getting to much trouble power that would trow you under bus or semi tractor-trailer rig. Suzi S40 comes in street versions, basic single cylinder trail bike that got street treatment. Fit of cycle is first concern, 'reasonable' power and moderate weight - your size compared to cycle size and weight- cycle weighs twice rider for beginners rough estimate and you could handle up to 470 pounds- 1 to 10 power/weight- a 47hp engine. Suzi S40 Boulvard 35hp and 385 pounds would be a good start- and lot of them made so 5 years old part expendable would be good first bike. Harley 883 with 50 hp and 500 pounds a few years old would be good enough also. a year playing in traffic before getting much more power than 50 hp or sign the donor card section on drivers license.
Your first bike ain't your last bike, dude. Get something used than runs. A 300's fine. Then figure out what kind of bike--sport, adventure, cruiser--suits you and start saving for it. The idea with a first bike is to learn to ride without killing yourself, not to go to the Isle of Man. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxPMu7tI7Mg&index=8&t=25s&list=FL08cPDvhD5CMTfZ4-hqXK2w
Yup. A 160mph Supersport is the perfect beginner bike. Performance of a Ferrari Enzo, with zero safety features, what could go wrong? My favorite bike around town and for tooling around is my 1969 Honda 350. I also have a 1000cc BMW and 1100cc Kawasaki sport tourer. I started on a Honda 70, then moved to a Honda 350, then a Triumph 650, then a BMW 1000, then the Kawasaki 1100. The 350 is way more fun on everything except the freeway. (Except for maybe my CL450 scrambler). Work your way up to a street legal race bike. Plus the 600 is basically the same size as the 300, but has a race stance (not fun for more than an hour IMO as you are basically laying on the bike). But, chose your own adventure. Know guys who made it less than a week starting on a Supersport before dying or wrecking so bad that they will never ride again.
Sounds like your friends are trying to get you killed. I’m 5’7”, 200 lbs, I ride a Honda xr100r and it does more than I need it too. I’m not doing backflips, I’m trail riding and cruising around. For you, I’d say an xr200r or something like it. It might be smaller than everyone else’s, but you have more control and more comfort and that translates into .... More safety!!