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Hello fellas. My little brother is turning 17 this year and getting his rider's license. From what he has told me he would like one of those cookie cutter bikes currently on sale new. The Led light, single cylinder 400cc 4strokee like the KTM rc390 etc.. He can't buy one yet (thankfully) as he's too young to have any real money. I would like to surprise him and buy the little dude something more substantial.. I am torn between an Aprilia RS125 two stroke and a Ducati Supersport 600, the 90s version with the square headlight. I have always ridden 2stroke Aprilias and I think they are tools to become a good rider. Athough I love them to death, they were really a pain in the ass in every case other than the track. About the Ducati, I have no experience whatsoever, but it looks awesome and seems to be friendly enough for a newbie. What do you guys think would be the better option?
 

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The 900SS is a solid bike. Works well, not too much power.
 
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CBR 500R all day long. It was my first bike and it's honestly the best of both worlds. Super reliable, 70 mi to the gallon, parts are dirt cheap and it tops out at 110mph.

You got to think that he's going to lay it over and smash a mirror and scrape a fairing so he's going to want something that he can replace parts on very readily and easily and cheaply.

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Any smaller Japanese bike will be a good choice for a beginner. Low maintenance, less costly insurance, less costly repairs.
A Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 might be a good choice. Good reviews and low cost.
Move up to an Italian sport bike after the initial learning curve is over
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
CBR 500R all day long. It was my first bike and it's honestly the best of both worlds. Super reliable, 70 mi to the gallon, parts are dirt cheap and it tops out at 110mph.

You got to think that he's going to lay it over and smash a mirror and scrape a fairing so he's going to want something that he can replace parts on very readily and easily and cheaply.

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Any smaller Japanese bike will be a good choice for a beginner. Low maintenance, less costly insurance, less costly repairs.
A Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 might be a good choice. Good reviews and low cost.
Move up to an Italian sport bike after the initial learning curve is over
Ι had an Aprilia AF1 Futura as a first motorcycle
 

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+1 on the beater bikes and cheapo repairs. Invest in good tires and riding gear.
 

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Yeah I get where you're coming from and it's tempting but practically speaking is he going to be able to afford parts, maintenance, and insurance on a Ducati being a teenager? Unless you're going to foot the bill for that as well. You don't want to set him up to fail. He's going to be over the moon with whatever you get him.

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Cx500 great learner. Had the same. Road the piss out it on long trips. I think it’s still rolling around Philly.
 
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OK, Im going to be the "bad guy" here (I can hear the boo's now...)
To be clear, this really depends on his maturity and self control. And what type of bikes he is interested in.
If he is into sportsbikes, Id say start with an older japanese 600. Personally, I started on a 600 f4, and i would say something like that could be a reasonable first option. Yes, I was older than him when I started, but I never really grew up anyway.
The bike only goes as fast as you turn the throttle. A supersport 600 actually has less low-end torque than a lot of "starter" bikes that some people recommend, and the torque is what overwhelms the tire. So if you respect it and keep revs low and throttle under control, it will be fine.
Plus, they tend to have good brakes and chassis stability. And they are reasonable light and easy to manage.
I say this also because a lot of people I know wasted a lot of money regularly trading "up" in bikes as they learned. So why not buy a bike that you can grow into and enjoy for a long time, instead of constantly wanting to get that next bigger/cooler bike? You get to enjoy it all the time.
And, you can get a cool older 600 for very cheap. And cheap parts are endless. One downside is maintenance ease...i.e. removing fairings all the time. But it gets easer the more you do it.
OK, no flames, please. Just my .02...
 

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We have a 790 Duke which is a fantastic basic bike. In my estimation at about 100 horses, it is quite strong..."Ready to Race." The 390 might be the better choice to learn on, not something that goes 130 mph, because he will go for the top speed. I like the Enfield idea as well, maybe the 400.
 

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Looking at the RC, I think your little brother wants a bike that doesn't look like an old mans bike.
 

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IF he is more responsible then 100% agree with mvnoob. I told my buddy hundreds of times, just get the bike you want in the beginning. You skip the selling, buying, insurance, new color gear, new parts, metric to standard tools, redoing all the maintenance again blah blah blah run around. Just ride responsibly. Then my buddy immediatly got a buell blast....wtf, then he got a night hawk...then finally he got a street triple. The RC looks awesome, id ride it for sure. However if the engine is anything like a buel blast....nope. numb hands after 2 minutes of riding.
 

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A friend of me bought a 900SS last year and i did some km/miles with it. Works well, but i would recommend a lighter bike for the start.
When i decided to ride after over 20 years with licence but without a bike and experience in the youth with a Aprillia RS 125, i decided to buy a Ducati Monster 1100 Evo. ABS, TC, light and italian and sexy. Never regreted that decission.
The Monster is much more easy to handle than the 900 SS an has security features.
In the end it‘s a decision of what he would like to ride, but please no ugly KTM. 🙈
 

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OK, Im going to be the "bad guy" here (I can hear the boo's now...)
To be clear, this really depends on his maturity and self control. And what type of bikes he is interested in.
If he is into sportsbikes, Id say start with an older japanese 600. Personally, I started on a 600 f4, and i would say something like that could be a reasonable first option. Yes, I was older than him when I started, but I never really grew up anyway.
The bike only goes as fast as you turn the throttle. A supersport 600 actually has less low-end torque than a lot of "starter" bikes that some people recommend, and the torque is what overwhelms the tire. So if you respect it and keep revs low and throttle under control, it will be fine.
Plus, they tend to have good brakes and chassis stability. And they are reasonable light and easy to manage.
I say this also because a lot of people I know wasted a lot of money regularly trading "up" in bikes as they learned. So why not buy a bike that you can grow into and enjoy for a long time, instead of constantly wanting to get that next bigger/cooler bike? You get to enjoy it all the time.
And, you can get a cool older 600 for very cheap. And cheap parts are endless. One downside is maintenance ease...i.e. removing fairings all the time. But it gets easer the more you do it.
OK, no flames, please. Just my .02...
^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^

Honda cbr600 f4 was my first bike. Has big bike feel, will keep in touch with a lot of stuff if you ride it right, but super easy and friendly and all-round cheap.
I've still got it and still love riding it despite what else shares a garage with it.
It'll always be worth more than the money I could get for it so don't think it'll ever get sold or consigned to a dusty corner. A great bike.
 

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@Rich8 @Joe! I just googled the top speed of that 600 F4 and it said 160 mph!! Is that correct?

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@Rich8 @Joe! I just googled the top speed of that 600 F4 and it said 160 mph!! Is that correct?
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I had one. I never actually tested it LOL. It has a pretty potent engine for a 600 though, noticably stronger under 10k or so than my friends R6 I used to ride. I do remember seeing all those reviews when I was about to buy it. I remember being surprised by the numbers they posted. And it was carbureted. This might be my only reservation in buying one now...I might say go for the F4i, which came out a couple years into its life. Carburetors arent particular fun to deal with IMO.
 

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First bike, def not an uncomfortable old Duc SS. A Monster would be much better. A 696 would be good bike that wouldn't need to be replaced unless you are a power junkie.

But. What does he like?
 

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@Rich8 @Joe! I just googled the top speed of that 600 F4 and it said 160 mph!! Is that correct?

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Mine is F4i (FI, not carbed). Clock goes up to 150mph, but I'm sure it kept pulling a little bit beyond that when I tried a vmax run.
Much more low down torque than an r6, but still doesn't really get going til 10k revs plus.
 
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