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If you like sportbikes, the Kawasaki Ninja 250 is a good start. Especially a nice pre-owned one.
Ken's right. Buy used. Spend $1500 or less. You will find something that more than meets the needs. Stay away from 2 stroke bikes for your first bike. They are fun but require a little more mechanical attention than 4 stroke bikes. You WILL drop the first bike- happens to all of us. It is less painful to drop a $1500 bike and a $3000- remember that. GO THROUGH A MSF CLASS!! No exceptions. At your age it will save you lots of money on insurance premiums if you buy anything other than liability coverage. Most importantly, DO NOT take riding suggestions from friends- they will undoubtedly lead you down a path of mistakes.
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