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I think for your first bike I'd steer clear of a damaged bike unless you plan to put elbow work in, especially for 3k plus bike. Talk him down since its a little busted. You want to maximize your time riding and I'd recommend a 250 to start, but everyone is different. I'd also avoid throwing lots of money into it as well unless you plan to keep it for awhile.

Just had some acquaintances purchase their first bikes and oh boy bent forks, broken levers, etc problems because they rushed it for outrageous prices. If you can actually test ride an sv650 that is properly working it'll be great because you can spot differences between it and the one you want.

I don't know how the prices work over there but THIS summer was the worst season for sport bike prices in DFW IMO. Luckily I got my 03' SV650S for $2500 8k milesish. I personally spent $1900 on a ninja 250, 2005 rode it for 6 months then sold it for $2100, again depends on area and I upgraded the hell out of it: zx6r rear shocks, stainless steel line for the brakes front and rear, jetted, etc. lost like $300 but the learning experience was amazing.

Personal opinion on this deal make him fix the lever or have him ride it in front of you running through some gears or pillion it up. Don't ever buy a bike you have not ridden or seen start. One of the acquaintances I mentioned bought an R6 without even riding nor hearing it. In short since he's lacking Passion in fixing his bike it's been I his garage for like 3months lmao. I'm not poking fun of him but personal experience gives me the ability to, but that's a story for another time.

Also remember you aren't just spending 3k. You may have to replace tires, brake pads, (should swap all fluids), and possibly something else.

In the end it's your money and I hope you have a great time with your first bike!!!
 
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