For a lst time rider ------
------ a good 'used' bike is a sensible move.
As others point out look for signs of the bike being raced, crashed or used for foolish riding like stoppies & wheelies.
Obviouse this is when you hope to know a rider that can check out a bike for you.
If not, then the cost of having the bike checked out at a m/c shop, by a mechanic, is a good move.
An experienced rider can go either way on 'used' or new as so many of us have. Throughout the yrs or riding.
Besides right now is prime time to start looking around for a GOOD used bike at a proper price. So many going back to school, money problems, thinking of one of the NEW bikes to show up in the m/c mags, possibility of the bike to be put away for a few months of cold weather or owner needs money for a snowmobike!!!