I think people put too much emphasis on being able to pick a bike up if you drop it.
Dropping a motorcycle is akin to rolling your car. Would you only buy a car if you were sure you could roll it back over off its roof into its wheels by yourself?
If you know how to ride a MC you should never ever drop it, unless you have been hit by another vehicle, or maybe had a tire blow out on the highway, and then getting your bike back up is not an issue, there is a good chance it will not be ride-able, or you will not be able to ride.
The most important thing is being able to sit on the bike with both feet flat on the ground with some flex still in your legs and knees, so you have some wiggle room with your legs. If a bike is so heavy that you cannot hold it up when its already "up" then you need a smaller and lighter bike. You should never need to put you feet down while the bike is moving. You always put the side kick stand up and down while you are sitting on the bike. Never push the bike around standing on one side, sit on the bike and duck walk it.
Im curious where you live where there are no MSF classes nearby, I thought they were everywhere. If she really wants to start with a small bike a Rebel 250 is used in a lot of MSF beginner classes, you can find them used low mileage for $1500 or less, because people do buy them for their first bike then move up. If you buy one new and sell it a year later you will take a bath. If you buy it used and sell it a year later, you might break even.
Another option would be a 125 or 250 dual purpose road/trail bike - they are usually really light, 200 lbs. The only drawback is with a bike that light you can develop bad riding habits, where you are horsing the bike around instead of learning to ride the bike and not be fighting it all the time.
Last edited by KCW; 03-22-2018 at 12:35 PM.