Whats this fascination with ABS?? Let him learn to ride and build confidence in his abilities w/out the use of such handicaps. Lots of us learned to ride that way and id like to think we/most of us are thankful for that. I can do a panic brake and not lock up, shouldnt have to if you leave an Out. And if one really needs ABS to feel comfy in the corners it makes me wonder about their confidence in their own skills instead of relying on a gyro or whatever or what they intend to actually get from riding. Maybe learning w/out that stuff will make you sharper or less likely to push it knowing there's no safety net?? Learn without it and you might rely on your own skills more is my thought. Sounds like he has Fear but also that he's already trying to lean on gizmo's he hasnt even ridden w/OUT yet lol. Let him learn on a Suzuki GS250 like i rode in my MSF class and build some confidence MUAAAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!!!
My 95 zx6R (1st bike) didnt have ABS of course and i had to learn what it felt like when the shitty carbs got screwy and flooded the bike at 60mph killing it and coasting w/out power. Im sure we all have our stories lol... We lived and learned though, hope so at least.
Adding all those electronic gizzmo's will only add to the price of the bike, hinder learning IMO and you wont have that many GREAT learner bikes to choose from that will be perfectly fine "old school" machines to learn on even w/out ABS simply due to the nature of a more subdued bike. I learned to ride a fast bike slow and wish id done it the other way around now. I dont have a suggested bike for your buddy as i think the list needs refined but id agree on the FZ7/9 from Yamaha although all ive ever done is read about it. And, i park next to a Monster Duc at work and have wondered how easy it must be around town, they look fun to me, and light!
A good tuner...can make a dyno say anything it wants.
We will all die but only a select few of us will ever truly live.