No, this is not my review but one of the bikes I was originally interested in as a beginner bike was the not-yet-released-in-the-USA-til-recently-in-late-2015 KTM 390 Duke.
This is a really great bang-for-the-buck upright sitting intro bike that has some excellent performance parts on it from the factory – namely big, 4-piston brakes and a nice exhaust sound.
Here is one of the best reviews I’ve found by RevZilla’s Spurgeon
The KTM 390 Duke just looks badass!
The other version to consider is the same-size but less-naked KTM RC390
Future consideration, if I were to go up a size would be the KTM 690 Duke
I did ultimately decide on one of the best all-around starter bikes – the Kawasaki Ninja 300 SE in this exact color scheme which I have dubbed First Order Stormtrooper white. It marks some significant upgrades over the Ninja 250R it replaces including digital fuel injection, new clutch, and some very sporty, agressive bodywork while retaining a slightly more upright sitting position which is very comfortable. To top it off there is a very nice multi-function digital display.