Dave, I’m not sure if you are disagreeing with me, or the people above me…
I’m with you in saying that from a riding perspective it isn’t any worse than any of the other 650 twins (SV650).
It does make a healthy bit more peak torque than the GS500 (59Nm vs 29Nm).
But it makes less power and torque than the SV650S (SV650 72hp 65Nm, Ducatti 620 is 63hp, 59Nm).
So yes, if you are prepared to learn on a SV650, powerwise the Ducati won’t be any more difficult.
Personally, I’m agaisnt calling the 650s proper beginner bikes, I’m a firm believer in learning small and moving up. There are very good reasons teh MSF doesn’t use 650s in their classes. But I’m also comfortable in saying that after a season of riding a 250 (or less if you ride regularily) the 650s won’t be too much of a jump.
My real issue with the Duck is the cost. Total cost of ownership is much higher on a Ducati than a less exotic bike. And dropping a Duck will be comparatively expensive.
Anyways, my 2 cents have been said (twice now… so is that 4 cents?)