Here it is at last,
the KTM 790 Duke
Story: Donovan Fourie
After releasing a prototype at the EICMA Show last year, KTM has at last unveiled the finished 790 Duke, a naked 799cc parallel-twin sports bike and a smaller brother to the formidable 1290 Super Duke. This model is most welcome after what feels like 100 years of the 690 Duke, a bike that was hugely praised at its release but is now starting to grow dinosaur scales.
According to the spec sheet, the 790 seems to have everything anyone could ask of a middleweight naked sports bike – 105hp, 86Nm of torque and just 189kg of kerb weight (169kg dry). According to KTM, this gives it the best power-to-weight ratio in its class.
The chassis is traditional KTM steel-trellis with the motor as a stressed member. The suspension is handled by KTM’s in-house suspension brand WP with 43mm upside-down forks and a rear monoshock.
KTM haven’t skimped on the electronics, giving it the full TFT dash, the now customary KTM twin LED lights, traction control, cornering ABS, a both-ways quickshifter and even a launch control.
Apart from the TFT dash and the LED headlight, more styling cues include mirrors that hang off the end of the handlebars, rather than stick up like bean stalks, and a single side exhaust instead of the under-seat unit seen on the prototype bike last year. The last detail is a little disappointing as that 3D-printed under-seat exhaust did look cool, but overall this looks like it’s going to be the usual, good fun type of motorcycle we’ve come to expect from KTM these days.
KTM South Africa are aiming to have the Duke 790 on showroom floors in June of next year. So far, pricing has not yet been confirmed.
Below is KTM’s promo video plus the full image gallery: