The KTM Duke 790 comes equipped with the brand’s first-ever parallel twin engine making 105 horsepower in its standard form
With rumours of KTM India launching the entry-level Duke 125 sporty naked in the coming months floating around the internet, there has been another report suggesting that the bigger Duke 790 could also enter by the end of this year or in January 2019.
With the premium motorcycle space getting appreciated more than ever, and the likes of Kawasaki Z900, Suzuki GSX-S750 and Triumph Street Triple S being well-received among Indian enthusiasts, KTM could work its magic in pricing the 790 Duke competitively in the market and brought it in via CKD route from KTM’s base at Mattighofen in Austria.
KTM had already confirmed to launch the 390 Adventure in the early parts of 2019 to take on BMW G310GS and Royal Enfield Himalayan, and if the speculated launches, said to be confirmed by dealers, become a reality the company will have a busy year in hand. KTM has been expanding the Duke 790’s reach across the globe through this year and the report stands in contradiction to the previous conjectures.
KTM displayed the mouth-watering 790 Duke prototype at 2016 EICMA in Milan before introducing the ‘Scalpel’ production version at the same show in the following year. The middleweight performance street naked gets the brand’s first-ever 800 cc parallel-twin LC8c engine that is mounted on the steel frame chassis as a stressed member for weight reduction.
It is good enough to develop a maximum power output of 105 hp at 9,000 rpm and 86 Nm of peak torque at 8,000 rpm and is connected to a six-speed transmission – R version makes 120 hp. The KTM 790 Duke is tuned for agile handling and has a razor-sharp bare minimum bodywork with parted headlamp.
Alongside the upright seating position, it has single pipe exhaust and a coloured LCD instrumentation. The KTM 790 Duke is the lightest bike in its segment at 174 kilograms and features a galore of performance aids like slipper clutch, ride-by-wire throttle, quick shifter, Bosch cornering ABS with Supermoto mode, lean sensitive traction control, WP steering damper, etc.
The Duke 790 also boasts WP-sourced 43 mm split function USD front fork and a gas-assisted monoshock with progressive spring and pre-load adjuster at the rear. A 300 mm twin discs with four pot radial mounted calipers and two-piston caliper with 240 mm rear disc. If KTM can price the 790 at around Rs. 7.5 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh (ex-showroom), we suspect it has definitely got a winner on hands.