More of a Good Thing, the KTM 890 Duke R Debuts

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This is a story we broke a eight months ago finally coming true. The 790 engine platform from KTM has finally grown into the 890 platform that is ready for the Euro 5 emissions requirements.

And if you will allow us to toot our own horn just a little bit more, our predictions of an up-spec middleweight Duke have turned out true as well.

Now, while we may be patting ourselves on the back here, the real winners are all the sport bike enthusiasts out there, because the best middleweight naked on the market just got better, in just about every way. Say hello to the KTM 890 Duke R.

More, more, more. That is what the tagline for the 2020 KTM 890 Duke R should be – it has more of everything. First up, let us tell you about the new 890cc parallel-twin engine from KTM.

We get to this new displacement by KTM boring and stroking the “old” 790 engine, with new dimensions at 90.7mm by 68.8mm.

This gets us to 119hp (89 kW) with 73 lbs•ft (99 Nm) of torque at a low 7,750 rpm. Just for reference, this comes out to a 15hp boost over the KTM 790 Duke model.

Other changes abound as well, like the fully adjustable APEX suspension pieces from WP. The brakes get an upgrade too. Gone is the J.Juan garbage from the 790, because the 890 uses a full Brembo package, complete with Stylema calipers at the front.

Like on the 790 model, the KTM 890 Duke R comes with a robust electronics package, which includes a six-axis IMU, cornering ABS (with “Supermoto” mode), traction control, motor slip regulation (MSR), and an optional up/down quickshifter.

The whole motorcycle weighs just 365 lbs (166 kg), dry.

So, to recap: everything that was mediocre about the KTM 790 Duke to get it to its absurdly low price point, the KTM 890 Duke R replaces and enhances with premium goodies.

You can see where we are going with this, and of course there is no word on price yet, but we would accordingly expect a significant price increase to follow.

Now, some bad news. Our European readers will see the KTM 890 Duke R in the 2020 model year (lucky you!), but our North American readers can expect the KTM 890 Duke R to arrive in the fall of 2020, as a 2021 model year machine.

Source: KTM

Be sure to follow all of our 2019 EICMA show coverage this over the coming days, for the latest news and releases for the 2020 motorcycle model year.

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