The KTM 790 Duke launches a new platform for the Austrian brand, based around an 800cc parallel-twin engine.
As such, we already know that we can expect the twin-cylinder platform to spawn an adventure version of the bike, with the KTM 790 Adventure R prototype debuting at EICMA as well.
We can also expect other “790” models in the coming years, both from KTM and likely from Husqvarna as well. That is a good thing, because the KTM 790 Duke is a potent bike, rich with features.
A class-leader in electronics, the KTM 790 Duke comes with IMU-powered traction control, cornering ABS, launch control, ride-by-wire throttle modes, and an up-and-down quickshifter – all as standard equipment.
Throw in niceties like a color TFT dash, slipper clutch, and an LED headlight, and the KTM 790 Duke is easily the new standard in the category when it comes to features, but that is only part of the equation.
The real kicker though – if early indications about the pricing can be believed – is the KTM 790 Duke’s price tag, as KTM has been quoted as pricing the 790 Duke at below €10,000. This would put US pricing around the $11,000 mark, if not cheaper.
That cuts significantly into the price of the Ducati Hypermotard 939 ($13,000) and Ducati Monster 821 ($12,000), and KTM 790 Duke compares well on price/features with the cheaper Triumph Street Triple 765 lineup ($9,900 – $12,500), BMW F800R ($10,000), and Aprilia Shiver 900 ($9,400).
Aggressive on pricing, it is interesting to note that none of the competing brands offering IMU-powered traction control or cornering ABS. We at Asphalt & Rubber foresee both technological features being must-have items in the coming motorcycle generations.
Slow to react to the times though, the other European brands will now be playing “catch up” with KTM and its new Duke. If the hype is to be believed, the KTM 790 Duke is about to disrupt sales in the middleweight street bike category.
Meanwhile, KTM North America insists that it is a good idea for the US market to wait a year before it gets the KTM 790 Duke.