Gone Riding: KTM 790 Duke

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Hello from sunny SoCal, where we are about to go ride the new KTM 790 Duke, which is finally coming to the United States as an early 2019 model.

The first of KTM’s parallel-twin middleweights, the new Duke packs a lot of features into an affordable body, with promises of being a potent streetfighter.

To test that theory, the Austrian brand has brought us near its base of operations in the United States, and today we will tackle the roads along the Oceanside coast, and then head up to the famous Palomar mountain for some twisty fun.

The KTM 790 Duke has been on our short-list of bikes we have wanted to swing a leg over, ever since we saw the concept for the machine debut two years ago at EICMA.

A follow-up to the KTM 1290 Super Duke R, the “Scalpel” is designed to be a more affordable option, while still offering a bevy of fun and key features – namely, IMU-assisted traction control and cornering ABS.

The twin-cylinder engine is the basis for the soon-to-be released KTM 790 Adventure R, and we expect other models in the 790 family to debut in the coming model years, which makes this first iteration especially important.

Per our new review format, I will be giving you a live assessment of the KTM 790 Duke right here in this article (down in the comments section), and I will try to answer any questions you might have about this exciting motorcycle.

So, here is your chance to learn what it’s like to ride the KTM 790 Duke, before even my own proper review is posted. As always, if I don’t know an answer, I will try to get a response from the KTM personnel. So, pepper away.

You can follow our thoughts on the bike live via FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and you can see what our colleagues are posting on social media by looking for the hashtags #KTM790Duke.

Spec-Sheet Comparison of Relevant Models to the KTM 790 Duke:

  KTM 790 Duke Triumph Street Triple 765 RS Ducati Monster 821 MV Agusta Brutale 800
Horsepower 103 hp 121 hp 107 hp 109 hp
Torque 64 lbs•ft 57 lbs•ft 63 lbs•ft 61 lbs•ft
Weight 373 lbs (dry) 366 lbs (dry) 395 lbs (dry) 385 lbs (dry)
Engine 799cc / Parallel-Twin 765cc / Triple 821cc / V-twin 798cc / Triple
Price $10,499 $12,500 $11,995 $13,498

Photos: KTM