KTM’s 790 Duke first broke cover at last year’s EICMA as a cover and we were scrambling for tissues to wipe up the drool. They are back this year with a production-spec variant of the 790 to Milan. Also on show was KTMs 790 Adventure R prototype which will take on the likes of the Triumph Tiger and the Africa Twin once it makes it to production. The 790 Duke will be powered by a KTMs new 799cc, parallel-twin that makes a strong 105 hp and 86 Nm of peak torque. This puts it in the same league, although 5 hp less than the 765 cc Triple on Triumph's new benchmark setting middleweight, Street Triple. Now given KTMs pricing strategy the 790 is likely to cost much less than the Street Triple, and for the 5 hp deficit make it a compelling buy. Add the performance of the motor to an ultra-light 174-kilo kerb weight, of the naked, which will be mated to a six-speed transmission, we expect it the 790 Duke to be one hell of a firecracker.
The engineering trickery on the Duke 790 to drop weight, has the steel frame using the engine as a stressed member. While damping will be carried out by a 43mm upside down shock from WP along with a gas-charged monoshock at the rear. Both will get progressive spring preloads and pre-load adjusters at the rear. Stop-Force will come from a twin 300mm disc in the front with four-cylinder radial mounted callipers and a twin-piston 240 mm disc at the rear. The 790 Duke also features Bosch cornering ABS with a disengageable SuperMoto Mode mode, lean-angle-sensing traction control and riding modes include a fully customisable Track mode. All of which will probably result in a riding experience like the guy in the photo above, out of a corner-front wheel four feet in the air. Could KTM get any cooler?
The transmission gets a quick-shifter, launch control a full-colour TFT dash, a rider-adjustable handlebar with WP steering damping. Meanwhile, the KTM 790 adventure was also on display as a prototype, while it will share the cycle parts from the Duke it will be tuned for enduro-use which is something of KTMs strong suit.
Now as to when the 790 or if the will make it to India is still in question but we are sure if this creates enough of a buzz. KTM might even consider it for next years roster.
Image Source: The Drive