KTM 790 Duke was fully unveiled at this year's EICMA earlier this month and it instantly was hailed by the motorcycling enthusiast community. Now, the Austrian brand has announced prices of the new razor sharp motorcycle and the praises have gone louder. Quite rightly dubbed 'The Scalpel', the KTM 790 Duke will be a handful on a price tag that will not take away a man/woman's life savings. The pricing of the 2018 KTM 790 Duke has been announced for the European market and it will cost GBP 8,499, which roughly translates to Rs 7.38 lakh. The motorcycle is available in two colours: Black and Orange.
Reports suggest that the all-new 799cc parallel twin powered 'scalpel' will eventually be manufactured in India, so Indians who have been drooling over it may be able to get their hands on one Made in India by 2019, which will ensure a very aggressive price tag for the country. KTM chief sales officer (CSO) Hubert Trukenpolz told Overdrive that the intent with the 2018 KTM 790 Duke was always to be manufactured in multiple locations, and not just at the KTM HQ in Mattighofen, Austria. And India is on the list of locations where the KTM 790 Duke may be produced.
When launched in India, 2018 KTM 790 Duke will go up against middle-weight motorcycles like Kawasaki Z900 and Triumph Speed Triple. The 790 Duke churns out power that is lower than the Japanese and British, but considering KTM's pricing strategy, losing out some horsies will be more than welcome by many.
KTM 790 Duke is powered by an all-new 799cc parallel twin engine known as the LC8c. This DOHC engine with liquid cooling and fuel injection pushes out 103.5 hp at 9,000 rpm and 86 Nm of torque at 8,000 rpm and is paired with a six-speed transmission. Add these power figures to an ultra-light 174 kg of kerb weight and the 790 Duke will be a handful. The Z900 and the Street Triple S, on the other hand, churn out 123.29 hp and 111.4 hp respectively.
The lightness comes from a steel frame, and the suspension is from WP, consisting of a 43mm split-function upside-down fork and gas-assisted shock with progressive spring and pre-load adjuster. The front brake consists of twin 300mm discs with four-pot radial mounted callipers. At the back is a two-piston calliper on a 240mm disc.
KTM has always equipped their motorcycles with tech gadgets, something we saw in the 390 Duke and still haven't stopped talking about it. The KTM 790 Duke comes with riding modes, including a customisable 'Track' one. It gets dis-engageable 'supermoto mode', lean-angle-sensitive traction control, a quick shifter, launch control, full-colour TFT dash, adjustable handlebar and WP steering damper.
A set timeline has not been announced as to when exactly can we get the KTM 790 Duke in India, but considering the Austrian brand's product strategy in the country, it is not a bad idea to bring the 790 here. The Indian two-wheeler market is now embracing middle-weight motorcycles. While some years ago, 'big bikes' were rare sightings, today the number of enthusiasts looking for performance motorcycles in on the rise.
In the period from April-September 2017 compared to last year, there was a drop witnessed in the sale of motorcycles below 150cc, indicating that the Indian rider is becoming power hungry. The 790 Duke will face competition from the Z900, Street Triple S and Ducati Monster 797 (in terms of price). KTM has always enjoyed a niche segment in India since no motorcycle could match the performance at price tags that attractive, and the 790 Duke could write itself a similar story.